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Optimized and Sustainable Winter Operations in Canada and the United States


Climate change is becoming a reality in Canada and United States bringing record setting winter storms with some of the lowest temperatures and heaviest snowfalls and ice storms experienced in modern times. These massive storms caused major impacts to the economy, resulting in billions of dollars lost. However, it could have been much worse without the right snow removal equipment, advanced RWIS and chemical application technologies and a trained workforce. This paper documents how research findings, from the comprehensive U.S. Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), combined with discoveries, from the International Winter Maintenance Technology Scanning tours produced better methods to accomplish winter maintenance, improve transportation safety and reliability and enhance winter hazard mitigation. Successful courses of action used to take SHRP winter maintenance research in road weather and forecasting, anti-icing, snow and ice control equipment, and new chemistry from theory to operational state-of-the-practice are presented. Although these proactive snow and ice control operations in Canada and the US are reported to be more efficient and effective, their negative impact to the receiving natural environment remains a concern. This paper examines how those negative impacts are being minimized by using improved and more comprehensive road/weather forecasts, optimized treatment recommendations and better snow and ice control equipment. The paper will then illustrate how these optimized operations will evolve into more sustainable solutions that will integrate into the PIARC B-5, Winter Services Committee, “triple bottom line” (economic concerns, societal interests, and environmental protections) concept models being developed for worldwide use. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Leland D. Smithson
Construction, Maintenance and operations