Daktronics Inc. of Brookings, SD., has had Georgia on its mind since Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) purchased Vanguard® signs to be installed along its highways.
The installation of four Vanguard® Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) made this the first Daktronics its project in the state of Georgia. The project, nicknamed ‘Fill in the Gap,’ was designed by GDOT to fill in areas of the interstate system that were without proper signage, according David N. Scarborough, ATMS Construction/Maintenance Project Manager with Brooks-Berry-Haynie & Associates Inc.
The project’s primary contractor, Brooks-Berry-Haynie & Associates Inc., used a bidding process to select a manufacturer whose signs best fit GDOT’s specifications. One of the requirements set by GDOT was that the DMS be compatible with NAVIGATOR, the state’s software and control system. Vanguard® signs are compliant with the National Transportation Communications for ITS Protocol (NTCIP). NTCIP consists of written specifications that define communication and operation of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) devices.
GDOT also wanted signs that were easy to read. “We wanted signs that motorists in all lanes would be able to read easily. With the LED signs, which have a larger ‘cone of vision,’ this is possible,” said Mark Demidovich, Assistant State Traffic Engineer with Georgia DOT. “Even in bright sunshine the signs are easily read.”
Customers and employees have also commented on how legible the signs are due to their brightness and viewing cone. This makes them highly visible, even on roads with five to seven lanes, according to Demidovich.
When installing signs from Daktronics, GDOT wanted to provide travelers in the Atlanta area with more information as well as an additional level of safety. “Information being delivered to motorists has helped the driving experience by letting motorists know what current highway conditions are,” said Demidovich.
For example, when incidents occur, such as an accident, the signs display information about where the accident is and how many lanes are blocked.
The signs also show travel time information, which tells drivers the number of minutes it will take to get to a destination. AMBER Alerts will also be displayed when needed as well as other ITS messaging, according to Georgia and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recommendations. “Daktronics was very responsive in supporting us,” said Demidovich.