VANCOUVER, B.C. — David Emerson, Minister of Industry and co-Senior Minister responsible for British Columbia, announced an agreement between the government of Canada and the province of British Columbia for the upgrade and installation of environmental sensor stations in the province using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology. ITS comprises a broad range of technologies designed to make transportation safer, more secure, more efficient, more reliable and more environmentally friendly.
Under the agreement, the federal government and the province will each contribute $271,400 (Canadian dollars) for necessary upgrades to 36 of the 54 existing road weather information systems stations and the installation of one new station along the National Highway System in the province. The work is expected to be completed by March 31, 2006.
"This agreement demonstrates the commitment of the Governments of Canada and British Columbia to working together to improve the National Highway System in the province," said Emerson. "The application of this new technology will help to make British Columbia’s roads safer and more efficient during winter weather conditions."
Road Weather Information Systems are automated weather reporting stations with special sensors embedded in and below the road, and on nearby towers. These systems collect detailed data on weather conditions at and near the road surface, which help weather forecasters predict potentially hazardous pavement conditions, such as icing, and help road crews make winter highway maintenance decisions, among other things. Cameras on selected stations will also provide visual data on highway conditions, which the public can access through the Internet. The national Road Weather Information Systems initiative is a joint federal-provincial-territorial program to provide Canadians with improved road weather information. Transport Canada and Environment Canada are the federal partners.