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.
Researchers sent mail-back questionnaires to travelers likely to have traveled through either of the two wind warning system locations. There were 343 responses for the South Coast survey (14.3 percent response rate) and 407 responses for the Yaquina Bay survey (17 percent response rate).
South Coast System
- System Awareness: 84 percent of the respondents who drove through the location during high cross winds indicated that they saw the beacons flashing.
- System Usage: 90 percent of respondents indicated that they were "very likely" or "likely" to slow down when high wind warning was on.
Yaquina Bay Bridge System
- System Awareness: 86 percent of the respondents who drove through the location during high cross winds indicated that they saw the beacons flashing.
- System Usage: 92 percent of respondents indicated that they were "very likely" or "likely" to slow down when high wind warning was on.