‘Where are the plows?’
Visit cotrip.org and click on the “Snowplows” tab in the top right to view a detailed, interactive map identifying snowplow activity.
EAGLE COUNTY — It’s one of the most frequent questions Amy Ford hears at the Colorado Department of Transportation, and now technology is helping travelers across the state answer it: “Where are the plows?”
A vehicle locator system deployed in 860 of 970 snowplows at the end of January is helping CDOT manage its fleet more effectively, and it’s also giving people hitting the roads an inside look at where the streets are clean.
“What this tool does is allow the public to see where we are and the speeds we are traveling,” Ford said.
If plows are stuck in traffic, then drivers can see that and adjust accordingly. And if plows are moving along steadily, then drivers can see that, too.
The interactive map is accessible on any mobile device by visiting cotrip.org and clicking on the “Snowplows” tab at the top right. It includes information about each plow on the road — last location, where it’s heading, speed and distance traveled in the past hour.
It’s also a “work in progress,” Ford said.
CDOT debuted the new technology during the hefty snowstorm at the end of January and into February. It got 1.6 million page views that weekend and has 2.5 million total views in less than a month.
Included in the new features coming soon is a one-hour button that will show which roads are plowed in the past hour and camera images from the plows themselves.
“To be able to see what the plows see would be of great service,” Ford said.
The technology is not fully deployed, as Craig and Colorado Springs are among the gap areas, but feedback so far has been “really positive,” Ford said.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.