Strengthening Safety on Serbian Streets
To keep pace with the dynamic development of its economy and society, Serbia is modernizing its ageing road network. By providing 54 road weather monitoring stations across the whole country, OTT HydroMet plays a key role in this huge initiative.
The State Road A1 is Serbia’s lifeline. Reaching from the Hungarian border to Serbia’s capital Belgrade and down to North Macedonia, the country’s longest and vital motorway stretches over 605 kilometers and connects four of its five biggest cities. While the quantity of cars on Serbian roads has multiplied in the past 20 years, the number of road accidents with casualties or fatalities has increased. According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, the number of injured people in the Q3 2021 increased country-wide by 24.9% year-on-year.
Figures like that illustrate why the Public Enterprise Roads of Serbia decided to include 54 road weather monitoring stations to increase safety on state roads as a part of the Road Rehabilitation and Safety Project. To cope with this job, Roads of Serbia assigned OTT HydroMet, developer and manufacturer of environmental monitoring solutions.
A tailored setup of Lufft equipment
The total scope of the RWIS (Road Weather Information System) project delivered by OTT HydroMet includes hardware, software, training, and partly installation. Each of the 54 stations combines a Lufft WS600 weather sensor, a Lufft VS2k visibility sensor, one or more Lufft IRS31Pro passive road weather sensors, a control cabinet with a Lufft LCOM Communicator module, a solar PV panel, and mechanical installation equipment in stainless steel quality. The first set of five stations has already been erected as reference objects in 2020. Some are mounted on bridges that are exposed to an increased risk of icing. The remaining 49 stations are being added to the network step by step.
Two of the first stations are set up along the motorway A1. Driving southwards from one to another shows the variety of landscapes Serbia has to offer. Vrbas is a city in the north of the Danube river within a rather flat countryside. South of Belgrade, drivers enter the Balkans’ typical topology with hills, mountains, and valleys. 230 kilometers from Vrbas, a second station is erected at Velika Plana, an important transportation hub in central Serbia. A third one is in Novi Pazar, surrounded by mountains reaching up to 1800 meters, close to the border with Montenegro.
According to Mario Keil, the responsible project manager at OTT HydroMet, this short list already illustrates how diverse the country is and why there was a need to install stations across the country: “Every area can have its own microclimate, especially in hilly regions, close to rivers or in the mountains. The weather can differ significantly from one kilometer to the other.”
Dealing with challenges
Despite pandemic-related travel restrictions for technical staff and further challenges, OTT HydroMet managed to provide everything within half a year. Project manager Mario Keil is very happy with the outcome: “Apart from the proven Lufft technology itself, which needed to comply with the customer’s high requirements, it takes local expertise and a strong network to realize such projects within time and budget. We thank our strong partner Meteoteh d.o.o. from Slovenia, who helped us master this project on many levels, for example by installing the first set of stations, providing important parts, and holding training for the customer’s staff.” Meteoteh d.o.o. has a subsidiary of the same name in Belgrade, too.
The Road Rehabilitation and Safety Project is funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – IBRD.
Securing road traffic is critically important.
Obviously, every region is different, and so is every project. Reach out to our road weather team to learn how you can establish a reliable and cost-effective road weather information system (RWIS).
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