Interstate message boards to get replaced

LAWRENCEVILLE — The nearly 15-year-old message boards on local interstates will come down this week.

If weather permits, the large signs over Interstate 85 in Gwinnett will come down and a more environmentally and user-friendly replacement will go up, as the Georgia Department of Transportation works to upgrade its technology to give real-time traffic information.

“We are replacing the antiquated changeable message signs from the Olympic era,” said James Gordon, Georgia DOT Intelligent Transportation System engineer. “These signs are outdated and it is difficult to find replacement parts. The new signs employ new technology to use less energy and improve the visibility of the letters especially in low light conditions of rain, snow or sleet. The new LEDs have a much longer burn time that also saves us on overall maintenance costs. These signs will also utilize wireless connectivity giving us much more reliable control of the signs.”

Officials have scheduled work to begin Monday night in Clayton County, with crews expected to be on Interstate 85 south of Indian Trail-Lilburn Road on Tuesday and south of Jimmy Carter Boulevard on Thursday.

The work will require the two outside or right lanes of northbound traffic and one left or inside lane of southbound traffic to be closed by Indian Trail-Lilburn Road and at Jimmy Carter, three southbound right lanes to be closed, with one northbound left lane.

The work is expected to begin at 9 p.m. each night and continue until 5 a.m.

In, all SERVO Inc. of Atlanta and World Fiber Technologies of Alpharetta will replace 42 message boards, at a cost of $5.6 million. The upgrade is expected to be complete next spring.