Highway Winter Maintenance Operations at Extremely Cold Temperatures

Winter maintenance operations are crucial for achieving a reasonable level of motorist safety and public mobility on highways in cold regions. Such activities become essential when a storm with extremely cold temperatures hits the area, either as a result of normal fluctuations or as a result of climate change. Once the pavement temperature drops below 10°F, the traditional tools (e.g., granular salt) become ineffective. To achieve a drivable pavement friction condition, excessive amount of plowing, chemicals, and/or abrasives are often used, which leads to substantial cost increases and environmental concerns. The most severe 20 percent of the storms can cost 80 percent of an agency's annual budget for winter maintenance. In this context, it is necessary to examine the best practices of highway winter maintenance operations with a renewed perspective so as to target these extreme storms. This work presents a synthesis of relevant information in the published domain with a focus on the traditional and innovative strategies potentially useful for highway agencies to fight extremely cold storms. This information can be valuable in the context of climate change, as certain areas may experience unusually cold snow or ice storms and face devastating consequences if unprepared for such scenarios.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 52-65
  • Monograph Title: Climatic Effects on Pavement and Geotechnical Infrastructure

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01525933
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784413326
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2014 3:05PM