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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 33-10
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

Federal Highway Administrator Mendez Helps Launch Smarter Highways on I–5 in Seattle

SEATTLE - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined state and local officials today for the launch of Smarter Highways on I-5, a high-tech traffic management system that provides drivers real-time traffic information on lane conditions.

Washington is one of the first states in the nation to implement this active traffic management system. It is expected to improve safety, reduce collisions and help relieve congestion by automatically alerting drivers to changing road conditions. It will also give drivers advance notice of incidents on the road ahead. In addition, the state patrol will enforce speed limits posted on the electronic signs.

“Improving people’s lives by getting them out of congestion and to their jobs and homes safely is one of our most important goals,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Smarter Highways is part of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s congestion relief program, “Moving Washington,” which will make highways more effective and prepare I-5 for increasing traffic demands once the Alaskan Way Viaduct project is under construction.

“This technology will improve the quality of life for those in the Seattle area,” Administrator Mendez said. “Real-time information on road conditions can help drivers with decisions that will ultimately make their commutes more manageable.”

The project cost is $23.8 million, $17.5 million of which is federal funding.

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