Summer and winter road maintenance
Road maintenance is regulated by Roads Act no. 13/1997 coll. and implementing regulations 104/1997 coll. This act defines the obligation of road authorities to repair any damages which make roads impassable.
Winter road maintenance
Road and motorway maintenance, including technological processes, is specified by legislation.
Local roads maintenance is defined by a regulation of the particular town or municipality and also by a winter maintenance plan, which includes the following specifications:
- lists of maintained roads, pavements, stairways, pedestrian bridges and other public areas,
- timetable with deadlines of maintenance works,
- procedure of snow removal from town or municipality,
- solution procedures in calamitous situations,
- winter maintenance dispatching centre - operatives responsible and contact information.
Summer road maintenance
Maintenance in this period of time can be divided into the following phases:
- cleaning following winter,
- spring (in some areas also autumn) regular scheduled street cleaning,
- regular road and pavement sweeping.
Each phase is scheduled.
Vehicles for maintenance of various road types
1. Vehicles for road maintenance in urban areas
- Vehicles for summer maintenance – street sweepers with a central suction nozzle, transverse cylindrical broom, auxiliary rotary broom at the front , sweepings storage space, and sprayers to prevent dust from churning.
- Winter service vehicles – usually two-axle vehicles equipped with a grit hopper and a snowplough at the front, with a 3m wide snowplough which can be tilted to both sides, often equipped with brine impellers and sprayers.
2. Vehicles for road and motorway maintenance
These vehicles are constructed similarly to those used for the road maintenance in urban areas, but with the following differences:
- They are heavier,
- they are three-axle vehicles,
- they are equipped with snowploughs over 3,5m wide,
- snowploughs are either arrow-shaped or folding, after unfolding they are up to 6 metres in width.
3. Vehicles for pavement maintenance
- Vehicles for summer maintenance: street sweepers of various construction types up to 3,5 tons in weight, either with steerable front axle or articulated vehicles (they allow better manoeuvring on narrow pavements). These vehicles are equipped with a container for sweepings, front or rear suction nozzle, front or rear rotary brooms and also sprayers preventing dust from churning.
- Winter service vehicles: they are identical, but smaller versions of vehicles for road maintenance in order to be able to maintain pavements of 1,5 to 2m wide.
Vehicles for various purposes
- for either road cleaning or winter maintenance,
- their applicability is limited, that is why they are used only by firms providing winter road maintenance.
- they are used all year round,
- they have a universal chassis,
- in summer it is possible to mount a suction nozzle and a sweeping device on the chassis,
- in winter it is possible to mount a sweeping device and a snowplough,
- they are vehicles for both road and pavement maintenance.
These types of vehicles are used more and more due to their operational efficiency.
- intended for special tasks, e.g. agricultural tractors with a rear or front snowplough,
- these tractors are also being equipped with a grit hopper,
- earth-moving machines, on which a sweeping broom or a snowplough can be mounted.
- snow blowers – walk-behind, mechanical, or mounted on the rear instead of a snowplough.
Road maintenance materials
Proper and timely application of road maintenance materials in winter is a key factor affecting traffic safety and flow. The materials are divided into:
Grit, sand or gravel. Abrasives are used predominantly:
- in areas where use of de-icing chemicals is impossible,
- in areas where it is important with respect to transport accessibility,
- at crossroads,
- on steep hills,
- in bends,
- at bus stops.
Fine-grained material (grains smaller than 2mm) is suitable for gritting icy surfaces as well as pavements maintained by snowplough.
Coarse-grained material (grains of 4–8mm) is used for gritting surfaces covered with snow which has not become ice.
2. chemical (de-icing)
- sodium chloride - used at the temperature of about -5°C and becomes ineffective when the temperature exceeds -8°C,
- calcium chloride – used at the temperature of about -15°C,
- mixture of both substances – used between -8°C and -15°C.
- brine - solution of chloride and water; an immediate action of brine on icy surfaces either by direct application or by spraying it on already applied grit.
The mixture of inert and chemical materials in the ratio of 5:1 has also proved effective.