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Clear Roads - Cost Benefit Analysis Toolkit (Phase II)

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  08/13/2013

Summary:

The operators and maintainers of highway networks are facing increasing demands and customer expectations regarding mobility and transportation safety during inclement weather, while confronting budget and staffing constraints and environmental challenges related to chemical and material usage. It is desirable to use the most recent advances and best practices to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of winter operations, optimize material usage, and reduce annual spending, corrosion and environmental impacts. Determining the benefits and costs of various winter maintenance practices, equipment and operations is a difficult and time consuming proposal for winter maintenance managers. This project enhanced and expanded a toolkit that was previously developed to facilitate benefit-cost analysis for winter maintenance. The toolkit items included comparing flexible blades to traditional blades, prewetting at the spreader, spreader calibration, slurries, tow plows, contracted truck (private or municipal) versus a state-owned truck, open versus closed loop spreader controls, remote cameras for monitoring remote sites locations, laser guides, and tailgate versus hopper spreaders. The toolkit is a website which receives parameter inputs from a user and generates a benefit-cost ratio for the item of interest.

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