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Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

19-717, TR-779

START DATE

07/15/19

END DATE

09/30/22

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Justin Dahlberg

Acting Director, BEC & NCWTS

Co-Principal Investigator
Brent Phares

Bridge Research Engineer, BEC

About the research

The primary goal for this project was to evaluate the efficacy of A709 Grade QST 65 steel for use in Iowa bridge projects. The objectives of the project were as follows:

  • Identify the current state of use of A709 Grade QST 65 steel in bridge projects
  • Identify the ductility and strength characteristics of A709 Grade QST 65 steel through full-scale laboratory testing
  • Identify the fatigue characteristics of A709 Grade QST 65 steel through cyclic fatigue testing
  • Observe and compare bridge construction similarities and differences to conventional steel construction using a new bridge planned over Sand Creek in Buchanan County, Iowa
  • Compare relative costs of using A709 Grade QST 65 steel versus conventional steel
  • Measure the live load response at various points in time on the Sand Creek Bridge, which was constructed using A709 Grade QST 65 steel

The ductility and strength of the steel was observed through the various laboratory tests completed for this project as well as the testing performed by others. Minimum requirements for this steel grade have been established, and the results of this study indicate that the requirements were met and surpassed.

The modified design of this first-in-the-nation bridge using Grade QST 65 steel over Sand Creek allowed for a reduction in beam size for this relatively short-span, low-traveled bridge due to the increased strength of the steel beams. The total steel cost for these beams resulted in a 20% material cost savings.

The results should give confidence to engineers considering use of this steel grade on bridge construction projects with longer spans and higher traffic counts.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

22-820

START DATE

09/12/22

END DATE

09/30/27

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, PROSPER
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Halil Ceylan

Director, PROSPER

Co-Principal Investigator
Sunghwan Kim

Associate Director, PROSPER

Co-Principal Investigator
Bo Yang

About the research

Cape seals, which have been applied in several countries as well as the United States for many years, have never before been used by counties in the State of Iowa. As part of the Clinton County Pilot Demonstration Project of Cape Seals endorsed by the Iowa Highway Research Board (IHRB) serving as Iowa’s State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC), this study will (1) perform data collection and monitoring activities at the Cape Seal Pilot Demonstration Project site in Clinton County and (2) collect before and after stakeholder input to measure perceptions about the project and cape seal performance. This will be achieved through the execution of the following primary tasks: (1) documenting construction activities and executing a showcase/open house during project construction, (2) monitoring and evaluating pavement performance regarding the effectiveness of the innovations, (3) executing subsequent technology transfer and information dissemination activities and developing implementation plans with recommendations, and (4) publishing final research project documents. This research project would be highly helpful in scientifically documenting the performance of cape seal application over its service life and in providing the necessary data for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and Iowa counties who are considering deploying cape seals as standard pavement preservation practices (if the deployment is successful).

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

TR-792

START DATE

10/13/21

END DATE

02/28/24

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board
University of Iowa

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Antonio Arenas Amado
Co-Principal Investigator
Larry Weber
Co-Principal Investigator
Marian Muste
Co-Principal Investigator
Ibrahim Demir

About the research

The goal of this study is to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the flood reduction benefits of existing on-road structures (ORS). This work will be performed in five selected HUC12s in Iowa. To accomplish this objective the research team will use the process-based hydrologic model GHOST to run multi-year continuous simulations using both historic precipitation conditions as well as increased precipitation conditions that represent the projected changes in heavy precipitation by the mid-and late-21st century.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

18-660, TR-752

START DATE

07/01/18

END DATE

06/30/22

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Brent Phares

Bridge Research Engineer, BEC

Co-Principal Investigator
Katelyn Freeseman

About the research

Longitudinal joints are thought to provide relief from expansion and contraction of the bridge deck resulting from temperature change, shrinkage, and live loads. Historically, however, these joints have been known to leak, allowing chloride-laden water to reach the bottom of the deck overhang and even the exterior girders.

One of the primary conclusions from the previous Phase I project was that the development of cracking in bridge decks appears to be less dependent on the total width of the deck and more dependent on restraint of the abutment to temperature changes and, in particular, temperature gradients. Based on the results of that research, a 115 ft long, 228 ft wide, bridge in Black Hawk County, Iowa was selected and designed to incorporate a thermal isolation barrier.

The objective of this research was to follow and document the design, construction, and performance of the bridge in Black Hawk County with a specific focus on the success of the deck crack mitigation efforts. To achieve this objective, the newly constructed bridge on Viking Road over IA 58 was selected for this study.

A nearly two-year-long monitoring period enhanced by multiple bridge inspections was conducted. In addition, an analytical study was conducted to investigate the efficacy of the isolation barrier on resisting the cracking at the end of the deck for an integral abutment bridge.

