My35 Central Texas News
Contact: Jodi Wheatley Phone: (254) 867-2836

Time-Saving New Temple/Waco Signs Benefiting Motorists

It didn't take long for TxDOT and transportation researchers to find out if motorists would benefit from new comparative travel-time signs in Temple. The north- and southbound signs were permanently installed in Temple on September 26, showing motorists travel-time comparisons between staying on I-35 or taking Loop 363 as an alternate, in case of congestion or an incident.

On October 10, just 14 days after installation, a fatality accident occurred on I-35 on the southern edge of Temple, on the elevated section of I-35 near exit #300. Minutes later, traffic began stacking up and sensors on both routes calculated an average of motorists' travel time experiences. The data were reflected on the permanent signs and, over the course of the next nine hours, thousands of motorists saved time and frustration by using the Loop 363 alternate.

  New travel-time signs like this one can help I-35 motorists better manage expectations and travel schedules when incidents occurs on the interstate.  

"These benefits for motorists are exactly what TxDOT hoped for by installing these signs," says Research Scientist Bob Brydia, of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. "Eventually, Loop 363 got backed up from the additional volume, but even then, the route was saving motorists up to 40 minutes of travel time."

Brydia and other researchers are poring over data from the crash, but they already know the signs helped ease the gridlock that's common during an incident like the one that happened October 10.

Other Waco District comparative travel-time signs are in place in Waco, giving I-35 motorists there a choice between the interstate or Loop 340. Comparative travel-time signs are also in place in Buda, Georgetown and Round Rock that show time comparisons between I-35 and SH-130.

"These signs reflect TxDOT's promise of teaming up with technology to help the I-35 corridor operate as efficiently as possible," Brydia says.

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