« Back to Focus Areas

Montana Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) and Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) Strategy

Started: May, 2013 Ended: June, 2016 Project ID #4W4424 Status: Completed


The objective of this project is to conduct a comprehensive review of MDT’s permanent Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) program along with a basic review of the Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) data collection program to ensure they are providing the best possible traffic information in the most cost-effective manner to meet current and future data user needs.  


A critical element in achieving the Montana Department of Transportation’s fundamental goal of providing safe, efficient and sustainable transportation services is the collection of accurate data on how the state’s highways are being used. Such data are necessary to support numerous MDT activities from planning, to infrastructure design, to enforcement of vehicle regulations.  Due to limited resources, it is essential that such data are efficiently collected and then put to the best possible uses.  The foundations of the data collection program are the permanent weigh-in-motion (WIM) and automatic traffic recorder (ATR) systems deployed across the highway network.  These systems must be configured to accurately collect user data across the diverse geographic regions of the state and wide spectrum of goods being transported; further, they need to account for the significant seasonal variations associated with specific commodity hauls.  Every WIM/ATR deployment, however, requires resources for installation, maintenance, and data reduction.  Thus, a planning strategy is necessary to optimize MDT’s investments in its WIM/ATR program.   The research will conduct a comprehensive review of MDT’s WIM program along with a basic review of its ATR data collection program. This review will encompass both basic data collection activities as well as how these data are and can be subsequently used.  Recommendations will be made on potential changes to these programs to provide the best possible information in the most cost-effective manner to meet current and future data-user needs. In addition, the statewide traffic adjustment factors currently used by MDT will be reviewed, and regional adjustment factors will be developed that can reflect regional differences in highway use associated with changing demographics and economic conditions.


Sponsors & Partners

  • Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Sponsor

Part of: Logistics and Freight Management

Project Tagged In: Weigh-in-motion, automatic data collection systems

« Back to Focus Areas