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Icy Weather Watchers Win Award

Issued at 03:43pm 23-Sep-2008

Icy Weather Watchers Win Award

At the recent annual New Zealand Road Safety Innovation and Achievement Awards, MetService won the Road Engineering category for its Central Plateau Road Weather Network. According to Peter Fisher, MetService Senior Market Manager, the Network is aimed at making one of New Zealand's most inhospitable stretches of road safer for all users.

"In 2007, we were contracted by the NZ Transport Agency to provide a real-time road and weather observation network, with site-specific forecasts at 12 key locations around the Central Plateau", said Peter Fisher. "The Network provides contractors with real-time observations, and forecasts up to 65 hours in advance, which means they're aware of the best times to carry out road maintenance work and, in winter, are prepared for de-icing the roads."

"In preparing for an ice event, roading contractors would sometimes apply expensive CMA (Calcium Magnesium Acetate) to the road to help clear the ice for up to five days. If it rained shortly afterwards, the CMA could be washed away, delaying traffic as alternative measures were arranged."

But now it's a different story.

"The contractors have direct access anywhere to real-time road and weather observations, giving them more control over ensuring safe driving conditions during icy periods", said Mr. Fisher. "Being able to plan around the weather helps to minimise road disruptions and increases road safety."

MetService is keen to expand the Network to other parts of the country, such as Central Otago and Inland Canterbury.


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