An Overview of Winter Services For Roads

Winter Services For Roads

Road crews across the country spend an incredible amount of time and money to keep roads clear during winter weather. Here are some of the services they employ to keep roads safe and drivable throughout the winter.

For example, in Markersbach and Oberwiesenthal in Germany, 25 road surveyors are employed to clear snow and ice on 255 kilometers of roads at altitudes ranging from 400 to 1,200 meters.


During winter weather events, the safety of the traveling public needs to consider asphalt paving seattle. This includes snow and ice removal, gritting, and anti-icing.

Before a storm, PennDOT spreads a solution of salt and anti-skid materials to help prevent ice from bonding to the road surface. In addition, trucks can be equipped with automatic spreader control systems that adjust the amount of salt applied as vehicles travel at varying speeds.

Ithaca uses around 2,400 tons of salt a winter, but how much depends on the severity of the previous season and the forecasted weather. Crews focus on main roads first, then move to secondary and residential streets.

Priority levels are assigned to each road based on traffic volume, location, and route classification (paved or unpaved). These priority levels can be confusing to drivers. However, all motorists should realize that service on low-priority levels 3 and 4 roads may be significantly reduced during and after severe snowfall, ice storms, and other winter weather events.


Roads and footpaths are gritted to help motorists get about, and also for pedestrians. The salt spreaders use rock salt, which works well in temperatures from -6 degC to -8degC.

The lorries are fitted with GPS systems that track their route and speed. They’re also monitored after each run so you can be sure that they are treating your road correctly.

A priority system is in place to ensure that roads and footways are treated first in areas of greatest need. This means that the main routes to schools, transit routes, major bus routes, and emergency services are treated as soon as possible.

We know that some areas of the network may not be treated during severe weather, but we will try to carry out this work whenever conditions allow. This is especially true for the footways and secondary road routes.

Snow Removal

Winter operations are designed to provide customers with safe and driveable roads as quickly as possible after a snowfall. To accomplish this, the Authority relies on its fleet of plow trucks equipped with advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, air and pavement temperature sensors, and advanced reporting tools that enable real-time tracking of plowing, spreading, and deicing operations.

County roads are prioritized for snow removal based on traffic volumes, road classification (paved or unpaved), and emergency services like fire stations and paramedics. Class 1 roads (school bus routes and major collector streets) typically receive snow removal resources first.

Next, Class 2 roads are plowed and sanded. These minor collector roads serve communities and government offices but carry less traffic than Class 1 roads. Finally, Class 3 routes, which are paved and gravel residential streets and cul-de-sacs, get plowed.


Highway agencies use salting and other deicing materials to keep drivers safe on the roads during snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Although this strategy is effective, it can cause significant environmental impacts such as pollution, soil erosion, and public and private property damage.

To help minimize these effects, state and local highway agencies are experimenting with new methods and equipment to reduce the amount of road salt released into the environment. This includes adjusting service levels to weather conditions, using less salt and more effective methods of deicing, and monitoring salt use to ensure the proper service level is achieved.

During winter storms, PennDOT trucks spread a mixture of salt to melt ice and small stones called anti-skid to provide traction. The spread of salt depends on the temperature, precipitation type, and a road’s traffic volume.

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