Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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New digital sign gives WBR commuters leg up on travel time

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BATON ROUGE - Travelers who commute into the Metro area from West Baton Rouge across the Mississippi River are very familiar with just how bad traffic can be. Now, the State Department of Transportation is hoping to give motorists a leg up on which routes will take the least amount of time with a first-of-its-kind sign on the interstate.

The sign went live Tuesday morning at LA-1 near Port Allen. It uses Bluetooth technology to let drivers know just how long it'll take them to get from the sign's position into Downtown Baton Rouge using either the new or old bridges over the river.

Data displayed on the sign is gathered from Bluetooth readers that acquire signals from cellphones as they pass by. The DOTD assures commuters that no personal information comes along with the traffic data, and the signal is anonymous.

The sign itself cost a total of $64,000. The DOTD said it was put in place partially because the department feels the older Huey P. Long Bridge is underused, and they believe making motorists aware of it could eliminate some traffic backups coming into the city.

The sign is part of a $3.4 million project that dedicates federal funds to technology applications, rather than construction.


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