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MDOT displays real-time traffic messages for west Michigan drivers
October 6, 2010 -- A new feature is now available to motorists on MDOT electronic message signs throughout the west Michigan area. Not only will the signs warn drivers of traffic impacts and provide information on alternate routes in and around construction, but now some of them also will display real-time travel time information for highways near Grand Rapids, including I-96, US-131, I-196 and US-31.
"The system automatically posts up-to-the-minute travel times from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., providing drivers the information when they need it on these heavily traveled routes," said MDOT West Michigan Transportation Operations Center (WMTOC) Manager Suzette Peplinski. "The signs are located in advance of major interchanges so that drivers can use the travel-time data to make educated decisions about which routes to take."
Six electronic message signs are currently being used for the travel times: three in Kent County, two in Ottawa County (all inbound towards Grand Rapids) and one in Muskegon County.
The electronic message signs utilize a statewide services contract to display information similar to what is offered on MDOT's Mi Drive Web site, www.michigan.gov/drive. Real-time travel information is gathered by a contracted company using statewide probe data, which is then analyzed by MDOT traffic management software, and then transmitted to the message signs using cellular communications. This data is collected continuously and updates the signs every five minutes.
For more information on the MDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program, please visit: www.michigan.gov/its
MDOT says: Construction work zones need your undivided attention.