Gateway Operations - Privacy Policy - English.pdf Disclaimer Policy.pdf #QualityPolicy #EnvironmentalPolicy

Gateway Operations Limited is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified and is recognized by the New Brunswick Construction Safety  Association (NBCSA)

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who is responsible for maintaining and rehabilitating the Route 1 highway?


Gateway Operations, in partnership with the Province of New Brunswick, is responsible for the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation (OMR) of the Route 1 highway limits and its affiliated roadside assets based on following defined project specifications and levels of services.  Gateway’s responsibility extends from the periods of June 01, 2011 and June 30, 2040.



2.  What are the limits of the Route 1 highway maintained and rehabilitated by Gateway Operations?


The Route 1 limits operated, maintained and rehabilitated by Gateway Operations, extend from km marker 0 in St. Stephen to km marker 239* in River Glade and includes:


*The following areas are operated, maintained and rehabilitated by others:


o Multi-lanes between kilometer marker 120.6 and kilometer marker 123.0

o Eastbound on ramp at Exit 120 (Market Place)

o Ramps at Exit 121 (Chesley Drive)

o Ramps at Exit 122 (Market Square)



3.  What are the Snow and Ice Control levels of service for the Route 1 highway and how are they achieved?


The levels of services for snow and ice control on the Route 1 highway are detailed here, and are scheduled between the periods of October 15th and April 15th, annually.


Gateway’s primary methods for achieving the levels of services for snow and ice control include the following:


24/7. In general, the highway receives regular patrols by trained highway supervisors for monitoring condition of highway as needed to;

o ensure road and road side assets are free of any immediate hazards or defects

o dispatch work crews for snow and ice control services, and/or other services as warranted.

o report road conditions for the NB511 website

This service involves the direct application of liquids, either liquid sodium chloride (salt brine) or salt brine blended with beet juice, applied to the road surfaces in advance of a forecasted winter storm or frost event.   This service is only scheduled when conditions warrant. The performance of this service depends largely on pavement temperatures, climatic conditions and the material of choice. In general, materials lose effectiveness as temperatures fall below freezing. Salt brine is the general choice of material when pavement temperatures are -7°C and rising.  In colder temperatures, and generally -15°C and rising, a blend of salt brine and beet juice is typically applied as this material is intended to have longer performance expectations during a storm.  Anti-icing is not scheduled during extreme cold temperatures and or when rain is forecasted.

This service generally begins when snow accumulations reach a depth of 2cms on the roadway.  Plowing is continuous during the storm event with brief interruptions for fueling and/or reloading of snow and ice control materials for de-icing.  Plowing is conducted with combination plow trucks that are dedicated to specific routes as further described in the plow route maps.  Each plow route will typically take approximately 2 hours to complete during ideal conditions.  Plow cycle times are expected to exceed 2 hours during inclement weather conditions, blowing snow and reduced visibility.

This service is the application of snow and ice control materials during plowing operations. There are a variety of snow and ice control materials, each having various performance characteristics and limitations.

De-icing is intended to facilitate the mechanical removal of snow and ice from the roadway by applying dry road salt and/or dry road salt with pre-wetting liquid. The choice of pre-wetting material for Route 1 will consist of the following:

o Liquid sodium chloride (referred to as salt brine) – becomes ineffective below -10°C

o Salt brine blended with liquid Beet Juice – becomes ineffective below -13°C

o Liquid calcium chloride – becomes ineffective below -15°C


When pavement temperatures fall below -15°C snow and ice control materials will have no effect.  In these circumstances sand may be applied in slippery sections.



4.  Do pavement temperatures have any effect on snow and ice control (SNIC) materials and when are SNIC materials applied?


Yes, pavement temperatures influence the performance expectations of SNIC materials, as do other conditions such as cloud cover, humidity, wind, traffic and moisture.  Each SNIC material, either intended for anti-icing or de-icing, has limited performance expectations and will be applied as conditions warrant in strict accordance with project specifications.



5.  What is Anti-icing and when/why is it applied to road surfaces?


Anti-icing is a pro-active application of liquid snow and ice control materials applied to the road surface with specialized equipment in advance of a forecasted frost or snow storm event.   The selection of anti-icing materials will depend on availability, environmental constraints and performance.  The choice of anti-icing materials for Route 1 are included here.


Anti-icing is only intended to keep the roads from frosting or freezing up at the beginning of the winter storm, enabling plow trucks to complete their first plowing (de-icing) cycle during the storm. Anti-icing is not intended to reduce or replace plowing or de-icing operations during a winter storm. In general, it is intended to facilitate the removal of snow and ice at the beginning of a storm. Anti-icing is also intended to mitigate the development of snow pack and/or frost from developing on road surfaces during the early part of a winter storm.  


