Latest News

Updated Guidance for Qualified Products List (QPL) October 28, 2020

Clear Roads has updated the guidance document that outlines how deicing products are evaluated for inclusion on the Clear Roads Qualified Products List (QPL). The revised guidance defines the product submittal process, outlines product specifications and testing protocols, and provides suggested language that agencies can use in their purchasing documents for winter materials.

Clear Roads provides guidance and administration for the QPL, which was created to review, test and approve products used for winter maintenance and to provide guidance in the selection and purchasing of environmentally responsible products. For more information, visit the QPL page.

New RFP: Proposals Due October 28 September 17, 2020

Clear Roads is currently soliciting investigator proposals for a new research project:

  • Evaluation of Indoor Automated Stockpile Measurement Systems

Please see the RFP page for more information. The deadline to submit proposals is Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

Winter Maintenance News: Peer Exchange Postponed August 12, 2020

The National Winter Maintenance Peer Exchange originally scheduled for September 2020 has been postponed until the fall of 2021. More details will be available soon from the event organizers.

Sponsored by TRB, Aurora, Clear Roads and the Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP), the peer exchange provides an opportunity for practitioners across the country to collaborate in identifying the most critical research needs for advancing the state of the practice in winter maintenance. Presentations and other materials from past peer exchanges are available on the SICOP website.

Check out the latest episodes of the SICOP Talks Winter Ops podcast:

  • Episode 37: RWIS—How Many and Where? Dr. Tae Kwon from the University of Alberta discusses a recent project conducted for the Aurora consortium on optimal placement of RWIS sensor stations. June 2020. Podcast.
  • Episode 36: Decisions, Decisions: Dave Huft of South Dakota DOT discusses how agencies use maintenance decision support systems (MDSS) to help evaluate information about an approaching storm and make decisions about treatment strategies. June 2020. Podcast.
  • Episode 35: Maintenance Goes to College: Program Director Susan Baillargeon provides an overview of the online associate’s degree program in Highway Maintenance Management offered by Front Range Community College in Colorado. May 2020. Podcast.
New RFPs: Proposals Due Sept. 14 August 5, 2020

Clear Roads is currently soliciting investigator proposals for five new research projects:

  • Entry-Level Driver Training (CDL) for Maintenance Equipment Operators
  • Understanding the NaCl Phase Diagram
  • Expanded Use of AVL/GPS Technology
  • Using GIS to Highlight Highway Segments Sensitive to Deicing Materials
  • Salt Shed Design Template

Please see the RFP page for more information. For all projects, the deadline to submit proposals is Friday, September 14, 2020.

Winter Maintenance Research Roundup July 3, 2020

Check out these recent reports and in-progress projects from agencies around the country:

  • Weather Event Reconstruction and Analysis Tool, Clear Roads Project 16-05, January 2020: A web-based tool that gathers online weather data from multiple sources into a single comprehensive report for a specific location and time. Final report and research brief.
  • Correlation Analysis of MDSS and NEWINS, Nebraska DOT, April 2020. Research report.
  • Research in Progress: Snowplow Operations Management System, Texas DOT. Project description.
  • Research in Progress: Evaluation of Fatigue on Snow Plow Drivers and of Aids to Assist Drivers in Recognizing and Dealing with Fatigue, Minnesota DOT. Project page.
  • Research in Progress: Effect of Deicing Agents and Environmental Conditions on Performance of Asphalt Pavements in Cold Regions, Mountain-Plains Consortium. Project description.
Clear Roads Selects 2020 Research Projects June 3, 2020

The Clear Roads Technical Advisory Committee met April 21-22 to select research projects for 2020 funding. The TAC selected six new projects and one continuation project:

  • Entry-Level Commercial Driver Training
  • Understanding the NaCl Phase Diagram
  • Indoor Automated Stockpile Measurement
  • Expanded Use of AVL/GPS Technology
  • Using GIS to Highlight Highway Segments Sensitive to Deicing Materials
  • Salt Shed Design Template
  • AWSSI Enhancements, Phase 2 (continuation of Project 16-02)

More information about these projects is available in the 2020 All Proposed Projects summary. Requests for investigator proposals for the six new projects will be posted this summer.

The agenda, budget and minutes from the spring meeting are available on the Clear Roads Meetings page.

Winter Maintenance Research Roundup April 21, 2020

Here’s a look at some recent research reports and ongoing projects from agencies around the country:

  • Research in Progress: Road Salt Impact Assessment, Maine DOT. Project description.
  • Research in Progress: Promoting the Adoption of Snow Fences Through Landowner Engagement, Minnesota DOT. Project description.
  • Expanding Landowner Adoption of Snow Control Measures Through a Better Understanding of Landowner Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices, Minnesota DOT, January 2020. Project page.
  • Iowa DOT Office of Maintenance Snowplow Optimization, Iowa DOT, February 2020. Project page.
  • Biomimetic Antifreeze Molecules: A Novel Solution to Deicing Salts and Air-Entraining Admixtures, NCHRP IDEA Program, December 2019. Research report.

SICOP Talks Winter Ops podcasts:

  • In “Asleep at the Wheel—Fighting Driver Fatigue,” Director of the Cornell LTAP Dave Orr discusses the latest research and guidance for state DOTs. April 2020. Podcast.
  • In “Nordic Experiences,” Clear Roads TAC Chair James Morin compares the approaches that Washington State DOT and the Norwegian Road Authority take to winter maintenance. March 2020. Podcast.
Research Roundup – Winter Maintenance at the TRB Annual Meeting April 3, 2020

Clear Roads has published our annual compilation of winter maintenance research that was presented at the 2020 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. The 2020 compilation includes 21 papers and posters, with links to abstracts and presentation materials. Presentations covered a wide range of winter maintenance topics, including materials, equipment, technology and performance management. Report.

National Survey Compiles Five Years of Winter Maintenance Data March 20, 2020

Clear Roads has published its fifth Annual Survey of State Winter Maintenance Data, which compiles data on winter resources, materials and costs from 36 states for the 2018-2019 winter season. The spreadsheet-based tool includes a United States map that displays many of these metrics. The tool includes five years of data, and displays averages and changes across winter seasons. See the project page.

MnDOT Shares Training Resources on Sustainable Salt Use March 5, 2020

It’s a challenge every agency faces: making winter roadways safe for drivers while minimizing the environmental impact of salt use. To help its districts meet both goals, Minnesota DOT has developed a best practices guide and a compilation of training resources for operators and supervisors.

MnDOT’s Salt Sustainability resources address:

  • Equipment training, including training videos on spreader operation and fabrication instructions for salt chutes and air foils.
  • Calibration of spreaders and liquid application equipment.
  • Decision-making, including using maintenance decision support systems (MDSS) and selecting materials and methods.
  • Material handling and storage.

Compiled as part of MnDOT’s Salt Sustainability initiative, the resources also provide guidance on anti-icing, direct liquid application, truck washing and more.