Onramp gates installed on highways

As part of a statewide plan to increase safety during traffic emergencies, onramp gates are popping up on roadways across Northeastern Wisconsin. The white and orange striped gates — similar to those at railroad crossings — are manually operated and light up when lowered. The gates block ramps during traffic crashes or hazardous weather conditions.

“It’s a simple, quick and efficient way for the highway department or law enforcement to close the highway,” said Kim Rudat, regional spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

“It prevents motorists from entering the highway into a more dangerous situation,” Rudat said.

Before gates were installed in recent years, officers would close offramps with a squad car, use barricades or direct traffic themselves, Rudat said. Now those officers will be free to respond to the emergency.

Each gate costs about $14,000, and the department plans to install 69 gates on major roadways across Northeastern Wisconsin. So far, nearly half are set up, and all should be completed within two years, Rudat said. (Source: Green Bay Press Gazette)

What a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars at a time Wisconsin is facing a huge deficit.  Not to mention the money could be better spent on stuff like road repair.

How often will they actually be used?  And how exactly is it more efficient when you still need to MANUALLY lower and raise the gates.  All these gates do is move the traffic backups elsewhere.

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