Use of Road Weather Information System (RWIS) as Assistive Tool for Effective Winter Road Maintenance – Technical and Contractual Interactions

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Author(s) Adel Abdi | Hans Lind | Björn Birgisson
Pages 2002-2012
Volume 2
Issue 12
Date December, 2012
Keywords RWIS, Winter road maintenance, Winter maintenance tools, Contract, Road maintenance contract, RWIS Maintenance

Winter highway operation and maintenance in the northern periphery is a challenge, a broad and complex area. Understanding about this area and its effect on winter traffic performance is far from complete. During the last forty years since Swedish Transport Administration (former Swedish National Road Administration) began attempting of the use of Road Weather Information System - RWIS on the Swedish road network, the repair and maintenance methods of this assistive tool has dramatically changed. Changing of the methods have been due to the progress and development of the technology within this area i.e. from simple stations that could be connected via telephone network for icy road warning to a more sophisticated and modern internet based technology. The main objective of this study was to investigate and find the importance and effectiveness of using weather data collected from RWIS by road agencies as an assistive tool for effective performance of winter road maintenance, and how these tools are currently maintained without influencing the delay of winter road maintenance. The study also attempts to find possible interactions between technical and contractual issues that may affect winter road maintenance. The method of the study was partly based on a theoretical study by reviewing some internationally published articles and reports in this area and furthermore a domestic questionnaire survey, an international benchmarking and a follow-up study within a selected region in Sweden. The results of the study reveal that even if the weather stations are normally placed on roads where the risk of icy roads is greatest, there are indirect factors which influence the planned maintenance of these tools which subsequenly cause delay of winter road maintenance.

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