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Road Weather Management > Surveillance, Monitoring, & Prediction > Atmospheric Conditions


Road weather management systems rely on surveillance data to facilitate decisions on maintenance strategies and driver advisories. Environmental sensor stations can be used to monitor air temperatures, precipitation, as well as the presence of fog, smoke or other conditions that could affect travelers or road maintenance decisions.


Study finds that bridge wind speed alerting system can cost as little as $10,000 per site.(June 2012)

Weather Information integration into TMC Operations estimated at $6,270,000, with $833,000 in annual Operations and Maintenance Cost.(December 15, 2010)

Cost for 6 RWIS totals $55,000 with annual operating cost of $3,800 per unit.(March 2010)

Regional implementation of Road Weather Information System in rural areas ranges from $2,060,000 to $4,020,000.(January 2010)

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)

Weather information costs range from $7,140 to $448,000 annually.(April 2009)

In Finland, the average implementation cost for a weather responsive roadside VSL system on a dual carriageway was estimated at 80,000€; average maintenance costs (including replacement costs) were estimated at 3,500 €/km/year. (25 March 2006)

In Oregon, automated wind warning systems cost approximately $90,000 each and annual O&M costs range between $3,000 and $3,500.(February 2006)

A modeling study evaluated the potential deployment of full ITS capabilities in Cincinnati. The annualized life-cycle cost was estimated at $98.2 million.(May 2005)

Detailed costs of road weather information systems deployed at several sites north of Spokane, WA.(8 January 2004)

At a cost of approximately $3.7 million, Ohio DOT added 86 weather stations to its existing road weather information system.(1 December 2003)

Maryland State Highway Administration estimated fog warning system addition to existing environmental sensor stations near Big Savage Mountain, Maryland cost $75,000.(7 November 2003)

The total cost to purchase and implement a road weather information system in Abilene, Texas was $42,010.(January 1998)

Electrical pull box - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Ethernet switch - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Fiber Optic - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Weather station - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Ethernet Switch - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Fiber Optic - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Tower (ITS) - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Fiber optic cable - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Weather station - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Fiber optic termination panel - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Electrical pull box - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Light pole - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Electrical wiring - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Weather station - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Weather Monitoring System - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Light Pole foundation - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Equipment tower - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Fiber optic termination panel - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Ethernet switch - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Electrical service meter cabinet - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Cellular modem - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Electrical conduit - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Fiber optic cable - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Equipment tower - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Electrical conduit - Capital cost/unit - $22(11/30/2017)

Equipment tower - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Weather station - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Fiber optic termination panel - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Ethernet switch - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Weather station - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Weather station - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Fiber optic cable - Capital cost/unit - $295(11/30/2017)

Electrical wiring - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Light pole foundation - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Electrical pull box - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Cellular modem - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Weather monitoring system - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Ethernet switch - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Electrical conduit - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Electrical pull box - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Electrical service meter cabinet - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Tower (ITS) - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Light pole - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

Electrical conduit - Capital cost/unit - $22(07/04/2016)

RWIS station - Capital cost/unit - $12670(2/4/2013)

RWIS station - Capital cost/unit - $12670(2/4/2013)

RWIS station - GHG monitor - Capital cost/unit - $12670(2/4/2013)

Road Weather Information System (RWIS) Environmental Sensor Station (ESS) - Capital cost/unit - $1080293(2013)

Road Weather Information System (RWIS) Environmental Sensor Station (ESS) - Capital cost/unit - $1080293(2013)

Road Weather Information System (RWIS) Environmental Sensor Station (ESS) - Capital cost/unit - $1080293(2013)

Road weather information systems (high estimate) - Capital cost/unit - $50000(November 19, 2010)

Road weather information systems (low estimate) - Capital cost/unit - $50000(November 19, 2010)

Visibility Sensor - Capital cost/unit - $104100 - O&M cost/unit - $4310 - Lifetime - 10 years(2007)

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)

Wind Speed Sensor - Lifetime - 10 years(January 2008)

Environmental Sensing Station (Weather Station) - Capital cost/unit - $7500 - O&M cost/unit - $1200 - Lifetime - 10 years(6/29/2007)

Environmental Sensing Station (Weather Station) - Capital cost/unit - $60000 - O&M cost/unit - $2000 - Lifetime - 20 years(07/28/2006)

Pole w/lowering device - Capital cost/unit - $7308 - Lifetime - 20 years(7/21/2006)

Cellular Communication - Capital cost/unit - $6360(6/30/2005)

Telephone Drop - Capital cost/unit - $100 - O&M cost/unit - $12840 - Lifetime - 20 years(6/18/2004)

Telephone Drop - O&M cost/unit - $5016 - Lifetime - 20 years(6/18/2004)

Pole w/lowering device - Capital cost/unit - $4194 - Lifetime - 10 years(6/18/2004)

900 MHz Spread Spectrum Radio - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - Lifetime - 7 years(6/18/2004)

Integration of Camera with Existing Systems - Capital cost/unit - $4000 - Lifetime - 7 years(6/18/2004)

Environmental Sensing Station - Capital cost/unit - $45384(8 January 2004)

Environmental Sensing Station - Capital cost/unit - $44383(8 January 2004)

Modem - Capital cost/unit - $250(12/01/2003)

Portserver - Capital cost/unit - $638(12/01/2003)

