$2500 reward for WYDOT sign shooters
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
January 21, 2010
The Wyoming Transportation Commission today (Thursday, January 21) approved a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who damaged the variable speed limit signs earlier this month.
WYDOT Director John Cox praised the decision by the commission, saying that those responsible must be brought to justice to ensure something like this never happens again to jeopardize the safety of the traveling public.
"I appreciate the decisive action of the Transportation Commission on this vandalism and hope it will lead to information that will be helpful to the investigation," Cox said.
Vandals damaged variable speed limit signs at three locations along Interstate 80 eastbound at about 6 p.m. on Jan. 6. The signs were back in operation by 2 p.m. Jan. 8. There was about $23,000 in damages, which includes $8,000 in labor and $15,000 in equipment costs, said Vince Garcia, WYDOT’s ITS program manager.
WYDOT officials determined that someone fired a handgun at the signs, which are near the Wagonhound, Arlington and Cooper Cove Interchanges (exits 267, 272 and 279). The vandalism resulted in damages to several cables, batteries and transceivers.
Although the signs are working, WYDOT crews will make more permanent fixes at a later date.
"Those fixes won’t be made until the spring or summer when weather conditions are typically better and the demand for speed variations is reduced," Garcia said.
The variable speed limit system, which was implemented in 2009, uses a series of remotely controlled electronic signs. The technology allows WYDOT personnel to lower and raise the speed limit on I-80 to match current travel conditions. Garcia said the signs are vital in protecting the public and keeping traffic moving.
"The system is reducing closures, fatalities and crashes," he said. "I’m pleased the commission approved the reward. I hope we get an arrest and conviction because the variable speed limit signs are important safety devices for the traveling public."
For more information contact WYDOT Public Affairs at 307-777-4437.