August 28, 2003

Transport Canada to develop national road weather information system

Ottawa, Ontario – Transport Minister David Collenette today announced a major step forward in the development of a cross-Canada integrated network of Road Weather Information Systems.

“These systems will provide critical weather information for road maintenance crews to help determine if, when, and how best to salt roads,” said Mr. Collenette. “This will contribute significantly to the enhancement of road safety and travel efficiency while respecting the environment.”

Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) are automated weather reporting stations with special sensors embedded in and below the road, and on nearby towers. These systems collect detailed data on weather conditions at and near the road surface, which can assist weather forecasters in predicting icing conditions.

Transport Canada is now starting funding negotiations with the provinces and territories for the development of a cross-Canada RWIS network. The department will pay up to 50 per cent of eligible costs relating to the acquisition and installation of the system components, subject to the successful conclusion of contribution agreements with the provinces and territories. The provinces and territories are expected to pay the balance, as well as the ongoing operation and maintenance costs.

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