Telephone Drop - Capital cost/unit - $100 - O&M cost/unit - $360 - Lifetime - 20 years(12/01/2003)

Environmental Sensing Station - Capital cost/unit - $180000 - Lifetime - 5 years(12/01/2003)

Telephone Drop Line Extension to Terminal - Capital cost/unit - $150 - Lifetime - 20 years(12/01/2003)

Environmental Sensing Station - Capital cost/unit - $65000 - Lifetime - 5 years(12/01/2003)

Telephone Drop Line Extension to Terminal - Capital cost/unit - $175 - Lifetime - 20 years(12/01/2003)

Pole w/lowering device - Capital cost/unit - $6000 - Lifetime - 10 years(12/01/2003)

900 MHz Spread Spectrum Radio - Capital cost/unit - $2000 - Lifetime - 7 years(12/01/2003)

Environmental Sensing Station - Capital cost/unit - $112000 - Lifetime - 5 years(12/01/2003)

Environmental Sensing Station - Capital cost/unit - $7500 - O&M cost/unit - $1200 - Lifetime - 10 years(8/28/2002)

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)

Roadside Weather Information System (RWIS) - Capital cost/unit - $11000 - O&M cost/unit - $440 - Lifetime - 10 years(8/31/2001)

Roadside Weather Information System (RWIS) - Capital cost/unit - $30000 - O&M cost/unit - $1000 - Lifetime - 10 years(7/31/2001)

Roadside Weather Information System (RWIS) - Capital cost/unit - $35493 - O&M cost/unit - $1000 - Lifetime - 10 years(6/29/2001)

Telephone Drop - Capital cost/unit - $9200 - O&M cost/unit - $1333 - Lifetime - 10 years(6/29/2001)

Telephone Drop - Capital cost/unit - $150 - O&M cost/unit - $30 - Lifetime - 10 years(6/12/2001)

Roadside Weather Information System (RWIS) - Capital cost/unit - $42000 - O&M cost/unit - $400 - Lifetime - 10 years(6/12/2001)

Cellular Communication - Capital cost/unit - $1100 - O&M cost/unit - $40 - Lifetime - 10 years(6/12/2001)

Telephone Drop - Capital cost/unit - $700 - O&M cost/unit - $400 - Lifetime - 20 years(5/29/2001)

Roadside Weather Information System (RWIS) - Capital cost/unit - $47000 - O&M cost/unit - $2000 - Lifetime - 25 years(5/29/2001)

A weather responsive signal control system installed on a busy corridor in Utah improved travel times by 3 percent and reduced overall stopped times by 14.5 percent during severe winter weather events.(10/13/2013)

Respondents surveyed after two winter storms reported 83 and 95 percent satisfaction respectively per storm with UDOT's mobile traffic app and road weather reporting system.(10/13/2013)

Weather Notification System issues on time alerts 88.9 percent of time, but message coverage remains incomplete.(August 2010)

Rural Road Weather Information System deployments show estimated benefit-cost ratios of 2.8 to 7.0.(January 2010)

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 Finland, a benefit-cost analysis supported the deployment of weather information controlled variable speed limits on highly trafficked road segments.(25 March 2006)

In Oregon, approximately 90 percent of motorists surveyed indicated that they would slow down in response to messages displayed by an automated high wind warning system.(February 2006)

In Oregon, the benefit-to-cost ratios for two automated wind warning systems were 4.13:1 and 22.80:1.(February 2006)

In a mountainous area of Spokane, Washington, 94 percent of travelers surveyed indicated that a road weather information website made them better prepared to travel; 56 percent agreed the information helped them avoid travel delays.(8 January 2004)

In a mountainous region of Spokane, Washington, about one-third of CVOs interviewed would consider changing routes based on the information provided on a road weather information website and highway advisory radio system; however, few could identify viable alternate routes. (8 January 2004)

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)

In Salt Lake City, Utah the ADVISE fog warning system tested on a two-mile section of I-215 promoted more uniform traffic flow, reducing vehicle speed variability by 22 percent while speeds increased 11 percent.(June 2003)

In Tennessee, a low visibility warning system installed on I-75 dramatically reduced fog-related crashes.(May 2003)

Final Report of the FORETELL Consortium Operational Test: Weather Information for Surface Transportation(April 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 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)

On the A16 Motorway in the Netherlands, an automatic fog warning system prompted drivers to slow down by 8 to 10 km/hr and drive at more uniform speeds; however, during extremely foggy conditions the system increased the average vehicle speed by 31 km/hr matching the recommended speed.(1995)

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 London, an automatic fog detection system that used freeway dynamic message signs to warn drivers of fog reduced traffic speeds by an average of 1.8 mi/h.(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)

Ensure good data quality to successfully integrate weather alert system based upon Road Weather Information Systems.(August 2010)

Provide written procedures and training for issuing warnings to Regional Transportation Management Center operators for successful weather integration. (August 2010)

Use the self-evaluation and integration planning process to create wider awareness of the benefits of weather integration to improve TMC operations.(January 2011)

Ensure compatibility of data format of the field-weather monitoring sensors with the central software in the transportation management center.(01/30/2009)

Beware of challenges involved in developing an integrated statewide operations system for traffic monitoring, incident data capture, weather information, and traveler information—all seamlessly controlled by a central software system. (01/30/2009)

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)

Integrate various types of road weather information to promote utilization by the public.(2/2/2006)