Canadian Underwriter

Peel tests new road temperature sensors (December 02, 2005)

December 2, 2005   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Region of Peel is pilot-testing a new initiative this winter, the Road Temperature Monitoring System, to help monitor winter road conditions.
The system uses a series of round road markers the size of hockey pucks to advise winter control staff of pavement temperatures approaching the freezing point.
“Air temperature and road temperature are not directly connected and at times may be the same or vastly different,” Peel’s department of operations and maintenance notes in a press release. “Of the two, pavement temperature is most important for winter operations. For example, black ice or frost can form without warning when the road or bridge is much colder than the air temperature.”
As a result, each marker is embedded flush within the road. When warm, the markers are grey and essentially unnoticeable to drivers. As the road temperature nears freezing, the markers begin to change color, becoming noticeably brighter. This continues until 0 C, when the markers turn bright red in color and remain that way at all temperatures below freezing.
“This system shows potential in helping keep Peel staff apprised of road temperatures, ensuring effective and efficient use of resources and material during the winter months when road conditions are at their worst,” Mitch Zamojc, Peel’s commissioner of public works, says.
“Approximately 58 markers will be placed in five locations throughout the region to evaluate their usefulness over the winter months,” Louis Zidar, Peel’s manager of operations and maintenance, says. “We hope this pilot will provide continuous, real-time monitoring and advanced warning of freezing pavement temperatures that can be easily noticed and interpreted by staff.”
The Region of Peel and other participating agencies will pilot test approximately 1,600 markers across Canada this winter in six different provinces. The pilot locations in the Region of Peel are:
Derry Road, west of Mavis Road, in the city of Mississauga
Former Highway 7 CNR overpass at Creditview Road, in the city of Brampton
Mississauga Road from King Street to the Credit River Bridge, in the Town of Caledon
Forks of the Credit Road, in the Town of Caledon
East Terra Cotta Bridge, in the hamlet of Terra Cotta

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