The Iowa DOT Maintenance Bureau manages nearly 900 snowplows, which are continuously transmitting important operational data during winter operations. These data provide truck locations using automated vehicle location (AVL) pings, and report operational status such as whether the plow is up or down, and which materials, if any, are being applied to the roadway. This study explored new ways to support timely and accurate decision making during winter operations based on the stream of data transmitted by the snowplows. The two key objectives of the project were to (1) demonstrate opportunities to visualize and aggregate winter operations data to support timely and effective decision making for supervisors and key decision makers using data from two winter seasons (2017-2018 and 2018-2019), and (2) investigate the performance of nine different snowplow blade types in terms of cost. A software tool was developed which provides map, tabular, and graphical information specific to when and where winter operations materials were applied. The tool demonstrates one day of data with the integration of snowplow AVL data with material application information by time and location. The tool also shows the spatial and temporal relationships among these multiple factors during winter conditions.
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