In the absence of anti-icing and/or when conditions are unsuitable for anti-icing, the road at the beginning of a winter storm is exposed to slippery driving conditions. These slippery conditions are a hazard and will generally remain present until pavement temperatures increase above freezing and/or until such time that de-icing operations are activated and completed.  



6. What is De-icing and when/why is it applied to road surfaces?


De-icing is the reactive application of snow and ice control materials applied to road surfaces via combination plow trucks during a winter storm event.   De-icing materials are intended to lower the melting point of snow and ice facilitating their mechanical removal from roadway surfaces during plowing operations. The selection of de-icing materials will depend on availability, environmental constraints and performance.  The choices of de-icing materials for Route 1 are included here.



7. What is Road Salt and when is it effective?


Road Salt is sodium chloride, an inorganic material spread on road surfaces during de-icing operations to facilitate the mechanical removal of snow and ice from the road surfaces.


Road salt is an efficient snow and ice control material for melting snow and ice from road surfaces and is particularly effective when the pavement temperatures are near or slightly below freezing.  However, road salt becomes less effective as pavement temperatures drop and ineffective when pavement temperatures fall below -10°C.



8. What is Salt Brine?


Salt brine is liquid sodium chloride, comprised of road salt and clean water blended at a 23% concentration by weight.  Salt brine can be applied to the road surfaces via one or more of the following:


 


9. What are pre-wetting materials and why are they used?


Pre-wetting materials have many functions and benefits. Pre-wetting materials are applied to dry road salt applications during de-icing operations.  Prewetting materials may consist of one or more of the following:



The primary reasons for pre-wetting dry salt during de-icing operations will vary depending on the chosen materials and road conditions, but are intended to achieve the following benefits:


10.  What are the different snow and ice control (SNIC) materials and what is common to Route 1?


There are a variety of snow and ice control (SNIC) materials in the market as listed in Table 1 below, all having specific characteristics, properties, performance, availability, cost and impact.  The selection of SNIC materials will primarily depend on availability, environmental constraints and performance.













The SNIC materials chosen for Route 1 will consist of the following:


o Sodium chloride in form of solids and liquids for de-icing and anti-icing respectively.

o Calcium chloride in the form of liquids for de-icing

o Agriculture bi-products (such as beet juice) in the form of liquids for de-icing and anti-icing.



11. Is sand used on Route 1?


Sand is an abrasive material that offers no melting capability and is technically not considered a snow and ice control material.  Roads with a high level of service, such as Route 1, will restrict the use of sand as it has negative environmental impacts and no melting capacity.  Sand is generally only applied to slippery sections on Route 1 when pavement temperatures are too cold for snow and ice control materials to remain effective.




12. What are plow routes and plow cycles?


Each plow truck has a designated plow route to follow during a winter storm event.  A plow cycle is the time calculated for a plow truck to complete its full plow route.  Plow routes are designed based on a theoretical plowing speed, generally 42 km/hr, and calculated by a distance resulting in a set plow cycle time. This cycle time excludes brief interruptions for refueling and replenishing plow trucks. Plow cycle times are generally less than 2 hours for a high level of service and greater than 2 hours for lower levels of service.  


Route 1 is comprised of 8 plow routes assigned to multi-lanes and 9 plow routes assigned to ramps. Each plow route has a plow truck assigned to each travel lane. Multi-lanes include 2 travel lanes and ramps include generally one travel lane.  The plow cycle times for Route 1 are designed not to exceed 108 minutes, considering that additional cycle time is needed for refueling and replenishing plow trucks. In general, each plow truck will travel approximately 80 kilometers to complete its plow route and will typically complete the route in less than 2 hours under ideal circumstances. It is important to note that plow routes will have a longer plow cycle time during extreme conditions and reduced visibility.  A map of each plow route can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayoperations.ca/sprm.html




13. What are the typical speeds for plow trucks?


A safe travelling speed for a plow truck during a winter storm is approximately 42 km/hr.  This speed is also considered a theoretical plowing speed for determining plow cycle times.  This is considered industry standard.  Plowing speeds greater than 50km/hr are generally not permitted due to the increased risk of accidents and damages to road side assets.  Plow speeds less than 42 km/hr are required during extreme conditions and reduced visibility.  




14. What Plowing Configurations are designed for Route 1?


The plowing configurations designed for Route 1 incorporate both independent and tandem plowing based on specific routes and cycle times as outlined in the plow route maps.  The preferred configuration is independent plowing which is intended to accommodate traffic flow more effectively than tandem plowing. However, independent plowing is generally restricted to day time hours and cannot be deployed in areas containing insufficient median space for snow storage capacity or where concrete median walls/barrier devices are present.  In these cases, the tandem plowing configuration will be deployed. Regardless of the plowing configuration, each plow truck will work in unison of each other moving snow from the roadway in one pass.




