Grand Challenges: A Research Plan for Winter Maintenance

Maintenance and Preservation
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The impacts of winter weather on both safety and mobility are substantial and well known. Accordingly, the need to perform winter maintenance activities on roadways is readily apparent. However, changing social needs, combined with often increasing environmental awareness mean that the methods used to perform winter maintenance are and have been changing. A number of obvious factors, such as climate change, sustainability, environmental stewardship, and changes in how goods are delivered by way of the surface transportation system, are all impacting how winter operations are conducted. These changes are also creating novel constraints on the methods that are available for winter maintenance–the ?tools in the toolbox.? There is thus a need to identify the grand challenges that face winter highway maintenance operations, and to determine the research needed to address these challenges.

This study was requested by AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) and specifically by the Standing Committee on Highways (SCOH) on behalf of Subcommittee on Maintenance. The members of the task group that guided this study are listed in the Acknowledgements. The study took as a starting point the various research that has been conducted in the field of winter maintenance, together with various research needs statements developed by certain pooled fund groups (e.g., Clear Roads, Aurora, and the Peer Exchange meetings). Appendix B includes a bibliography of reports and other technical documents that helped to inform the discussions in the workshop. The objective of the study was to identify the grand challenges which must be met to allow winter maintenance operations to successfully adapt to the changing constraints that these operations face. The order in which the research areas within the grand challenges should be addressed has not been considered in great detail, primarily because such ordering will depend on the availability of research funds going forward. Some research areas must obviously be addressed before others, simply because those other areas build upon the work that will be done.

The method used to develop the grand challenges and their respective components follows that used in similar projects for the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures and the AASHTO Joint Technical Committee on Pavements. A workshop was convened to review the recent research findings and to develop and refine the grand challenges in winter maintenance. The workshop was conducted on August 2-3, 2010 at the National Academies? Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California. Participants included members from the AASHTO Highway Subcommittee on Maintenance (SCOM), i.e., individuals from state departments of transportation), personnel from public agencies that conduct winter maintenance, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), academia, and consultants. A list of participants is provided in Appendix A. The information resulting from the workshop is a set of critical issues in winter maintenance (termed ?grand challenges?) that would, if solved, lead to significant advances in winter highway maintenance operations. The grand challenges will provide guidance to SCOM and others in identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing research problem suggestions to ensure that the various research efforts being undertaken in the field of winter maintenance are focused in such a way as to provide a quality-based research program that will not only be closely aligned with the needs of the winter maintenance community but will also be as efficient as possible in developing new methods to meet those needs.

Organization Category:
Non-Profit (AASHTO, TKNs, TRB, etc.)
Organization Name:
United States of America
Contact Person:
Amir Hanna
Email Address:

Document Type: Other

Created at: 01/18/2021 03:01 PM By: iENGINEERING

Last Modified at: 01/18/2021 03:01 PM By: