COMMUTE

Virginia I-95 electronic message signs set for unveiling

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(WJLA, AP) — Northern Virginia commuters can now count the minutes while they sit in traffic on Interstate 95.

(Photo: Jay Westcott)

Signs on 395 and 95 are now offering estimated drive times from the Pentagon to Fredericksburg, giving motorists a heads up on what lies ahead or the option to seek alternate routes.

The Virginia Department of Transportation unveiled seven new signs Monday morning. They display miles and travel times between several exits in the northern Virginia area, starting southbound near the Pentagon and including the Beltway, Fairfax County Parkway and finally Lorton.

There are also three new signs northbound, including one near 123.

"Now I get to go, 'hey, I'm going to be home at 9 p.m. tonight,'" said motorist Jose Diaz.

Some motorists weren't as sold on the signs, though.

"Put a food stand out there or something," said Israel Denegri. "Get somebody out there to sell drinks during the summer, hot dogs, anything. It's better than spending 50, 60, 100 thousand dollars on a sign."

But most said it's better to know than not, no matter how painful.

The signs will operate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

The system was introduced in August on other D.C. area commuter routes.

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