Most could hardly forget the huge 30+ car pile up that happened last month in Etna. While the sun was definitely a contributing factor visibility-wise, the slippery road conditions were also a major point. But until now, road conditions were based mostly on anecdotal evidence.

But now, according to WABI - TV5, the state is installing some new technology in Freeport, as well as Etna, that will give weather info to the MDOT that they can use to judge where the most slippery areas may be. That way they can tailor plowing and salting and such to the areas that need it the most.

Steve Hunnewell, the Assistant State Traffic Engineer, discussed how the state will welcome input directly from meteorologists....

Meteorologist support is in the contract. None of us are meteorologists, so we want to combine that expertise with the weather data that we're getting, and use that to better time when we get out there. One of the most important ones for us is called grip. So what that is, is the actual condition of the pavement....So it's not only getting our crews out there when the roads are going to be slippery and being proactive about that. But also being able to give automated messages when we don't even have to do a thing.

So in addition to using the data to monitor conditions for their own use, they can also share that info with the public, so they can also know where the most slippery conditions are. It really seems like a win-win situation for Mainers. The weather stations were already being installed over the weekend. Great job, Maine!


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