Maintenance and Operations Award
Road Weather Information Stations (RWIS) build-out
Submittal: ITD Office of Highway Operations and Safety
Contributing partner: Vaisala Inc.
Key personnel: Project manager Mike Fowler (Vaisala Operations Manager), Bob Angle (Robert Angle & Associates), Brooke Pearson (Vaisala), Paul Bridge (Vaisala), Kent Wetzstein (ITD, OHOS)
Project details: In 2006, ITD awarded a contract to Vaisala Inc. to deploy 49 new Road Weather Information Stations (RWIS) and renovate 27 existing sites. RWIS sites collect atmospheric data, including temperature, humidity, dew point, wind velocity and direction, atmospheric pressure, precipitation type and amount, and visibility distance.
Most RWIS sites have at least one closed-circuit television camera for generating snapshot images of the roadway. Many sites also have pavement sensors that measure the temperature of the pavement, the thickness of any ice buildup and the friction coefficient of the surface.
The contractor polls the sites on 15-minute intervals and updates the RWIS Web site (IceNet) with the data and camera images.
With the deployment of the RWIS network and IceNet Web site, ITD’s maintenance staff has a reliable tool empoyees can use to streamline their daily activities and make the most efficient use of resources (personnel, vehicles, materials and fuel).
ITD’s 511 Web site is linked to the Vaisala-supported FTP site to provide customers access to more than 100 camera images statewide, helping the traveling public to make informed decisions and helping motorists avoid hazardous driving conditions.