New dynamic message signs helping drivers on I-40 in North Carolina

A pair of dynamic message signs activated early this summer played a role in informing drivers of a roll-over crash

July 16, 2020
dynamic message signs
Image: North Carolina DOT

New signs with instant information have already provided benefits to North Carolina drivers on the Old Fort Mountain section of I-40, according to the North Carolina DOT (NDCOT). 

A pair of dynamic message signs activated early this summer played a role in informing drivers of a roll-over crash last week that closed two eastbound lanes. The new eastbound sign near mile marker 64 told drivers, “Crash, 5 Miles Ahead, Left Lanes Closed.” It displayed the message while McDowell County EMS, State Highway Patrol, NCDOT personnel worked to reopen the lanes.

“The more advance warning we can provide motorists, the better so they can make better and safer travel decisions,” Western Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer Chad Franklin said in a statement. “Drivers will be aware of the issue and they can slow down or use a detour to bypass the incident.”

The road traffic safety project, which includes adding signs prior to drivers navigating Old Fort Mountain, is designed to provide instant information in the event of a crash, maintenance, weather events, emergency events, or any other roadway issue. Advance warning helps drivers make better travel decisions and reduces the possibility of crashes, including secondary crashes.

The Old Fort Mountain section of I-40—which traverses about 1,350 ft in elevation change over approximately 4.5 miles—carries about 38,000 vehicles per day, based on the 2018 traffic count.

“The signs will provide drivers the information necessary to make safe travel decisions,” NCDOT Division 13 Traffic Engineer Anna Henderson said in a statement. “They can see it right there, in an instant, through their windshield.”

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SOURCE: North Carolina DOT

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