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Variable speed limit signs to begin along I-95 in Virginia

The speed limit signs will be able to adjust the speed limit in real-time in an attempt to reduce congestion and keep travelers safer on the road

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Those who are in need to speed may need to slow down. 

VDOT is reminding people that new LED limit signs have been installed on Interstate 95 northbound. 

Starting Wednesday, June 22, the speed limit signs will be able to adjust the speed limit in real-time in an attempt to reduce congestion and keep the road safer. 

Motorists will see these new signs on 1-95 northbound in the City of Fredericksburg and in counties of Caroline and Spotsylvania. 

On June 16, a total of 48 speed limit signs were installed, over a 15-mile section between Ladysmith (exit 110) and Fredericksburg (exit 130).

For the meantime, the variable speed signs will only display the maximum speed limit, which is 65 mph or 75 mph, in order for drivers to adjust to their presence. 

RELATED: Variable speed limits introduced on stretch of I-95 to ease congestions, crashes

The variable speed limit system will be activated, on Wednesday, June 22, allowing speed limits changes range from 33 mph to 70 mph.

The adjustable speed limit will allow drivers to change their speed at a comfortable rate based on real-time traffic conditions. 

If traffic slows and approaches congestion, VDOT hopes when drivers slow down that it will help to reduce the risk of crashes and stop-and-go backups.

There will be 6 new 511 Virginia traffic cameras to be installed in the corridor by the time summer rolls around as part of this project, which will assist with traffic monitoring.

The speed limits will go up directly to the maximum speed limit once congestion clears up. 

RELATED: 134 mph, 120 mph: Virginia State Police issues citations for major speeding in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach

How the System Works

  • Vehicle detectors installed along I-95 use radar to collect traffic speed and volume data, which is fed into a software program. The program uses an algorithm to recognize when speed limits should be lowered, such as when traffic volumes are heavy and speeds are high. The program then assigns incrementally lower speeds to harmonize traffic flow and reduce the risk of crashes and congestion.
  • Vehicle detectors do not identify individual vehicles or gather license plate information.
  • Detection equipment has been operational in the I-95 northbound project corridor since fall 2021. This has allowed the project team to perform advanced system testing and study how seasonal travel patterns and inclement weather affects vehicle speed and congestion.
  • Backup power will operate the variable speed limit signs and system for up to 24 hours in the event of power loss, and dual signs have been installed at each location to provide redundancy. If a system component experiences a failure, VDOT's on-call maintenance contractor is required to repair it within 8 hours.

The I-95 Corridor Improvement Program and the Innovation and Technology Transportation Fund funded the $10 million project on I-95 northbound. 

To learn more on the I-95 Northbound Variable Speed Limit project, click here.

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