Fu, L., Thakali, L., Usman, T., and Kwon, T. J. (2014). Application of WRM Performance Models for Evaluating the Implications of Varying Service Standards. Final Report submitted to Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
This report describes the result of a study aiming at illustrating how models of winter
road maintenance (WRM) performance measures can be applied to investigate the
implications of different winter road maintenance level of service (LOS) standards
under specific winter weather conditions. The study introduces a cost-benefit
framework integrating the two primary cost and benefit components associated with
winter road maintenance services, namely, material costs, safety and mobility benefits.
Various maintenance input, output and outcome models are developed using five
seasons of event-based data. The expected cost of maintaining a given highway route
is captured by a salt application model, which relates the amount of salt used over a
snow event to various event characteristics as well as the LOS class of the highway.
The benefit from WRM for a highway route is quantified on the basis of the expected
safety improvements, i.e., reduction in the number of collisions, and, the expected
mobility improvements, i.e., increase in trip making utility and reduction in travel
time. A case study is conducted to determine the optimal traffic threshold for
demarcating the Class 1 and 2 highways in Ontario. The study has demonstrated the
feasibility of applying the proposed quantitative approach when assessing alternative
service standards under different climate conditions. Lastly, future research directions
are highlighted at the concluding section.