Snow Plow Truck Route Optimization for Kansas’s Roadway System (Phase 1)

Management of winter maintenance operations is a complex process, and critical to provide safe travel routes for the traveling public. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a study in 2011 to provide state departments of transportation (DOTs) with the knowledge and tools to address road weather conditions to improve reliability, safety, and mobility on the roadway system during winter months. Several state DOTs have attempted to streamline their snow and removal process using a variety of methods, including heuristic approaches, mathematical models, or off-the-shelf software. For example, Ohio DOT recently employed a route optimization program to model three of their 10 Districts. The results from these three Districts showed an increase in efficiency and a reduction in the number of plow trucks needed to accomplish their snow removal. State DOTs spend substantial resources on snow and ice control activities and operations. Kansas DOT spends from $7 million to $22 million annually. Currently, KDOT winter maintenance operations involve deploying a fleet of 591 snow plow trucks, including a crew of 1,182 drivers and approximately 200 engineering technicians to maintain more than 25,000 lane miles. The deployment of such a large number of trucks over a vast maintenance area creates an operational problem in determining the optimal maintenance routes and fleet size. To address this issue, this proposed research will develop a route optimization plan for KDOT’s snow plow trucks in one District (e.g., District 4). It is expected that the result of this research can apply to other Districts after successfully conducting a pilot study in one District.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $87770
    • Contract Numbers:

      K-TRAN: KU-20-3



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Kansas Department of Transportation

      Eisenhower State Office Building
      700 SW Harrison Street
      Topeka, KS  United States  66603-3754
    • Performing Organizations:

      University of Kansas Center for Research, Incorporated

      2291 Irving Hill Drive, Campus West
      Lawrence, KS  United States  66045
    • Principal Investigators:

      Tran, Daniel

    • Start Date: 20190701
    • Expected Completion Date: 20221231
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01751173
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Kansas Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: K-TRAN: KU-20-3, RE-0794-01, C2149
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Sep 1 2020 1:53PM