More of TXDOT's High Tech Sensors Could Be Coming To Midland

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - High tech cameras could be going up all over the City of Midland. But don't worry they're not meant to catch speeders or crashes, they're to watch the weather.

Driving around the Loop in Midland you might notice something different, it kind of looks like someone is watching you on the road.

"It probably looks like a camera, but big brother is not watching, its just a weather station," Gene Powell, with the Texas Department of Transportation, said.

The new gadget was bought by TXDOT and it sits right above Tremont and Holiday Hill Road along Loop 250.

"We are putting up a weather sensor, its called a roadway weather information system and what it does in a nut shell is it measures wind, temperature and precipitation," Powell said.

With this new weather sensor, TXDOT will be able to keep an eye on the roads during severe weather.

"The design is that if the roads start getting iced over, we will know about it quicker. So we will be more proactive about it and engaging in closing the roads or whatever needs to be done," Powell said.

So why did they choose Midland?

"Loop 250 is obviously a high traffic area every morning, afternoon and all day long we thought that be our prime location to do this test," Powell said.

The city of Midland is excited about the new project.

"What it could do for the city of Midland residents is just exceptional, it will make a safer community for us, safer traveling conditions," Tasa Watts, with the City of Midland, said.

In the meantime, TXDOT will put this sensor to test and see how it works this winter. Because the last winter left a bitter taste for everyone.

"Last year with all the sub-freezing temperatures day after day after day, it was a struggle for school districts, for everyone to get around. We hope tools like this make it easier to let people know what roads are the safest and what roads don't need to be traveled on," Powell said.

The overall cost of the project is $105,000, which will be paid for by TXDOT. Officials hope the project will be ready to go by this winter. TXDOT will see how well this one sensor works and if it everything goes well and they have the money for it, more could be on the way.