Winter Maintenance

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...
winter roads
News September 27, 2017
The town of Bancroft, Ontario, will hire contractor Carillion for this year’s winter maintenance operations on connecting link highways in town, a decision that rejects a proposal to keep those operations in-house.   Public Works Manager Perry Kelly had recently suggested that town staff should...
road maintenance
News September 27, 2017
Throughout the month of October, S.R. 18 in southern California will be closed between Snow Valley Mountain Resort and Big Bear Dam in San Bernardino County in preparation for winter.   The area known as the Arctic Circle will be closed to traffic Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Oct...
woven snow fence
Article September 06, 2017
According to the University of Minnesota, the topography and winter climate for a large portion of the Land of 10,000 Lakes causes the state to be particularly vulnerable to blowing and drifting snow on roadways.   This reality puts a particularly heavy burden on the state’s winter maintenance...
snow covered street
Article September 06, 2017
For winter maintenance agencies, snow and ice control is a vital function of their work to provide safe road conditions to the traveling public.   Effective and efficient snow-and-ice-control operations can result in significant economic, environmental and social benefits, so agencies strive to use...
Alaska winter maintenance
Article September 06, 2017
Many have heard the saying, “A smart person learns from his or her own mistakes while a wise person learns from the mistakes of others.”   Heeding this advice is certainly wise for any winter maintenance professional, but it is equally important to learn from the successes of others. In the face of...
organizing data

The app organized data categorically.

Article September 06, 2017
“Why does this need to be so complicated and time-consuming?”   “Are we missing anything?”   “There has to be a better way!”   Those were some of the questions and remarks that both of us used to ask ourselves whenever the time came to sit down and write the snow plan for our municipalities, an all...
Article June 06, 2017
Weather is a major factor in surface transportation—it impacts traffic flow and patterns, and is often a precursor to accidents, a significant portion of which result in injury or death.   During the period from late fall through early spring, all potential driving hazards are in play, from rain...

Image source: Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News

News May 24, 2017
The city of Anchorage, Alaska, spent about $4 million more on snow removal last winter than in each of the previous two winters, but $5 million less than a winter five years ago with record-breaking snowfall, according to data provided by the city.   This year's snow maintenance price tag reflects...
Article May 24, 2017
The city of Columbia, Mo., is considered to be a full-service city, which means providing the basic city services of police, fire, street maintenance, health and parks & recreation. Other services such as water, electric, sewer, solid waste, airport and transit are provided as well. The city of...
Article May 24, 2017
The city of Montgomery, Ohio, is a suburb of the greater Cincinnati area and is located approximately 15 miles northeast of downtown Cincinnati. An affluent community with a population of 10,261, the expectations and demands on the Public Works Department to maintain 95 lane miles of roadway during...

Image source: West Central Tribune (Willmar, Minn.)

News April 21, 2017
Two local landowners have teamed up with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in District 8 to improve safety on the notorious stretch of Highway 67 west of Granite Falls by building a permanent snow fence.   The landowners and MnDOT have installed a 1,500-ft fence, or approximately ¼...

Snow drift held in check by roadside ditch, beyond which sits the living fence.

Article February 22, 2017
In Iowa, preparation for snow season never ends. Much of the warm weather work takes the form of planning for and planting living snow fences.   Living snow fences as a concept are nothing new. Their use harkens back to the windbreaks that protected farmsteads in the 1930s. As early as the 1960s,...
Article February 22, 2017
To the men and women who handle snow operations in Denver, twenty deployments each season to plow nearly 5 ft of annual snow is just another day at the office. It goes with the job, and the staff handle the shift changes and varying conditions with aplomb. Like much of the country, however, Denver...
News February 20, 2017
Visit our homepage and take this week's poll question, which discusses maintenance challenges for the 2016-2017 winter.

Image source: ADOT

News February 15, 2017
Sensors installed at three Interstate 40 locations west of Flagstaff are helping the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) forecast the likelihood of ice forming and respond accordingly.   The combination of freezing temperatures and moisture means ice can form overnight in Arizona’s high...
News December 19, 2016
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has announced plans to begin using rock salt to augment its use of magnesium chloride solution for ice and snow control on roads across the state.   Specific problem areas, such as steep hills, will get the rock salt to speed melting and improve...

Photo source: MDOT via Mining Journal

News December 19, 2016
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is banking on connected vehicle technology to help clear snow and ice from roadways faster. GPS-based automatic vehicle location devices, which the agency began installing on its winter road maintenance equipment in 2013, report where each truck is,...
Article December 05, 2016
There’s a 100% chance that the weather will change. The best tool road crews have to get out ahead of that changing weather is time. Having to “chase a storm” is costly and dangerous. Nobody’s happy: citizens, government officials, schools, businesses and least of all, the snow fighters who may...
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