New technology improves winter road response

Wayne County's new system allows drivers to track snow plows


ROMULUS, Mich. – Wayne County's new high-tech system is helping them keep roads safe during this week's snowstorm.

When Wayne County workers tackle icy and snowy conditions on roads this winter their work can be watched by their bosses and by the public.

We have 19 trucks that have cameras installed on the passenger side. This way people can go onto our compass system, which is Compass.WayneCounty.com,  and they can do a virtual drive-along with our trucks," said Cindy Dingell, of the Wayne County Department of Public Service.

The trucks also have dash-mounted cameras. Residents can check the condition of roads right from their computer or smartphone.

"And they can take a look and see where our guys have been and what roads have been treated which will help them as they plan their routes in the morning," said William Bantom, deputy director of the county's road maintenance.

Images of the roads are updated on the website every 2 or 3 seconds. The same information is being examined on a 10-by-4-foot screen at a new command center in Romulus.

"We're able to see on our maps the next closest trucks in the area that may need help and we're able to dispatch them very quickly," said Dingell.

Drivers can still report road hazards the old fashioned way by calling 888-ROAD-CREW. Wayne County believes the new technology is helping its communications and gives the public to watch their progress in real time.

"Transparency becomes an issue when you have something to hide. But since we don't have something to hide I think transparency all it does is show people that we're really doing what we say we're doing," said Bantom.