Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP)
Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
SICOP is the Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program. It was developed by AASHTO (The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) under AASHTO Administrative Resolution 3-93, which states:
“In order to experiment with snow and ice technology and systems not now in use in this nation, to determine their suitability to the United States and to help introduce the use of those with the most promise, the AASHTO Board of Directors endorses the concept of establishing a voluntary AASHTO Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program, under which testing by AASHTO Member Departments volunteering to sponsor and conduct tests can be supported financially with public sector funds voluntarily contributed by AASHTO Member Departments, Federal agencies, toll authorities, counties, and cities.”
SICOP, once a stand-alone collective, has become one of AASHTO’s technical service programs, the Winter Maintenance Technical Service Program – SICOP. Program guidance is provided by the Winter Maintenance Policy Coordinating Committee (WMPCC). The task of the WMPCC is to promulgate the Winter Maintenance Program (WMP). Recognizing that an effective winter maintenance program encompasses all streets, roads, and highways; the WMPCC membership will include an AASHTO member from each AASHTO region, members of the National Association of County Engineers (NACE), the American Public Works Association (APWA), representatives from winter maintenance related TRB committees, and liaisons with FHWA. The WMPCC has direct ties to the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance.
A principal mission of the Winter Maintenance Program (WMP) is to ensure that the requisite testing and evaluation of potentially implementable international or domestic winter maintenance technologies are performed and that the results of these efforts are presented and disseminated in such a manner that beneficial winter maintenance technologies are easily understood and integrated into individual state and municipal operational programs. Beyond this principal mission, the WMP works toward establishing a sustainable systems approach to snow and ice control in the United States–one involving the vehicle, the driver, the equipment, the materials and practices, and the receiving environment for managing roadway and bridge snow and ice.
The goals of the WMP are to (1) sustain or improve levels of winter maintenance service with significant benefit/cost improvements, (2) provide an enhanced level of sustainability and environmental protection, and (3) place beneficial technology in service on operational maintenance sections within two winter seasons. Another highlight of WMP is that it brings all levels of government together to cooperatively work on these projects. The concept of funding is also unique in that all funding will be via a pooled funding mechanism.
Four guiding principles for SICOP are: