The Wisconsin DOT used an ice detection system and a snow forecasting model to aid in the dispatch of snow plows and deicers saving 4 hours per person for each significant storm (a value of around $144,000/storm), and approximately $75,000 in salt.

March/April 1990
Statewide,Wisconsin,United States

Summary Information

To aid in the dispatch of snow plows and deicers during winter snow storms, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation made use of previously installed ice detection systems and a snow forecasting model. The system know as the Wisconsin Winter Weather System (WWWS) is used to help determine when and where to dispatch equipment for snow and ice removal. Benefits include reduced personnel overtime costs and decreased use of deicing chemicals and abrasives. These savings are achieved at the beginning of storms when pavement temperature, brine content, and accurate pavement temperature can be forecasted. The system helps in saving overtime costs and in planning more accurate work schedules. The results indicate a savings of up to 4 hours per person for each significant storm (a value of around $144,000/storm). The system is estimated to save approximately $75,000 in reduced salt usage for a single storm. If used statewide for 15 storms (about 50 percent of the total number of storms in a season) the savings would be 37,500 tons of salt or $1,125,000 for a season.

See Also:

"Solutions To Improve Ice and Snow Control Management on Road, Bridge, and Runway Surfaces," Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Record, No 1276, Transportation, Washington DC, p.48-51,1990

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Wisconsin's Winter Weather System

Published By: Transportation Research Board

Source Date: March/April 1990

Other Reference Number: TR News 147, pages 22-23


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Goal Areas


Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas, Statewide


RWIS, ESS, Environmental Sensor Station, RWIS Station, road monitoring, weather station, environmental sensing station, road weather vehicle tracking, winter maintenance vehicle

Benefit ID: 2000-00096