Congress Topics

Providing a safe and sustainable winter road service

1. Extreme situations, disasters
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
• definition and qualification of the concept of an extreme event;
• organization in exceptional situations, management tools, modes of activation, evaluation;
• communication plans and management of crisis information;
• operational implementation for extreme climate events;
• strategic management of salt storage, controls and inventory;
• debriefing, assessments and fields analysis of the event;
• new rules, staff management, engaging with stakeholders/external partners (e.g. private individuals, the army, fire service and other emergency services).

2. Climate change and the environment
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
a) climate change:
• methodological approaches to climate change and how to simulate its evolution;
• projecting the incidences on winter service taking regional differences into account;
• taking the increased variability in the events into account (occurrence and amplitude);
• impact of climate change on “winter road climatology”;
• operation solutions to meet climate change and how they will evolve to suit changes in the future;
• changes required in organizations, manpower, equipment and materials (to meet the needs in case of extreme events);
b) environment:
• the theoretical approach and specific studies;
• how improve the operational approach?
• 50 years of de-icer use and its environmental impact;
• carbon footprint of the winter service activity;
• the lifecycle of the materials (from the mine to the environment);
• impact on the road environment; environmentally friendly approaches;
• comparison of the impact of the various modes of treatment in winter;
• how can we improve the environmental impact of winter service?

3. Road weather information
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
• policies and management of road weather data;
• integration of weather information with predicted traffic, planned maintenance, anticipated incidents etc.;
• using road weather information to enhance infrastructure resilience;
• using road weather forecasts to benefit winter road operations;
• best practices in using road weather information including; increasing user acceptance and public support, dissemination of weather, traffic and operations information, the use of real time information;
• using road weather information to model and forecast surface transportation and road weather conditions;
• road weather and surface condition data collection, including mobile data;
• sustainability and liveability issues pertaining to road weather activities;
• the role of weather information in operations decision support systems.

4. Road users and road safety
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
• types of road users and their special requirements for winter maintenance (e.g. lorries, cyclists and pedestrians);
• road user equipment in winter: winter tyres, studded tyres, snow chains and related regulations and controls;
• traffic flow under winter road conditions, traffic management for special road users (e.g. lorries);
• road safety; influence of winter road conditions, influence of winter maintenance;
• accident rates, types and severity;
• road user behaviour analysis in winter to improve road safety;
• accident analysis, and characteristic of the accidents in winter period;
• traffic signal optimisation to improve road safety;
• economic effects of winter and winter maintenance, better traffic flow, travel time reliability;
• communication and road user information, social media, user feedbacks, complaint management;
• driver education for winter driving;
• global advice and information to users when travelling.

5. Winter maintenance management and planning
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
• road users’ needs; how to define the right level of service;
• understanding the economic impact of accidents; defining the acceptable level of risk;
• integrating winter service into a sustainable development strategy;
• cost-benefit: achieving the optimum balance?
• improving training for winter service professionals;
• strategic planning and organization (what rules, standards, evaluation, legal aspects);
• relationships between all parties / stakeholders (managers, operators, road users etc.);
• quality and performance management;
• outsourcing the service versus in-house implementation.

6. Equipment and products
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
a) equipment:
• new equipment and new techniques e.g. rotary brushes, trailers, etc.;
• winter service vehicle markings and lighting;
• choice of versatile equipment, lower fuel consumption;
• specifications for equipment, optimized spreader controls, work on standardization, maintenance;
• protection against snow-drifts and avalanches;
• fixed auto-spray systems;
b) products:
• new or alternative materials;
• specification of materials, work on standardization;
• improvement in the use of abrasives (types, dosage);
• best practice for the complete range of de-icers;
• surface treatments, innovative surfacing materials;
• self-maintaining structures (bridges and sidewalks).

7. Winter service in urban areas
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
• strategy to deal with a dense road network with large variations in traffic volume;
• optimization and minimization of the routes for maintenance vehicles;
• treatment methods and vehicles for winter on bicycle lanes;
• how to create a continuous bicycle lane network with different types of infrastructure during winter event?
• sidewalk and pedestrian areas, accessibility (for those with reduced mobility), tactile paving maintenance;
• equipment and layout of urban areas; what to do with the snow, remove or thaw?
• best practices for tramways, buses and other public transportation, including the tracks and access to stations;
• solutions to ploughing different surfaces without disadvantaging any transport mode.

8. Tunnels and bridges
Papers shall deal with the following topics:
• maintenance under severe winter conditions;
• measures to improve safety, mitigating the risks due to the winter conditions;
• drainage and formation of stalactites;
• implications of winter event or winter operations on the behaviour of the users;
• management of snow clearance on the bridges;
• alternative methods of bridge de-icing;
• impact of anti and de-icers on bridges and tunnels according to building materials;
• methods to protect concrete surfaces exposed to de-icers;
• estimation and measurement of snow load on structures;
• specific methods and strategies for winter service on bridges and tunnels.