Michigan DOT saved $2.1 million per year and reduced salt usage by 25 percent after deploying a maintenance decision support system (MDSS) and installing AVL/GPS equipment on 340 maintenance vehicles.

Experience integrating mobile observations and Pathfinder strategies.

Date Posted

Weather-Savvy Roads Benefits and Costs

Summary Information

This Every Day Counts (EDC-4) fact sheet described potential benefits and costs agencies can expect from deployment of Pathfinder programs and Integrating Mobile Observations (IMO) solutions.

Pathfinder is a collaborative effort between the National Weather Service (NWS), transportation agencies, and support contractors to provide road weather information by sharing and translating weather forecasts into consistent transportation impact statements for the public.

IMO involves collecting weather, road condition, and native data from government fleet vehicles' ancillary sensors. The data provides maintenance managers with an extremely detailed view of weather and road conditions as well as the location of agency assets along the highway network. This information supports road weather management maintenance and operations decision-making, and agency traveler information systems.


Below are findings from several recent evaluation projects that show how more efficient and proactive road weather operations as well as better informed transportation maintenance and operations staff, can lead to improved highway safety, mobility, and productivity.

  • Michigan DOT (MDOT) saved $2.1 million per year and reduced salt usage by 25 percent with deployment of a maintenance decision support system (MDSS) the equipping 340 maintenance vehicles with automatic vehicle location (AVL)/global positioning system (GPS) systems.
  • In Michigan, an Integrating Mobile Observations (IMO) smartphone application designed to provide real-time information on the performance and resource consumption of 20 snowplows and 40 light maintenance vehicles saved MDOT an estimated $680,000 annually due to the staff time saved by automatic system reporting.
Goal Areas
Deployment Locations