Penn Street and I-380 Intersection
Due to the high volume of traffic during peak times of the day as well as the intersection layout and traffic control systems, motorists regularly experienced excessive delays and backup on I-380 ramp intersections with Penn Street. During peak afternoon traffic, delays could be more than four minutes.
A Corridor Improvement Plan, including Synchro traffic modeling of the corridor, was prepared for Penn Street from I-380 to Kansas Avenue in January 2007. This led to the design of improvements including widening two intersections; turning lane improvements and traffic signalization at two intersections.
Three signals were coordinated to provide traffic flow throughout the peak and off-peak periods of the day using wireless radio communication, a relatively new technology to the area. The wireless system eliminated the need to run a conduit under the I-380 bridge and became the first piece of the city’s long-range plan to add wireless communication for the entire city signal system.
As soon as the project was completed, traffic using the interchange experienced significantly less delay during the peak hours of the day. Most importantly, traffic didn't even come close to backing up to the interstate any longer, dramatically improving the safety of the motorists. Having the coordinated traffic signal system in place has kept traffic moving much more efficiently during several recent instances when major volumes of traffic have been detoured through the Penn Street interchange due to accidents or construction closures along I-380.