University of Vermont Transportation Research Center

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DOTs and other transportation agencies are increasingly using automated methods for snowplow route optimization, which have been demonstrated to produce significant savings when they result in the implementation of new routes. However, many route optimization projects have fallen short of implementation due to technical/operational issues with the routes produced or institutional barriers to change. These shortcomings can be substantially mitigated with improvements to the process of soliciting, selecting, and managing the route optimization software or service provider. This project’s objective was to provide DOTs with the tools needed to make these improvements. The key lessons from this project are provided in two complementary documents: a Decision Support Guidance document and a Contracting Language Template. The Decision Support Guidance provides DOT staff with an accessible and in-depth discussion of the technical requirements for route optimization and the key decisions DOTs should consider when developing the project scope and managing a provider. The Contracting Language Template provides DOTs with a flexible template to assist with the development of a scope of work for a Request for Proposals (RFP) for automated snowplow route optimization services. The language suggested in the Contracting document is intended to ensure that DOTs and service providers have a shared understanding of the scope of work that the DOT requires and to maximize the likelihood that the project will result in safe, feasible, implementation-ready routes.