North/West Passage
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Project 11.2
Forecasting and Alerting Travelers about Critical Road Conditions

Many transportation agencies use RWIS and MDSS data to forecast when critical roadway conditions may occur so they can make operational decisions about staffing, equipment, materials, etc. for managing transportation. Some agencies are using similar information to generate alerts for travelers of critical conditions that may impact their trips.

The FHWA Road Weather Management Program recently released the results of work with Wyoming, South Dakota and Michigan to develop new weather responsive traffic management strategies. Wyoming developed a new software application that can improve the way maintenance personnel report road and weather conditions to their statewide transportation management center, recommend variable speed limit changes, and report a number of different traffic incidents including crashes and road hazards. South Dakota DOT introduced a new layer to their traveler information web site that includes potential road condition threats forecasted over the next 24 hours. Michigan DOT also developed a new system that brings together near real-time weather and environmental information collected from fixed and mobile data sources. The system processes the weather data and provides automated weather alerts and dynamic message sign message recommendations to transportation operations center (TOC) operators.

This project explored how North/West Passage states are providing (or considering) forecasted road conditions and alerts to travelers. States were asked how they are approaching the forecasting, what conditions are being targeted, how alerts are being reported, and (if available) how travelers are responding to the information.

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Site Updated: Nov 6, 2018
North/West Passage