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New signs aim to improve travel time, reliability on I-15

Officials from SANDAG and Caltrans are activating the final piece of a system designed to guide motorists around major incidents when they occur along the I-15 corridor, providing travel choices and improving travel-time reliability.

“Our region is a leader in taking advantage of technology to make our transportation system more efficient,” said County Board of Supervisors Chair Ron Roberts, who is also chair of the SANDAG Board. “These important steps on Interstate 15 will lead to even more effective use of innovations that are still to come.”

The ongoing Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) project will use a system of electronic freeway signs, 40 specially-designated alternate route signs, and coordinated traffic signal and ramp meters to give motorists the option of circumventing major incidents that occur on the freeway.

The ICM system – which covers a 20-mile stretch of I-15, from just north of State Route 52 in San Diego to SR 78 in Escondido – activated its coordinated alternate route technology on Thursday, April 21.

When an incident occurs that may result in significant backup, motorists will see a message appears on the electronic freeway signs. This message will offer additional route options for commuters to get off the freeway and onto a specific alternate route, designated by signs labeled A through T.

“For example, an electronic freeway sign might tell drivers to exit at Carmel Mountain Road and follow the signs labeled F,” said Ray Traynor, SANDAG’s director of operations. “By following those signs, drivers will find traffic lights are coordinated along that route to get them back on to the I-15 as quickly as possible.”

Many drivers already choose to use surrounding surface streets to bypass freeway incidents and reduce traffic delays. The ICM system’s real-time information and traffic management will help alleviate congestion and enable motorists to determine when to take a different route, as well as guide them past traffic congestion with the least amount of impact to local streets.

Activation of the alternate route signs marks the final phase of the ICM project. Other components to the project include the free 511 San Diego mobile application (available for iOS and Android). The 511 app features allows users to receive push notifications to identify incidents on their favorite routes throughout the region. Along the ICM segment of I-15, the 511 app also provides drivers with predictive travel times based on real-time data.

For more information about the ICM project, including a map of alternative routes and photos of the route signs, visit sandag.org/icm. A short video about the system also can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=CsA3OaHpND4. To learn more about the 511 San Diego mobile app, visit 511sd.com/app.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or pio@sandag.org.