Highway User Expectations for ITD Winter Maintenance
Started: June, 2013 Ended: May, 2014 Project ID #4W4464 Status: Completed
Results & Findings
The final report summarizes research to obtain a better understanding of Idaho highway user expectations for the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) winter maintenance efforts. Input about Idaho resident preferences for winter maintenance was obtained through a web-based survey and focus groups meetings. Idaho residents were generally satisfied with ITD’s winter maintenance operations, and 3 out of 4 felt safe on Idaho’s highways following winter storm events. The majority of respondents (60 percent) felt that ITD should maintain the current level of service (LOS), and the remaining 40 percent felt the level of service for winter maintenance should be increased. Survey respondents indicated a preference for the use of abrasives (45.5 percent), followed by the use of chemicals (15 to 19 percent depending on material). Based on the survey findings, it is recommended that the current approach to LOS be maintained, with enhancements (e.g. use of corrosion inhibitors). In some cases, it may be possible to reduce the quantities of materials being used while maintaining the same LOS. Additional efforts could be made to expedite the time required to achieve bare pavement (4 hours) which the residents expect. There is a need for public campaign detailing when and why different materials are used for treating winter roads.
The objectives of this research are to obtain a better understanding of what Idaho highway users’ expectations are for the Department’s winter maintenance efforts and to develop new or revised level of service recommendations for consideration by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).
One of the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) primary responsibilities is to conduct winter maintenance operations on the state highway system. The approaches used can have varying costs and benefits associated with them. For example, some anti-icing and deicing materials are effective for snow and ice control, but have environmental and vehicular (corrosion) impacts. However, in order to achieve a specific level of service in terms of winter maintenance, such tradeoffs may be acceptable. While ITD strives to provide various levels of service for different roadway categories, it is possible that the public would be accepting of different levels under different scenarios or conditions. In such cases, it may be possible to employ different methods of winter maintenance that have fewer environmental impacts or reduced costs associated with them. Consequently, it is necessary to obtain a better understanding of what Idaho highway users’ expectations are for the Department’s winter maintenance efforts. This understanding would help in establishing new or revised level of service recommendations for consideration by ITD management and staff, while still meeting the needs of the traveling public. The project encompasses four specific project objectives:
- Identify best practices used by state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to determine the appropriate level of service for winter highway maintenance.
- Clarify potential options for ITD winter maintenance service levels.
- Obtain input from ITD customers on the desired level of service for winter maintenance efforts by the department.
- Develop winter maintenance level of service recommendations for consideration by ITD management and staff.
Files & Documents
Sponsors & Partners
- Idaho Transportation Department (IDT) Sponsor