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Nevada DOT starts deployment of ITS technologies on US 395

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has launched a project to install enhanced roadway signage, ramp meters, wrong-way driver detection systems, and other ITS technologies, to help improve traffic safety and mobility on US 395 in the North Valleys.

Starting this week, and running through to early 2018, periodic lane, ramp and roadway shoulder closures will take place on US 395 from the ‘spaghetti bowl’, north to the Nevada-California state line, as NDOT makes the improvements to help keep drivers safer and more informed of local road conditions.

A major trucking route and economic link, the US 395 is the only north–south highway that links Washoe County, Carson City and Douglas County, and is vital to these communities, and for tourism in the region. NDOT’s improvements and ITS deployment includes:

• Ramp Meters – These will be installed on US 395 ramps at Oddie Boulevard, North McCarran Boulevard, Clearacre Lane and Lemmon Drive. Ramp meters are traffic signals placed at the top of certain freeway on-ramps, to help reduce congestion and enhance safety by more evenly metering the flow of traffic merging onto freeways;
• Wrong Way Driver Detection Systems – NDOT currently places ‘Wrong Way’ signs on all freeway ramps to notify drivers trying to enter the freeway in the wrong direction. Additional flashing warning signals and detection systems will be added to US 395 on-ramps in the North Valleys as a highly-visible and additional indication to help stop drivers from entering the wrong way, ultimately enhancing freeway safety;
• Travel Time Signs – Roadside travel time signs provide current estimations for drivers to reach key locations such as off-ramps. By knowing the travel time, drivers can make informed decisions, so they could take another route to more efficiently reach their destination;
• Traffic Cameras – By providing nearly up-to-the-second views of travel conditions, live traffic cameras help drivers to make travel decisions, such as which route they will take and what time they will leave, before departing for their destination. They also help drivers prepare for any potential weather conditions prior to driving. Additional electronic freeway variable message signs (VMS) and roadside weather information stations (RWIS) will also be included.

Over the next five years, NDOT also plans to enhance and extend the Clear Acre Lane to the southbound US 395 ramp, as well as repave the route between McCarran Boulevard and Lemmon Drive, and add one additional southbound lane. In addition, NDOT is developing Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvements for Interstate 80, including digital signs that will display variable speed limits associated with real-time traffic conditions.

“We’re dedicated to a state transportation system that keeps Nevada safe and connected,” explained NDOT director, Rudy Malfabon. “As with many areas of Nevada, the North Valleys continues to grow. We’re putting priority on additional, future US 395 North Valleys improvements to keep up with that growth.”

April 13, 2017

Written by Adam Frost

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