Quality Assessment of a Winter Road Maintenance Decision Support System

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Eric Haave, NCAR, Boulder, Colorado; and M. B. Chapman and S. Linden

The Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) Federal Prototype is a decision-support tool which blends weather and road information into a single platform that provides relevant and useful winter weather information (with respect to the roads) to various users (e.g. road maintenance and traffic managers). MDSS provides forecasts every three hours out to two days and includes the following variables: air temperature, dewpoint temperature, wind direction/speed, precipitation characteristics, and road relevant information (e.g. temperature and conditions). This tool was designed to provide decision support information that is tailored to the specific needs of the winter road maintenance community including treatment recommendations for maintaining road surfaces that are impacted by winter storms.

The main users of the Federal Prototype MDSS are Denver International Airport, E-470 Public Highway Authority, and The City and County of Denver Public Works Department. The purpose if this study is to assess the quality of not only the weather related forecasts (e.g. air temperature, dewpoint temperature and precipitation amounts) but also the road related forecasts (e.g. road surface temperature). Results from an investigation into the surprisingly different ways each of the users of the system utilize information from MDSS will also be presented.