Operational Factors that Affect Road Salt Usage and the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Salt Spreading Operations and Equipment

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) conducted a three-year study to evaluate its Snow and Ice Control Program, identify measures that would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its deicer material usage, and reduce material costs. Recommendations for improvement were developed based on: 1) feedback from a web-based employee survey; 2) over 500 hours of field observations that included monitoring operational activities and pavement conditions during snow events over two winter seasons; and 3) a regression analysis of material usage to Winter Severity Index (WSI) values over a ten-year (10) period. The recommendations focused on five key areas, including the material usage reporting procedures by route and event, employee and contractor training, equipment calibration, route optimization, and equipment and technology upgrades. Specific recommendations include increased use of GPS/AVL-enabled closed-loop controllers, installation of wireless data transfer stations, reduction or elimination of the use of sand in Reduced Salt Zone areas, increased training and coordination with state police personnel, and utilization of route optimization software to eliminate route overlaps and redundant treatment applications. Full integration of the recommended measures could result in a substantial cost savings and a major reduction in the amount of salt used each year.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 119p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01667211
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: 55354
  • Created Date: Apr 2 2018 2:12PM