Planning snowplow routes is a complex process. Route optimization evaluates an agency’s plow routes and recommends improvements for greater efficiency. Agencies may be able to reduce their cycle times, lower fuel costs and even combine routes while still delivering the same level of service.
Manuals and Documents
Reports, manuals and guidance on snowplow route optimization at state DOTs and local agencies.
- Colorado: Snow Route Optimization (research report, 2016)
- Kentucky: Snow and Ice Removal Route Optimization in Kentucky (research report, 2017)
- Missouri: Optimizing Winter/Snow Removal Operations in MoDOT St. Louis District – Includes Outcome Based Evaluation of Operations (research report, 2011)
- City of Columbus, Ohio: Route Optimization for Snow and Ice Control (presentation, 2015)
- Ohio: Snow and Ice Practices (report, 2011)
- South Dakota: Winter Highway Maintenance Plan (2017)
Other Research and Resources
- Iowa DOT Office of Maintenance Snow Plow Optimization: This in-progress research project is developing routing algorithms for snowplow operations. (Iowa DOT; expected completion 2019)
- Route Optimization Phase I: The purposes of this project are to optimize snow and ice routes for Ohio DOT snowplow trucks in Districts 1, 2 and 10 while eliminating county border restrictions. (Ohio DOT, 2016)
- Optimization Models for a Real-World Snowplow Routing Problem: This paper explores the problem of optimizing the routes of a fleet of snow plowing vehicles subjected to street network topology, vehicle operating restrictions and resource (salt, fuel) usage and replenishment constraints. (Carnegie Mellon University, 2016)
- Optimizing Snow Plowing Operations in Urban Road Networks: Research focused on the development of a system for real-time optimization and management of snow plowing operations. (Carnegie Mellon University, 2015)
- Winter Maintenance Asset Allocation Based on GIS Snow Plow Route Optimization Model: This paper presents a route optimization model created for the snowplow routes maintained by Ohio DOT for District 4, located in northeast Ohio. (Ohio DOT, 2014)
- Optimization of Snow Removal in Vermont: This report describes a set of processes implemented in Vermont for optimizing roadway snow and ice control (RSIC) operations. (Vermont AOT, 2013)
- Vehicle Routing Optimization for Deicing Salt Spreading in Winter Highway Maintenance: In this paper, researchers analyze characteristics of different highway snow removal modes and factors affecting vehicle routing for salt spreaders in China. (2013)
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Snow Routes and Planning Process with GIS, article in FHWA’s GIS in Transportation newsletter, January 2015.
- Efficient Routes for Snowplowing, Street Sweeping, and Refuse Collection, article in Public Works, July 2013.
Clear Roads webinar for Project 14-07, “Identifying Best Practices for Snowplow Route Optimization” (2016)
CH2MHill Snow Plow Route Optimization project in Centennial, Colorado (2013)
C2Logix Snow Plow Optimization Webinar (2013)