In Oregon, the benefit-to-cost ratios for two automated wind warning systems were 4.13:1 and 22.80:1.
Date Posted

Comparative Evaluation of Automated Wind Warning Systems

Summary Information

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) conducted evaluations of automated wind warning systems (AWWS) at the following two sites:

  • Between Port Orford and Gold Beach, Oregon on US Route 101 between mileposts (MP) 300 and 327 ("South Coast System").
  • On the Yaquina Bay Bridge (US Route 101) between mileposts 141 (SB) and 142 (NB) in Oregon.

The system was designed to warn drivers to pull-over (stop) and wait until conditions improved, or take an alternate route. The two systems had similar components. Wind gauges (anemometers) were connected to roadside static message signs and flashers where activated when average wind speeds reached predetermined threshold levels. The system automatically recorded the severity of the cross winds and notified traffic operators of system status. Once wind conditions were verified by the Traffic Operations Center, additional warnings were posted on the Oregon DOT TripChek Web site. The warning messages were deactivated when wind speeds dropped below threshold levels.

Accounting for motorist delay reduction benefits as well as other benefits such as improved safety for motorists (and maintenance personnel) during high wind events, the benefit-to-cost ratios for the South Coast system and Yaquina Bay Bridge system were 4.13:1 and 22.80:1, respectively. The Yaquina Bay Bridge system had a higher benefit-to-cost ratio reflecting the higher frequency of cross winds in the area and heavier traffic volumes compared to the South Coast system. The analyses assumed the system would reduce delay by approximately 20 percent as a result of prompt deactivation of wind warnings.
Goal Areas