I-70 traffic restrictions will allow PennDOT to install permanent data collector
Traffic patterns will be disrupted beginning Wednesday on a section of eastbound Interstate 70 in Westmoreland County, as PennDOT installs permanent devices for counting vehicles.
Lane and shoulder restrictions will be in place from 9 p.m. Wednesday through 5 a.m. Friday as crews install Continuous Automatic Vehicle Classification devices below the road surface, near the Route 51 interchange, to count and classify traffic.
Magnetic loops embedded in the pavement will count the number of vehicles that travel overhead. Piezo sensors, which produce an electric signal when a tire comes into contact with them on the roadway, will collect axle-classification data on passing vehicles.
The I-70 site will join nearly 130 other strategically chosen locations across the state where PennDOT maintains permanent traffic recorders. Data is stored in traffic counters at each site, which are automatically polled nightly through modems.
According to maps on a PennDOT site, other permanent vehicle classification sites in Westmoreland County include two locations on Route 30, near Adamsburg and near the Route 119 interchange, and one on Route 22, east of New Alexandria.
There are three similar sites in neighboring Allegheny County — on Route 65 in Leetsdale, a little more than a half mile south of the Beaver County line; on Route 22, nearly a mile east of Route 978; and on Route 279, a little less than a half mile north of the Camp Horne Road overpass.
Data from the devices are used to track daily and seasonal traffic information and to identify changes in traffic patterns.
PennDOT officials note the information is critical in making decisions related to highway design and funding, traffic engineering, air quality analysis, planning and programming, as well as winter services and highway maintenance and construction.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .