The Contribution of Road Weather Condition Monitoring Technology to Improvement of the Organisation of Winter Viability

The ATMB operates a motorway network around 110km with a main through road, the A40 motorway which, due to its geographic position plays an important role in economic exchanges with Italy and South East Europe, as well as in the development of a prosperous local economy that has been able to build up close links with the Rhone-Alpes region and beyond. It is especially important for tourism during the winter skiing season, carrying up to 60,000 vehicles per day. The route is subject to adverse winter weather conditions, therefore to maintain its viability the French Authorities have put into place a management and customer focused Road Operation Master Plan broken down into three main sections: maintained viability, traffic management, and user assistance. The current paper outlines the HERCULE project which, by the end of 2003 established 12 meteorological stations feeding back data to a supervision server, enabling operators to view information on essential parameters, mainly consisting of: air temperature, road temperature (on the surface and in depth), relative humidity of the air, humidity of the road surface, residual salt level of the road surface, and wind speed. This technical road weather monitoring chain constitutes an initial contribution to the operator's decision-making process. Nonetheless, as far as winter service is concerned, anticipating the measures to be taken, notably at the level of the dimensioning and planning of interventions, has turned out to be a strategic element. ATMB therefore considered that this issue needed to be developed further with regard to financial and environmental considerations of deicing salt applications, such as: less overloading of salting lorries, less environmentally harmful road salt mixtures, and reduction of preventive salting campaigns. A group was set up to enable the use of weather forecasting for optimal winter maintenance. The information obtained from this in-depth study enabled priority to be given to the setup of a decision-aid system for the operator, based on two modules: a meteorological forecast computer module providing the latest local forecasts from METEO France, the national weather forecasting agency; and an integrated system to forecast the condition of the motorway using a physical/static model fuelled by ATMB road weather station measurements, cross matched with specialised meteorological forecasts. The functioning of two software packages for processing and displaying the meteorological data collected, METEO + and PREVIROUTE are outlined. For the covering abstract see ITRD E143097.

  • Authors:
    • DEL CURA, A H
    • LACASA, J A
  • Publication Date: 2006


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01147032
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 24 2009 8:39AM