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Salt and Snow Management Course 

Image of attendess at Salt and Snow Management Course

The Salt and Snow Management Course is a prime example of the significant steps the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) is taking to advance partnerships and collaborate with local governments.  The course was funded in partnership by PennDOT’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and FHWA STIC Incentive Program Funding. In 2016, the program’s first year, 229 on-site classes were held in 25 counties, training more than 600 participants. The number of classes offered, and the number of participants continues to grow each year. The course includes hands-on training on all aspects of winter maintenance. Additionally, the LTAP team developed a webinar and workbook, available on LTAP’s website, to make the training information more widely accessible to interested municipalities.  

How Does It Work? 

The course focuses on winter maintenance operations with topics ranging from planning and organizing, public relations, material usage and application rates, equipment types and calibration. The course also covers various operational procedures, such as plowing and spreading, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) regulations, safety and environmental awareness. Attendees learn about the latest techniques for using pre-wetting materials and anti-icing procedures for more effective and economical operations. Course attendees typically come from local public works departments that engage in winter maintenance operations, including street supervisors, public works directors, roadmasters, crew foremen and equipment operators. 

The training shares techniques and best practices in winter maintenance and prepares municipalities to better meet Pennsylvania’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) requirements. During the training course, municipal staff learn about the benefits of purchasing salt through the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) cooperative purchasing program (COSTARS) and how to manage winter services when salt supplies run low. 

More information on this course is located on the LTAP website

 

What Are The Benefits? 

The Salt and Snow Management Course increases awareness of winter maintenance operations best practices in local municipalities so roads are clear and safe for drivers during winter weather. The training promotes operational efficiencies, equips municipalities to better meet MS4 requirements and offers guidance to local officials in the planning and organizing of winter operations, as well as public relations.  

Innovation in Motion  

LTAP offers this training as part of their regular curriculum throughout the year across the state. A short video was created by the STIC to showcase the Salt and Snow Management Course and how FHWA STIC Incentive Program Funding helped implement this course across Pennsylvania.  

Image of classroom instruction of Salt and Snow Management Course

One attendee from Watsontown Borough, Northumberland County said, “One of the most important things I learned from the training was to be prepared. After the training, we all sat down and met as a team to develop the Winter Maintenance Plan. We made sure all our equipment was working, up-to-date and ready to go, and we decided who is responsible for which locations and developed a call list. This training helped us become aware of what should be discussed in detail ahead of time to be most efficient.”  

Attendees at a class in Dover Township, York County, noted that the course provided all the aspects of winter maintenance planning. After learning about the best practices of winter maintenance, attendees felt much more confident to put some of the lessons learned into action, including the best placement to lay down salt, proper plowing techniques, what temperatures to use with the materials, when and how to get the salt and what amount of salt a municipality should have on hand during a snow season.

More Information

For more information about this innovation, contact the STIC Management Team.