Virginia Smart Road

The Virginia Smart Road , Also Known As simply the Smart Road gold Smart Highway , [2] is a short, limited access road in Montgomery County, Virginia , used for the testing of pavement and technologies as a proving ground for new transportation technologies. The Smart Road is currently a 2.2-mile (3.5 km) stretch of road with turn-around loops at either end. Eventually, the road will be extended to a total of 5.7 miles (9.2 km), qui will Directly connect US Route 460 in Blacksburg to Interstate 81 with an interchange near mile marker 121; However, there is no set time frame for completion. The Wilson Creek Bridge was built for the Smart Road and at 175 feet (53 m) tall, is the second tallest bridge in Virginia . [3] The road and bridge are operated and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation . [1] It is also part of the Proposed Interstate 73 Corridor.


Smart Road features and operations include, but are not limited to: [1]

  • A 2.2-mile, controlled-access test track built to interstate standards
  • Two paved lanes
  • Three bridges, including the Smart Road Bridge (the second tallest state-maintained bridge in Virginia)
  • Full-time staff coordinator
  • 24/7 access control and oversight
  • Centralized communications
  • Lighting and weather system controls
  • Safety insurance and surveillance
  • Fourteen pavement sections, including an open-grade friction stroke
  • In-pavement sensors (eg, moisture, temperature, strain, vibration, weigh-in-motion)
  • Zero-crown pavement section designed for flooded pavement testing
  • An American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) -designated surface friction testing facility
  • Seventy-five weather-making towers accessible on crowned and zero-crown pavement sections
  • Artificial snow production of up to four inches per hour
  • Production of differing intensities of rain with varying droplet sizes
  • Fog production
  • Two weather stations with official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Variable pole spacing designed to replicate 95 percent of national highway systems
  • Multiple luminaires heads, including light-emitting diode (LED) modules
  • A wireless mesh network variable control (ie dimming luminaire)
  • A high-bandwidth fiber network
  • A differential GPS base station
  • Complete signal phase and timing (SPaT) using remote controls
  • Wide shoulders for safe maneuvering during experimental testing


Phase Project Completion
1 1.78 mi (2.86 km) two-lane testbed with western end turnaround March 2000
2 2,000 ft (610 m) Wilson Creek Bridge and eastern end turnaround May 2001
3 3.7 mi (6.0 km) extension to I-81 at mile marker 121 TBA
future Widening entire 5.7 mi (9.2 km) roadway to four lanes TBA

External links

  • Virginia Smart Road
  • Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
  • Photo Gallery
  • Virginia Department of Transportation


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c “The Virginia Smart Road” . Virginia Tech Transportation Institute . Retrieved 2014-06-01 .
  2. Jump up^ Kozel, Scott M. (February 19, 2004). “The Smart Road” . Roads of the Future . Retrieved 2009-05-04 .
  3. Jump up^ “Corridor Q: Route 460 Connector – Phase I” . VDOT . February 24, 2016 . Retrieved 2016-03-21 .

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