A “Road Weather” system studies the interactions between meteorological conditions and road infrastructure, and in particular considers all continuously changing instruments, methods and techniques which are used to predict, prevent and remove ice and snow from the roads. In particular, the management systems, which are used to provide the road maintenance actors with useful and specific information and suggestions in the decision-making process, are known in the literature as Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS).
The “CLEAN-ROADS” project aims at addressing the environmental problems caused by a broad use of de-/anti icing chemicals (in particular salt) during the winter road maintenance operations in the Province of Trento. Several studies have already shown that road salt has a negative impact on the surrounding environment, with short- and long-term damages to the aquatic systems, to the vegetation, to the air quality, to the wildlife, to the human health, but also on the road infrastructure and the vehicles. Today, winter road treatments with salt are only realised on the basis of subjective criteria and do not rely on quantitative data, with the natural consequence of overestimating the amount of required salt and thus wasting resources. The objectives of the project are (i) to deepen and quantify the environmental impact produced by salt in the road infrastructure surrounding ecosystem at a local level and (ii) to create the basis for a more efficient use of salt during winter road maintenance operations through the introduction of a demonstative, experimental, scalable and low energy Road Weather Information System (RWIS).
Further Information can be found in the Layman's Report CLEAN-ROADS