Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that beginning Wednesday, May 23, motorists will be able to take the quickest route to the beach by following new signs that will display real-time traffic times.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will unveil six new electronic message signs in the Hampton Roads region to help motorists choose the quickest drive time to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront or the North Carolina Outer Banks.
“The ‘Reach the Beach’ initiative will help VDOT improve the overall traveler experience by providing updated travel times at key decision points approaching and leaving the beach,” said McDonnell. “This system will help travelers by providing them with the most reliable travel time information available and where possible, encourage them to use alternate routes that are less congested.”
“The signs are part of an ongoing initiative to improve the quality of transportation services in the commonwealth, and are being activated in time for the summer vacation travel season,” said Transportation Secretary Sean T. Connaughton.
Using a system that incorporates data from roadway sensors, Bluetooth devices, and data provided by INRIX, Inc., VDOT will display comparative travel times (in minutes) for two routes. The six static roadside signs are positioned at strategic decision points at the following Hampton Roads locations:
· I-64 eastbound at Denbigh Boulevard (2) in Newport News
· I-264 westbound at First Colonial Road in Virginia Beach
· I-664 at U.S. Route 58 eastbound (Bowers Hill) in Chesapeake
· VA Route 168 northbound Chesapeake Expressway
· I-664 south at Dock Landing Road in Chesapeake
Travel time information will also be available at Safety Rest Areas and Welcome Centers in Fredericksburg, Skippers and New Kent County to help motorists traveling from the Washington, D.C. and Richmond areas.
“VDOT’s key priority is to keep traffic moving particularly during the busy summer season as travelers are headed to the beach,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “Providing travel times gives motorists the information they need to figure out the best way to reach the beach.”
VDOT’s contractor Iteris provided the technology services for Reach the Beach signs.
VDOT has installed travel time signs in other areas of the state, including Interstate 95 between Fredericksburg and Washington D.C. and on Interstate 66 between I-495 and Gainesville. VDOT will continue to expand travel times to key destinations along interstates and highways throughout the commonwealth.