Section 3: Example: Fort Worth District Plan

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District Objective

Keep all district-maintained roadways, bridges and overpasses open during snow and ice events by using anti-icing chemicals prior to the event and de-icing chemicals during the event while limiting the use of sand/salt mixture as much as possible due to environmental concerns, potential damage to bridge structures and large cleanup costs. Entire roadway lengths will not be treated, only bridges, overpasses, steep inclines, known trouble spots and roadways leading to the DFW Airport entrances. Motorists will be warned of hazardous driving conditions through the use of overhead electronic message boards, media interviews and the operation of the District Emergency Call Center “War Room.”

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Maintenance Section Plan

Each maintenance supervisor will prepare/update a Snow and Ice Control Plan and submit it to the Director of Maintenance by September 15 of each year. This plan will include:

  1. a color-coded section map indicating routes to be covered by each crew
  2. a listing of personnel assigned to each route
  3. a listing of equipment (by equipment number) assigned to each route
  4. a listing (by location) of stockpiled materials to be used.
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Personnel – Each maintenance section will operate two shifts during a snow and ice event so that employees will be rested and alert. Commercial Driver License operators will be assigned to dump trucks. Follow vehicles and pickup spreaders may be operated by non-CDL employees. Each maintenance section supervisor will contact his/her area engineer to acquire available personnel to man the follow vehicles. Additional follow vehicle employees may be obtained from the Signal Shop, Courtesy Patrol, District Lab, Sign Shop or District Equipment Shop. Maintenance supervisors will maintain a list of names and home phone numbers for these employees. To field the most experienced crew possible, every attempt should be made to utilize the same personnel each year.

Equipment – All necessary equipment for a snow and ice event will be thoroughly inspected and must complete a test run prior to October 1 of each year and again just prior to each storm event.

Materials – All snow and ice control materials (aggregate, salt, liquid MgCl, and Meltdown 20) will be ordered, tested and appropriately stored/stockpiled prior to October 15 of each year. Sufficient materials will be stocked for a week-long ice/snow event. Materials to replenish depleted stock will be ordered immediately after each storm.

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The War Room will normally begin operation two to three hours prior to a storm event and will remain open for the duration of the event. War Room personnel will stay in contact with adjoining districts, cities, local law enforcement agencies and the DFW Airport to determine any specific areas needing attention. In addition, they will provide roadway conditions to motorists calling our hotline for assistance. District Public Information Officers will rotate shifts so that at least one employee is working the War Room at all times during a storm event to conduct media interviews and to provide assistance and direction to the maintenance sections.

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Safety – A safety meeting will be held in every maintenance section prior to each storm event to discuss storm-related safety issues.

Weather Forecasting – Maintenance supervisors will be responsible for monitoring the local forecast and calling employees to work based upon the forecast. As soon as each maintenance section is open, the War Room should be notified.

Storm Event – All bridges, overpasses, steep inclines, known trouble spots and roadways leading to the entrances of the DFW Airport will be pretreated using liquid anti-icing material. If time permits, all lanes at these locations will be pretreated, but at the very least, one lane will be pretreated. Pretreating may be completed a couple of days prior to the storm event. When precipitation begins to fall, apply Meltdown 20 (granular) using conventional spreaders or pickup spreaders to create a solution that will delay freezing. Repeat this process as necessary. A sand/salt mixture can be applied for traction when necessary, but the granular MgCl applications should continue. Use motor graders during a snow event to remove the snow and prevent melting and refreezing on the roadways. Slushing with dump trucks should begin as soon as possible to accelerate melting of snow and/or ice.

Post-Storm Review – The Director of Maintenance shall call a meeting of all maintenance supervisors and other key personnel shortly after the storm event to discuss procedures that worked and identify those that did not so changes may be implemented prior to the next storm event.

Post-Storm Cleanup – Aggregate used for snow and ice control creates an undesirable condition on the roadways after a storm event due to decreased traction and dust; therefore, use of this aggregate should be kept to a minimum. Aggregate needs to be removed as soon as practical. All TxDOT and contractors’ sweepers will be utilized continuously until cleanup is complete. All equipment used during the storm event will be thoroughly washed and inspected to determine if any repairs are required. Repairs shall be promptly completed to ensure equipment is ready for the next storm event.

Post-Storm Reporting – Immediately after a storm event, each maintenance section will report the following information to the Director of Maintenance:

  • total man-hours worked
  • total overtime hours paid
  • total overtime cost
  • total labor cost
  • ice aggregate used (cy)
  • salt used (lbs)
  • liquid MgCl used (gal)
  • granular Meltdown 20 used (lbs)
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