This fall, said the Colorado Department of Transportation, crews will begin installing interconnected weather and road sensors, cameras, speed-detection devices and variable speed limit signs at
17 locations on the Interstate 70 Glenwood Canyon corridor.
It is an example of how state DOTs are increasingly turning to technology projects to improve highway utilization and safety.
"This section of I-70 experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year, causing unsafe conditions for drivers who don't take proper precautions," CDOT said. The agency found in a recent safety assessment that
the targeted area "sees a high number of crashes involving fixed objects, especially during inclement weather."
The work, which is scheduled for completion in October 2018, will cover about 14 miles on eastbound I-70 (from mile points 116.91 to 130.93) and about 15 miles on westbound I-70 (mile points 115.88-131.08) including the Hanging Lake Tunnel area.
The traffic-management system that results, CDOT said, will give drivers advance warning of conditions ahead "and generate a safer traffic flow to decrease accidents in the canyon."
It will allow CDOT to increase the standard speed limit during good conditions by 10 mph to 60 mph for passenger vehicles and 50 mph for heavy vehicles over 26,000 gross vehicle weight, in most areas of the canyon.
And it will "lower the speed limit to assist with incident management, conditions created by inclement weather, and maintenance and construction." News reports said speed limits could drop to 30 mph based on conditions.
The agency said the project will
install three weather stations for live monitoring and reporting of weather conditions, plus nine closed-circuit cameras for personnel to view real-time roadway conditions.
Crews will install 73 standard static signs and 17 new variable speed limit signs, while replacing five current variable speed limit signs and removing 38 static signs.
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