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Road Weather Management > Response & Treatment


A variety of ITS applications are being deployed in the United States to support roadway treatments necessary in response to weather events. These applications may provide for automated treatment of the road surface at fixed locations, such as anti-icing systems mounted on bridges in cold climates. They may also enhance the efficiency and safety of mobile winter maintenance activities, for example, through automatic vehicle location on snow plows supporting a computer-aided dispatch system.


Target training and documentation to reduce barriers to maintenance personnel's adoption of a roadway weather information system.(March 2002)

Use a local SQL Lite database with positional data to improve the performance of GIS applications(10/1/2015)

A mobile weather responsive traffic management system saved the Wyoming DOT more than one person-year of labor costs.(10/1/2015)

A mobile weather responsive traffic management system saved the Wyoming DOT more than one person-year of labor costs.(10/1/2015)

Prepare in advance for severe weather by staffing enough snow plow operators and ensuring that public information systems will be updated with current weather and road conditions.(March 27, 2007 )

Establish a centralized database for all winter maintenance-related weather information.(2/2/2006)

Maximize the value of an RWIS investment for maintenance staff through follow-on staff training and usage tracking.(2/2/2006)

Obtain buy-in from on-the-ground staff to remain aware of potential effective, flexible solutions.

Design the system to withstand the demands of the physical environment in which it will be deployed.(4/1/2002)

Design and tailor system technology to deliver information of useful quality and quantity, that the user can reasonably absorb.(4/1/2002)

Fixed automated spray technology systems for bridges in North Dakota produce 1.3 to 4.3 benefit-cost ratio over their twenty year lifecycle.(October 2009)

Total crashes were reduced by 50-66 percent on bridge decks in North Dakota utilizing fixed automated spray technologies for anti-icing.(October 2009)

In Indiana during the 2008-2009 snow and ice season, the implementation of a Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) resulted in statewide savings of $9,978,536 (188,274 tons) in salt usage and $979,136 (41,967 hours) in overtime compensation from the previous winter season.(2009)

Automatic anti-icing systems on bridges reduced crashes by 25 to 100 percent and benefit-to-cost ratios ranged from 1.8:1 to 3.4:1.(August 2003)

In Vantage, Washington an automated anti-icing system installed on I-90 had a benefit-to-cost ratio of 2.36:1, with benefits including fewer winter weather-related crashes and more efficient use of abrasives.(7-11 January 2001)

In Vantage, Washington the deployment of an automated anti-icing system on I-90 was projected to eliminate up to 80 percent of snow and ice related crashes.(7-11 January 2001)

Study using connected vehicle speed data finds snowplows improve minimum driving speeds by up to 19 mi/h in inclement weather conditions.(8/1/2016)

A mobile weather responsive traffic management system saved the Wyoming DOT more than one person-year of labor costs.(10/1/2015)

Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) use shows benefit-cost ratios ranging from 1.33 to 8.67.(May 12, 2009)

Use of weather information shows benefit-cost ratios of 1.8 to 36.7, with winter maintenance costs reduced by $272,000 to $814,000.(April 2009)

Utah DOT's Weather Operations/RWIS program provides a benefit-cost ratio of 11:1 from reduction in winter maintenance costs.(2008)

A Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) used by MaineDOT aided maintenance crews by providing visual aids to track storms, recommending treatments, extending trend forecasts, and creating training opportunities.(September, 2007)

In Salt Lake City, Utah, staff meteorologists stationed at a TOC provided detailed weather forecast data to winter maintenance personnel, reducing costs for snow and ice control activities, and yielding a benefit-to-cost ratio of 10:1.(February 2007)

In Denver, Colorado, anti-icing on interstate freeways reduced snow and ice related crashes by 14 percent.(19 August 2005.)

Evaluation data show that anti-icing and pre-wetting strategies can reduce sanding applications by 20 to 30 percent, decrease chemical applications by 10 percent, and reduce chloride and sediment runoff in local waterways.(19 August 2005.)

Evaluation data show that anti-icing programs can cut snow and ice control costs in half.(19 August 2005.)

In Kamloops, British Columbia, anti-icing winter maintenance operations cost 58 percent less than traditional winter maintenance operations that involve granular salt.(2004)

In British Columbia, the City of Kamloops experienced a seven percent decrease in snow and ice-related crashes following the introduction of pre-wetting and anti-icing techniques.(2004)

A survey of State and local transportation agencies found that AVL applications for highway maintenance can have benefit-to-cost ratios ranging from 2.6:1 to 24:1 or higher.(January 2004)

Implementation of an anti-icing program in northern Idaho reduced winter maintenance labor hours by 62 percent and decreased abrasives usage by 83 percent.(20 March 2001)

An anti-icing program implemented by the Idaho Transportation Department resulted in a 83 percent decline in winter crash frequency.(20 March 2001)

Developers claim that the equipment and operating cost for winter maintenance has been reduced by $11million to $14 million, due to the Indiana state DOT implementation of the Computer Aided System for Planning Efficient Routes (CASPER) system. (October 1997)

In Finland, a road weather information system was projected to yield a benefit-to-cost ratio of 5:1 by reducing annual vehicle costs, and improving motorist travel time and safety.(1993)

In Finland, a road weather information system was estimated to save an average of 23 minutes per de-icing activity and improve traffic conditions.(1993)

