Wisconsin Snow and Ice Management Technology Evaluation

Granting Agency: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Researchers: David Noyce (PI), Andrea Bill, Kelvin Santiago

Primary Project Objectives

Winter weather has a profound impact on the transportation system, and consequently on every aspect of modern society exposed to winter conditions. Snow and ice reduce pavement friction and vehicle maneuverability, which in turn leads to slower speeds, decreased roadway capacity, and adverse effects on traffic safety. In Wisconsin about 20 percent of the state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) maintenance budgets are spent on winter road maintenance. Evaluating new snow and ice technologies can aid in reducing costs while increasing safety during Wisconsin’s winter.


During the 2009-2010 winter season, WisDOT began implementing several new technologies to make winter maintenance operations more efficient and cost-effective. Among the technologies implemented were: TowPlow, Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and A Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS). These new technologies main purpose is to increase efficiency while reducing costs. The TOPS Lab can determine the cost-benefits of each technology by evaluating performance, as well as the economic side including labor and fuel.