Slide 1 - AGA Richmond chapter by wuyunyi


									       VDOT Northern VA 2010 Snow Removal

November 17, 2010
Allison Richter, Northern Virginia Infrastructure Manager
                        Improvements to VDOT’s Snow
                        Program in Recent Years
•   Accurate, timely weather forecasting for each county through a
    customized contract with Meridian, close coordination with NWS

•   Development and implementation of detailed mobilization plans
         •   Number and types of equipment needed based on forecast

•   Anti-icing (pre-treating) critical locations

•   Incident command at McConnell PSTOC
         •   24/7/365 command-and-control structure with duty officers
         •   Situational awareness
         •   Inter-agency coordination with Virginia State Police, Fairfax County Police, Fire and
             Rescue, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Maryland State Highway
             Administration, etc.

•   Co-location of Customer Service Center at MPSTOC
         •   (703) 383-VDOT; direct assignment to responsible staff
         •   About 135 calls on a non-snow day; about 300 calls/day for a typical 6-inch storm;
             34,000 calls for February 2010 snowstorms
                        February 2010 Storms

• Historic snowfall
       • More than 45 inches of snow
           – about 6 inches Jan. 29
           – about 4 inches Feb. 2
           – over 34 inches on Feb. 5-6
           – about 5 inches on Feb. 10-11
           – low temperatures during and after the event
       • 2,200 pieces of equipment, including over 200 pieces of heavy
         equipment from other VDOT areas and 300 from out of state and other
• By comparison: Blizzard of 1996 left 38 inches of snow;
  had 960 pieces of equipment

• Meeting the challenges of interstates and high-volume roads
       • 17,000+ lane miles of interstates, primary, secondary, and residential
         streets (8,000+ lane miles in Fairfax County)
       • Change in nature of operation—loading/hauling in addition to plowing
         on the Beltway, I-95/I-395, I-66, HOV lanes and gates                  3
                VDOT Roads in Northern Virginia

• VDOT is responsible for Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun and
  Arlington (except secondary roads) counties and I-66 from
  D.C. to Front Royal

• 17,679 lane miles
       • 8,930 interstates
       • 8,749 major routes           Loudoun
         and neighborhood streets                 Fairfax


      17,000 Lane Miles Equals . . .

6 Trips Across the Continental U.S.

                                   About the 2009-2010 Winter
      • Heavy snowfall required front loaders/dump trucks to load and
        haul snow from the Beltway, I-95/395 HOV, I-66 “X” lanes, some
        major intersections

      • In February, VDOT pushed, moved or hauled 20 million tons of
        snow from roads in northern Virginia

Where concrete barriers prevented piling, snow had to be loaded from the Beltway, I-95/395 HOV lanes
and I-66 “X” lanes (above). Some snow was placed under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (right).
                           About the 2009-2010 Winter
           • Widespread power outages, hundreds of downed trees
           • Snow drifts up to 14 feet (Loudoun County)

        VDOT assisted
responders and utility
 crews throughout the
storms. Crews helped
           dislodge this
       Dominion Power
    truck, stranded in a
14-foot-high snowdrift
   in Loudoun County.

                            Before the Storm

• Forecast review with National Weather Service and Meridian
  (VDOT’s on-call weather service)

• District-wide conference call to discuss mobilization plan

• Pre-treating (anti-icing) critical locations 1-2 days prior
        • 500 lane miles of interstate ramps, bridges, overpasses
          (Springfield Interchange, Beltway at Route 1, I-66 at Gainesville)
          with liquid magnesium chloride
        • 200 lane miles of high-volume roads (Routes 1, 7, 28, 29, 50,
          Fairfax County Parkway, etc.) with salt brine

• Mobilization begins several hours prior to forecasted start
        • Contractor trucks equipped, stocked, deployed
        • Trucks strategically staged along major routes

• Incident command is activated at PSTOC when a major storm
  is forecasted
Mobilization Levels

                      VDOT Resources

• 18 local maintenance headquarters (9 in Fairfax, 4 each in
  Prince William and Loudoun, 1 in Arlington)

• About 2,600 (up from 1,700) pieces of equipment (state
  and contractor) are available for the 2010/2011 winter
       • AVL pilot program ongoing—over 90 vendors signed up so
         far with over 400 pieces of equipment
       • Pick-ups (landscape-type trucks) typically used in
         subdivisions, and can push up to 18 inches of snow
       • Different trucks for interstates versus subdivisions

• About 90 percent of crews and equipment are contracted
       • Training includes classroom sessions, snowplow simulators
         and snow route visits

                    VDOT Road Priorities
Roads are generally cleared from highest volume to lowest:
• Interstates (I-66, I-95/395, I-495) made passable, then cleared
  to bare pavement
• High-volume routes (Routes 1, 7, 28, 50, Fairfax County
  Parkway, Prince William County Parkway, etc.)
• Main thoroughfares in neighborhoods
• Remaining neighborhood streets and cul-de-sacs

• Concurrent Priorities:
        • Shoulders and gore areas
        • Hauling snow where barriers prohibit piling (I-95/395 HOV,
          Beltway, construction sites)
        • I-95/395 Reversible HOV lanes and ramps
        • Commuter lots (15,000 spaces along I-95 and I-66)

                     Subdivisions and low-volume roads
                    “Doing the most good in the least amount of time”

