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Iowa State University--Becoming the Best

Deploying the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) in Iowa

screen shot of MDSS Iowa weather display page

MDSS Iowa weather display page


Principal investigator:

Co-principal investigator:

Project status


Start date: 12/01/02
End date: 08/31/03


Report: Deploying the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) in Iowa (739 kb pdf) November 2003

2003 Mid-Continent Transportation Research Symposium: Deploying the Winter Maintenance Decision Support System in Iowa ( pdf) Aug 2003



About the research

Abstract: Adverse weather conditions dramatically affect the nation's surface transportation system. The development of a prototype winter Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS) is part of the Federal Highway Administration's effort to produce a prototype tool for decision support to winter road maintenance managers to help make the highways safer for the traveling public. The MDSS is based on leading diagnostic and prognostic weather research capabilities and road condition algorithms, which are being developed at national research centers.

In 2003, the Iowa Department of Transportation was chosen as a field test bed for the continuing development of this important research program. The Center for Transportation Research and Education assisted the Iowa Department of Transportation by collecting and analyzing surface condition data. The Federal Highway Administration also selected five national research centers to participate in the development of the prototype MDSS. It is anticipated that components of the prototype MDSS system developed by this project will ultimately be deployed by road operating agencies, including state departments of transportation, and generally supplied by private vendors.