The results confirmed the findings from the Phase I research that development of cracking in bridge decks seems less dependent on the total width of the deck. The finite element model results indicated the maximum deck strain to be 46% greater without the effects of the thermal isolation barrier. This indicated that, without the thermal isolation barrier, the Viking Road Bridge could see cracking at the end of its deck.

The researchers recommend the use of a thermal isolation barrier between the abutment and backfill soils for wide integral abutment bridges as one way to lengthen the service life of these bridge decks while reducing maintenance, rehabilitation, and/or replacement costs as well.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

22-795, TR-810

START DATE

05/01/22

END DATE

10/31/23

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, PROSPER
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Halil Ceylan

Director, PROSPER

Co-Principal Investigator
Sunghwan Kim

Associate Director, PROSPER

About the research

Iowa ranks as number one in the nation in egg production, and the Iowa Egg Council reports that between September 2019 and August 2020, Iowa produced nearly 16 billion eggs, meaning that each year Iowa egg industries are responsible for about 1 of 5 eggs consumed in the United States. Egg production adds significantly to the Iowa economy by contributing more than $2 billion in total sales. The cost of distributing in-shell eggs from Iowa to highly populated areas on the east and west coasts represents Iowa’s primary competitive disadvantage, so to reduce freight costs and compete more effectively against other states (e.g., Pennsylvania and California), Iowa has employed a production strategy of delivering approximately 70% of its eggs in liquid or dried-egg form, processed through integrated packing and breaking facilities to food manufacturers and other customers. Based on this strategy, increased liquid or dried-egg production is expected to ensure the price competitiveness of the Iowa egg industry. Consequently, while large amounts of eggshells are also generated from Iowa egg industries, they lie unused as value-added products and get dumped into landfills. Eggshells mainly consist of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) (i.e., up to 94%), identified as the primary element of calcium-based stabilizer materials (CSMs) with the capability for binding soil and aggregates through hydration, cation exchange, flocculation, pozzolanic reaction, and carbonation. The concept of using eggshells as bio-based cementing materials has therefore been investigated and successfully demonstrated overseas, targeting their use as new value-added products (e.g., cement replacement, soil stabilizer, masonry blocks, bone, and dental implants, etc.). Such proven success in other countries suggests the desirability of research in identifying effective and practically-implementable ways of using Iowa eggshell waste to improve engineering properties of Iowa geo-materials (e.g., frost-susceptible soils and low-quality local aggregates) used in either pavement or gravel road systems. It is hypothesized that such an innovative and sustainable approach may lead to the achievement of stronger and more durable pavement foundation and gravel road systems in Iowa.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

22-796, TR-806

START DATE

06/01/22

END DATE

05/31/25

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Behrouz Shafei

Structural Engineer, BEC

Co-Principal Investigator
Brent Phares

Bridge Research Engineer, BEC

About the research

Several state and county engineers are facing the daunting task of maintaining an inventory of corroding steel structures. Capitalizing on the superior strength and durability properties of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), an innovative solution will be developed, tested, and demonstrated through this research project. This will lead to substantial advances in the repair and retrofit of steel bridges subjected to corrosive environments. The use of UHPC is believed to introduce a broad spectrum of benefits in both the short and long term. Specifically, UHPC offers a workable repair that can be applied in the field with minimum equipment requirements. This significantly expedites the repair process, resulting in minimized road closures and traffic disruptions. When repaired using UHPC, steel girders will not only regain their lost structural capacity but will also be protected against corrosive environments by a strong yet passive layer. This is an important feature, which will greatly extend the expected service life of steel bridge girders without having to repeat maintenance actions every few years.

To achieve the ultimate goal of this research project, a holistic set of research tasks and activities have been planned, including conceptual designs, numerical simulations, laboratory investigations, and a field demonstration. With the development of supporting technology transfer materials, the outcome of this project is expected to pave the way to utilizing the advantages of this repair solution for future use and implementation in various state- and county-owned steel bridges.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

22-797, TR-807

START DATE

05/01/22

END DATE

04/30/23

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CP Tech Center
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Kejin Wang

PCC Engineer, CP Tech Center

About the research

In the United States (US), the annual cement consumption is about 94.4 million metric tons, equivalent to approximately 750 million metric tons of concrete production. To reduce the negative environmental impacts, recycled wastes (e.g., slag and fly ash) have been widely used as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). The Iowa Department of Transportation has also been using concrete mixes containing 20% or more SCMs (e.g., slag and fly ash) and blended cement, like Types IS, IP, and recently IL. According to American Coal Ash Association, about 13 million metric tons of coal fly ash is used annually in cement and concrete in US. However, much of the present power plant ashes still hasn’t been beneficially used, mainly because these ashes don’t meet the national and state material specifications, thus generating a great challenge for power plants, concrete producers, and users as well as our society.

