How We Measure Performance

MTO has a provincial performance target to meet the bare pavement standard 90 per cent of the time, each winter across the Province. The standard for bare pavement depends on highway class and the bare pavement achievement varies depending on the type of winter. Some highways with low traffic remain snow packed for most of the winter.

The timeframe for each class of highway is:

Highway Class Bare Pavement Standard
1 Bare pavement within eight hours of the end of a winter storm, e.g Highway 401, Queen Elizabeth Way, Highway 11 four-lane sections
2 Bare pavement within 16 hours of the end of a winter storm, e.g. Highway 17, Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario
3 Bare pavement within 24 hours of the end of a winter storm, e.g. Highway 35
4 Centre bare pavement within 24 hours of the end of a winter storm; fully bare pavement when conditions permit, e.g. Highway 516. Centre bare means a 2.5m strip in the middle of the road.
5 Snow packed driving surface within 24 hours of the end of a winter storm. Excess snow is plowed off and sand is applied where required to improve friction.

Highway winter maintenance is a continuous operation once a winter storm starts. Equipment usage and material placement are active 24 hours/7days per week during and following a winter storm, until bare pavement is reached.

A severe or long-term winter storm may delay restoration to normal driving conditions, even with the best efforts of highway crews. Rapid drops to very cold temperatures or long periods of very cold temperatures can also delay the restoration of bare pavement.

MTO's provincial performance target is to meet the bare pavement standard 90 per cent of the time. Results are annually reported to public. The chart below shows the averaged Provincial Achievements for each winter season for the last 10 years.

Winter Season Performance Target (%) Provincial Achievement (%)
2016-2017 90 97
2015-2016 90 97
2014-2015 90 92
2013-2014 90 92
2012-2013 90 95
2011-2012 90 96
2010-2011 90 94
2009-2010 90 96
2008-2009 90 91
2007-2008 90 95

Winter Severity Index

Each winter season has a unique mix of weather requiring varying levels of effort for highway maintenance crews to meet MTO’s performance target to restore bare pavement following a winter storm. In a few cases, weather conditions make it difficult to meet the targets.

The Winter Severity Index (WSI) is a measure of how challenging the winter has been with respect to the amount of precipitation including snow, blowing snow, ice, rain, freezing rain and temperatures. Very cold temperatures and temperatures that fluctuate around the freezing mark can both be challenging for winter maintenance activities.

The ministry’s Road Weather Information System is used to forecast winter weather and icing conditions. There are 148 stations across Ontario that monitor current conditions and provide site-specific forecasts. This helps maintenance crews prepare the right equipment and materials before a winter storm, act quickly once the winter storm arrives, and adjust their activities as conditions change.

MTO uses the information from the stations, along with Environment and Climate Change Canada weather stations, to calculate the Winter Severity Index for each winter season. The stations are shown in the image below.

Map of Ontario showing the Locations for the ministry’s 144 Road Weather Information Stations and Environment Canada’s 64 weather stations.

MTO Road Weather Information System Stations and Environment and Climate Change Canada Weather Stations

The Winter Severity Index is displayed on a scale from 0-100. Each score is a combination of different weather factors (e.g. snowfall, temperature, freezing rain, rain, and amount of blowing snow). This allows for consistent comparisons from year to year winthin each contract area.

Performance by Contract Area

The bar graphs and charts below show how the area contractors performed over the last 5 winters (2012-2016), and the legend shown here describes the information compiled for each contract area.

The green line, for the Bare Pavement Standard shows how often contractors met the provincial target for snow clearing on the contract area’s classes of highway. The green line, for Bare Pavement Performance, shows the percentage of time the contractor achieved the provincial target.
Every year, the ministry aims to meet its targets for snow clearing on different highway classes, 90 per cent of the time. This is indicated with a red line. The red line is the Annual Provincial Target of 90%.
The blue line, for Winter Severity Index, measures the winter season based on snowfall, temperature, blowing snow, freezing rain, and length of storms. The blue line, for Winter Severity Index, measures the winter season harshness based on snowfall, temperature, freezing rain, rain, and amount of blowing snow.

Contract Areas

West Region

Central Region

Durham

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Durham from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 97 28
2013-2014 96 36
2014-2015 98 30
2015-2016 97 21
2016-2017 98 51

Halton/Peel

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Halton/Peel from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 95 19
2013-2014 92 35
2014-2015 94 28
2015-2016 99 17
2016-2017 98 52

Niagara/Hamilton

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Niagara/Hamilton from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 96 24
2013-2014 92 43
2014-2015 94 37
2015-2016 98 19
2016-2017 99 47

Simcoe

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Simcoe from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 94 57
2013-2014 89 69
2014-2015 92 53
2015-2016 97 40
2016-2017 96 68

Toronto/York

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Toronto/York from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 99 25
2013-2014 96 40
2014-2015 97 31
2015-2016 97 20
2016-2017 98 55

Eastern Region

Bancroft

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Bancroft from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 96 40
2013-2014 93 47
2014-2015 92 45
2015-2016 96 33
2016-2017 98 60

Kingston East

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Kingston East from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 99 31
2013-2014 92 54
2014-2015 98 44
2015-2016 99 25
2016-2017 100 53

Kingston West

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Kingston West from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 98 29
2013-2014 87 51
2014-2015 95 38
2015-2016 96 25
2016-2017 97 54

Ottawa

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Ottawa from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 N/A 45
2013-2014 91 56
2014-2015 95 53
2015-2016 97 37
2016-2017 96 71

Northeastern Region

Cochrane/ New Liskeard

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Cochrane/ New L. from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 93 71
2013-2014 94 83
2014-2015 86 72
2015-2016 90 54
2016-2017 95 62

Huntsville

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Huntsville from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 97 65
2013-2014 94 81
2014-2015 94 74
2015-2016 94 49
2016-2017 99 57

North Bay

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the North Bay from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 96 61
2013-2014 95 77
2014-2015 93 63
2015-2016 94 57
2016-2017 98 55

Sault Ste. Marie

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Sault Ste. Marie from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 95 78
2013-2014 94 99
2014-2015 88 89
2015-2016 95 60
2016-2017 96 75

Sudbury

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Sudbury from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 98 60
2013-2014 97 81
2014-2015 96 61
2015-2016 98 53
2016-2017 97 62

Northwestern Region

Kenora

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Kenora from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 99 56
2013-2014 69 78
2014-2015 77 67
2015-2016 99 50
2016-2017 94 66

Thunder Bay East

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Thunder Bay E. from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 94 65
2013-2014 87 82
2014-2015 88 71
2015-2016 97 48
2016-2017 93 58

Thunder Bay West

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Thunder Bay W. from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 94 52
2013-2014 79 80
2014-2015 92 68
2015-2016 99 47
2016-2017 89 62

West Region

Chatham

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Chatham from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 98 35
2013-2014 88 58
2014-2015 95 46
2015-2016 99 27
2016-2017 98 48

London

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Chatham from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 96 38
2013-2014 91 60
2014-2015 91 52
2015-2016 98 36
2016-2017 98 47

Owen Sound

Line graph showing the Bare Pavement Performance and Winter Severity Index in the Owen Sound from 2011-2016.
Years Bare Pavement
Performance
Winter Severity
Index
2012-2013 97 57
2013-2014 100 88
2014-2015 94 64
2015-2016 100 48
2016-2017 100 58

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