After several months of delays, the dynamic messaging boards along Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 95 are set to go live.
The 42 active traffic management signs will be fully operational beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The signs are operated in partnership between the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada.
Installed along northbound and southbound I-15 between Russell Road and Washington Avenue as well as along U.S. 95 between Valley View and Las Vegas boulevards as part of Project Neon, the full-color LED signs will provide next-generation, real-time driver information.
The signs will relay information about crashes, speed limit changes and lane restrictions, thus improving safety and traffic flows by reducing differential travel speeds and the likelihood of secondary crashes.
The signs were supposed to be fully operational in December but were delayed until March because of bad fiber network patches.
“We’re excited to finally have the active traffic management signs up and running,” said transportation department spokesman Tony Illia. “They will ultimately improve commute times.”
Already posted are enforceable digital speed limits on the right side and high-occupancy vehicles signage on the left. Motorists will notice new sign configurations, which include lane control arrows and X’s over the travel lanes.
NDOT removed all static metal speed limit signs last week and will rely solely on the LED signs.
Here are a few things drivers need to know about the new digital sign system:
Digital speed limit signs: The digital signs allow for variable speed limits, which override the typical speed limit. If needed, the speed limit can be reduced or increased for improved traffic flow through congested areas. These altered speed limits are enforceable, and if an outage occurs, the last posted speed limit will be the enforced speed.
Digital HOV signs: The digital signs can be changed to open HOV lanes to general traffic when at least two lanes of traffic are closed. This option improves traffic flow around a crash or work zone. If an HOV lane is opened, the digital sign will read “Open to All,” temporarily allowing access to all vehicles, even with one occupant, to legally cross the double white line to use the HOV lane.
Lane control symbols: Symbols such as arrows and X’s will be activated across the large message boards stretching across the freeways based on roadway conditions, traffic demand and planned or unplanned activities. If there are no road impacts, the signs will remain dark.
Four different icons will be used to assist with lane control.
— A yellow X with the word “caution” will be posted above the lane when motorists need to proceed with caution.
— A yellow X with the word “merge” will be posted above the lane when motorists need to prepare to merge because of a lane closing.
— A red X with the word “closed” will be posted above the lane when it is closed to traffic.
— Once motorists are beyond the activated lane controls and in reopened lanes, they will see the green arrow with the word “open” above all lanes.
The second phase of the Tropicana Avenue road project moves along, with several stretches of the key east-west road under construction.
Work is underway between Maryland Parkway and Eastern Avenue, Eastern to Pecos Road, Eastern to Boulder Highway and Mountain Vista Street to Nellis Boulevard.
— On the Maryland Parkway to Eastern stretch, there is paving and milling in both eastbound and westbound lanes. Work is expected to wrap up at the end of the month.
— The Eastern to Pecos portion includes miscellaneous concrete work with multiple lane closures. Work will occur here though April.
— The Eastern to Boulder Highway stretch includes edge milling with multiple lane closures at times. Work is expected to run though early April.
— Lastly, the Mountain Vista to Nellis portion includes sidewalk and curb removals with multiple lane closures at times. Work here will be complete in April.
RTC buses will maintain a 15-minute service interval on Route 201 during construction.