WINTER MAINTENANCE: ODOT invests $100M in tech upgrades

Jan. 20, 2016

ODOT has invested $100 million in technology upgrades to aid in snow and ice removal

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is investing in technology to assist with snow removal for the state’s roadway system.

Technological advances ODOT is taking include the use of weather stations, embedding sensors in the roadways and equipping snow plows with in-cab touch-screen interfaces.

“They have all of these tools that help them be efficient when it comes to treating the roadways and keeping them clear. Obviously, that is something that’s passed on to the traveling public, because when the roads are clear it’s safer for everyone,” said Mandi Dillon, spokesperson for ODOT.

All plow trucks in ODOT’s District 7, which includes 10 counties, are equipped with touch screen technology, and a control panel that looks similar to a video game controller, according to Dillon.

Additionally, there are 21 solar-powered Road and Weather Information System  (RWIS) stations in the greater Miami Valley area, and 179 of them throughout the state of Ohio, according to Matt Bruning, ODOT press secretary.

Each RWIS station has one or more road sensors embedded in the pavement nearby which collect weather conditions, temperatures, traffic speeds, wind speeds and road conditions, including determining whether the road is wet from snow, rain or chemicals.

The data is transmitted to the State of Ohio Computer Center every few minutes, and also to the website to keep the general public informed about roadway and driving conditions. 

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