• Plowed when 2+ inches have fallen
• Main thoroughfares in neighborhoods are repeatedly plowed
  during a storm
• Once main roads are clear, crews work on the remaining streets
  and cul-de-sacs
                    Vale Spring Drive, Oakton (right)
   Stop sign at Hillcrest Place and Parramore Drive,
                                  Alexandria (below)

                            Subdivisions and low-volume roads
                           “Doing the most good in the least amount of time”
• Will be made “passable”– an 8’ to 10’ wide path that is drivable with
  caution; remains snow-packed, rutted
• Not curb-to-curb or to bare pavement
• Hills, curves, intersections, problem spots sanded for traction
• One pass for typical storms; major storms require multiple passes and
  heavier equipment such as front loaders
Harrowhill Lane, Burke (not passable)

                                                      Slidell Lane, Springfield (passable)   13
           How neighborhoods are assigned and plowed

•Neighborhood roads are divided into 650 snow maps district-wide
        • Maps are updated annually to ensure all state-maintained roads are
• Once main subdivision thoroughfares are completed, plow
• Are assigned up
  to three maps each
• Complete one map
  at a time
• Report when at least
  one pass is made
• May be temporarily
  reassigned for
  emergencies, special

                                                     Swinton Drive, near Braddock
                                                     Road (passable)              14
                              Example of a Snow Map

One of 650 snow maps assigned to plow drivers in Northern Virginia. “Hotspots” are identified by area   15
superintendents and added to maps annually.
                    Completing Subdivisions
  • Maintenance and office staff check progress and ensure completion
    in subdivisions

  • Subdivisions are considered complete when a driver reports the
    maps completed and monitors have spot checked them.

  • Once subdivision streets are passable, resident inquiries are
    “mapped” by the Customer Service Center and logged into VDOT’s
    reporting system and assigned to crews to revisit.

  after plow

                          Customer Service Center
     • To give crews a chance to finish assigned snow maps, VDOT asks
       that residents wait a few days after the storm ends before reporting
       roads as “missed.” Once crews have finished their routes, resident
       complaints are mapped into a database that feeds lists of locations
       back to the area headquarters to revisit.

     • Dozens of staff work 12-hour shifts to answer resident e-mails,
       take calls and log them into the system.
         This center has been expanded this year to Salem, VA.

    During February’s
         storms, calls
 inundated the center
    long before snow
 stopped falling. Staff
    worked to answer
more than 34,000 calls
  and 5,000 e-mails to
        the info lines.                                                   17
                  FEMA Reimbursement
December 2009 Storm
• FEMA only allows 48 hours of operations to be claimed
• They pay 75% of the claim
• Statewide: 75% of 48 hours’ cost equals about $8.7 million

February 2010 Storms
• Reimbursement Process not complete yet
• 75% of 48 hours rule still applies
• Estimate statewide is $10 million
• For both blizzards—total estimated compensation will be $18.7

            2009/2010 Budgets Vs. Actual Costs

Statewide Budget
• $130 million
Statewide Actually Spent
• $267 million
NOVA Budget
• $27 million
NOVA Actually Spent
• $130 million

           Communication: A Layered Approach
•   Public Affairs issues round-the-clock updates and provides on-
    camera/phone interviews before/during/after storms
•   Public Affairs stationed at incident command

Elected Officials
•   Call reserved hotline
•   Detailed updates from VDOT’s County Liaison

•   Call 511 for road conditions
•   Visit for road conditions and traffic cams
•   Follow 511northernva on Twitter for road conditions and accidents
•   Visit for snow removal tips
•   Visit for news and road conditions
•   E-mail or call 703-383-8368 to report
    unplowed roads                                                      20
           Get Snow Information Online
YouTube                            Twitter


                           Post-Storm Activities

•   Clearing Debris
        • Crews addressed downed trees and debris removal as part of ongoing
          daily maintenance after the blizzards
        • Work was scheduled into the spring; residents and motorists can report
          issues online or to 703-383-8368

•   Addressing Potholes
        • Governor implemented statewide
          “Pothole Blitz”
        • Crews filled almost 31,000 potholes
          in March during the Governor’s
          “Pothole Blitz”
        • Crews using nine “Pothole Killers”
          as well as traditional methods
        • Citizens encouraged to report
                                                           One of nine “Pothole Killers”
          potholes online or to 703-383-8368               working in northern Virginia.

                          What Worked Well
•   Incident command, co-location with agencies at PSTOC

•   Early mobilization and staging of equipment at critical locations
    (including subdivisions)

•   Pre-treating and clearing interstates, high-volume roads

•   Planning ahead for additional crews and equipment

•   Morale and dedication

•   Equipment reliability (mechanics 24/7; few breakdowns)

•   Coordination with Virginia State Police, Fairfax County Police, 911,
    Fire and Rescue, utility companies, other agencies in emergency

•   No lives were lost!                                                    23
                       Since 2009/2010 Winter
• Subdivision response
      • Updated subdivision maps with more current information
      • Reevaluated treatment options
      • More troubleshooting fleets

• Expanded call center
      • Salem call center will supplement
      • Earlier consistent communication will decrease calls

• AVL pilot program
      • Better monitoring of equipment
      • More accurate responses to citizen inquiries


VDOT Looks Forward to a Successful Winter Season
                  in 2010/2011!


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