Monitoring the performance in snow and ice control operations has become an increasingly important task for highway agencies and contractors because of the limited resources available to highway agencies and the increased outsourcing of these activities. Different performance measures have been used both in the United States and abroad but with varying degrees of success. There are no widely accepted measures applicable to different roadway classifications and storm characteristics. Research is needed to evaluate potential measures of performance and identify or develop appropriate measures of performance for all roadway classifications and storm characteristics. This information will help highway agencies and their contractors monitor the level of performance and make appropriate adjustments to improve performance or reduce cost, thereby effectively managing resources for snow and ice control operations and achieving the best possible value for the public dollar.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this research is to recommend methods and measures for assessing agency and contractor performance in snow and ice control operations. The research shall cover all road classifications.
TASKS: Accomplishment of this objective will require at least the following tasks.
PHASE I: (1) Collect and review information relative to the use of performance measures in snow and ice control operations. This information should be obtained from domestic and foreign literature, contacts with highway agencies and industry organizations, and other sources. Identify relevant performance measures (e.g., pavement condition, friction, travel speed, resource allocation, time to achieve level of service, cost, and extent of customer satisfaction). Describe how these measures vary for different roadway classes and storm characteristics. Through this review, also identify available approaches for evaluating the effectiveness and usefulness of these performance measures. (2) Assess the approaches identified in Task 1 for evaluating the performance measures. Recommend appropriate evaluation approaches for use in Task 4 (if available approaches are found to be deficient, appropriate approaches shall be proposed). (3) Prepare an interim report that documents the research performed in Tasks 1 and 2 and includes an updated work plan for Phase II. Following review of the interim report by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to make a presentation to the project panel. Work on Phase II of the project will not begin until the interim report is approved and the Phase II work plan is authorized by the NCHRP.
PHASE II: (4) Using approaches approved in Task 3, evaluate the technical, operational, and economic aspects of the performance measures identified in Task 1. Based on this evaluation, recommend promising methods and measures for performance assessment for the different roadway classifications and storm characteristics. (5) Develop a plan for field tests to evaluate and implement the performance measures recommended in Task 4, in a future, separate activity. (6) Submit a final report that documents the entire research effort.
Status: The project is complete. The final report has been received; copies have been distributed to Program sponsors (state departments of Transportation). A condensed version of the report will be published as an NCHRP Research Results Digest; the agency report will be posted on the web.
Product Availability: NCHRP Research Results Digest 335: Performance Measures for Snow and Ice Control Operations is a condensed version of the report. Additional information on the project, including information on the current practices regarding methods and measures to assess contract performance was published online as NCHRP Web-Only Document 136.