NCDOT to install ramp signals on parts of I-540


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh is about to join the traffic ranks of cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta with the installation of some new roadway technology.

UPDATE: New ramp signals on I-540 in Raleigh now operational

The first ramp signals in North Carolina are going in at several exits along 540 westbound.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says this will help with traffic on the interstate. They also say the biggest challenge for this project isn’t putting in the technology, it is educating drivers on what to do.

When CBS North Carolina asked drivers on Falls of Neuse how they would handle a ramp signal, we got more questions than answers.

“Well I guess you would stop,” said driver Gloria Armstrong.

“I have no idea what that would look like. I guess I would just do what the people in front of me are doing,” said Miranda, another driver.

It’s not surprising people don’t know what they are.

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There are none in North Carolina.

The signals being placed at I-540 westbound exits 14, 11, 9 and 7 will set the tone for what other cities do.

“That will be the test case and if this is successful as it has been everywhere else, we will expect to expand that to Charlotte and Greensboro and other locations like that,” said Steve Abbott, NCDOT spokesman.

Abbott says the project costs about $2.5 million for construction and the software system to operate the signals.

Crews have started the work, and you’ll soon see signal lights on a few ramps.

Abbott says the exits were chosen because of the heavy traffic there.

“By spreading out the mergers that improves the traffic flow on the main travel lanes, reduces accidents, and actually helps the speed,” said Abbott.

Abbott expects a learning curve, but he wants drivers to know it’s a pretty simple concept.

“All they do, they come up, when it’s red they stop. It’s only going to be a stop for a second or two. Green you go,” he said.

Abbott says they’re hoping to start using the signals in late September and will kick it off on a Monday.

There will be a detour set up at the Falls of Neuse ramp Friday night through Monday morning so crews can work on the project.

The ramp at Falls of Neuse Road will be closed this weekend for work.

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