COLUMBUS, Mo. --- With the help of a $400,000 federal safety grant, the Missouri Department of Transportation has installed nine programmable message signs that can alert the state's drivers about upcoming road conditions and hazards. Eventually, there will be 48 electronic signs in Missouri along I-70 and Interstate 44, reported the Columbia Missourian. The Department of Transportation also plans to offer real-time traffic conditions on its website. The permanent signs, which cost about $35,000 each, can display three lines of text, containing 18 characters per line. The signs measure eight feet wide and 10 feet tall. They will be used to provide messages such as: "accident ahead," "use outer road" or "prepare to slow down." Most messages will originate from the 24-hour Traffic Management Center in Kansas City. However, operators at the department's Jefferson City office will also be able to program them with laptop computers.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials