State highway maintenance officials recognize that the adoption of a systematic approach to snow and ice control using available technology and research while implementing a proactive decision-making process improves service and reduces costs. Snow and ice control is one of the most important functions performed by maintenance forces in many state, county, and local government highway agencies. This winter maintenance function is frequently resource intensive and often strains maintenance budgets. For some agencies, snow and ice control is the single largest line item in the highway maintenance budget.
Recognizing the potential savings and the opportunity to improve winter maintenance in general, the AASHTO Board of Directors, acting on recommendations by the AASHTO Standing Committee on Maintenance, approved an administrative resolution in November 1994 establishing a winter maintenance program. One element of this program supports the establishment of a project under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) to develop a comprehensive guide for snow and ice control. As a result, a comprehensive outline of a proposed guide was developed under NCHRP Project 20-7, Task 71, "Winter Maintenance Program."
This guide has been developed for use by organizations responsible for roadway snow and ice control programs, presenting principles and practices for various climatological, environmental, and operational conditions. The guide also provides concepts, processes, and references that may serve as a checklist and resource for agencies developing and refining a comprehensive snow and ice control program. The terms roadways, highways, roads, and streets are used throughout the guide with the intent that policies and procedures discussed in the guide are usually applicable to all levels of jurisdiction.
The guide contains 10 chapters organized in a systematic fashion to provide insight into the components of snow and ice control operations and management. Chapter 1 discusses the purpose and principles of a winter snow and control maintenance program, including agency responsibilities to their customers and accountability. It provides an overview of environmental considerations, describes the impact of weather on roads, and concludes with a discussion on the importance of new technology and innovation in improving snow and ice control. The subsequent chapters cover communications, labor, equipment, labor, weather information technology, operations as well as safety and liability.
The Guide for Snow and Ice Control concludes with a bibliography of publications that are of interest to snow and ice control professionals, and contains examples of processes and procedures, sample public information releases, and sample material and equipment specifications that can be used by roadway maintenance agencies. This guide is a useful resource for winter maintenance program administrators, managers, and operators, and is a tool for training winter maintenance personnel.