November 2018

Meetings and Events | News | Research Reports | Research in Progress

Meetings and Events

2019 APWA North American Snow Conference
The American Public Works Association will host the 2019 APWA North American Snow Conference May 19-22 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The annual conference features presentations from snow and ice professionals and an exhibit hall of winter maintenance solutions. Details.


“Weathering the Storm: Making a Difference with Weather-Savvy Roads”
APWA Reporter, October 2018

FHWA’s Weather-Savvy Roads initiative consists of two innovative road weather management solutions. Pathfinder is a collaborative effort to share forecasts and road conditions across agencies and translate that information into consistent messaging for the public, and Integrating Mobile Observations promotes collecting weather, road and vehicle data from agency fleets to improve situational awareness of road conditions. Article (see page 50).

Using Your Existing Work Management Software to Track Your Inclement Weather Program
APWA Reporter, October 2018
The city of Greenville, South Carolina, needed a way to manage sporadic winter weather events without investing in a dedicated snow and ice management technology. The city’s Public Works Department rose to the challenge by leveraging the location-based functionality of its existing work management program. Article (see page 54).


Research Reports

Utilization of AVL/GPS Technology: Case Studies 
Clear Roads Project 16-01
Researchers profiled six state DOTs that use AVL/GPS in winter maintenance fleets. These case studies provide guidance for successful implementation, and can serve as templates to help agencies get the best value out of different levels of AVL/GPS applications. Project page and final report.

Effective Snow and Ice Personnel and Equipment Management for Storm Activation
Clear Roads Synthesis Project 17-S3
This synthesis project explored how state DOTs determine when to activate winter maintenance crews as a storm approaches, and when to deactivate them as a storm subsides. A survey of 25 Clear Roads states identified the thresholds states use for air temperature, pavement temperature, precipitation levels and other factors that trigger activation. Report.

Accuracy of Deicer and Abrasive Material Application EquipmentSpreader dispensing salt into scale during calibration
Clear Roads Synthesis Project 17-S1
Through a literature review and a practitioner survey, this synthesis project examined state DOTs’ practices for calibrating their deicer application equipment and their confidence in the accuracy of the calibration. Report.

Reuse of Aqueous Waste Streams in Transportation Related Applications
South Dakota DOT
Researchers evaluated the potential to reuse aqueous wastes from municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities in transportation-related applications. Their findings suggest that MIEX brine generated by a municipal water treatment plant can be used as a feed solution to produce final brine products for winter road maintenance, which may reduce costs for both the municipality and South Dakota DOT. Report.

Quantifying Salt Concentration on Pavement, Phase 2Mobile sensor attached to rear car bumper
Aurora Program
Researchers evaluated the ability of the Lufft MARWIS and Teconer RCM411 mobile sensors to determine pavement conditions remotely, testing their ability to detect water film/ice depth, friction, surface temperature, and road condition/surface state. Project page and report.

Continued Evaluation of the TowPlow Trailer System    TowPlow on snowy mountain road
This report summarizes Caltrans’ trial evaluation of the Viking-Cives TowPlow, including a detailed analysis of benefits and limitations. Caltrans tested two units in 2016 and 2017, and the report documents the configuration modifications and deployment activities involved in the tests. Report.

Workshop on Corrosion Protection Technology for Winter Maintenance – A Summary
This report summarizes the results of a two-day workshop on protecting winter maintenance vehicles from corrosion. The workshop was designed to foster an understanding of the methods, equipment and materials used for corrosion protection, including their long-term effectiveness and their level of applicability within state DOTs. Report.

Comparison of Woody Species for Use in Living Snow Fences in the Midwestern United States
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, May/June 2018
Recent studies have suggested that fast-growing shrub willows can provide affordable and easily established living snow fences. In this study, researchers compared the growth and establishment of four shrub willow cultivars and one native shrub willow species to two shrub species traditionally used for living snow fences in Minnesota. Paper.

Modeling Surface Temperatures for Snow-Covered Roads: A Case Study for a Heated Pavement in Bærum, Norway   Diagram of the heat fluxes included in a thermal conductivity model
Transportation Research Record, May 2018
Assessing the effective thermal conductivity of the snow on the pavement is one aspect of a heated pavement’s operation. This paper identifies two approaches for modeling the thermal conductivity of the snow layer based on the snow’s density and water content. Paper.

A Review of Environmental Impacts of Winter Road Maintenance
Cold Regions Science and Technology, November 2018
Researchers in Norway reviewed recent research on the environmental effects of winter maintenance. Most studies focused on local impacts, with an emphasis on water quality, and a few focused on global impacts, caused primarily by fuel consumption. The researchers concluded that having more studies that consider both local and global effects would be beneficial. Paper.


Research in Progress

Biomimetic Antifreeze Polymers: A Novel Biodegradable Deicing Salt Alternative
This project will evaluate a class of low-cost, nontoxic, biodegradable antifreeze biopolymers with behavior similar to natural antifreeze proteins found in fish, plants and insects for their effectiveness in preventing ice formation on roadway and bridge surfaces during winter. Project description.

Reducing Uncertainties in Snow Fence Design: Development of Methods for Estimation of Snow Drifting and the Snow Relocation Coefficient TR-760 Iowa DOT logo
Iowa DOT
This study will assemble, test and deploy a set of new technologies to support the evaluation of snow fence performance using non-intrusive measurement technologies based on imaging of snow drift movement and of snow accumulation at fences. Project description.


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