The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) has installed several portable message boards (PMB’s) and located them along Alaska’s remote highways to warn travelers of hazardous driving conditions. Alaska's severe winter weather conditions and the lengthy winter nights can produce some of the most hazardous driving conditions in America. With limited cell phone coverage, travelers are not able to get hazardous driving reports while enroute. PMB’s allow travelers to get urgent messages before they continue to their destinations.
ADOT&PF maintenance personnel can preprogram the signs to run messages and can operate the signs through existing phone lines and/or via cell phone modem. This allows messages to be posted from the maintenance stations in real-time as conditions change without having to drive to the PMB location. Also, ADOT&PF maintenance personnel have plans to link the PMB software to the State’s 511 Traveler Information System so that messages are posted via the internet. This will also allow messages to be posted on the 511.alaska.gov webpage.
The PMB’s are connected to standard line voltages or can use batteries that supply sufficient stored energy to operate the sign for weeks without recharge.
Deployment: In 2005, ADOT&PF purchased 10 PMB’s. ADOT&PF has plans to purchase additional message boards to cover remote travel locations along Alaska’s corridors.
ADOT&PF – Northern Region Maintenance Manager
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