New digital signs over I-24 to help with traffic around crashes

Traffic gantries for new TN interstate SMART Corridor
Posted at 10:02 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 09:51:07-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation is installing dozens of small digital message signs over lanes of traffic on I-24 between Nashville and Murfreesboro.

The agency says it hopes they'll provide more reliable commute times by giving advance warning of trouble spots ahead.

"You could budget 30-45 minutes to go pick up your kid, but all it takes is one fender bender and then it turns it into an hour, and you're late getting to whatever you're trying to get to," said Rebekah Hammonds with TDOT.

Here's how TDOT says these new lane-specific message boards can help:

During your commute, if traffic is running smoothly, you'll just see a reminder of the speed limit over each lane. But if there's an accident ahead, that's when things change.

If the accident closes a lane, you'll see a red X in your lane warning you — an early reminder to choose another lane. In other lanes you may need to exercise caution, where you'll find a yellow X. And in lanes without problems, you'll find green arrows.

Here's another key change: officials will be able to update the speed limits to reflect traffic flow because of an accident or construction up ahead.

"We're not necessarily just choosing a number and you've got to go this speed," Hammonds said. "It's to say, 'Hey, there's some kind of congestion going on, this is the current speed limit up ahead, please slow down.'"

TDOT says the new digital signs over I-24 should become operational this fall.