This research will address the power plant ash problem and ways to convert the waste (i.e., hazardous ashes) into a sustainable, beneficial, high-valued raw material source that can be used extensively in concrete as an innovative technology.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

22-792, TR-799

START DATE

03/01/22

END DATE

04/30/25

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, PROSPER
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Halil Ceylan

Director, PROSPER

Co-Principal Investigator
Sunghwan Kim

Associate Director, PROSPER

About the research

Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges in not only Iowa but also other states. Recent bans on imported plastic waste into developing countries has forced many US cities and states to take issues related to plastic waste more seriously. In addition, fiberglass-based (also known as glass-reinforced plastic or glass-fiber-reinforced plastic) wind turbine blades from wind powered generators in Iowa are being heaped up in piles in landfills instead of recycled.

The objectives of this research are to determine the structural benefits and environmental suitability of using recycled plastics as a base stabilization agent and then to develop a practitioner’s guide to document best practices to implement such a solution in Iowa’s gravel road network. This will be achieved through the execution of the following primary tasks: (1) characterization of recycled plastic materials, including recycled wind turbine blade materials, (2) identification of innovative solutions of using recycled plastics to stabilize granular roads through comprehensive laboratory assessment, (3) construction and assessment of pilot test sections employing identified solutions through a set of field tests and surveys, (4) determination of the structural benefits and environmental suitability, (5) cost-effectiveness evaluation, and (6) development of best practice guidance documents and implementation recommendations. The successful outcomes of this research will not only help reduce landfill waste but also provide an innovative and less expensive alternative to strengthen the bases of Iowa’s granular roads.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

17-604, TR-721

START DATE

04/01/17

END DATE

04/30/22

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CEER, CTRE, PROSPER
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Jeramy Ashlock

Faculty Affiliate

Co-Principal Investigator
Halil Ceylan

Director, PROSPER

Co-Principal Investigator
Bora Cetin

About the research

The goal of this project was to identify effective and economical methods for stabilizing Iowa granular-surfaced roads to reduce freeze-thaw-related damage using materials and construction equipment that are readily available to county engineer’s offices. To study a range of representative Iowa aggregate sources, subgrade soil types, and weather conditions, 31 test sections were constructed and/or monitored in four counties across Iowa. The test sections included one control section in each county and several mechanical and chemical stabilization methods.

The performance of the stabilized and control sections was evaluated over two years using extensive field and laboratory tests, as well as digital image surveys and surface condition rating reports completed by the grader operators. The field tests included falling weight deflectometer (FWD), lightweight deflectometer (LWD), dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP), and nuclear density gauge (NDG) tests. Samples of the surfacing materials were collected on several occasions before and after each winter and were evaluated through laboratory tests including sieve analysis, Atterberg limits, compaction, shear strength, and durability tests. The construction costs and maintenance costs were tracked with the assistance of the county engineers, and an economic analysis was conducted to compare the relative cost effectiveness of the different stabilization methods.

Among the stabilization methods examined, the most economical and potentially effective were optimized gradation with clay slurry (OGCS), 4 in. cement-treated surface course, and the liquid chemical stabilizers BASE ONE, EMC SQUARED, and Claycrete.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

22-789, TR-803

START DATE

01/01/22

END DATE

12/31/24

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC, CTRE
SPONSORS

Iowa Department of Transportation
Iowa Highway Research Board

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Sri Sritharan

Faculty Affiliate

About the research

Prolonged road/lane closures associated with the rehabilitation or replacement of bridges lead to congested traffic conditions, which, among other consequences, pose an increased risk of safety for both construction workers and the traveling public. In an attempt to minimize these concerns, sophisticated procedures, combining the use of prefabricated bridge components, high performance characteristics of unconventional construction materials, and careful planning, are being developed to expedite bridge projects from conception to delivery. These novel techniques can drastically reduce abridge on-site construction time while enhancing both the quality and durability of the completed structure, and have promoted accelerated bridge construction (ABC) among the bridge design community.

Effective ABC methods require easy-to-fabricate and lightweight modules that can be transported to the site and assembled relatively quickly with commonly used equipment. Moreover, the connections of the system must be properly designed and detailed to facilitate assembly and enable the overall structure to achieve a performance that is comparable, if not superior, to that of a similarly cast-in-place (CIP) system. The Iowa DOT has invested in the development of abutment connection details to facilitate implementation of ABC techniques in its practice.

Building on previous research, this project will advance the accelerated bridge construction method for integral bridge abutments supported on steel piles and constructed using prefabricated and in-situ concrete along with other advanced construction techniques (3D printing) and materials as appropriate.

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