The Michigan DOT leased seven variable speed limit trailers for six months at a cost of approximately $400,900.

December 2002
Michigan,United States

Summary Information

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) teamed up with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Michigan State University for an 18-month study to test the use of variable speed limits (VSL) in work zones. The Michigan study is part of a larger FHWA-sponsored variable speed limit pilot program.

MDOT opted to lease equipment through a contract that included development, design, installation, calibration, and maintenance over six months for $400,900. By leasing the equipment, MDOT did not need to maintain or store the equipment after construction ended.

The VSL system, which was deployed along I-96 in Lansing, consisted of seven trailers with remote traffic microwave sensors, solar power, controllers with radio frequency communication, and light-emitting diode (LED) speed displays. Work zone speed limits were based on traffic congestion, weather, presence of workers, and other factors.

See Also:
Variable Speed Limit System: Development, Demonstration, and Evaluation at and Michigan Department of Transportation and Michigan State University, Field Test of Variable Speed Limits in Work Zones (In Michigan), Final Report, September 2003 at

Click here for pictures of the VSL system in Michigan (81 KB).

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Cost of Variable Speed Limit System in Michigan

Published By: Michigan DOT

Correspondence with Jeff Grossklaus. PE, Construction Staff Engineer, Construction and Technology Division, Michigan DOT.

Source Date: December 2002

System Cost

Project cost: $400,900 (2002).


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smart work zone systems, VSL, smart work zone, smart work zones, Smart work zones, workzone, WZ

Cost ID: 2003-00051