Winter maintenance personnel indicated that road weather information systems decrease salt usage, and anti-icing techniques limit damage to roadside vegetation, groundwater, and air quality (where abrasives are applied).
Data were collected from:
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Focus Articles and Technical Briefs.
- Transportation Research Board (TRB) International Symposium of Snow Removal and Ice Control Technology research reports.
- Pacific Northwest Snowfighter Conference reports; Iowa State DOT Winter 1999-2000 debriefing reports.
- Pennsylvania DOT’s anti-icing benchmarking project; vendors and consultants.
- Highway agencies participating in the Lead States Program created by implementation of the Task Force on Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).
Also noted were anti-icing disadvantages, which can be avoided with proper use of information from RWIS. Liquid anti-icing chemical usage in windy conditions can cause blowing snow to adhere to pavements. Pretreating roads with liquid chemicals may cause slippery conditions or lead to surface freezing if pavement temperatures fall below specific thresholds. Pretreated areas may necessitate subsequent treatment with solid materials.
The report concluded that anti-icing is an effective winter maintenance strategy that can minimize environmental impacts, however, anti-icing techniques should be carefully planned and executed based upon reliable, accurate data from a RWIS. Appropriate training of maintenance personnel (from decision makers to plow operators) and effective public information campaigns were also noted as key to the success of an anti-icing program.
NotesNo contacted agency had a formal performance measurement program to assess the benefits of anti-icing.
Author: Boselly, Edward S.
Published By: Transportation Research Board
Source Date: March 2001
Other Reference Number: NCHRP Report No. 20-7(117)URL: http://www.transportation.org/sites/sicop/docs/NCHRP20-7%28117%29.pdf
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