Menu
Category

Uncategorized

Episode 18: Just what has SICOP been up to? 2018 SICOP Year In Review

By | Uncategorized

SICOP exists to support member states in fulfilling their winter maintenance mission.  As one of AASHTOs Technical Service Programs we are supported through voluntary contributions made by state DOTs.  Throughout the year SICOP performs many different activities in this cause.  In this episode, SICOP Steering Committee Chair Steve Lund from the Minnesota DOT talks about the accomplishments of the program in 2018.   You can see the  2018 Year In Review publication at 2018 year in review.

 

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

Episode 17: You can’t manage what you don’t measure

By | Uncategorized

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Agencies have been performing winter maintenance in one manner or another for a hundred years. Measuring how well we’ve been doing is a much harder proposition largely because no two storms are alike and the fact that they come and go so quickly and often overlap. Our two guests on this episode are no strangers to winter maintenance; Steve Lund is the State Maintenance Engineer for the Minnesota DOT and Caleb Dobbins is the State Maintenance Engineer for the State of New Hampshire. Both states have well developed programs to measure how well they perform winter service. Listen in as we talk about levels of service and performance metrics in use today and how they are used to manage winter maintenance operations.

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

Episode 16: Winter maintenance and the social sciences

By | Uncategorized

Why do travelers make the decisions they do during bad weather is a much more difficult question than many transportation agencies are geared up to answer.  The trinity of successful winter operations is the maintenance operation, the road weather, and the motorist.  Highway agencies have focused much resource on the maintenance operation and road weather but not so much on understanding why motorists do what they do.  

The National Academy of Sciences impaneled a project team to explore opportunities to integrate social and behavioral sciences in the weather enterprise during 2016-17.  I had the privilege and honor to serve on this panel co-chaired by Dr. William “Bill” Hooke, American Meteorological Society, and Dr. Ann Bostrom, University of Washington.  Our final report, Integrating Social and Behavioral Sciences within the Weather Enterprise, has implications for surface transportation.  

In this episode Dr. Hooke draws some parallels from his past experiences making the case that if we focus some more energy on the motorist we can have a better winter maintenance operation.

About our guest, Dr. William “Bill” Hooke:

Dr. Hooke has been involved in the atmospheric sciences since 1967 when he began working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During his tenure at NOAA he was involved in many programs and research efforts.  In 2000 Dr. Hooke became a Senior Policy Fellow at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and directed the Policy Program from 2001 to 2013.  Today he serves as the AMS associate executive director.  He authored the book: Living on the Real World: How Thinking and Acting Like Meteorologists Will Help Save The Planet and blogs at Living on the Real World. 

 

Have comments? Send them directly to the SICOP Coordinator, Rick Nelson at rnelson@aashto.org or post them to our Facebook Group  AASHTO-Winter Operations Group

 

Episode 15: What’s the news from TRB?

By | Uncategorized

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 | Uncategorized

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 | Uncategorized

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 | Uncategorized

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 | Uncategorized

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 | Uncategorized

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 | Uncategorized

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