GENESEE COUNTY — A towering electronic roadside sign installed last spring on southbound I-75 near the Bristol Road exit lets motorists know what to expect on the road ahead including construction, accidents, traffic jams and estimated drive times.
It is called a Dynamic Message Sign and, along with cameras, is part of an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) gradually being rolled out statewide by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).
Its basic premise is to use telecommunications technology to save lives, time and money.
MDOT currently has an ITS project under construction in Genesee County, said Kimberly A. Zimmer, Region Traffic, Safety & Operations Engineer for the MDOT Bay Region Office in Saginaw.
MDOT is installing dynamic message signs on I-69 eastbound near Dye Road and I-69 westbound near Howe Road in Burton. A smaller sign is being installed at I-475 near Wallace Street in Flint.
Cameras will be installed to monitor highway operations at:
• I-75 and I-69 (with a tower)
• I-75 and south end of I-475
• I-75 and US-23 junction
• I-75 Bristol Rd
•I-75 Clairmont Ave. (north of Miller road on the curve)
Camera images and sign messages will be available on the MiDrive site when the Genesee County project is completed at the end of 2015, Zimmer said.
MiDrive traffic information website is also now available as a free app. for iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets, she said. The new app offers real-time road and traffic information, including incidents, lane closures, work zones, message boards, camera views, and weather-related road conditions on I, M and US routes across the state.
ITS build out will continue in Genesee County as funds become available, Zimmer said. MDOT is following a five-year plan for camera installations statewide through 2019.