May 11, 2021 – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today the posting of Variable Speed Limits (VSL) and Queue Detection and Warning (QDW) messages along 14 miles of Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) between King of Prussia and Philadelphia.
On April 8, PennDOT activated 72 VSL signs and an end-to-end QDW system along eastbound and westbound I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) from the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Montgomery County to the U.S. 1 North (Roosevelt Expressway) Interchange in Philadelphia. The initial activation began a technology testing period and allowed drivers to become accustomed to the new signs.
Beginning today, I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) motorists will notice speed limits begin to change based on real-time travel conditions. This is an indication of congestion occurring ahead and an effort to improve the flow of traffic and reduce stop-and-go conditions and the potential for rear-end crashes.
Existing static speed limit signs have been removed and posted speed limits will begin to change along the corridor. Initially, the VSL signs will vary between 35 mph and 55 mph based on real-time traffic and safety conditions (50 mph maximum in the City of Philadelphia). This range of speed limits may be slightly adjusted after the performance of the system and traffic progression results are collected and analyzed.
Speed limits posted to the new VSL signs on I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) will serve as enforceable, regulatory speed limits, not recommended speed advisories. All motorists should follow the posted speed limit on the VSLs.
Additional information specific to VSL signs as well as a list of frequently asked questions for further reference can be found here.
The activation of the VSL and QDW systems is the first phase of a long-range, comprehensive, multimodal transportation management plan designed to enhance travel and safety along the I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) corridor between King of Prussia and Philadelphia.
The next phase, currently in design, will include additional active traffic management strategies such as the modernization of traffic signal systems along several roadways running near the expressway, and transforming the existing shoulders on portions of I-76 (Schuylkill Expressway) to accommodate an additional travel lane or “flexible” travel lane during peak travel times.