New road, bridge sensors get crews out ahead of winter storms

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by TERESA YUAN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @TeresaYuan

KING5.com

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 7 at 11:20 AM

SEATTLE – The city has active new sensors on roads and bridges around the city to stay ahead of winter storms.

The sensors, which are the size of a finger, gauge current temperatures on busy arterial known to ice over during a storm. It sends the Seattle Department of Transportation up-to-the minute readings of the temperature of that surface.

Once a bridge or street is 34 degrees or colder, SDOT will dispatch their trucks and crews will salt and brine the streets around that sensor's location before the roadways become slick and hazardous.

They are located in the pavement on eight bridges. There are two more positioned at the highest elevation of the city and one at sea level.

“The typography and geography of the city is a bit challenging especially when it goes from snow to ice as we go from relatively high hills to sea level that we have to treat,” said Steve Pratt, SDOT Director of Maintenance. “This is a wonderful tool we've never had before.”

The new system costs $90,000. More sensors will be installed if the current ones are successful.
 

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