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Montana Tech professor operating travel website to help motorists find safest route

Posted at 10:24 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 12:57:42-05

BUTTE - A Montana Tech professor knows the importance of having accurate information about road conditions before traveling.

“I live up in Elk Park and so I watch this on a daily basis. My drive into work here involves treacherous conditions every once in a while,” said Douglas Galarus.

It's a good thing he helped start the One-Stop-Shop web page that provides travel information about road conditions and weather more than a decade ago while working at Montana State University.

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It will be especially useful for travelers this holiday season.

“Get the information to people in a consistent fashion so that they can make smart decisions about their travel,” said Galarus.

The website takes information and webcam photos from transportation departments in most of the Western United States and provides them to viewers in a timely and reliable manner.

While the site is often used in wintertime, Galarus said it’s also helpful during the wildfire season.

“When people were evacuating the Tahoe area, we had more users on the site in a non-winter month than we’ve ever had before. They were looking at the cameras and seeing the status of the evacuation was,” said Galarus.

So if you know you’re going to be traveling over the pass at Elk Park this Christmas, you can go on that website and see the current weather conditions and what they will be over the next few days.

“We want people to still think it through, know what’s going to happen and make key decisions: go or don’t go, that this route versus another route,” he said.

The website can be accessed at oss.weathershare.org.