Principal Investigator: Wilfrid Nixon
About this Project
Brief Project Description & Background
The primary goal in this project is to develop and refine a tool that will allow transportation agencies to determine how sustainable their winter maintenance operations are. With such a tool, agencies will be able to determine to what extent they need to change their winter maintenance practices to become more sustainable, and will also be able to adapt their practices to reflect local needs more closely.
The objective of the research is to develop a checklist type tool that provides an agency a valid and meaningful measure of the sustainability of their winter maintenance operations. The testing of approaches by way of a series of interviews will allow this tool to be developed from its current rather bare bones status.
The benefit of the research is that it will provide a detailed tool for transportation agencies to measure the extent to which their winter maintenance operations are sustainable and it will indicate changes that can be made to improve that sustainability.
Sustainability in transportation requires that the three "pillars" of societal needs, environmental protection and economic costs and benefits should be balanced, yet the tools currently available deal only peripherally with transportation operations and maintenance, and with winter maintenance in particular.
It is proposed to develop further a checklist tool that exists in preliminary form by working with winter maintenance professionals from states, cities and counties to determine how best to refine the existing tool in a variety of areas. The deliverables of this project will be a refined winter maintenance sustainability checklist tool, and the final report detailing the findings of the study.