This week's 'Ask Evan' question comes from Paul S. He asks, "I've noticed those colored detour signs around the region. Some are blue, or other colors. What exactly are they for?"
According to PennDOT those signs are primarily posted near the exits of major highways. They come in four colors - blue, red, green and orange. Essentially the purpose of them is to help get people around a problem that closes a highway. So, if a highway is closed for whatever reason -- accident, natural disaster, construction work for example-- and drivers are forced to take an alternate route, the signs tell them which way to go.
Green means East, orange means West, blue means North, and red means South. If you have to exit the highway, you choose the color that takes you in the direction you wish to go. PennDOT says the color coded system was first developed during the mid-1990s, when major reconstruction projects closed portions of major interstate highways, such as Interstate 81.
The signs take the place of having to use fire police to direct people on the detour and they blaze the detour route from the exit ramp to the next interchange on the ramp for that particular highway.
While blue, red, green and orange are the most popular, colors such as black or brown are used in other parts of the state when detour routes overlap one another. The key for a motorist being directed to leave the highway is to follow the sign color designated at the end of the ramp for their detour.
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