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MDSS Key Topics

MDSS Key Topics

traffic along residential roadway with melting snow


Senior management, front-line supervisors, equipment operators, traffic operations technicians, and public information officers can access critical information from MDSS to inform their decisions about how, when, and with what material to address winter driving conditions.

By integrating data on current road conditions and approaching weather, MDSS helps predict the future condition of the road surface if standard treatments, innovative treatments, or no treatments at all are applied. The right decisions lead to improved road conditions which can help reduce crashes, meaning fewer deaths and injuries, less property damage, and less incident-related congestion.

Accessing Critical Information

MDSS brings together on a single screen a diverse set of information resources to provide a continuous stream of current and accurate data about road conditions and responses as a storm progresses. It can even be configured to acquire information directly from plows on the road.

MDSS can feed information to 511 or web-based travel information systems, helping motorists make better decisions about when, where, and how to travel during bad weather.

Managing Winter Maintenance Money and Resources

MDSS can be configured to consider the number of operators and trucks that are available and suggest how to deploy them most effectively. It can also be designed to suggest chemical applications appropriate to the specific, evolving conditions of the road and the storm — and the optimum time at which to use them.

MDSS can help top management make decisions that lower costs, while maintaining good roads. It helps support general economic growth in the local community by providing reliability and safety for motorists and freight.

Preserving the Environment

MDSS can help fine-tune the amount of sand, salt, and other deicing agents needed to maintain safer roads, suggesting effective — not excessive — application rates. This helps reduce the amount of chemicals and sediment entering streams, rivers, and wetlands, while minimizing air contaminants and damage to roadside vegetation.

Maintaining the Roadway from Region to Region

The demands of freight and personal mobility mean highways are the backbone of the our economy and way of life. Even in the most challenging weather, the flow of people and goods continues. Motorists moving from one region or state to another expect consistent roadway conditions. They do not expect to suddenly encounter icy or snow-packed roads just because they have crossed an invisible county or state line.

MDSS can include features that allow you to view and integrate timely information from several locations, moving easily from one to another, with detailed information about the track and progress of a storm.

Consistent Level of Service

MDSS can be tailored to meet the individual requirements of each agency, each road, and the traveling public. It supports the consistent use of effective practices, whether workers and management have been on the job for twenty years or just two. With a mobile workforce and a wave of baby boom retirements challenging every agency, MDSS is a partner in change.

Support for Decisions in the Eye of the Storm

changeable message sign text - 'Speed Ahead 30 MPH'

MDSS provides immediate access to the information needed to manage a breaking weather event. Providing simultaneous and immediate access to a wealth of information, MDSS enables informed decisions as conditions worsen and pressures mount.

A host of features can be integrated into a Maintenance Decision Support System to consistently maintain safety and mobility during the most challenging weather conditions. MDSS puts at your fingertips the information needed to lead the agency, staff, and the customers more safely through the storm.