The FOX 8 I-Team is giving you the first look inside the command center for Cleveland plow crews as the city uses new technology to make sure all streets get plowed and the worst areas get hit hardest.
And, we’ve learned, the new technology could be used statewide in the months ahead.
The city is now using a new system for the first full winter. It tracks where every plow is at any moment, where it’s been, the speeds it has traveled, and how much salt it put down. Sensors even record when the plows were raised up and when they were down.
Cleveland Public Works Director Michael Cox said, "This is what makes us more efficient and more effective at what we do for the citizens of Cleveland.” Cox said the new system also helps address complaints from residents when they say they never saw a plow on their street. Cox added, "We can see what time we did it. When we did it. Plow was up? The plow was down. And we can get bread crumbs, track the movement of a vehicle.”
Right now, the new system only involves crews in the city of Cleveland. But by the end of winter, the state will start using something similar with plow and salt crews on highways all over Ohio. Last winter, the I-Team revealed testing for the Ohio Department Of Transportation. The state’s system will also include cameras in plows sending pictures back to headquarters.
Meantime, back inside Cleveland’s Operation Snowbird, monitors are tracking plow crews 24-7. Michael Cox also said, "So we can make sure we're not missing any streets. So the biggest thing is the accountability of our employees."
You should know, the general public cannot tap into the new system and check on plows in the neighborhood. Only the City of Cleveland command center has access to the tracking.