Friday, October 30, 2009
Travelers in Northwestern portions of Kansas are back on the road after sections of I-70 reopened Friday. Portions of the interstate were closed from Colby into Colorado on Thursday as blizzard-like conditions moved across the area.
Across the state, anybody with a computer and Internet connection could monitor the deteriorating road conditions.
The Kansas Dept. of Transportation recently completed the installation and testing of more than 30 traffic cameras across the state. Most are located along I-70 between Goodland and Topeka.
Thursday, the cameras captured pictures of ice-covered roads and snow drifts in some areas. KDOT spokesperson Tom Hein says knowing what's ahead can often deter drivers from heading into a dangerous situation.
"It really helps in that decision making process," Hein said.
The KDOT website updates driving conditions across the state. But for the first time, pictures are now available to assist others in assessing the state's major roads and highways.
KDOT is also testing six similar cameras in Wichita, none of which are currently available online to view. Next month, Hein says the department will begin the process of adding 28 additional cameras to the Wichita area.
"We're looking at a big phase in Wichita with bids going out in November," Hein said. In addition to traffic cameras, Hein said the state would place 20 lighted message signs over highways in the city. The signs would carry important information, such as detour and delay information.
Hein said the department hoped to have the Wichita cameras operational and available online sometime in 2010.
To access the KDOT website and cameras along I-70, see "Related Links" at the bottom of this article.
A link to the KDOT Cameras can always be found on KAKE's Weather page.