Winter Maintenance

winter road maintenance
News November 28, 2018
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is continuing to hire candidates to drive snowplows and complete highway maintenance work this winter, as part of the 100+ permanent and seasonal maintenance positions the agency is opening up.   The 100 workers needed makes up a little more than 10...
Iowa DOT set to hire 600 snowfighters
News October 03, 2018
The topic of winter maintenance is a hair's breadth from being perhaps the apex topic for transportation agencies, notably in the Midwest. In an effort to be ready for whatever Mother Nature hurls at them this winter, the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has announced it intends on hiring...
snowplow training

Image: MnDOT

News September 26, 2018
More than 100 snowplow operators from around the state of Minnesota will spend the last two weeks of September training at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, learning how to most safely and effectively clear snow when it falls on state roads.   The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) said...
Syracuse plans to bolster snow maintenance by adding 20 miles of sidewalk to routing
News September 20, 2018
Officials with the city of Syracuse, N.Y., have announced the city's intention to expand its winter maintenance regimen by adding 20 miles of sidewalks to its regular plowing and snow removal schedule.   The area has traditionally contended with fairly weak snow removal laws, and city officials...
DC snow plan
Article September 05, 2018
Winter maintenance activities bring unique challenges to agencies charged with maintaining safety and mobility of roadways and surfaces.   While it is accepted practice within winter operations to base needed resources and modes of operation upon historical averages of what has been required during...
Coconino County freeze-thaw cycles

Coconino County faces some of the most severe freeze-thaw cycles in the U.S.

Article September 05, 2018
It’s a dry heat.   So goes the unofficial mantra for all things weather in Arizona. To the unacquainted, the Grand Canyon State is an endless season of 100°+ days and 75° nights with nary a snowflake in sight. Winters are the stuff of warm vacation dreams where sitting poolside at five-star...
Variable speed limit warning sign
Article September 05, 2018
In Lake County, Ohio, winter weather spells trouble for a stretch of I-90 between S.R. 528 and S.R. 44.   Over a 10-year span, more than 800 winter crashes were recorded along this corridor. On Dec. 8, 2016, an intense snow band that produced massive squalls contributed to a bus crash that led to a...
Fishers Snow Team

The Fishers Snow Team now consists of 120 crew members dedicated to year-round severe weather response.

Article September 05, 2018
I work for the city of Fishers, Ind., a growing suburb just northeast of Indianapolis, as foreman of the streets department.   From 2000-2017 our community exploded, its population more than doubling. In 2000, we had 37,000 residents and 120 center-lane miles. In 2017, we had 92,000 residents, 383...
Preventive protocols
Article September 05, 2018
Anyone living in a snowbelt state, where pothole dodging has become a survival skill, realizes we have serious issues with our roads and bridges.   And what the public is becoming increasingly aware of is that winter maintenance salting is largely the cause. Less obvious, but of equal concern, is...
Johnson County Indiana snow plow
Article September 05, 2018
Those of us who work in areas with inclement winter weather know how important proper winter storm response can be. While only a part of our overall road maintenance responsibilities, our effectiveness when dealing with snow and ice events is certainly the most scrutinized. Nine months of great...
Plow tests
Article June 05, 2018
Clearing snow from roadways is an effort as old as roadways themselves, at least in cold climates.   Truck-mounted plows came into wide use in the 1920s. Abrasives such as sand, coal bottom ash or clinker were used to increase friction on icy roadways, once plowed. During the winter of 1941-42, New...
Snowplow training

All photos by Dave Gonzalez, Minnesota DOT.

Article February 02, 2018
In snowy states, winter maintenance crews deal with everything from freezing rain and black ice to blizzards and even avalanches.   To prepare plow drivers for whatever Mother Nature has in store, state DOTs and other agencies kick off each winter season with training classes.   While all states...
Mississippi winter
News December 11, 2017
In this video from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), Melinda McGrath, P.E., executive director of MDOT, answers questions about the process for pre-treating and maintaining roadways during a winter weather event. Mississippi is currently experiencing ice on roads and bridges in...
Dual wing plow

Five recently configured dual-wing plows will be used primarily along eastern Oregon multi-lane freeways.

Article December 05, 2017
“Winter isn’t over til it’s summer.”   That’s the story heard from winter maintenance workers out on the roads in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, as the mountain range sees snowfall from as early as September to as late as May. It is in this region that most of the snowplows in the state of Oregon...
Eric Hartmann
Article December 05, 2017
With winter now upon us, Roads & Bridges spoke with Eric Hartmann, vice president of sales and marketing for Tovar Snow Professionals, about best practices for snow and ice control, the importance of off-season training, and more.   RB: Your firm has offices all over the country, so you face...
black ice
News December 05, 2017
Winter road maintenance could be getting more efficient thanks to the Grip, a black-ice detection system from two Finnish research organizations.   The two firms—EEE Innovations and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland—developed the system to accurately detect slippery road conditions in real-...
WSDOT snow bridge

Image: WSDOT

News November 17, 2017
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) workers completed a second avalanche bridge on I-90 this past week in an eight-year effort to increase safety and traffic flow on Snoqualmie Pass.   The effort is part of phase one of a 15-mile project, stretching from Hyak to Easton. Phase one...
Salt brine Minnesota
Case Studies October 24, 2017
The city of St. Cloud and county of Anoka in Minnesota were both looking to enhance the performance of their salt brine operations. In 2015, St. Cloud used over 81,000 gal of salt brine and purchased 2,290 tons of salt. Anoka County is responsible for maintaining and clearing snow and ice from 423...
paraffin oil mix

Researchers from Drexel University, Purdue University and Oregon State University have discovered that adding paraffin oil to the mix for road concrete can give it the ability to melt ice and snow when temperatures fall. 

Image: Drexel University

Article September 28, 2017
Drexel University researchers have recently made a discovery that could create roads that deice themselves during winter storms. The secret? Adding a little paraffin wax to the road's concrete mix.   In a paper published for the journal Cement and Concrete Composites, researchers, led by Yaghoob...
snowy road
Article September 28, 2017
If you have ever built anything, you have probably heard the old saying, “Measure twice, cut once.”   The first time you did not follow it, you quickly learned the lesson. Making an accurate measurement is important, otherwise you end up wasting time. If you think of weather, have you ever wondered...
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