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SICOP Talks Winter Ops

Episode 35: Maintenance goes to college

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Colorado DOT and Front Range Community College collaborated in the creation of the first Highway Management Program in the nation.  Developed strictly for current highway maintenance personnel this two-year degree program is an excellent way to advance your career in highway maintenance.  Listen in as the programs director, Susan Baillargeon, explains how it came about and what students can expect to experience as they make their way through the program.

There are a couple of ways to find out more about this program.  You can check out the program overview, follow this link to Front Range Community College or by contacting Program Director Susan Baillargeon

 

Episode 34: Asleep at the wheel – Fighting driver fatigue

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The most important element of a successful winter maintenance program are the employees.  Having a well trained, efficient, and alert workforce is a key to success.  However, working long hours during a emergency without opportunities to refresh can lead to dire consequences.  For example, when you’ve been awake for 24 hours your performance can be similar to someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.1%

Listen in as Dave Orr, Director of the Cornell LTAP center talks about research into driver fatigue and discusses Tech Tips they’ve developed to help agencies understand driver fatigue and ways to combat it.

For more information you can contact Dave Orr, Director of the Cornell Local Roads Program by email

View the Tech Tips here:
Full Series
Introduction
Challenges
Types, Causes, and Effects
Solutions
Resources
Sample Fatigue Management Plan

Listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with Dave Orr:

 

Episode 33: Nordic Experiences

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Lots can be learned from see how others approach winter operations.  James Morin of the Washington State DOT had the opportunity to interact with the Norwegian Road Authority and compare notes.  On this episode James shares his observations on the similarities and differences between the two winter operations.  Some key elements during our conversation included equipment, materials, relationships with academia, and levels of service.

Episode 32: A new guide for material application methodologies

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One of the primary missions of SICOP is to promote work advancing winter maintenance operations. Clear Roads is a consortia of states conducting practical research in winter maintenance. In this episode we’re going to spend some time with Paul Brown, a long time member of Clear Roads, discussing a recently completed project 15-01: Synthesis of Material Application Methodologies for Winter Operations.

For more about this project follow the link to the Clear Roads website: https://clearroads.org/project/15-01/

Episode 31: What is the Professional Snowfighters Association?

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Recording at the TRB Annual Meeting, Wilf Nixon returns to SICOP Talks Winter Maintenance to visit about winter maintenance and the new Professional Snowfighters Association (PSA). The PSA is a new non-profit professional association dedicated to creating a community of practice, improved knowledge and practices in the pursuit of safe, sustainable snowfighting.  Listen in as we learn more about the PSA.

If you want more information about the Professional Snowfighters Association you can visit their website at http://professionalsnowfightersassociation.org or you can contact Wilf by email at wilf@PSA.org

Episode 30: 2019 SICOP Year in Review

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In this episode Steve Lund, SICOP Chairman and Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator, recap SICOP activities from the past year.  From producing episodes of SICOP Talks Winter Ops to hosting State Showcase Webinars to collaborating with other winter maintenance organizations, SICOP has had a busy year. 

AASHTO’s technical service programs are supported by voluntary contributions from state DOTs.  For SICOP this contribution is $4,000 and has been since the creation of the program back in 1998.  It’s important for the program to communicate the activities accomplished back to our member states to show how their contribution was used to promote winter maintenance and help states with their winter maintenance maintenance mission.

You can view the 2019 SICOP Year in Review by following THIS LINK

 

Episode 29: Let’s talk some road weather

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When you talk about maintaining mobility during inclement weather, one group of folks that can make it or break it for the maintenance crews are the weather forecasters.  On this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops we’re going to get some perspective from that side of the fence from a someone who’s no stranger to the winter maintenance community, Chris Albrecht, Director of Business Development and Consulting Services at The Narwhal Group and member of the American Meteorological Society Committee on ITS and Road Weather.  

We first met Chris many years ago when he was involved with the AURORA Pooled Fund Study Focusing on research in Road Weather Information Systems and road weather.  Over the years these two fields have experienced rapid growth in the technology and the mainstreaming of the strategies the technology allows.  

If you want more information about road weather and the connections with the American Meteorological Society ITS and Road Weather Committee you can contact Chris by email at calbrecht@narwhalgroup.com

Episode 28: Challenges of winter maintenance in the south

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No part of the country is immune from the effects of winter weather.  Winter storms in the southern reaches of the US are particularly difficult to deal with.  Events severe enough that require attention, frequent enough you have to plan for them, and the challenge of dealing with budget realities of not enough to address all your maintenance activities.

Listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with David as he shares some insight into what it’s like to deal with the winter on the roadways in Louisiana. 

For more information about the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development visit their website at LA DOTD

or contact Chief Maintenance Engineer David Miller at david.miller@la.gov

Listen in as SICOP Talks Winer Ops with David Miller, Chief Maintenance Engineer for the Louisiana DOTD

 

 

Episode 27: IMO at the Nevada DOT

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SICOP Talks Winter Ops with Rod Schilling from the Nevada DOT as he talks about Integrated Mobile Observations.  Obtaining data about the weather and other things happening onboard snow plows helps managers and the public know what’s happening out there during winter storms.  Rod discusses the experiences and growing pains surrounding this newest way to gather data on the fly.

FHWA has a collection of presentations discussing a host of aspects regarding the Nevada DOT IMO project that you can view here: http://bit.ly/2MOnGGa

The Nevada DOT IMO project Final Report can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/35Hddov

For a list of the standards utilized by NDOT in their IMO project see NDOT Use of Available Standard Measures

Contact Rodney Schilling directly for more information at roschilling@dot.nv.gov

In the mean time, listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with Rod as he shares some insight into Integrated Mobile Observations.

Episode 26: I ain’t afraid of no winter maintenance problem!

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SICOP Talks Winer Ops with Laura Fay.  

Who are you going to call when you have a perplexing problem in Winter maintenance.  Why,Laura Fay at the Western Transportation Institute of course.  Winter maintenance is much more than salt, trucks, and snow plow drivers.  Without the folks behind the scenes supporting the practitioners we could not have progressed as far and as fast as we have over the past 20 years.  Laura Fay is no stranger to the winter maintenance community.  As the Program Manager for the Cold Climate Operations and Systems Research group at Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University Laura has been involved in many winter maintenance research projects that have made their way into practice.   

Listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with Laura Fay as she shares some insight into what it’s like being a researcher of winter maintenance.  If you’d like to reach out to Laura to talk about winter maintenance or other projects you can drop her an email at laura.fay1@montana.edu