Let computers, not people, assess road conditions at 5am

Aug 9, 2017

This sample image shows what Public Works maintenance crews will be able to see through new remote cameras being installed to help monitor winter road conditions. The cameras will provide real-time imagery but will not be recorded.
Credit St Louis County Public Works

Maybe technology can't solve every problem, but it sure looks like a boon for residents of St. LouisĀ  County.

Five Roadway Weather Information Systems (RWIS) have been installed around the county - four of which have weather cameras - and they'll be monitoring weather and road conditions this winter.

Not only does that cut down on the human beings you have to send out into a county that's 60 miles wide and twice as long, certain weather conditions trigger emails to maintenance supervisors so they can mobilize their crews - or not - depending on what the roads are like.

And if that's not enough good news - it's comparatively inexpensive, so expansion into Duluth - where conditions by the lake and over the hill can vary dramatically - might not be that far off.