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Identifying performance based measures for winter maintenance.
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  • Abstract:
    One of the Vermont Agency of

    Transportation’s (VTrans) primary missions is to keep Vermont state highways open and safe

    for the transportation network users, while managing the system in a cost


    effective and environmentally sensitive manner.

    Several states have initiated performance m

    easures to ensure public safety, and improve efficiency. VTrans’ Operations Division

    has developed levels of service for winter maintenance in its 2012 Snow and Ice Control Plan. Monitoring and evaluating the

    material usage during the winter months can lea

    d to a substantial increase in cost


    effectiveness. Unfortunately, VTrans does not

    currently have a standard method for rating its maintenance performance during winter maintenance activities.

    An in depth literature search was conducted to determine what winter maintenance performance measure guidelines have

    been established in state highway departments. In addition, state DOT’s were contacted and surveyed regarding the use of

    Winter Maintenanc

    e Performance Measures. The survey was conducted to ensure that newly adopted measures and measures

    used informally would be


    covered even if they had not appeared in any official plans

    or publications


    According to NCHRP 6


    17, three factors are commonly incorporated into determining maintenance performance. These

    factors are resources spent (Inputs), accomplishments of work performed (Outputs) and effectiveness of maintenance activities

    (Outcomes). A n

    umber of states have also created a Winter Severity Index of 0 to 100 to


    performance targets that are

    based on public safety and driver expectations



    A recommendation from this effort is that VTrans incorporate a performance metric that mea

    sures the “time to bare

    pavement conditions.” This method includes recording the time it takes maintenance personnel to achieve bare pavement

    conditions in the wheel paths of the roadway from the time the storm event ends. The use of Global Positioning S

    ystems, and

    other computerized data collection and analysis technology is a means that could promote in effectiveness both in costs and i


    effort over time. The use of these technologies will become more feasible as the automatic vehicle location (AVL) sys

    tems are

    implemented fleet


    wide in Vermont’s snow and ice control vehicles.

    Further research should focus on the relationships between performance metrics and safety. Establishing performance

    measures is the first step in helping to improve and target roa

    dway safety during winter months.

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