The Common Model of ecological status of Intertraffic with meteorological parameters and environmental risks assessment on the base of GIS

The important project outputs are presented on the Eco-Safety GIS tools. It presents the common Russian-Finnish green approaches and measures for environmental safety and transport safety of intertraffic in neighboring region. The GIS system includes shared international ecological and extreme natural and anthropogenic data, like information of road weather observations and forecasts, traffic information, air emission and air quality measurement data. 

The tools are open for public and they can be applied e.g. in road maintenance planning, trip scheduling and in decision-making. This model could be used all interested stakeholders for environmental and business risks mitigation.

Road Weather:

Weather has a great impact on road transport safety in general, but especially during harsh winter conditions. Therefore, high-quality road weather information is a prerequisite for ensuring smooth and safe travel. Within the Green InterTraffic project road weather services along E18 has been development in co-operation by Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Institute of Radar Meteorology (IRAM) and other project partners. The nowcasting along the road E-18 presents road weather observations and forecasts in the border areas of Finland and Russia. The map shows two hours of observations and four hours of forecasts, which can be used by e.g transport companies to planning travel routes and times.  Road weather observations in Finland are provided by the Finnish traffic authority/digitraffic.Internet, CC 4.0 software license. Road weather forecasts in Finland are provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Road meteorological observations in Russia are provided by the Federal highway Administration North-West» N. V. Smirnov Federal road Agency " and forecasts in Russia provided by the Institute of radar meteorology (IRAM).
Two precipitation forecast maps displays precipitation in cross-border areas of Finland and Russia. One map shows the latest accumulated precipitation as measured by the weather radars by FMI and IRAM. Map also displays precipitation forecast for the following two hours by a numerical weather prediction model (HARMONIE MEPS, provided by FMI). Other map also displays the precipitation forecast for the following two hours by numerical weather forecast models (provided by IRAM).

Air quality

The current air quality situation along the road E18 is being assessed according to the sensor measurements (Lidars and AQT sensor monitoring) on both sides of the border. The real time measurements are visible by clicking the sensor locations on the map. The sensor data can be considered as indicative result of the air quality. 
The current situation with pollution level and air quality emission levels are assessed based on the information on road traffic on the road E18 and the common emission calculation method described in the manual (The Manual of the Estimating Greenhouse Gas and other Air Emissions of the Road Traffic The concentrations of nitrogen oxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are calculated with the dispersion model (CAR-FMI). The model gives an estimation of how the emissions and concentration levels will change in the future if the proposed actions (development in the road traffic and road itself) will take place. These estimations should be considered when land use and city planning around the road E18 is planned. In addition, these assessments are a good tool for the decision makers to better assess the environmental impacts of the political actions.

Greenhouse gas assessment

Greenhouse gases originating from road traffic on highway E18 (Helsinki – St. Petersburg) are calculated using the common emission calculation method as described in the manual ( ). This calculation method requires data on traffic volume on E18 and emission coefficients of different vehicle types. For the purpose of this project, the data on traffic volume is procured from Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and Russian national statistics. The used emission coefficients are provided by Finnish Technical Research Centre. The results of these calculations indicate the approximate amount of greenhouse gases originating from road traffic on the mentioned section of highway E18. Some predictions of their development trajectory are drawn based on historical data and prospects of infrastructure, vehicle fleet and traffic volume development. These estimations act as a tool for assessing the environmental sustainability of international road traffic between Finland and Russia as it is, and how it could look like in the nearest future.

Lidar measurements in Cross-border area

To understand the formation of aerosol pollution, their vertical distribution along the road E18, lidar measurements are carried out within the framework of the project using the mobile lidar complex of the RC “Observatory of Environmental Safety” of the St. Petersburg State University Science Park.
The mobile multi-wave complex includes: an aerosol lidar based on an Nd: YAG laser operating at three wavelengths: 355 nm, 532 nm and 1064 nm for measuring atmospheric aerosol parameters and a Doppler heterodyne lidar for measuring wind speed and direction, with a speed measuring range wind from 0.5 to 40 m/s.
Based on the results of field measurements and the performed modeling, information is provided on the spatial distribution of aerosol contaminants, the upper boundary of their distribution, and the average radius and numerical concentration of particles, the coefficients of backscattering and extinction of the aerosol, the speed and direction of the wind are calculated.

Thermal mapping

The map shows statistically processed spatial variations of the road surface temperature for 4 seasons - the result of thermal mapping. The thermal model of the road is based on the results of measurements of a mobile laboratory performed by the Institute of Radar Meteorology (IRAM). Using thermal mapping, places with a lower temperature of the surface are located, i.e. potential places of primary reduction in the grip properties of the road surface.

Transport infrastructure development forecasts and road maps:

The measures to develop the infrastructure of the road E18, as well as measures to reduce the load on vehicles proposed for implementation by the participants of the Green Intertraffic project, are presented into two Road Maps. The Green Road Map gives the main directions of the implementation of events, including:

  • improving the energy efficiency of the existing fleet of vehicles;
  • development of the use of alternative fuels;
  • development of transport infrastructure and mobility management.

The Green Road Map also describes measures for the reconstruction of those Russian sections of the road E18 that do not yet satisfied to the parameters of the high-speed road. The measures for the development of the intellectual transport system of the road E18 and related digital services are described in the framework of the ITS Development Roadmap.

Environmental risk assessments:

The focus of the project is to improve the international co-operation between Finland and Russia to gain more environmentally friendly and safer road traffic on the border areas. Thus, the environmental risk assessment within the project Green InterTraffic has two parts,

  1. Comprehensive air quality and greenhouse gas inventories using indicative monitoring methods and emission inventory calculations and emission dispersion modelling tools. 
  2. High quality Road Weather Observations and verified forecasts for trip planning and for maintenance purposes. 

The WHO guidelines for air quality offer guidance to limit the health risks and set targets for regional and national levels to improve the air quality. During the project comprehensive air pollution inventories are done to study the present state and the future scenarios of the road traffic on the road E18 and the results are compared to the WHO guidelines. In the present state, the emissions of the road traffic may cause concentrations that may exceed the WHO air quality guideline values for nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter in some parts of the road. The monitoring results support the modelled data in the fixed monitoring locations. The future scenarios show that the air quality situation improves significantly and there should not be any exceedances anymore, if the road traffic develops according to the Green Road Maps suggested in the project. The continuous, indicative air quality monitoring results for street dust (PM10) can be also considered when the need road maintenance work, dust removal, are planned.

The cross-border road weather observations and forecasts help to improve the road safety and may diminish the probability of serious accidents during harsh conditions through better tools to plan the road maintenance actions and trip planning. The road maintenance actions and can be targeted and scheduled better now that cross-border data is openly and easily available. For example, the salting the roads prevents the icing of the road, but adding too much salt on the road is not cost efficient and it is an environmental risk and it may cause extra dusting, that is an air quality problem and may cause health effects too. By targeting the salting and dust removal actions these problems and risks can be reduced. During the project the road weather forecasts are verified and compared to the existing road weather observations to secure the quality of the forecasts. 

Educational complex and communications:

The project results are open for all public in the project web page. The basic principals and the detailed guidelines how to implement the project results for example for everyday work in logistic companies or in road planning offices are explained thoroughly in several ways; in the manuals produced during the project, educational videos and in face-to-face education in Finland and in Russia. All the project results are communicated also to the social media (Facebook & Twitter).