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SICOP Talks Winter Ops

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 

Episode 25: The Swedish perspective on winter maintenance

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SICOP talks winter ops with Dan Eriksson from the Swedish Road Administration.

While State DOT’s here in the United States self perform the vast majority of winter maintenance they are relying more and more on contracted workforce and equipment to meet the level of service demands with the limited resources available. On the other hand, The Swedish Road Administration has been providing winter service utilizing contracts and contractors for many years.

Listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with Dan Eriksson as he shares winter maintenance in Sweden.

Episode 24: The road to road weather management

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SICOP talks winter ops with Paul Pisano.  Paul had a very productive career with the Federal Highway Administration retiring as the Road Weather Management and Work Zone Team Leader.  During his time with the FHWA Paul and his Road Weather Management team saw the development of several significant projects to benefit the winter maintenance community.  Projects like the Maintenance Decision Support System, Clarus later the weather data environment, and initiatives through Every Day Counts like Weather Savvy Roads, Pathfinder, and Integrated Mobile Observations were just a few of the advancements in the area.

Listen in as SICOP Talks Winter Ops with Paul as he shares some history, some current events, and some thoughts on the future of winter maintenance.

Some links to documents that Paul talked about- 

TE28 Manual of Practice for an effective anti-icing program: Click here
Where the weather meets the road: Click here
The weather data environment – MADIS: Click here

Episode 23: Is the wind blowing in Wyoming? High wind blow-over hazard warnings.

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One of the benefits of the Connected Vehicle Pilot Project is the ability to generate weather alerts including high wind blow over hazard warnings. This system is proving to be most helpful to commercial traffic along Interstate 80 through Wyoming. During last years Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting Rhonda Young made a presentation on this topic The material she shared is being revisited in this podcast.

Follow this link to see the presentation material WYDOT CV Pilot Weather Alerts

Read more about Rhonda Young at Click here

To listen to Rhonda’s TEDx Spokane 2019 talk on the coming transportation revolution Click here

Episode 22: EDC5 – Weather Responsive Management Strategies

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Weather Responsive Management Strategies is one of the rapid deployment initiatives that is part of the FHWA program Every Day Counts.  Every Day Counts is a program that helps states rapidly deploy proven but underutilized technologies. 

When it comes to managing the transportation system during adverse weather events there are three actors involved in making this a success. The maintenance operators who are performing the winter maintenance operations of plowing and applying chemicals to remove the snow and ice from the roads, the network operators who staff the traffic management centers and insure motorists have the most up to date information about the transportation network, and the motorists who actions or inactions can keep the network operating smoothly or tie it in knots.

Every Day Counts #5 – Weather Responsive Management Strategies is designed to demonstrate how road management strategies driven by data from the road users themselves can help keep the system operating smoothly.

Check out the Every Day Counts website
Click the link for more information about Weather Responsive Management Strategies
For more information on EDC5 Weather Responsive Management Strategies Contact our guest Roemer Alfelor at roemer.alfelor@dot.gov

 

Episode 21: Snow fence is a SAFE bet in blowing snow

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Controlling drifting snow has been a winter maintenance challenge for as long as there has been the desire to have mobility.  Departments of transportation have using these structures for many years to help keep blowing snow from the roadway.  One way to look at the effectiveness is how well they keep snow off the road and another is to see what positive benefit there is for the driver.  

On this episode we’re talking with Graduate Student Rachael Larson and Dr. Mohamed Ahmed of the University of Wyoming about a presentation made at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting on recently completed work looking at the safety effectiveness of snow fences in Wyoming based on vehicle crashes.  You can view this paper “19-05707 Quantifying the Safety Effectiveness of Snow Fence Implementations Based on Crash Severity and Snow Fence Type Utilizing Contemporary Statistical Analysis Methods” at the TRB Annual Meeting Online 2019 website at http://bit.ly/2JStNcz