15.  What is independent plowing?


Independent plowing is when two or more plow trucks, separated by a safe distance to accommodate traffic flow (preferably at least 1-kilometer separation), are moving snow independent of each other on a multi-lane.  In this configuration the lead plow truck, located in the passing lane, will move snow towards the left side and the rear plow truck, located in the driving lane, will move snow towards the right side.  Due to the large separation between plow trucks, this configuration accommodates the movement of traffic.  Independent plowing is only possible in cases where there is sufficient snow storage capacity in the median and cannot be deployed in areas containing concrete median walls/barrier wall devices.




16. What is tandem plowing?


Tandem plowing is when two or more plow trucks, working with little separation, are moving snow across a multi-lane in one direction, generally towards the right. In this configuration, the lead plow truck, generally located in the passing lane, will move snow to the driving lane where the rear plow truck, located in the driving lane, will further move snow towards the right side. When tandem plowing is in effect, motorists are reminded it is not safe to pass plow trucks and are advised to remain behind plowing operations until the plow trucks.  The opportunity for passing plowing operations will become available when the plow trucks separate a safe distance from each other or are in an independent plowing configuration.




17.  When is it safe to pass plow trucks on multi-lanes?


It is safer to remain behind plow trucks during winter operations; however, motorists will have an opportunity to pass plow trucks during the following:



It is not advisable to pass plow trucks when they are working in a tandem plowing configuration and/or during nighttime operations.  During tandem plowing operations, snow windrows develop between the lead and rear plow trucks resulting in a hazard should motorists attempt to pass between the plows.  


An independent plowing configuration will be adopted for all areas of the Route 1 highway with the exception of the following areas that contain median barrier walls and/or median continuous guiderails requiring a tandem plowing configuration:



In general, plows will begin transitioning from independent plowing to tandem plowing in advance of median barrier walls and/or median continuous guiderail locations.  Further, plows will begin transitioning from tandem plowing to independent plowing as soon as reasonably possible following the departure of median barrier walls and/or median continuous guiderail locations.




18. Why is there more snow observed on the passing lane of a multi-lane during or shortly after a winter storm?


In the case of the Route 1 multi-lanes, the passing lane receives the same level of service as the driving lane.  There is one plow truck assigned to the passing lane and a second plow truck assigned to the driving lane during each snow storm event. Snow is expected to accumulate on both travel lanes between plowing cycles.   In most cases, traffic volumes are higher in the driving lane as opposed to the passing lane which will lead to the redistribution of snow accumulation from the driving lane to the passing lane resulting in additional snow accumulation on the passing lane.  This circumstance may lead to a perception that the passing lane is receiving less service than the driving lane.




19. Why do some sections of highway appear to be in better condition than others during a winter storm?


In the case of Route 1, all sections of highway receive the same level of service with plow trucks continuously plowing their assigned routes throughout a winter storm.  The condition of Route 1 extending from St. Stephen to River Glade will vary depending on:



As Route 1 incorporates 8 separate plow routes for multi-lanes and 9 separate plow routes for ramps, plow trucks will be at different locations along the highway throughout the storm. As the plows continue to move snow along their designated routes, the section of highway directly behind the plows will have less snow accumulation as opposed to the section of highway in front of the plows. During a storm, this circumstance may lead to an incorrect perception that some sections receive a greater level of service than others.  Plow trucks will continue moving snow until the final level of service has been achieved in all sections of highway.




20.  Are the plow routes and plow truck locations available to the public?


To understand the designated plow route(s) in your area, visit: http://www.gatewayoperations.ca/sprm.html.  


To view the location of our plow trucks during a winter storm, in real-time, visit: http://www.gatewayoperations.ca/spl.html



21. Where might the public learn about current road conditions, travel advisories and construction activities for Route 1?


Road conditions are illustrated on the NB511 site. The information included on the NB511 site for Route 1 is as reported by the Highway Supervisors responsible for road patrolling. The schedule for Road Patrolling is as follows:


During the winter season, road conditions on Route 1 are reported a minimum of 3 times daily (generally at 6am, 10am and 2pm) and additionally when road conditions change.  Descriptions of the terminology adopted for reporting road conditions are as defined in the provincial NB web site under ‘Definitions’ (available here).

Travel advisories and/or construction activities for Route 1 are also posted on NB 511, as warranted and reported by the Highway Supervisors during both summer and winter seasons.  The descriptions of the terminology adopted for travel advisories are as defined in the provincial NB web site under ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (available here).