New technology helping crews monitor road conditions and keep them safer for drivers

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Technology is being deployed on both sides of the state line to help crews work more efficiently to keep the roads open and safe during a winter storm.

Preparations are underway Thursday to battle a potential ice storm this weekend.

Many of the high-tech tools available to state and city crews monitoring the storm also are available to the public, if you must travel over the weekend.

Both Kansas and Missouri have a network of pavement sensors that monitor temperatures on roads and bridges. And when we're talking about ice, a temperature difference of one or two degrees can make a world of difference between safe travel or black ice.

Some sensors also can even tell whether the roadway is wet, icy or has been treated with deicing chemicals.

"A lot of times they will actually figure is there moisture there?" said Mark Sommerhauser, project manager of MoDOT's intelligent transportation systems. "If they detect moisture, they will throw up a red flag and say ice possible. Not meaning that there needs to be ice there. Certainly moisture is there, be prepared for it. That helps allow snow plow drivers to make sure they pretreat."

MoDOT is in the process of installing more sensors on bridges and curves that are known to be trouble spots.

Drivers can see realtime video of what road conditions look like on the KC SCOUT network. The live stream just debuted last month. It was the top upgrade requested by the traveling public, where you can look and check conditions for yourself before venturing out.

Click here for a live look at roads around the metro

To learn how you can access the latest pavement temperatures, road conditions and see the scout cameras over the internet, go to:

Check out MoDot road conditions here

Check out KDot road conditions here or here