According to recent estimates, more than 500,000 people commute to and from their jobs in Washington D.C. on any given workday – approximately 75% of the city’s entire workforce.
Much of this traffic affects the popular I-66 in Northern Virginia, which serves commuters as well as local non-rush-hour traffic.
In early Spring 2011, VDOT installed four Daktronics dedicated dynamic message signs (DDMS) which are part of a much-anticipated project to mitigate traffic congestion along I-66.
By opening two westbound exit ramps – normally reserved for HOV-2 traffic – to all traffic on weekends and non-peak hours, VDOT gives motorists easier access to two convenient arterial roads.
The Daktronics Vanguard® DDMS are flush mounted on static signage to show the status of the off ramps for motorists on I-66.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 28, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell expressed his support for the project.
“Opening these ramps is a low-cost solution to improve commute times for thousands of congestion-weary commuters in Fairfax County,” said Governor McDonnell. “Anyone who travels I-66 mid-day or weekends knows that congestion in this area is just as common outside of the traditional rush hours. Now motorists will have easier access to shopping centers, office parks and residential areas near the two exit ramps.”
A recent VDOT study showed that a total of approximately 8,400 more west-bound non-rush-hour vehicles are using the two ramps on a daily basis.
David Evans, VDOT’s ITS Deployment Manager, said that his agency chose the Daktronics DDMS because of their lightweight design and their simple installation.
“Because we were using existing sign structures, we had some limitations for weight and windload,” said Evans. “Daktronics stepped in to help and we found that their DDMS product fit our specifications perfectly.”