MDOT utilizing new technology to combat snow - WNEM TV 5

MDOT utilizing new technology to combat snow

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

In the middle of one of the biggest snow storms of the year, operations are running smoothly at the Michigan Department of Transportation's Bay regional office.

All thanks to plenty of advanced planning. 

“We're planning on the next 24 hours,” said Greg Brunner. “We have two shifts so our second shift will be coming in at about 2 o'clock and we'll keep them out throughout the night and bring our first shift in early in the morning."

Brunner is an engineer with MDOT.

He showed us how new technology combines information from weather radar with information from trucks on the roads to determine which roads need maintenance and how to treat them.

"This is what they recommend doing while they're out there so we have trucks salting these times and then these are some other conditions,” Brunner said. “Whether it be wind speeds, precipitation rates just so we can better plan our activities out there."

MDOT can also track each snow plow truck using a GPS.

Inside the vehicles, there's a camera that gives workers back in the office a better idea of what the roads look like.

“Gives us camera images from the front of the vehicle so we can see road conditions are like for our supervisors or engineers,” Brunner said. “For any recommendations they may have."

Brunner said MDOT also still makes decisions based on experience and input of drivers.

But these are just more tools to help the department make the most of its time and resources to clear the roads.

“Helps us based on our normal decisions that we make in our history out here just helps us make better decisions,” Brunner said.

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