Crews will activate two large highway reader boards in eastern Idaho - near Pocatello and the Bingham-Bonneville County Line - late this month.
The two large electronic message boards are near Applebee's restaurant on northbound Interstate 15 in Pocatello and half-a-mile north of the Bingham-Bonneville county line on northbound I-15 in Bonneville County.
ITD will test the dynamic message signs (DMSs) for 90 days, after which the signs will post messages on road conditions, traffic flow and AMBER Alerts. It's part of an ongoing safety program to better inform the traveling public.
ITD plans to activate four other DMSs installed during the last several months in eastern Idaho before the end of August.
The four reader boards are on southbound I-15 a couple of miles before its junction with Interstate 86, eastbound I-86 a couple of miles before its junction with I-15, northbound I-15 a couple of miles before the Sage Junction exit, and northbound U.S. 20 a couple of miles before the south Rexburg exit.
The electronic signs are designed to improve traffic safety and emergency response for through and local traffic.
The new reader boards are similar to one installed and activated last year on southbound I-15 south of Idaho Falls. ITD has installed 34 electronic boards statewide and will install 12 more this year.
Wheeler Electric, Inc. of Idaho Falls was the general contractor for the eastern Idaho installation project.
The large signs include a concrete foundation, pole and cantilever structure, communications cabinet, protective guardrail and the message board. The boards are 8-feet-tall by 25-feet-wide by 4-feet-deep and weigh 4,000 pounds. Fitted with economical light-emitting diode (LED) lights, the boards display 18-inch characters in amber that can be read at 1,100 feet.
ITD installed its first electronic sign in eastern Idaho on northbound I-15 near Dubois in the late 1990s. This sign is now obsolete. In addition, the department installed a DMS on Idaho Highway 33 at Butte City in the early 2000s.
ITD owns two signs in northern Utah, one on northbound I-15 near Tremonton and one on northbound I-84 near Snowville near the Utah-Idaho border, to notify motorists of conditions on I-84 in southern Idaho that can be treacherous during winter months. Both Utah signs are being replaced as part of the current DMS project and will be activated later this month.
DMS installation and testing are being coordinated by Mark Blackshaw, who is an Intelligent Transportation Systems Engineer in ITD's Mobility Services section in Boise.