Correlation Analysis of MDSS and NEWINS

A 2017 study has developed a Nebraska Winter Severity Index (NEWINS) to provide an independent, weather-based assessment of seasonal winter conditions for the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT). NDOT can use the NEWINS as a baseline threshold to assess the performance of its winter maintenance activities (i.e., treatment activities, plowing, and material usage). Further, NEWINS can be correlated with winter maintenance operation costs and material usage. In 2017, NDOT is also implementing Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) software and equipment in tandem with a Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS). The AVL-MDSS package will allow NDOT to better account for material usage with tactical forecasts and treatment recommendations for winter weather events. The proposed research would elevate NDOT as a pioneer among the MDSS Pooled Fund Study (PFS) stakeholders. A detailed correlation and comparison analysis between the recently created NEWINS and the MDSS would provide further context regarding the benefits and potential limitations of both the NEWINS and MDSS. Further, an independent forecast sensitivity assessment of the MDSS would be beneficial to all PFS stakeholders and promote continued improvement of the MDSS. This research proposes to conduct a detailed correlation analysis of both the MDSS and NEWINS for 2017-18 and 2018-19 in order to provide NDOT with a refined NEWINS with forecasting potential and an independent evaluation of the MDSS performance to ensure its accuracy.