The B.C. government is moving ahead with a $12.5 million plan to install variable speed signs on three major highway routes, but it will still be a few months before they enter operation.

Nearly 50 of the electronic signs will warn drivers to slow down in bad weather along three of the province's busiest routes:

  • 18 signs along Highway 1 from Perry River to Revelstoke.
  • 13 signs along the Coquihalla from Portia Interchange to the former Toll Plaza.
  • 16 signs along the Sea-to-Sky from Squamish to Function Junction.

The speed limits will be set by a system of traffic, pavement and visibility sensors that will monitor conditions on the routes and recommend speed limits to operations staff.

Overhead message signs at the entrance of each corridor will inform drivers that they are entering a variable speed zone, and to be aware of changing weather conditions.

"The electronic signs will adjust the speed limit to let drivers know what speed they should be travelling during winter weather conditions, to help them reach their destination safe and sound," said Transportation  Minister Todd Stone in a statement on Wednesday.

After two or three months of testing the signs are expect to go live in early 2016.

The pilot project was first announced by Stone in 2014 as part of a review of provincial speed limits which included raising speed limits to 120 km/h on a limited number of highway sections.

Quebec also announced plans to test the the signs in 2014.

Variable Speed sign

A crew installs a variable speed sign along the Sea-to-Sky Highway linking Vancouver and Whistler. (B.C. Government)