New weather-watching device to be placed on I-94 near Evansville

A new weather monitoring tool will be watching the skies and pavement along Interstate 94 on milepost 82.8 near Evansville.

Beginning next Tuesday, Sept. 8, crews with the Minnesota Department of Transportation will place Road Weather Information Systems, or RWIS, near Evansville and eight other locations in west central Minnesota.

MnDOT leaders are advising motorists to expect short-term closures as the RWIS are installed.

A RWIS is an environmental sensor station in the field that is used to collect weather data such as atmospheric parameters, pavement conditions and visibility. The systems include in-field detectors, communications to relay data to a central processing center, and signs that display data and information to travelers.

The data gathered is combined with weather forecasts to predict pavement surface conditions up to 12 hours in advance.


Highway operations managers use RWIS to make timely and cost-effective snow plowing and deicing decisions.

The information is also sent to the National Weather Service and Minnesota’s 511 system.

There are currently 108 RWIS systems throughout Minnesota, with an additional 54 systems to be added over the next two years.

Besides Evansville, other installations will take place along Highway 9 near Murdock milepost 24.5, Highway 12 near Holloway milepost 27, Highway 10 near Frazee milepost 55.2, Highway 27 near Herman milepost 36.5, Highway 34 near Osage milepost 65, Highway 75 near Ortonville milepost 32.7, Highway 75 near Kent milepost 222, and I-94 near Fergus Falls milepost 61.5.

MnDOT reminds drivers to slow down in work zones, avoid distractions and obey traffic control.

For a complete list of projects for 2020, visit .

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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