ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Technology engineers are installing digital signs along the Jane Addams Tollway in the Chicago area that will give drivers speed and accident information in real time.

As construction on the tollway finishes, crews are installing gantries every half-mile between O’Hare International Airport and Barrington Road to create the active traffic management system, or “smart road,” the Daily Herald ( ) reported. There will be a total of 29.

When a crash occurs, red X’s will indicate closed lanes. Messages will update with detours and other notices, such as Amber Alerts.

Tollway planners have also built an infrastructure to accommodate communication tools for self-driving cars in the future.

The active system will cost the tollway nearly $33 million.

The system will operate through wireless speed sensors, dozens of cameras and weather stations, which transmit data to the tollway dispatch center in Downers Grove. A traffic team will analyze the results and update the signs.

“It’s about safety and congestion relief, which leads to environmental benefits and positioning the tollway to be a 21st-century leader,” said, Executive Director, Greg Bedalov. He hopes the new additions will empower drivers “to make wise decisions about lane usage.”

According to Bedalov, the purpose of the new technology will be to alert drivers in advance of crashes and closed lanes earlier so they can merge efficiently and continue on their route, which will help with a better traffic flow. He said traffic engineers are calculating the frequency and length of the alerts to ensure they do not distract drivers.

“We want to avoid over-messaging our customers,” he explained.

The system is expected to go live next spring.

Information from: Daily Herald,