Portland I-5 Iowa St-Viaduct Project (2010-2012). Daily traffic signage operations are being conducted on the challenging Terwiliger Curves of Interstate 5 (I-5), south of Portland, Oregon. During the first night of traffic signage operation, a contractor’s truck-mounted impact attenuator (TMA) was struck by a passing motorist. Unfortunately the motorist struck the vehicle at an angle, missed the attenuator and seriously injured the contractor’s TMA driver.
Shortly after the crash, the contractor contacted Versilis to enquire about the “SwiftSignTM’’. Although never used anywhere in the US before, ODOT allowed the installation of the system on I-5 in order to eleviating the exposure of workers and equipment during the lane closures.
Since the SwiftSignTM system was installed, there have been no injury accidents while setting up the multiple lane closures on this challenging portion of I-5. This installation is a sucessful example of a work zone safety improvement initiative. In addition to minimizing the exposure time for workers and their equipment to live traffic, it also reduced the ‘surprise effect’ of motorists coming upon work crews and their equipment in the transition zone.
The benefits of being able to remotely control warning signs and lane closures are undeniable. With the objective of reducing the number of work zone accidents, the implementation of safety-related technologies that have proven effective should be encouraged through various demonstration projects. As the contractor for the Oregon I-5 project proudly stated, “Anytime you can find a product that saves time and money and makes the work place safer, it’s a win-win situation. For us, the SwiftSignTM signage system is one of those times.”