Environmental Services and Planning

Programs

Winter Storm Management

ADOT is responsible for keeping transportation corridors safe and operational during winter months when snow and ice accumulate on Arizona highways. ADOT Operations personnel use a variety of winter storm management techniques to ensure emergency services remain available and that commercial, employment, education, and recreational activities are not disrupted during adverse weather conditions. Common practices include snowplowing, applying anti-icing and deicing chemicals, spreading abrasives to improve traction, removing trees to reduce roadway shading, installing snow fences to control drift, and providing traffic controls.

ADOT has completed an Environmental Overview of its winter storm management activities on state highways. The Environmental Overview evaluated current operations, assessed their effectiveness, and provided recommendations within an environmental and socioeconomic context. During this process, ADOT held an agency/stakeholder meeting in Prescott and four public meetings in Tucson, Globe, Show Low, and Flagstaff in early 2008. Once agency and public comments were addressed within the document, the Environmental Overview was finalized in October 2008.

The recommendations outlined in the Environmental Overview have been incorporated into the statewide Winter Storm Management Operations Manual. The Operations Manual includes an ambient monitoring program that will evaluate chemical and abrasive usage on key Arizona highways. The program will determine any related environmental impacts through biological sampling and will examine the effectiveness of best management practices. The information learned through this program will be used to update operations, and the Operations Manual, so that ADOT can better adapt to changing conditions and technologies as required.

For additional information, please contact Emily L. Christ at 602.712.7682.