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.
Digital Object Identifier
Blandford, Benjamin L.; Lammers, Erin; and Green, Eric R., "Snow and Ice Removal Route Optimization in Kentucky" (2017). Kentucky Transportation Center Research Report. 1577.