A resource for winter maintenance decision makers
By Marcus Scherer, PhD
It’s often said that it’s hard to put a price tag on safety. But when it comes to winter road safety, there are numerous sources that have tried to do just that with some very eye-opening results.
A report from the environmental engineering department at Washington State University, for example, estimated in 2015 that the US spends $2.3 billion each year to remove snow and ice from highways. This figure did not include the added costs associated with salting city and rural roads.
Another survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in that same year documented escalating costs to keep our roads safe. Of the 23 states that participated in the survey, Pennsylvania reported the highest expenses, spending $272 million that year. The state’s transportation department additionally estimated a total of 2.5 million man-hours needed to respond to the storms.