Essential functions of MDSS

  • Road conditions – MDSS accepts current road condition observations from manual sources, snowplow-mounted sensors, and GPS location-based equipment.
  • Maintenance treatments – Plowing and chemical applications are reported manually or by instrumented snowplows.
  • Weather conditions – MDSS considers current and recent weather conditions affecting the road surface.
  • Roadway state – Physical and chemical models take into account factors like the pavement, the mix of water, ice, chemicals, and grit, to better predict temperature, moisture type and depth, and chemical concentration.
  • Feasible treatments – MDSS considers maintenance treatments that fall within agency-defined constraints for equipment, materials, operating hours, and crew size for each road segment.
  • Agency priorities – MDSS considers the acceptable levels of service for each highway segment.
  • Predict road surface behavior – MDSS physical and chemical models predict the future behavior of road surfaces for every feasible maintenance treatment.
  • Treatment recommendations – MDSS recommends the most cost-effective treatments to maintenance supervisors and truck operators that will safely maintain the level of service.

Study Benefits

Past participants have enjoyed the following benefits.

  • One-stop winter weather information
  • The ability to better anticipate storms and dangerous road conditions
  • More consistent, better coordinated winter maintenance among its units
  • Reduced environmental impacts around the use of deicing chemicals
  • More powerful reporting and analytical tools for their managers


mdss pooled fund study webinar video placeholder
Play video icon

The potential for significant cost savings and improved service

A case study of five New Hampshire winters showed that MDSS use would have required 23% less salt while providing the same level of service — AND an overall cost/benefit ratio of 8:1. In its deployment of MDSS in 2008-2009, Indiana estimated an overall savings of $11 million — 27% of its winter budget.

Interested in joining?

We’d love to have you. Visit with our program expert for more information or to sign up.

Access your member page