This report analyzes the current service level of winter operations in Indiana and explores opportunities to optimize performance. We analyze data regarding winter operations managed by INDOT and provide specific quantified estimates of opportunities to improve efficiency while also managing costs. For our exploration, we use data provided by INDOT sources, qualitative insights from interviews with INDOT personnel, literature survey data and benchmarking information, salt and supplier data analysis, and simulation. As part of our research, we developed a simulation model to visually represent the impact of alternate management of trucks for snow removal and a dashboard to understand the impact.

Our analysis suggests the following: (1) opportunities exist to coordinate salt delivery by suppliers and combine local city salt purchases with INDOT’s purchases to save costs, (2) adjusting routes will reduce deadhead, (3) understanding truck maintenance and truck locations improves performance, and (4) incorporating critical locations into snow route planning will meet service thresholds. These insights provide implementable recommendation initiatives to improve winter operations performance.

The simulation tool developed in this project simulates various weather events to draw insights and determine appropriate resource allocations and opportunities for improving operational efficiency. The report thus provides a quantifiable approach to winter operations that can improve the overall service level and efficiency of the process.

Report Number



winter operations optimization, fleet analysis, resource allocation analysis, route optimization, improved level of service, maintenance cost analysis, cost optimization

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version