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Snow and Ice Removal Route Optimization in Kentucky
Kentucky Transportation Center Research Report
  • Benjamin L. Blandford, University of Kentucky
  • Erin Lammers-Staats, University of Kentucky
  • Eric R. Green, University of Kentucky

Each year the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) spends $40-$80 million removing snow and ice from the state’s roadways. Snow and ice removal are accomplished through a system of snow and ice removal routes that are designed to account for location and the attributes of trucks, facilities, materials, and roadways. To identify strategies that will improve and optimize KYTC’s snow and ice removal operations, Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) researchers used ArcGIS and its Network Analyst extension to study the performance of the Cabinet’s current routing procedures. Building from this investigation, researchers developed optimized snowplow routings for four counties located in KYTC Districts 6 and 7 using Arc’s Network Analyst and the Vehicle Routing Problem toolset. Optimized routings were developed for individual counties, with snowplows assigned to routes based on truck type and route priority. Researchers experimented with several routing iterations before arriving at a final version. The routing solution developed will result in KYTC being able to treat all roadways using fewer trucks. Once successfully implemented, the potential cost savings — for the four counties in which optimized routings were developed — could reach $225,000 per year. Generating optimized routings throughout the state of Kentucky could potentially result in millions of dollars saved for the Cabinet.

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© 2017 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

Information may not be used, reproduced, or republished without KTC’s written consent.

The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the United States Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes and should not be considered an endorsement.

Citation Information
Benjamin L. Blandford, Erin Lammers-Staats and Eric R. Green. Snow and Ice Removal Route Optimization in Kentucky. (2017)
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