The Washington State Department of Transportation is preparing to install a series of cutting edge traffic sensors under Interstate 5 at Northgate to become the new eyes of the road for crews.

Underground sensors already exist to provide information like drive times, average speed and traffic flow. But, the road is deteriorating and WSDOT says that could soon cause the current sensors to fail. They only work with good pavement.

It s getting worse by the day, said Dina Swires, traffic engineer for WSDOT. We are trying to be proactive. We see our revenues going down and we are limited by our traditional sensors when the pavement is cracked up and broken.

Seventeen new sensors will be installed in the northbound lanes of I-5 at Northgate. WSDOT will be performing tests to see if they work.

Each sensor costs $350 and has an average life span of seven-to-10 years.

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