Research Projects | News

RSS feed for this section
carbide-blades-massdot-crop

New Clear Roads Research: Standard Specifications for Carbide Plow Blades

A recent Clear Roads research project developed standard procurement specifications for carbide-insert plow blades that any agency can download and use. Designed to help agencies acquire high-quality, long-lasting blades that consistently perform well on the road, the specifications also provide thorough guidance for independent lab testing and inspection of carbide inserts. Download the specifications and […]

Continue Reading
Iowa calibration screenshot - cropped

Iowa Adds to Popular Winter Operations Training Videos

A step-by-step guide to spreader calibration is the latest addition to Iowa DOT’s popular Winter Operations Training video series. The 10-minute calibration video includes demonstrations on both granular and liquid equipment. Updated in 2020, Iowa DOT’s training videos have long been a valuable resource for winter maintenance programs in Iowa and beyond. The series includes […]

Continue Reading
mndot-snow-cloud

Minnesota DOT Tests Snowplow-Activated Warning Signs

Drivers on a stretch of Interstate 35 in southern Minnesota received advance warning this winter when snowplows were working nearby. In an effort to reduce crashes, Minnesota DOT pilot-tested technology that uses highway message signs to let motorists know when slow-moving plows are ahead on the highway. Ten snowplows were outfitted with the technology, which […]

Continue Reading
Michigan_DOT_Plow_and_Salt_Spreader - cropped

New Clear Roads Synthesis Report: Inventory and Use of Salt Spreading Systems

A recent Clear Roads synthesis project surveyed state DOTs about which spreader systems they use, what features the systems have, and how satisfied the agencies are with their systems. Price, ease of use, and specific features were important factors in spreader selection, and most respondents reported being satisfied with their spreaders. The synthesis provides detail […]

Continue Reading
Appearance of coupons and solutions of Distilled Water (left) and a 3% Salt solution (right).

Clear Roads QPL Featured on SICOP Talks Winter Ops Podcast

Clear Roads’ Qualified Products List (QPL) takes center stage in Episode 45 of AASHTO’s SICOP Talks Winter Ops podcast. Host Rick Nelson talks with Patti Caswell of Oregon DOT about the history and the future of the QPL, which was created by the Pacific Northwest Snowfighters consortium as a way to collectively test deicing chemicals […]

Continue Reading
snowy-mountain-road-wsdot

New TRB Resource: Preparing for Winter Weather

If you’re looking for the latest research and guidance on deicers, extreme weather, or any other aspect of winter operations, be sure to check the Transportation Research Board. A recent TRB article serves as a guide to the organization’s winter-related resources, including: NCHRP Research Report 889: Performance Measures in Snow and Ice Control Operations NCHRP […]

Continue Reading
DelDOT plow

Plow Route Optimization Increases Efficiency for Delaware DOT

An ongoing plow route optimization effort at Delaware DOT is yielding benefits for state residents. By optimizing selected routes for mileage efficiency, the department has been able to reduce snow removal service times and improve its level of service. DelDOT began its route optimization work in 2019 following a 2018 research project, and the agency […]

Continue Reading
Deicer tanker

Iowa DOT Research Explores the Potential of Corn-Based Deicers

While not yet widely available, corn-based deicers have shown some promise as an environmentally friendly alternative that could reduce the use of salt. Iowa DOT researchers conducted lab tests on a series of corn-based deicer blends—mixes of salt brine and three types of corn-derived alcohols. They identified several combinations that performed well in terms of […]

Continue Reading
mndot-snowplow

Winter Research Lightning Talks from Minnesota DOT

Clear Roads is pleased to share the following opportunity from lead state Minnesota DOT: Winter maintenance professionals from all agencies are invited to join Minnesota DOT’s Winter Research Lightning Talks on Wednesday, February 24, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. CST.  The event will include 5-minute presentations from researchers about five in-progress MnDOT research projects: […]

Continue Reading
michigan-green-strobes-plow

Green Warning Lights Enhance Plow Truck Visibility in Michigan

A Michigan DOT research study confirmed that adding green strobe lights to existing amber warning lights on winter maintenance vehicles increases the trucks’ visibility to other motorists. Researchers evaluated dozens of lighting configurations to identify the best options for increasing the plows’ visibility while minimizing glare. MDOT began using green warning lights on winter maintenance […]

Continue Reading