Vanguard® Dynamic Message Signs Create Valuable Clarity and Versatility for Garden State’s Tollways

With increasing support from government standards and industry expertise, full-color high-resolution dynamic message signs are appearing on freeways throughout the country.

The 122-mile New Jersey Turnpike carries some of the heaviest traffic in the country. The people and goods on this vital roadway fuel the area’s economy. Overseeing both the Turnpike and the equally-notable Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) sought an effective long-term solution to inform its toll-paying motorists.

In 2009, the NJTA awarded a $25.6-million contract to Daktronics to engineer and build more than 200 dynamic message signs. With its new Daktronics Vanguard® display technology, the agency aims to enhance safety and road awareness by establishing an efficient visual connection with motorists.

The new 20mm DMS show warnings, announcements and instructions using ultra-sharp MUTCD graphics and text – a practice which is scientifically proven to clarify messages and expedite motorist understanding.*

Integrated with NJTA’s extensive data collection network, the Daktronics DMS show a wide variety of useful information such as travel times between major intersections, road conditions and safety promotion.

As traffic conditions change, NJTA can adjust and communicate speed limits with Daktronics Vanguard variable speed limit signs installed next to the DMS. When the agency lowers the speed limit, they publish messages which bring attention to and explain the reasoning behind the speed adjustment.

Installing 200-plus DMS requires organization, patience and experience.

Since the first DMS was commisssioned in 2009, Daktronics has taken great measures to provide all three. The Daktronics project management team works closely with on-site contractors, technicians and NJTA personnel to commission each display along both roads. In addition, an on-site NJTA-dedicated Daktronics field engineer maintains both the displays and the communication between the agency and Daktronics.

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