Variable Speed Limits come online on I-80 near Rock Springs
by Wyoming Department of Transportation
January 25, 2011
ROCK SPRINGS – Beginning today (Tuesday, January 25, 2011), variable speed limit signs will have the power turned on, but will not go live until Feb. 1, when it is anticipated that all signs between Rock Springs and Green River on I80 will be brought online.
In Wyoming, the variable speed limit system was first implemented on I80 in 2009 between Rawlins and Laramie. The system uses a series of remotely controlled electronic signs that allow WYDOT personnel to lower and raise the speed limit to match current travel conditions.
The success of this project over the past two winters has given WYDOT confidence that this additional tool will help to reduce crashes, save lives and decrease crash-related highway closures in other locations along the interstate.
"Based on this success, WYDOT is installing this system between Rock Springs and Green River, which is the busiest section on I-80 in Wyoming, carrying an average of more than 20,000 vehicles a day," said WYDOT District Engineer, John Eddins. The variable speed limit signs will allow WYDOT to reduce the limit in 5 mph increments to as low as 35 mph as weather and road conditions warrant between the two towns, he said.
Locally, the variable speed limit system is being installed between milepost 88.86 and 110.3 to give drivers a better chance to safely react to the rapidly changing and extreme weather conditions that can occur on the highway section. The goal of lowering the speed limit to match the conditions is to reduce the number of crashes, save lives and keep traffic moving on the highway.
WYDOT maintenance forces or the Wyoming Highway Patrol, through real time observation, will determine the appropriate speed limit for conditions. The Transportation Management Center (TMC) in Cheyenne can also make that determination by remotely monitoring the speed sensors in the highway and by observing the atmospheric weather sensor and webcams. The TMC will make the speed limit changes on the variable signs, regardless of who makes the determination.
Modern Electric Co. of Casper was awarded the $917,000 contract in May of 2010.