Invest in high accuracy road weather information to ensure greater usage and reduce winter maintenance costs.
Case studies of Iowa, Nevada, and Michigan experience
Statewide,Iowa,United States; ,Statewide,Michigan,United States; Statewide,Nevada,United States
The research team provided the following recommendations concerning the use of weather information in winter maintenance:
- Use the most accurate weather sources for winter maintenance within budget limits and other constraints. The research team found that accuracy of weather information had a greater effect on maintenance costs than frequency of its use. Hence, the improvement of weather information accuracy is critical to achieving more savings in winter maintenance. If accuracy problems exist with fee-based service, provide feedback to service providers to solve problems or find better alternatives.
- Invest in technology enabling high accuracy road weather information and ensure high usage of existing road weather services. Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) and customized weather services were found to provide more accurate information. Agencies should leverage existing infrastructure (such as existing ITS sites with available power and communications) when choosing RWIS installation sites to help reduce costs. Agencies should compare weather information sources by criteria such as accuracy, ease of access, and cost to rank the sources and provide recommendations.
- Focus the weather information toward the road environment. Pavement temperature, pavement condition, and bridge temperatures are important information for developing better maintenance strategies.
Author: Zhirui Ye, Christopher Strong, Laura Fay, and Xianming Shi
Published By: Iowa Department of Transportation
Source Date: April 2009URL: http://www.westerntransportationinstitute.org/documents/reports/4W1576_Final_Report.pdf
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RWIS, ESS, Environmental Sensor Station, RWIS Station, road monitoring, weather station, environmental sensing station