The total cost to purchase and implement a road weather information system in Abilene, Texas was $42,010.
In Abilene, Texas, the state DOT implemented a Road Weather Information System (RWIS) at the intersection of Interstate 20 and milepost 260. This location was selected because it freezes often and is representative of the weather conditions in and around the Abilene area. The RWIS data collected at the site will be used to forecast pavement conditions up to 24 hours in advance thus allowing the Abilene TxDOT maintenance office to manage winter maintenance activities more efficiently. The RWIS consists of one RPU equipped with a modem, two pavement sensors, one subsurface temperature probe, multiple atmospheric sensors, and one CPU equipped with RWIS software. The total cost to purchase and implement system was $42,010 (1997). RPU and CPU costs were $6,446 and $4,000 respectively. The RWIS life cycle is estimated at 25 years; with RPU and CPU replacement needed every five years to stay current with technology. The average annual O&M cost for the maintenance contract was $5,460 (1997) per roadside (remote) site. O&M costs included sensor calibration, equipment repairs, parts replacement, long distance telephone charges, and the cost of meteorological services.
The RWIS economic model presented in the source paper is a synthesis of cited results and data from multiple agencies acquired over several years. The model is used as a decision making tool by transportation agencies for individual and networked RWIS investment decisions. The model is used to quantify the costs and benefits associated with a RWIS implementation and to calculate the net present worth of a RWIS deployment. The net present worth of one installation can be compared against that of other alternatives to aid in the prioritization and decision making process. For the Abilene implementation, the net present worth was estimated at $923,000 (1997) over a 50-year life cycle. Given that the net present worth of the do nothing scenario is set to zero, the Abilene RWIS implementation would be a cost-effective alternative to doing nothing. Likewise, the net present worth of other RWIS installations could be compared with that of Abilene to determine which RWIS implementation to implement.
A Life Cycle Cost-Benefit Model for Road Weather Information Systems
Author: McKeever, Benjamin, et al.
Published By: Paper presented at the 77th Annual Transportation Research Board Meeting
Source Date: January 1998
Annual O&M cost: $5,460 per remote site (1997).
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RWIS, ESS, Environmental Sensor Station, RWIS Station, road monitoring, weather station, environmental sensing station