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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > June 2006 > New Training for Road Weather Management
June 2006Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-026

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New Training for Road Weather Management

Throughout all seasons of the year, snow, ice, rain, wind, fog, and other weather conditions present daily challenges to State and local departments of transportation as they seek to maintain safety and mobility on the roads. Principles and Tools for Road Weather Management (Course No. FHWA-NHI-137030), a new 1-day course available from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI), provides transportation agency staff with training on tools and strategies for avoiding or minimizing the impact of these adverse weather conditions.

"The addition of this course to the NHI curriculum recognizes that agencies are moving towards adding and maintaining road weather expertise among their staff in order to effectively manage, operate, and maintain the highway system in all types of weather conditions," says Roemer Alfelor of FHWA's Office of Operations.

"This kind of information is becoming more important," says Dave Huft, Intelligent Transportation Systems Coordinator for the South Dakota Department of Transportation, which sponsored two sessions of the course in March 2006. "The course provided a practical approach to connecting real-time weather information to road maintenance activities. The session was useful across the board and prompted a fair amount of discussion among our staff."

"The course provided a practical approach to connecting real-time weather information to road maintenance activities."

The course offers an overview of the various types of road weather problems and their associated costs. It also provides instruction on basic meteorology. Strategies are then outlined for addressing road weather problems, including the use of advisory, control, and treatment techniques; Road Weather Information Systems, which monitor air and pavement temperatures and assist agencies in planning for storms; and crosscutting decision support systems. The course also covers the technical and institutional challenges of implementing road weather management strategies.

A pilot course was held in North Dakota in August 2005. "For the participants of North Dakota, it was particularly educational to learn about the road weather systems, how they work, and what the expectations are of these systems. This course really helped maintenance workers decipher weather readings," says Jerry Horner, State Maintenance Engineer for the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

The course is designed for individuals who are engaged in any aspect of highway maintenance, operations, traffic management, emergency management, and highway safety, including State and local transportation or public works agency staff, mid-level managers who make decisions on agency resources, and FHWA personnel. The cost of the course is $200 per participant, with a minimum class size of 20 and a maximum of 30. There are no prerequisites to the course.

For more information on the course content, contact Roemer Alfelor at FHWA, 202-366-9242 (roemer.alfelor@dot.gov). To schedule the course, contact the NHI Training Team at 703-235-0534 (email: nhitraining@fhwa.dot.gov), or visit the NHI Web site at www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov.

FHWA's new course on "Principles and Tools for Road Weather Management" outlines strategies for addressing road weather problems, including the use of advisory, control, and treatment techniques.
FHWA's new course on "Principles and Tools for Road Weather Management" outlines strategies for addressing road weather problems, including the use of advisory, control, and treatment techniques.

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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