The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has chosen Variable Speed Limit Signs (VSLS) from the California-based developer and manufacturer of traffic control equipment McCain Inc. for deployment on its new Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) smart corridor initiatives.
Now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Austrian Swarco Group, McCain notes that this agreement represents one of the company’s largest digital sign deployments outside of California.
McCain distributor MH Corbin was awarded the contract for 76 VSLS, powered by Swarco, that will be installed over the next year to enhance travel along nearly 50 miles (80km) of the I-76 between King of Prussia and Philadelphia. PennDOT’s comprehensive, multi-modal transportation management plan aims to decrease congestion, reduce crashes, and provide real-time information to drivers through the use of a coordinated smart corridor system.
Interstate 76 is a major commuter and long-distance route with access to downtown Philadelphia and the surrounding suburban communities. The new signs will allow traffic managers to reduce or increase speed limits to better maintain traffic flow and safety across the spectrum of conditions including heavy traffic, bad weather, accidents and other emergencies. Deployments of variable speed limits in other areas have been shown to reduce crashes by as much as 30%.
McCain’s Variable Speed Limit Signs are powered by Swarco’s innovative precision-optic technology, developed and proven in Europe and across the globe, and recently certified for use in the US market.
Also available in McCain’s variable message and lane control signs, the precision-optic technology offers distinct advantages over competing lens technology and delivers extremely sharp and vivid images, graphics, and text. Focusing and increasing the light output, Swarco’s precision-optics are proven to drastically boost legibility under the most severe weather conditions; characteristics that align with the overall safety goals of the smart corridor project.
“This is a major contract and these signs will have a profound and immediate impact on I-76,” said Randy Bobo, McCain’s VMS sales manager and longtime Swarco sign project manager for the USA.
“Frequent travelers along the route are accustomed to congestion, but we believe these signs will help traffic managers reduce the frequency and duration of slow-downs as our equipment comes online.”
Greg McKhann, chief operating officer for McCain, added, “We are excited to work on this project with PennDOT, one of the nation’s most prestigious departments of transportation, and we’re looking forward to bringing the advantages of our Variable Speed Limit Signs to other East Coast communities. We are expanding across the country, and we are confident that once transportation agencies get a taste of this technology, they won’t want anything else.”
As part of its expansion plan, McCain has appointed former California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) senior manager Fedrico Hormozi (above) to head its growing ITS Solutions Group. A nationally respected intelligent transportation leader, he will manage a team committed to providing a consistently high level of customer service and will also provide input on new product design, development and functionality. During his two-decade career at Caltrans, Hormozi served in several upper management roles including chief of the ITS Engineering and Support Branch.