FDOT Unveils Traffic Safety Improvements for Paynes Prairie


New safety equipment is being installed on Interstate 75 and U.S. 441 through Paynes Prairie in response to the tragic series of accidents that happened in the early morning of January 2012 due to near-zero visibility conditions in the area from fog and smoke.

The goal of this project is to provide early warning to motorists when traffic congestion or low visibility is present on I-75 and U.S. 441. The $2.1 million project is expected to begin in early February. FDOT has hired James D. Hinson Electrical Contracting Co. Inc. of Jacksonville to complete the project by early 2015.

The Intelligent Transportation System will consist of dynamic message signs, closed-circuit television cameras, vehicle detection devices, visibility sensors and thermal cameras.

“We can never predict the time or place when an accident like this will happen,” said Sheriff Sadie Darnell, “but we can learn from it and prepare for it.”

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