The Virginia Department of Transportation will design and install an active traffic management system on a 34-mile stretch of Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia from Washington, D.C., to Gainesville, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Tuesday. Construction of the $34 million system begins this spring and will be complete in early 2015.
Drivers will see new dynamic message and lane control signs, which will advise them of incidents and delays, travel times and provide directions on merging traffic and usable lanes to help transition traffic smoothly and safely. The improved road monitoring and information collected by the system should enable first responders to clear incidents more quickly, according to state officials.
The system uses tools like cameras and vehicle detection sensors to collect information about traffic conditions and rely that information to commuters.
“We are bringing the next generation of traffic management to one of the most congested corridors in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” McDonnell said in a released statement. “Conditions on I-66 in Northern Virginia demand the deployment of this innovative technology and commuters will benefit from improved safety and increased communication during incidents and congestion.”
Work will begin this spring with construction of six emergency pull-off areas inside and outside the Capital Beltway. Dynamic message signs, ramp meters, sensors and new traffic cameras will be added throughout the corridor. On the most congested 12-mile section, from I-495 to Route 29 in Centreville, gantries will be installed every half-mile with lane-control signals and queue warning systems.
At its Feb. 26 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized the county to enter into a legal agreement with the state to remove illegal signs from public rights of way.
Once the agreement is signed, the county will have authority to take down signs as an agent of the Virginia Commissioner of Highways.
The county plans to remove signs three days a week from Tuesday through Friday. Illegal signs, including political signs and advertisements, would be removed by the Sheriff’s Office Community Labor Force. Signs only would be cleared from highways designated by the board, not neighborhood streets.
The removal program will begin later this year after the county finalize details on the program’s operation.
Under state law, some kinds of signs are permitted in public rights of way. These include no tresspassing signs, Red Cross stations, signs at the intersections of two or more roads giving the distance or direction to a church, residence, or place of business, signs denoting only the name of a civic service club or church and signs advertising or providing directions to a “special event.”
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) is seeking people interested in joining the Reston Outdoor Lighting Task Force.
The group will be looking at lighting needs around the future Metrorail station at Wiehle Avenue. This station is scheduled to open late this year. and it will change the travel patterns around the community.
The task force was created to explore the changing issues surrounding street lights in the Reston community. Since that time the group has periodically met to address the lighting needs.
Individuals interested in participating on this task force should contact the Hunter Mill District office at 703-478-0283.