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Episode 15: What’s the news from TRB?

By Podcasts

The Transportation Research Board is a lot more than the week long Annual Meeting that happens every January. Listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with James Bryant, TRBs Maintenance and Preservation Engineer, as he shares whats on the calendar this next year for the TRB committees on Winter Maintenance and Surface Transportation Weather.

The TRB eNewsletter is another way to keep on top of all the activities and offerings of the TRB throughout the year. Anyone can subscribe through the link HERE

Want to take an active role in the winter committees, AHD65 Winter Maintenance and AH010 Surface Transportation Weather? Head over to My TRB and sign up as friend of the committee to get involved.

Send comments directly to the SICOP Coordinator, Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or start a thread on the Snow & Ice Listserve

Episode 14: Oral history of winter maintenance in the US

By Podcasts

How did the evolution of modern winter maintenance take place? What significant milestones ushered in the tools that make up the modern winter maintenance tool box?

Lee Smithson, formerly of the Iowa Department of Transportation and a past SICOP Coordinator, was one of the few individuals leading the charge that produced significant advancements in winter maintenance technologies. Listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with Lee Smithson, as he shares his recollections on how we got where we are with winter maintenance in the US.

Some interesting and related links:
National Academy of Science Consensus Report, “Where the Weather Meets the Road

NCHRP 20-36 RRD 238: “1998 Scanning Review of European Winter Service Technology (1999)

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 13: We got big data – now what?

By Podcasts

Many agencies have been collecting a lot of data, GPS/AVL coordinates, RWIS, mobile observations, photos and the like.  Now comes the time to ask So What?  Until you do something with it its just a bunch of 1s and zeros occupying peta bytes of space.  There are however great opportunities to mine these data and turn it into information that can help transportation agencies manage the system and their operations.  One agency, the Iowa DOT, has take that leap and demonstrated success in turning all that data in useful information.   

Tina Greenfield, Iowa DOTs RWIS Coordinator, shares their experiences in working with Big Data.

 

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 12: Taking liquids to the max. Liquid only routes.

By Podcasts

Wisconsin liquid truck

Agencies have been using salt brines and a variety of other liquid concoctions for years as a winter maintenance strategy. Pre-wetting stockpiles, pre-wetting at the spinner, slurries, direct application for anti-icing have been tried and true practices. Now some have taken the use of liquids to the max, and now, utilizing direct liquid applications through the course of the storm. Some would say using liquid only routes are a risky proposition throughout the storm although some states and countries abroad have been successfully running field trials with liquid only routes.

Jim Hughes, State Maintenance Engineer with the Wisconsin DOT is talking winter ops with SICOP about their experience with liquid only routes.

Link to Clearing Winter Highways Using Less Salt & More Brine

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 11: Which way should the snowplow go? Route Optimization

By Podcasts

Having an efficient and effective winter maintenance program is built largely on having the right resources at the right place at the right time. This begs to question, Which way should the snowplow go? Route optimization made the top-10 list of things for a world class winter maintenance program and is front and center on the minds of state members of the SICOP winter maintenance technical service program. Several state DOTs are utilizing route optimization programs and many more are considering starting a route optimization program.

Kyle Lester(CO DOT), Jim Hughes (WI DOT), and Larry Gangle (ND DOT) sit down with SICOP and Talk Winter Ops and talk about their experiences with route optimization in their states.

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 10: It’s All About the Equipment

By Podcasts

It’s no surprise that having the right equipment, in the right place is one of the top-10 things you should have to be a world class winter maintenance operation.  Caltrans Division of Equipment have a daunting task of keeping snow fighting crews outfitted with the best snow removal equipment to keep people and goods moving throughout the winter.  Their winter operations mirror many situations across the US from the season long fight in the Sierra Nevada to the occasional storm in more temperate regions.     

Kris Keague, Lisa Kunzman, and Virgil Realin from Caltrans Division of Equipment sit down with SICOP and Talk Winter Ops as it relates to equipment.

Kris Teague is the Chief of the Office of Engineering and Production Services
Lisa Kunzman is the Chief of Fleet Management and Quality Assurance
Virgil Realin is the Chief of the Office of Maintenance and Repair for the Northern Region

For more information about the Caltrans equipment program or AASHTOs Equipment Management Technical Service Program contact Lisa at Lisa.Kunzman@dot.ca.gov

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 9: Why You Should Be A Pathfinder

By Podcasts

The true value in a forecast is when folks actually use them and make smart decisions in response to the weather.  Road weather forecasts are specifically focused on how the weather will impact the roadway.  There are hundreds if not thousands of places where you can get some information on the weather but when a department of transportation collaborates with the National Weather Service and specialized forecasting services the impacts on travelers can be positive creating a safer commute.  Paul Pisano from the FHWA talks about such a program called Pathfinder in this episode.

Click Here for an overview of the Pathfinder Program or for information on Pathfinder or other Road Weather Management activities you can email Paul Pisano directly at Paul.Pisano@dot.gov

 

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 8: Timely and Accurate Forecasts

By Podcasts

Having timely and accurate road weather forecasts is one of the top-10 things you should have to be a world class winter maintenance operation.  Utah DOT has a program where meteorologists are positioned in their traffic management center and are an integral part of their winter maintenance operations.

Jeff Williams, UDOTs Weather Operations and RWIS Manager talks winter operations with SICOP and discusses how they deliver timely and accurate road weather forecasts to UDOT maintenance crews.

 

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 7: Are we sustainable?

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Using sustainable winter maintenance practices is one of the top-10 things you should be doing to have a world class winter maintenance program but what does being sustainable mean?  Sustainability requires balancing three factors – economics, the environment, and the public need. Building a winter service program around these three legs creates a system that can provide optimal benefits to all.  So how do you know just how sustainable your agencies practices are.

Mark DeVries and Wilf Nixon have taught many winter maintenance professionals through the APWA and are here to share their thoughts on sustainability.

 

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here

Episode 6: Winter always wins the budget war

By Podcasts

In the struggle to second guess Mother Nature when preparing your winter maintenance budget winter will always win, often at the expense of other maintenance activities. Having adequate budget is one of the top-10 things for a world class winter maintenance program. Here are 10 things to consider when formulating your budget for winter maintenance.

 

Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
Start a discussion on the Snow and Ice List-Serve and reference this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops

To subscribe to the Snow and Ice List-serve click here