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Highway user expectations for ITD winter maintenance.
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    Providing a high Level of Service (LOS) to ensure the safety and mobility for the traveling public is a key objective for winter maintenance operations. The goal of this research was to obtain a better understanding of Idaho highway users’ expectations for the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) winter maintenance efforts. Input about Idaho residents’ 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 LOS, and the remaining 40 percent felt the LOS 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 should they prove to have a positive cost-benefit relationship). 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.
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