The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 54-18 [Active (Synthesis)]

Wintertime Pavement Maintenance Practices
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/29/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jo Allen Gause
Research Agency: CTC and Associates
Principal Investigator: Chris Kline
Fiscal Year: 2023

Final Scope

Pavement maintenance is broadly classified into two categories: proactive and reactive. Proactive, or planned, maintenance describes actions that are programmed to occur at a convenient time in terms of climatic conditions, traffic, availability of personnel and equipment, and so on. It may be accomplished either by contract or with in-house staff. The need for reactive maintenance, on the other hand, can occur unexpectedly and must be addressed immediately.  Maintenance needs that arise during winter and must be completed to maintain the safety and serviceability of roadways may be particularly problematic. Safe operations during adverse conditions and repair material performance in winter weather are two considerations which make winter maintenance challenging. Cold weather maintenance consists of critical actions which must be done immediately to maintain the safety and serviceability of roadways. These actions include patching potholes and punchouts and other repairs to pavements that must be done in the winter season.

The objective of this synthesis is to document current state departments of transportation (DOTs) practices for reactive winter pavement maintenance.

Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):

  •        Reactive pavement maintenance activities performed during the winter;
  •        How reactive wintertime pavement maintenance may differ from when these activities are done at the optimal time (e.g., heating the pavement, pothole preparation prior to patching, materials selection);
  •        Factors that influence wintertime pavement treatment decisions (e.g., selection of materials, performance, price, deicing, snow and ice removal practices);
  •        Material selection, timing, procedures, performance, and required equipment specific to winter pavement maintenance treatments;
  •       Whether each winter maintenance treatment is considered temporary, with plans to conduct repairs in better weather, or are they considered to be permanent repairs; and
  •        Tracking performance of wintertime pavement maintenance operations and integration of this information in a DOT’s asset management system (e.g., material retention in patches, longevity of treatment, roughness).

Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected DOTs for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.

Information Sources (Partial):

  •   Dailey, J., Dave, E. V., Barman, M., & Kostick, R. D. (2017). Comprehensive field evaluation of asphalt patching methods and development of simple decision trees and a best practices manual (No. MN/RC 2017-25). Minnesota. Dept. of Transportation. Research Services & Library.
  •   Dong, Q., Huang, B., & Zhao, S. (2014). Field and laboratory evaluation of winter season pavement pothole patching materials. International Journal of Pavement Engineering, 15(4), 279-289.
  •        Hawkins, N., Knickerbocker, S., Hans, Z., & Dong, J. (2020). Winter Operations Decision Support Tools for the Iowa DOT Maintenance Bureau (No. InTrans Project 17-616).
  •        Ullah Sajid, Hizb; Naik, Dayakar L; Kiran, Ravi. Improving the ice-melting capacity of traditional deicers. Construction and Building Materials, Volume 271, Issue 0, 2021   https://trid.trb.org/view/1752698
  •        Zegeye Teshale, Eyoab; Calhoon, Thomas; Johnson, Eddie; Dai, Shongtao. Novel Approach for Evaluation of Pavements Affected by Pavement Tenting (Crack-Heaving): Integrated, Multi-Sensor Non-Destructive Testing System. Transportation Research Board 100th Annual Meeting, Transportation Research Board, 2021, 20p   https://trid.trb.org/view/1759043
  •        Pavement Winter Operations in Cold Regions. [Project].  Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology. Start date: 16 Aug. 2020.       https://trid.trb.org/view/1767976
  •        Hershey, Benjamin W; McClellan, Anthony K; Mewes, John J. Decision Support Technologies: Beyond Winter Operations. Transportation Research Circular, Issue E-C162, 2012, p 104   https://trid.trb.org/view/1138906
  •        RUOTOISTENMAKI, A; MAKELA, O; SIPILA, J; VALKEISENMAKI, A; SAVOLAINEN, S; JYLHA, K; VENALAINEN, A; LAAPAS, M. The effect of climate change on the routine and periodic maintenance of roads. TIEHALLINNON SELVITYKSIA, FINNRA REPORTS, Volume 3201122, Issue 8/2009, 2009, 66p+app       https://trid.trb.org/view/897627
  •  Ye, Z., Veneziano, D., & Shi, X. (2013). Estimating statewide benefits of winter maintenance operations. Transportation research record, 2329(1), 17-23.
  •        Onyango, Mbakisya; Wu, Weidon; and Owino, Joseph (Tennessee Department of Transportation, May, 022. https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/tdot/long-range-planning/research/final-reports/res2019-final-reports/RES2019-25_Final_Report_Approved.pdf


TRB Staff
Jo Allen Gause
Phone: 202-334-3826
Email: jagause@nas.edu
Meeting Dates
First Panel: September 29, 2022, Virtual
Teleconference with Consultant: October 24, 2022, 2:30 pm Eastern
Second Panel: June 27, 2023, Washington, DC

Topic Panel
Anita Bush, Nevada Department of Transportation
Ashley Buss, Iowa Department of Transportation
Eshan Dave, University of New Hampshire
Jamie Hukriede, Minnesota Department of Transportation
Xiaoyang Jia, Tennessee Department of Transportation
Michael Rossi, New York Department of Transportation
James Bryant, Transportation Research Board
Nick Torres, Federal Highway Administration


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