Centennial’s ally in fast snow plowing? Math

Snow plow

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Algorithms are the new way to plow!

Working with CH2M Hill engineers, the Centennial Department of Public Works is using a system developed in Europe, Canada, China and Japan to let Garmin GPS devices optimize routes snow plow trucks use to attack snow in the city.

“We optimized routes by equalizing the mileage of priority one and priority two routes for each of the city’s ten snow plow trucks,” said Ops Manager Monty Sedlak. “The routes were further optimized by combining the city’s ten priority one routes into five routes with two trucks per route. This action increases the efficiency of plowing priority one routes and enabled trucks to get to priority two streets faster.”

Plow truck operators told FOX31 Denver they love the new system as it helps increase efficiency by 42 percent when it comes to clearing streets after snow storms.

This in effect increases the fleet size by 1/3 with the same number of snow plow trucks.

Other cities of comparable size average 25 miles per snowplow, Centennial now averages 67 miles per plow — reducing the amount of time required for a single truck to complete its route with an outcome of clearer streets and increased public safety for the community.