Winter Maintenance Levels of Service and Performance Measures

Winter maintenance is one of the most important activities performed by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). SDDOT’s Snow and Ice Control Performance Standard defines priorities and operational procedures for plowing, sanding, and chemical application needed to provide a safe and reliable highway system. An important element of the performance standard is “level of service”, which defines how well the condition of highways is or should be maintained and restored during and immediately after winter events. Transportation agencies define winter levels of service in various ways, including: recovery time (time from end of storm to restoration of pavement surface to a defined condition), maintenance frequency, surface condition, traffic speed, or pavement friction maintained, frequency or duration of highway closures, travel time reliability, and others. SDDOT currently defines level of service in terms of maintenance frequency and recovery time “to 80% clear of ice and snow”. If possible, priority routes are to be treated every two hours and recovered within 18 hours and non-priority routes are to be treated every four hours and recovered within 36 hours. SDDOT’s current level of service definitions exhibit some significant limitations, because they may not: be objectively measurable; relate to highway users’ needs and expectations for safety and mobility; communicate expectations to SDDOT staff and highway users; be interpreted or applied consistently by maintenance staff; align to unwritten expectations to do as much as possible with available resources; accommodate the full range of storm severity, duration, and characteristics; distinguish among highway locale, use, and traffic levels; consider resource costs and constraints; support creation of objective performance measures and tracking to gauge SDDOT’s winter maintenance performance; support strategic and tactical winter maintenance decisions; or translate into physical criteria that can be applied by SDDOT’s Maintenance Decision Support System. SDDOT needs to establish measurable levels of service that better meet the needs of maintenance staff and managers and highway users. The objectives of this research are to: (1) Assess purposes for which level of service definitions are and could be used by SDDOT and highway users; (2) Develop winter maintenance level of service definitions that address the needs of SDDOT and highway users; (3) Define and calculate winter maintenance performance measures based upon the level of service definitions; and (4) Update the SDDOT Snow and Ice Control performance standard to address department capabilities and customer expectations.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $125000
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      South Dakota Department of Transportation

      700 East Broadway Avenue
      Pierre, SD  United States  57501
    • Managing Organizations:

      South Dakota Department of Transportation

      700 East Broadway Avenue
      Pierre, SD  United States  57501
    • Project Managers:

      Bauer, Thad

    • Performing Organizations:

      West Virginia University Research Corporation, Morgantown

      886 Chestnut Ridge Road
      Morgantown, WV  United States  26506
    • Principal Investigators:

      Dey, Kakan

    • Start Date: 20190322
    • Expected Completion Date: 20210430
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01768660
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: South Dakota Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: SD2018-06
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Mar 29 2021 10:47AM