Commuters rejoice! The Virginia Department of Transportation has added a new traffic camera to its 511 traffic network and it will directly benefit everyone who commutes to destinations east of Clarke County. Early this month VDOT completed the installation of a new traffic camera at the top of Mt. Weather on Route 7. The device will provide real time traffic video of one of the worst traffic choke points eastbound drivers from the Northern Shenandoah Valley face. With just two major roads crossing, at Route 7 and Route 50, the ridge line is responsible for numerous driving challenges year round. Mt Weather marks the highest point along Route 7 and is subject to its own micro climate with weather challenges ranging from fog to ice and snow. This has proven to be a nightmare for commuters resulting in backups at the mountain that can stretch for miles in both directions.
Sandy Myers, Public Relations Manager for VDOT said, “The camera is in the technical testing stage right now. Once finished with testing it will be live on the 511 site with the other VDOT cameras. Hopefully that will be in about 45 days if all goes well with the tests.”
Once active the camera will give commuters access to real time images of the road. It will also provide the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Traffic Operations Centers (TOCs) with information to disseminate through the entire 511 network. The 511 service is currently offered in many areas and states. In Virginia, there are two primary ways to access 511 information â€” the 511virginia.org website and by calling 511 from any phone.