Project will create earlier, easier closure alerts at crucial connection to city

Last week, the city began installing a large, permanent message sign, with beacons that can flash, along Gene Autry Trail near Salvia Road. The sign is similar to those you see over freeways and can be programmed with all sorts of messages.
Whipping winds and blowing sand often force the closure of roadways between the city and Interstate 10.

Drivers along one stretch of roadway frequently closed due to blowing sand should start to receive warnings earlier by the end of the year.

At issue: Typically, when high winds make traveling to and from Interstate 10 along Gene Autry Trail and Indian Canyon Drive dangerous, drivers are met with road signs or gates that city crews have to run out and put into place. While they’re doing that, multiple vehicles could still be using the roadway and be at risk.

Going forward: Last week, the city began installing a large, permanent message sign, with beacons that can flash, along Gene Autry Trail near Salvia Road. The sign is similar to those you see over freeways and can be programmed with all sorts of messages.

  • Along with the programmable sign, there will also be equipment that monitors the weather conditions and cameras that will send pictures back to city crews who can immediately activate the beacons and message to alert drivers trying to enter the city from I-10 that it’s too dangerous to pass.

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Bigger picture: Ultimately, it would be nice to have a different ways to address the issue that has forever plagued drivers along Gene Autry. Those solutions are a priority of city officials, but as with most projects involving multiple governments, it won’t happen fast.

Find reports on all street closures and traffic detours in the city by going to this page on the city website.

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