WINNIPEG, Man. — The feds and the province of Manitoba have combined to fund a $520,400 intelligent transportation system that will provide road weather information for drivers.
Eight Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) will be installed along the national highway system in Manitoba as a result of the funding. They consist of automated weather reporting stations with special sensors embedded in the road surface to monitor road conditions.
The systems collect detailed information on weather conditions at and near the road surface, helping highway maintenance personnel predict road conditions.
“This agreement is an important step towards improving the safety and sustainability of Manitoba’s highway system,” said Reg Alcock, Minister Responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board on behalf of federal Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre. “By providing detailed data on road conditions in real-time, this technology will allow road crews to better plan for road maintenance, allowing them to decide if, and when, treatment is needed.”
Lapierre added: “The Government of Canada is dedicated to providing Canadians with the best transportation system. Funding reliable technologies that improve the safety and efficiency of our roads is one way we honour this commitment.”
Manitoba Transport Minister, Ron Lemieux said “Given Manitoba’s extreme weather, motorists will greatly benefit from the enhanced ability to assess the impact of weather on our roads and driving conditions."
Transport Canada is wrapping up funding negotiations with other provinces and territories for the development of a nation-wide RWIS network. The say they’re willing to chip in 50 per cent of the costs related to acquiring and installing the systems. Provinces, for their part, must share the data with Environment Canada.
“Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service is directed toward one goal: to provide the best and most useful weather information possible to ensure the health, safety and security of Canadians,” said Minister of the Environment, Stphane Dion. “This system will not only save lives but will also help reduce the usage of road salts, thereby protecting our environment.”
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