WASHINGTON – There’s nowhere to go so we have to make better use of what we have.
That sobering assessment came from Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton, talking about the D.C. region’s crawling roads.
He says roads like Interstate 66 are at the “maximum” and can’t be widened or expanded much farther.
“We are looking at a whole bunch of alternatives on the I-66 corridor. We’ve got to find ways to manage the capacity we have,” Connaughton says.
The most immediate plan to help I-66 is to set up an “Active Traffic Management System (ATM),” which would essentially monitor the road non-stop.
According to VDOT, the management system would put an emphasis on:
Monitoring roadway conditions
Identifying and responding to incidents
Dynamic use of shoulder lane and ramp metering
Informing and guiding travelers
“We are about to come out with a (request for proposal) for a state-wide traffic operations center,” Conaughton says. “The whole goal there is to have as much active traffic management as possible. Not just here in Northern Virginia but state-wide.”
Construction on the $32 million ATM project for I-66 could begin in the fall or winter and be operational in summer 2014.