In rural areas, communication networks that provide immediate access to remote data controls on field data can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations and maintenance activities.
One of the projects implemented on SR-2 and SR-97 included the deployment of a traveler information system on two heavily traveled mountain passes subject to high snowfall and avalanche closures during the winter months. The objective was to augment and improve traveler information systems to effectively communicate weather, road surface condition, and closure information to travelers and maintenance crews. To evaluate qualitative impacts, interviews were conducted with WSDOT project managers and the operations and maintenance staff.
- With improved communication links between operation centers and field equipment, maintenance personnel can spend more time improving roadway conditions instead of traveling to remote sites to manually update or confirm the operation of field devices. Before the communications system was enhanced, maintenance crews responsible for maintaining dynamic message sign (DMS) messaging on rural mountain highways had to suspend plowing operations for up to an hour to travel to DMS sites to manually change messages during stormy weather. Now that wireless control systems are installed, crews can spend more time plowing and clearing roadways.
- Enhanced communications systems provide maintenance crews with better radio communications and device access.
- Remote access to road condition data (e.g., RWIS sensors) enables crews to more efficiently forecast future weather and road conditions, make snowplowing decisions, and prioritize maintenance tasks and routes.
Author: Jaime M. Kopf, et al
Published By: Washington State Department of Transportation, sponsoring agency Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC), University of Washington, performing organization
Source Date: 5/1/2005
EDL Number: 14313
Other Reference Number: Report No. WA-RD 606.1; Agreement T1803, Task 27URL: http://depts.washington.edu/trac/bulkdisk/pdf/606.1.pdf
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