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Best Practices for Road Condition Reporting Systems

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United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Operations
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Publication #: FHWA-HOP-14-023

September 2014

Synthesis Report

cover image


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the United States Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

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Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Best Practices for Road Condition Reporting Systems:
Synthesis Report
5. Report Date
September 2014
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Dean Deeter, Ginny Crowson, Tina Roelofs (Athey Creek);
Jeremy Schroeder, Deepak Gopalakrishna (Battelle)
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
505 King Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201

Athey Creek Consultants
2610 Lexington Terrace
West Linn, Oregon 97068
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Federal Highway Administration
Office of Operations (HOP)
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
13. Type of Report and Period Covered

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Project performed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Transportation Management Center (TMC) Pooled Fund Study (PFS).
Jimmy Chu (Task Manager)
16. Abstract

Often, the center of an agency's traveler information system is a Road Condition Reporting System (RCRS). The RCRS is frequently the focal point, populated by manual and automated data and information feeds, supplying information to various information dissemination mechanisms. While the potential benefits of an RCRS are obvious, there are also costs of associated with the development, management, and support of the software system as well as costs associated with the operator time to perform entry. The benefits and costs are impacted by many institutional and technical issues that operations managers must face. This report presents a synthesis of current industry practices regarding the design, development, operation, maintenance, and use of RCRSs.

This report compiles information received through a survey and interviews with transportation agencies throughout North America to understand the uses of RCRSs and to identify industry practices that have delivered benefits to the agencies operating RCRSs. A total of 49 Current RCRS Industry Practices, 7 Best Practices, and 3 Emerging Best Practices are described in this report.

17. Key Word
Road condition reporting systems, RCRS
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public.
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)     Reproduction of completed page authorized


We would like to acknowledge the following Transportation Management Center Pooled-Fund Study (TMC PFS) members for their contributions, support and technical guidance during this project.

Paul Keltner Wisconsin DOT
Jeff Galas Illinois DOT
Ron Fuessel Texas DOT
Davis Behzadpour Kansas DOT
Vinh Dang Washington State DOT


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