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Roadway Operations & Maintenance > Information Dissemination > Dynamic Message Signs


Information dissemination technologies such as dynamic message signs or highway advisory radio can be deployed temporarily, or existing systems can be updated periodically to provide information on work zones or other highway maintenance activities. ITS operators may also send this information to in-vehicle devices capable of displaying traveler information.


Use text-only messages instead of graphic-aided messages on dynamic message signs during traffic slow-downs.(02/29/2016)

Avoid unnecessarily restrictive requirements and ambiguous terms in bid documents.(04/01/2013)

Strengthen the ability to coordinate and manage operations for planned special events by co-locating a traffic management center with a public safety center with representatives from police, fire and 9-1-1.(November 2008)

Use portable ITS equipment to monitor and control traffic flow at major signalized intersections located at entrance and exit points near planned special events.(November 2008)

Treat maintenance staff as customers and beneficiaries of ATIS information.(5/1/2005)

Treat system operators as the client and consider their perspectives during ATIS project development.(5/1/2005)

Consider how implementing an ATIS system will impact staffing and training requirements.(5/1/2005)

Consider that ATIS deployment in rural and/or remote areas presents special challenges.(5/1/2005)

Consider changeable message sign (CMS) positioning, data archive requirements, and traffic demand when considering deployment of a dynamic late merge system.(28 December 2004)

Coordinate extensively with other stakeholder agencies.(1/1/2004)

Use ITS to implement a reliable communications system in work zones.(1/1/2004)

Ensure initial and ongoing success of ITS deployments by providing sufficient start-up time, maintaining flexibility, and performing maintenance needs in-house.(1/1/2004)

Truck-mounted radar speed signs were effective in reducing traffic speeds by 5 to 23 percent versus reductions of 4 to 8 percent in work zones without them.(01/01/2016)

A traveler information system for informing visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park of the availability of a shuttle for car-free travel to the Canyon View Information Plaza added 368 shuttle riders per day, an increase of transit mode share by 45.7 percent.(March 2009)

An automated work zone information system (AWIS) greatly reduced traffic demand through a highway work zone in California resulting reducing maximum average peak delay 50 percent more than expected.(22-26 January 2006)

In North Carolina, work zone construction staff observed a dramatic reduction in queue frequency and length when using a smart work zone traveler information system.(May 2005)

In North Carolina, a work zone equipped with smart work zone traveler information systems observed fewer crashes compared to other work zones without the technology.(May 2005)

An automated work zone information system (AWIS) deployed near Los Angeles, California, reduced freeway delay by 46 percent.(9-13 January 2005)

Modeling data indicated that an automated work zone information system deployed on I-5 near Los Angeles contributed to a 4.3 percent increase in diversions and an 81 percent increase in average network speed.(9-13 January 2005)

In North Carolina, a survey of motorists who experienced a smart work zone information system on I-95 found that 85 percent of respondents changed routes at least once in response to the delay and alternate route information posted.(9-13 January 2005)

An automated work zone information system deployed near Los Angeles effectively diverted traffic to alternate routes during periods of congestion.(2005)

In Los Angeles, a survey of motorists who experienced an automated work zone information system found that 78 percent of respondents changed their route based on the information provided.(2005)

During lane closures in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region a dynamic late merge system reduced confusion and aggressive driving, decreased queue lengths, and reduced congestion.(28 December 2004)

A dynamic lane merge system deployed at a work zone outside Detroit reduced aggressive driving maneuvers.(October 2004)

A dynamic lane merge system deployed in a work zone outside Detroit increased PM peak travel speeds by 15 percent, no change in AM peak speeds.(October 2004)

A dynamic lane merge system deployed outside Detroit was found to be cost-effective based on an analysis of system cost and motorist time and fuel savings.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT enhanced work zone safety on I-55 by deploying an automated traffic control system that posted traffic information and enforcement updates (number of citations issued) on dynamic message signs located upstream of the work zone.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT staff reported a high level of satisfaction with the automated traffic control system deployed during the reconstruction of Interstate 55.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT reduced operating costs during the reconstruction of I-55 by deploying an automated traffic control system and eliminating the need for constant traffic monitoring.(October 2004)

The Illinois DOT indicated that an automated traffic control system deployed during the reconstruction of I-55 improved mobility by preventing severe congestion in the work zone. (October 2004)

In North Carolina, Smart Work Zone systems increased alternate route usage by 10 to 15 percent when specific delay and alternate route information was posted on roadside dynamic message signs.(September 2004)

In North Carolina, a modeling study indicated that work zone delay messages reduced maximum traffic backups by 56 percent and contributed to 55 percent reduction in traveler delay.(11-15 January 2004.)

