External Programs Related to Road Weather Management
This section highlights programs external to FHWA but of relevance to Road Weather Management.
Based on the Federal Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) Prototype, as well as related activities, a group of states initiated a pooled-fund study in 2002 to develop and implement an operational MDSS customized for their agencies. The study is led by the South Dakota DOT and also includes DOTs in California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming. The states and their contractor aim to create a sustainable, fully functional, easily scalable MDSS to support the needs of transportation agencies.
The Pooled Fund Study MDSS reports actual road surface conditions, describes actual maintenance treatments, provides past and present weather conditions, predicts weather events and pavement conditions, recognizes resource constraints, identifies feasible maintenance treatments, and communicates recommendations to supervisors and workers. The technology was demonstrated in a successful operational test during winter 2004-2005. Field trials were also conducted during winter 2005-2006. Once an evaluation is completed, full deployment and testing are expected More information can be found in Deployment of Maintenance Decision Support Systems for Winter Operations. Study participants have also initiated an Analysis of MDSS Benefits and Costs to describe the essential functions of a winter MDSS, describe the resources needed to supply these functions, characterize and estimate the costs of deploying MDSS in state transportation departments, and characterize and estimate the benefits of deploying MDSS.
Over the past 12 years, FHWA has partnered with state agencies and American Association of State Highways and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to provide a forum for sharing information and technologies used to counter the effects of winter weather. The Eastern Winter Road Maintenance Symposium & Equipment Expo - held annually in September - is targeted at winter maintenance managers and other public works practitioners east of the Mississippi River. The Eastern Winter Road Maintenance Symposium & Equipment Expo serves as a companion to the American Public Works Association (APWA) Western Snow & Ice Conference held annually in Colorado in late September.