Optimal Placement of Iowa DOT Maintenance Garages: Muscatine and Dubuque Case Studies

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

03/11/15

END DATE

03/31/17

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research Funding
Iowa Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Jing Dong

Transportation Engineer

About the research

Winter road maintenance operations involve complex operational strategies and long-term planning decisions. The objective of this project was to develop an optimization-based approach to sustainable replacement, improvement, and relocation of maintenance garages. In particular, an arc routing problem was formulated to design efficient routes for salting, pre-wetting, and plowing, considering the operational characteristics of winter road maintenance.

The researchers conducted two case studies—for the Muscatine and Dubuque areas in Iowa. In both case studies, heuristic solution algorithms were developed to find the optimal snow routes that satisfy maintenance service level requirements.

Alternative garage locations were compared in terms of number of snow routes, deadhead times, and distances. New garage locations were recommended to replace the existing Muscatine and Dubuque garages.

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