Winter maintenance is a significant part of many state DOTs’ maintenance budgets. For years, winter maintenance managers have reached out to peers in other states to compare salt use and salt prices, compare winter costs, and identify ways to save money. Clear Roads saw an opportunity to build on past data-gathering efforts and establish a formal mechanism for annually compiling a range of winter maintenance data.
The goal of this multi-year project is to systematically compile and analyze a range of data from state DOTs related to their winter operations. This will help winter maintenance managers identify and discuss trends in key areas, compare data by year or by state, and facilitate peer-to-peer discussions regarding approaches, tools and costs.
All state DOTs were invited to participate in a survey about resource use, material use and costs for the 2014-2015 winter season. Thirty-five states participated, and the data was compiled into an interactive map that allows users to compare metrics (such as salt price per ton) and identify trends.
The survey was repeated for the 2015-2016 winter with 34 state participants, and the map was updated to include multiple seasons of data. The format provides a foundation for expanded data gathering, analysis and reporting opportunities in the future.