TxDOT Goes Hi-Tech For Work Zone Safety On I-35 - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

TxDOT Goes Hi-Tech For Work Zone Safety On I-35

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The Texas Department of Transportation has turned to high-tech equipment to help protect workers and motorists along the I-35 expansion corridor.

The End-of-Queue Warning System uses sensors to measure speeds of approaching vehicles and warns drivers with portable electric signs about upcoming traffic backups.

The system will only be used from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in areas where there are lane closures in work zones.

Last year nearly 17,000 statewide work-zone crashes resulted in 132 fatalities and many more injuries.

"For construction, when we're merging and we develop a queue, we want to warn people in the back end of the queue that are approaching that area, we want to give them as much advance notice as we can, " explained Bobby Littlefield, a District Engineer in TxDOT's Waco District.

The advance warning system along the 96-mile I-35 expansion project that stretches from Salado to Hillsboro will also utilize temporary rumble strips to alert drivers of a potential problem.   The state agency is hoping the two warnings, along with uniformed law enforcement that it pays for, will help cut down on accidents in construction zones.

Each day, between 55,000 and 115,000 vehicles travel that corridor - about a third of them trucks.  Except for the metro Waco segment, which has not been funded, expansion to 3 or 4 lanes the entire stretch is projected to be completed in 2017.

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