Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science, Civil Engineering

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Civil Engineering and Construction

Committee Chair

Xiaoming Yang

Committee Member 1

Junan Shen

Committee Member 2

Roger Purcell


Managing winter roadway treatment can be a challenge where winter is not severe, but snowfall is experienced a few times a year. Winter weather makes the road dangerous and challenging to travel. Most US states have approached and implemented different winter road maintenance practices to make transportation of goods, services, and people uninterrupted. However, the state of Georgia has always struggled to deal with winter weather. Recently, there has been some progress. The Georgia Department of Transportation prepared a winter road treatment plan in 2019, and they are still working on improving it. Increasing emphasis on pre-treating the road rather than relying heavily on snow plowing and other post-treatment is the current trend in winter road maintenance. Pre-treatment reduces chemical use and has several other benefits. In this research, a pre-treatment requirement model was developed to calculate the amount of brine required to melt different snow and ice amounts. In the last three years, Georgia faced a few snow events; three were selected for analysis using the developed model. The study revealed that adjusting the pre-treatment amount at smaller snow events can eliminate the need for post-treatment. The model suggests that different parts of a route require different amounts of pre-treatment. The application of the brine amount can be adjusted based on snow accumulation prediction by the model. The model sensitivity analysis showed that more snow is accumulated at lower temperatures, and the effectiveness of brine in melting snow diminishes. Higher wind speed increases snowmelt resulting in lowered brine application requirements. The decision-making tool can optimize the amount of brine used by suggesting location and pre-treatment amount. The output of the model can be used in better decision making on winter road pre-treatment.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material