CDOT Announces new Snow Plow Monitoring System

January 31, 2016 - Statewide Transportation Plan - New tool helps public answer age-old question ‘Where are the plows?”

DENVER --  The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) on Sunday announced a new snow plow monitoring system, which provides near real-time location information for CDOT’s snow plow fleet.

In addition to allowing CDOT to more efficiently deploy its fleet during winter storms, the Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) system allows for the public to go online and see which areas have been plowed. With a significant storm hitting Colorado this weekend, the AVL system will give drivers additional information to help them make driving decisions.

“One of the most frequent comments and questions that we get from the public is ‘where are the plows’,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director.  “This tool will help the public understand where we are and how we are working to keep the traveling public safe.”

The public can view snow plow locations on the any device by clicking  (also see upper right hand corner of menu).  Using this information, drivers will be able to see plows’ current locations, their travel speed and direction they are traveling. Plows that have not moved for more than 16 minutes will not be visible.  Currently, only 860 of CDOT’s total 970 snow plows are outfitted with the AVL system with more coming online.  Future elements of the snow plow page will include a one hour button, showing all roads plowed in the past hour and continued refinement of the trails showing the path of the truck. 

“We are dedicated to helping the public to where they need to go during our winter storms,” said Kyle Lester, Director of Maintenance. “We are constantly looking for ways to use technology – like this AVL system – to help improve our operations and therefore provide better service to travelers.”

In addition to helping the public observe plow locations, the AVL system also generates real-time notifications to CDOT on how the plow is functioning. This will make it easier for CDOT crews to manage the fleet, direct plows to the areas where they are needed most and keep more plows on the road by addressing mechanical issues as quickly as possible.