The U.S. Department of
Transportation's Federal Highway Administration announced Dec. 30 a new and
more sophisticated weather information tool, the Maintenance Decision Support
System, to help road-maintenance managers predict the impact of adverse winter
weather conditions and plan treatment.
"Having access to
proper weather and road-condition information before and during adverse winter
weather conditions will help transportation system managers take appropriate
measures to keep roads open," FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters said.
The system uses the latest
weather-forecasting techniques to recommend maintenance alternatives and
show their resulting benefits, which will enable highway departments to deploy
snowplows, use chemicals and improve road conditions more effectively.
Although it was designed
to respond to the needs of state departments of transportation, the Maintenance
Decision Support System and other resources are available on the FHWA's Road
Weather Management Web site at www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/index.htm.