In Finland, a road weather information system was estimated to improve response times for road treatments, decrease the duration of slippery road conditions by 10 to 30 minutes, and eliminate 3 to 17 percent of crashes.(1993)

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)

Friction sensors help Colorado DOT improve winter road safety while saving an estimated $1 million+ in material costs.(10/02/2018)

A Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) used by MaineDOT aided maintenance crews by providing visual aids to track storms, recommending treatments, extending trend forecasts, and creating training opportunities.(September, 2007)

Winter maintenance personnel indicated that road weather information systems improved the efficiency of response strategies, reduced maintenance costs (staff, equipment and materials), assisted with crew scheduling, and improved data sharing.(March 2001)

Winter maintenance personnel indicated that road weather information systems and anti-icing techniques reduce the frequency of crashes and insurance claims. (March 2001)

Winter maintenance personnel indicated that anti-icing techniques limit snow/ice bonding on roadways, improve plow efficiency, reduce the time required to clear snow/ice from roadways, reduce maintenance costs (overtime pay and materials), and reduce the need for abrasive cleanup activities.(March 2001)

Winter maintenance personnel indicated that road weather information systems reduced travel times, and anti-icing techniques decreased the need for road closures.(March 2001)

Winter maintenance personnel indicated that road weather information systems decrease salt usage, and anti-icing techniques limit damage to roadside vegetation, groundwater, and air quality (where abrasives are applied). (March 2001)

Twenty year lifecycle costs of fixed spray anti-icing systems ranged from $1,031 to $1,096 per foot for two bridges in North Dakota.(October 2009)

Costs data available for several advanced winter maintenance technologies: automatic vehicle location (AVL) range from $1,250 to $5,800 per vehicle; fixed automated spray technology (FAST) range from $22,000 to $4 million; and a large-scale multi-agency, 400-vehicle winter weather management system costs $8.2 million.(September 2006)

Advanced snowplow control system that improves safety and efficiency of snow removal operations includes in-vehicle costs of $30,000 per snowplow, in-road costs of $18,000 per lane-mile, and annual maintenance costs of approximately $500 per snowplow.(7-9 June 2004)

Initial cost estimate for an anti-icing system on I-90 near Vantage, Washington was $559,500.(7-11 January 2001)

An automatic bridge de-icing system was installed in Dresbach, Minnesota at a cost of $25,000.(June 2000)

Statewide implementation of Maintenance Decision Support System estimated at $332,879.(May 12, 2009)

Statewide implementation of Maintenance Decision Support System estimated at $496,952.(May 12, 2009)

Statewide implementation of Maintenance Decision Support System estimated at $1.5 million.(May 12, 2009)

Costs data available for several advanced winter maintenance technologies: automatic vehicle location (AVL) range from $1,250 to $5,800 per vehicle; fixed automated spray technology (FAST) range from $22,000 to $4 million; and a large-scale multi-agency, 400-vehicle winter weather management system costs $8.2 million.(September 2006)

Advanced snowplow control system that improves safety and efficiency of snow removal operations includes in-vehicle costs of $30,000 per snowplow, in-road costs of $18,000 per lane-mile, and annual maintenance costs of approximately $500 per snowplow.(7-9 June 2004)

AVL technologies for highway maintenance activities, particularly snow removal, cost approximately $3,500 per fleet vehicle.(January 2004)

The addition of various advanced technology applications such as radar, sensors, and control units can add $20,000 to $30,000 to the cost of a regular snowplow.(June 2002)

The Southeast Michigan Snow and Ice Management AVL/GPS system cost approximately $1.862 million.(June 2002)

A Minnesota integrated communications system project to share application of ITS across transportation, public safety, and transit agencies cost just over $1.5 million.(November 2001)

In Washington State, the implementation of the SR 14 Traveler Information System cost $511,300(June 2009)

Statewide Implementation of a Maintenance Decision Suport System (MDSS) in Indiana for FY09 cost $529,000(2009)

In-vehicle Mobile Data Collection (MDC) hardware - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

In-vehicle Moblile Data Collection (MDC) hardware - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) Traning - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

Moblie Data Collection (MDC) Communications - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) Traning - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

Moblie Data Collection (MDC) Communications - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

MDSS Software and Operations - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

In-vehicle Moblile Data Collection (MDC) hardware - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) Traning - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

MDSS Software and Operations - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

MDSS Software and Operations - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

Moblie Data Collection (MDC) Communications - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - O&M cost/unit - $200 - Lifetime - 5 years(May 12, 2009)

Data Modem Cable Kit - Capital cost/unit - $100 - Lifetime - 10 years(06/25/2002)

Automatic Timer Switch for AVL System - Capital cost/unit - $50 - Lifetime - 10 years(06/25/2002)

900 MHz Conventional Radio - Capital cost/unit - $700 - Lifetime - 10 years(06/25/2002)

Mobile Collinear Antenna - Capital cost/unit - $20 - Lifetime - 10 years(06/25/2002)

GPS Antenna - Capital cost/unit - $40 - Lifetime - 10 years(06/25/2002)

Program Management Support to Design a Multi-agency AVL System - Capital cost/unit - $1524400(02/03/2002)

Systems Engineering Support to Test a Multi-Agency AVL System - Capital cost/unit - $609800(02/03/2002)

Technical Support to Evaluate a Multi-agency AVL System - Capital cost/unit - $125000(02/03/2002)