North Dakota DOT is using top of the line technologyFargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- For most of us "typical" drivers, the road is either slippery, or it's not. But to the DOT, that's just the beginning.
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- For most of us "typical" drivers, the road is either slippery, or it's not. But to the DOT, that's just the beginning.
You won't believe how complicated it is for it to monitor and maintain road conditions. Let's take a look at it's top-of-the-line technology.
It's not an easy task. Keeping our roads clean, and safe. The slightest drip from a warm exhaust. Or, the tiniest bit of snow piled on your car.
When it blows off, that contributes to rough road conditions.
Nord: "When hot tires that will melt those particles, and it gets into the pavement. Pretty soon, you've got ice built up."
So the DOT relies on what it calls MDSS.
"we can follow the storm as it comes across the state."
It's top-of-the-line tool monitoring our ever-changing road conditions.
"those trucks have monitors on them..."
MDSS gets a minute-by-minute road conditions forecast, then the Southeast DOT sends out it's 44 plow operators. Nearly 24/7. Reporting air temps, road temps, icy patches, snow drifts, blowing snow, snow type. You name it.
Nord:" our roadways are becoming safer, but the public is more demanding. They have to get from point A to point B."
Millions of pieces of information, all helping you have an easy drive. And perhaps it's biggest bonus? It helps the DOT cut costs.
Nord: "Thousands of dollars."
Because a slippery, one mile stretch, could cost the DOT more than 5 thousand dollars in salt, sand, and a liquid ice melt.
Nord: "do we go with straight salt? Do we go with a percentage of salt and sand mix?"
One thing that really struck me: The DOT even manages the shoulder snow.
Not just for safety. But sometimes plow operators wet it down. That way, blowing snow will catch there, instead of blowing on roads.
The DOT's next focus? Helping develop a blowing snow forecast. It would locate shelter belts, slight hills, and monitor the overall lay of the land, to determine where drifts will be the worst.