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Highway user expectations for ITD winter maintenance.
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  • Abstract:
    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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