AASHTO Liaison
Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator
rnelson@aashto.org

Have you ever been part of one of those conversations that you wished others could have been in on too? The SICOP Talks Winter Ops podcast is just that opportunity to listen in on thought provoking conversations with experts and practitioners who have walked the walk.  Devoted to all things winter maintenance and road weather related, our guests and topics range from practical to academic, tactical to strategic, and the folks who get the job done.
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Episode 41: The latest word on alternate methods for deicing

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There are many different alternative methods and equipment available to perform winter maintenance. In this episode Laura Fay from the Western Transportation Institute at the University of Montana talks about…

Webinar: 5th State Showcase – Successful maintenance training in a virtual environment

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We’ll probably all agree that in person training is preferred and the social networking with colleagues is an added benefit. However, in todays environment of social distancing, instructor lead training…

Episode 40: Smart salting for sustainability

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Having sustainable winter maintenance practices is one of the Top 10 things for a world class winter maintenance program. Environmental considerations is one of the three pillars of sustainability along…

Episode 39: Covid impacts on maintenance operations

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The Covid pandemic has dramatically altered the way we do business and maintenance has not been immune. In this episode we’re having a discussion with the leadership of the AASHTO…

Episode 38: Winter service by contract

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In this episode of SICOP Talks Winter Ops were visiting with Frank Rizzardo, President of Emcon Services, an employee owned construction company, with maintenance contracts across Canada that includes providing…

Episode 37: RWIS – How many and where?

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Road Weather Information Systems or RWIS provides invaluable data about road weather and the real-time condition of the roadway during winter events. When RWIS began to be deployed back in…

Episode 36: Decisions, Decisions

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Maintenance Decision Support Systems or MDSS are an excellent tool to help maintenance managers evaluate all the important information about a storm including the output from advanced forecasting tools and…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Webinar: 4th State Showcase Webinar on The Use of Technology in Achieving the Maintenance Mission

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In the 4th State Showcase webinar Vince Garcia, Wyoming DOT, along with Jeremy McGuffey, Indiana DOT and Darcy Bullock, Purdue University describe projects to improve safety and mobility during winter…

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…

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…

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 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…

Webinar: 3rd State Showcase – The use of technology in achieving the maintenance mission

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In this 3rd State Showcase webinar Natalie Roark and Travis Teter of the Missouri DOT discuss the development of an automated highway flagger station centered around a trailer mounted impact…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Webinar: 2nd State Showcase – The use of technology in achieving the maintenance mission

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In the 2nd State Showcase webinar Joe Thompson, New York State DOT Snow and Ice Program Manager and Todd Cook, South Carolina DOT District Maintenance Engineer present their use of…

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…

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…

Episode 20: TSMO365 – Weather or not

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Keeping the public moving in all weather conditions is an orchestrated dance between the maintenance forces, the network operators, and the public.  The actions of one influences the reactions of…

Webinar: Showcasing the use of technology in achieving the maintenance mission

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Observing the approach our colleagues take in addressing a particular situation is the purest form of grass-roots technology transfer.  Even if your particular situation doesn't exactly match theirs, their approach…

Episode 19: When the snow hits the fan – Emergency operations methodology

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Maintenance is used to responding to severe weather but when the storm escalates into a state of emergency maintenance becomes just one of the players addressing the event.  Clear Roads…

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

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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…

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

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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…

Episode 16: Winter maintenance and the social sciences

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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…

Episode 15: What’s the news from TRB?

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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…

Episode 14: Oral history of winter maintenance in the US

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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…

Episode 13: We got big data – now what?

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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…

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

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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,…

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

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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…

Episode 10: It’s All About the Equipment

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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…

Episode 9: Why You Should Be A Pathfinder

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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…

Episode 8: Timely and Accurate Forecasts

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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…

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…

Episode 6: Winter always wins the budget war

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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…

Episode 5: Part 2 Top-10 Things for a World Class Winter Maintenance Program

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A short while back SICOP took to social media with the goal of identifying the 10 most important things an agency should do to have a world class winter maintenance…

Episode 4: Part 1 Top-10 Things For A World Class Winter Maintenance Program

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A short while back SICOP set about to identify the Top-10 things that would be necessary to have a world class winter maintenance program. Using crowd-sourced data we hit upon…

Episode 3: Whats Up With TRB Winter Maintenance?

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Tina Greenfield and Kathy Ahlenius give some insight into the Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees they chair and how you can participate in this enriching activity. Tina chairs TRB Committee…

Episode 2: What is SICOP?

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Steve Lund, SICOP's Chairman and State Maintenance Engineer for the Minnesota DOT visits with Rick Nelson about the SICOP program. We discuss what SICOP is, what we do, and the…

Episode 1: Welcome to SICOP Talks Winter Ops

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Introduction to the SICOP Talks Winter Ops podcast. The podcast of AASHTOs Winter Maintenance Technical Service Program - SICOP   https://www.buzzsprout.com/91730/568361-welcome-to-sicop-talks-winter-ops.mp3 Send comments to Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator Start a…

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