An I-40 work zone in Arkansas equipped with an automated work zone information system had fewer fatal crashes compared to similar sites without the technology.(12-16 January 2003)

Ninety-seven (97) percent of the motoring public found that predicted travel time information was useful when posted at a work zone on I-75 near Dayton, Ohio. (January 2002)

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, work zone surveillance and response at the "Big I" Interchange reduced average clearance time by 44 percent.(4-7 June 2001)

During the first year of operations at the "Big I" work zone in Albuquerque, temporary traffic management and motorist assistance patrols reduced the average incident response time to less than eight minutes, and no fatalities were reported.(4-7 June 2001)

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul, a motorist survey found 61% of drivers who experienced a portable traffic management system at a work zone felt more informed about traffic conditions than at other work zones.(May 1997)

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul, traffic speed data collected at two interstate work zones showed that when portable traffic management systems were deployed, work zone traffic volumes increased 4 to 7 percent during peak periods.(May 1997)

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul, a portable traffic management system (PTMS) installed at two interstate work zones improved safety by slowing approaching vehicles by 9 mi/hr and reducing speed variability by 70 percent. (May 1997)

A traveler information system with two highway advisory radios and a portable dynamic message sign was deployed in a 3-month pilot test at the Grand Canyon National Park at a cost of $19,600.(March 2009)

Minnesota DOT deployed a dynamic late merge system for $900 per day per direction.(September 12, 2005)

Illinois DOT implements work zone ITS on the I-64 Add-lane Construction project at a cost of $435,000.(12 September 2005)

Based on a study of 17 states, the majority of work zone ITS cost between $150,000 and $500,000.(12 September 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Tucson were estimated at $72.1 million. (May 2005)

A modeling study evaluated the potential deployment of full ITS capabilities in Cincinnati. The annualized life-cycle cost was estimated at $98.2 million.(May 2005)

The annualized life-cycle costs for full ITS deployment and operations in Seattle were estimated at $132.1 million.(May 2005)

ITS deployment set to improve safety, efficiency, air quality, and traveler information to cost $11,250,000 across Colorado.(12/29/2004)

A real-time work zone traffic control system leased by the Illinois Department of Transportation cost $785,000.(October 2004)

North Carolina DOT leased its first smart work zone system along I-95 near Fayetteville at a cost of $235,000.(3 June 2003)

In Arkansas, the contract bid costs for two different automated work zone information system ranged from $390 to $750 per day.(12-16 January 2003)

The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) leased an automated work zone information system in West Memphis for $495,000 which was less than 4% of the total recontruction project cost. West Memphis is one of four locations highlighted in a cross cutting study.(November 2002)

Portable Dynamic Message Sign - Capital cost/unit - $4400(2013)

Portable Dynamic Message Sign - Capital cost/unit - $4400(2013)

Portable Dynamic Message - Capital cost/unit - $4400(2013)

Modem - Capital cost/unit - $1280.16(2013)

Modem - Capital cost/unit - $1280.16(2013)

Portable Dynamic Message Sign - Capital cost/unit - $4400(2013)

Portable Dynamic Message Sign - Capital cost/unit - $4400(2013)

Portable Dynamic Message Sign - Capital cost/unit - $4400(2013)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(03/10/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Portable DMS (Rental) - Capital cost/unit - $16(02/25/2010)

Variable Message Sign - Portable - Capital cost/unit - $18300 - O&M cost/unit - $600 - Lifetime - 7 years(06/30/2006)