2013 National Roadway Safety Award

The winter performance measure system that began in District 5 and has become a state standard for winter storm responses received the 2013 National Roadway Safety Award.

ITD budgets approximately $30 million annually for winter maintenance, snowplow operations and operator salaries. The department places a high priority on providing excellent customer service, including winter operations that increase safety for motorists and the strategic plan goal for efficiency.

Until recently, the department had difficulty assessing how effectively its winter maintenance budget was being allocated and whether maintenance efforts were positively affecting winter mobility. Using best practices and lessons learned, ITD now accurately measures its winter maintenance.

The new system is based on empirical data from nearly 100 Road Weather Information Sites located throughout the state and on storm data from the National Weather Service, in collaboration with private consultant Vaisala, a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement.

ITD’s maintenance crews review the data plots and make decisions about road-treatment options, application rates, and treatment timing. After storms have passed, ITD uses the storm-severity index, the winter-performance index, and the winter-mobility index to measure the effectiveness of its treatments and the impact of those treatments on driver safety and mobility.

ITD’s WPM system is the only known tool of its kind and has generated widespread interest nationally and internationally. Additional information, with the intent of possible implementation, has been requested by Kansas, Pennsylvania, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Canada and Europe.

“A distinguished panel of roadway safety exerts evaluated a very competitive pool of entries and your entry … was selected in the Operational Improvements category,” wrote announced Gregory M. Cohen and Tony Furst. The former is executive director of the Roadway Safety Foundation, and Furst is associate administrator of FHWA’s Office of Safety.

“This award recognizes the particular benefits of the Winter Performance Measure System and the commitment to roadway safety of your organization. It places you and your entry in an elite status, worthy of national recognition.”

Published 8-9-13