TRB Webinar on Springtime Damage to Roads and Seasonal Load Limits

TRB will conduct a webinar on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, from 2:00PM to 3:30PM EST on springtime damage to roads and seasonal load limits. Low-volume roads in seasonal frost areas are susceptible to damage from heavy vehicles during the spring thaw. The maintenance-free life of a low-volume road in a seasonal frost area averages less than half that of a similar road in a nonfrost area. Some transportation agencies apply spring load restrictions, which restrict allowable loads during those times when the roads are most susceptible to damage. Because these restrictions can cause local economic hardships, it is critical to optimize the load restriction window. This webinar will discuss the background of seasonal thaw and load restrictions. The presenters will also demonstrate some of the websites transportation agencies use to allow users to check local road thawing conditions.

Participants must register in advance of the webinar.

Webinar Presenters

  • Maureen Kestler, USDA Forest Service
  • Tim Andersen, Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Gregg Larson, Applied Research Associates

Moderated by: David Orr, Cornell University

Webinar Outline

  1. Basic thaw weakening theory
  2. Overview of methods used to determine thaw weakened conditions.
  3. Prediction models incorporating measured/computed subsurface conditions and weather forecasts.
  4. Demonstrations of websites
    • Frozen or thawed pavement conditions
    • Thaw predictions
  5. Question and answer session

Registration Information

Go to the following website to submit your registration:

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Registration questions? Contact Reggie Gillum at