Signs of the Times Become Permanent
There's a new sign that progress is being made on I-35: the portable changeable message signs (PCMSs) north of Waco will be removed soon and replaced with permanent signs on the newly built infrastructure. So, instead of looking to the shoulders of the interstate to learn the time and distance to the next location, travelers can find that information overhead on the new sign supports spanning the lanes.
"These permanent dynamic message signs (DMSs) should be operational within the next few weeks," says Texas A&M Transportation Institute Senior Research Scientist Bob Brydia. "Destination and time will be the default travel-time information on each DMS. Other messages—such as highlighting lane closures, incidents or other high-priority situations—may take priority when warranted."
|An aerial view of I-35 showing the old portable message sign (upper-left corner) being replaced by the lane-spanning dynamic message signs in the middle of the photo.|
During the 30-mile construction phase between Waco and Hillsboro, TxDOT used six PCMSs to inform motorists. Now that all the mainlanes are open, the same traveler information will be displayed via the overhead signs.
"Changing these portable signs to permanent ones was our intention all along," explains I-35 Information Specialist Jodi Wheatley. "In addition to email and Twitter, DMS is another example of TxDOT's emphasis on getting information out in as many ways as possible."
More than 20 PCMS signs dot the Waco I-35 corridor. And like the completed sections north of Waco, DMS signs will be installed as construction is completed in additional projects and mainlanes in those sections open.