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Old Man Winter Defied by High-Tech Snowplows

February 3, 2011 - 10:46am

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Lake County, Illinois uses innovation to help keep roads clear

While the Midwest digs out from a blizzard labeled a "winter storm of historic proportions" by the National Weather Service, one Illinois county is turning to technology to keep the roads clear, save taxpayer dollars at the pump and require less salt and chemicals to melt the icy mess.

Lake County, Illinois is utilizing $150,000 in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding to install global positioning system (GPS) technology in snowplows to optimize their use during snowstorms.

County officials say the program will dramatically improve their ability to manage snowfall by being able to remotely monitor clean-up, reassign trucks to trouble spots and analyze the direction of travel and speed of fleet vehicles after each storm to maximize fuel efficiency.

The program is estimated to save three percent annually on fuel use (1,600 gallons), five percent on materials (600 tons of salt and chemicals) and a five percent reduction in the time it takes to complete snow routes.

See the video for more information:  http://lakecnty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=796

Jason Randall is a Branch Chief at the Golden Field Office.

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