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Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

DTFH6113D00009, TO 693JJ318F000163

START DATE

07/02/18

END DATE

09/30/20

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CP Tech Center
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Steven Tritsch

Associate Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

This project is a task order under the main Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-sponsored project, “Technical and Support Services for the FHWA Construction Management Team.”

Significant progress has been made in the last 20 years in the understanding of the planning, design, construction, and materials associated with pavement preservation activities. Pavement preservation has become important to state work schedules in order to maintain their road infrastructure in good condition. Even when preservation is a routine element in an agency’s infrastructure management program, the process of selecting which roadways to treat, which treatments to apply, and when to apply them may be far from routine.

In order to coordinate these efforts, FHWA in partnership with AASHTO, published the “Transportation System Preservation Research, Development and Implementation Roadmap.” This document was created through the collaboration of state, provincial, and local government agencies, industry and academia in three regional, multi-day workshops in 2007. The workshops identified gaps in knowledge in pavement and bridge preservation and the research necessary to fill those gaps. Projects were ranked according to their perceived necessity and available funding. The goal was to provide a document that could guide future research efforts and avoid duplication of efforts, thereby conserving limited research funding.

The objective of this project is to advance a pavement preservation research roadmap that will guide pavement preservation research efforts in a productive and non-duplicative manner. The updated roadmap will reflect the significant changes that have resulted from the transportation authorization legislation Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and the subsequent Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The research roadmap will identify priorities, gaps, and overlap in ongoing and proposed research and build on the priorities of the FHWA Preservation Expert Task Group.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

DTFH6113D00009, TO 5010

START DATE

09/15/16

END DATE

12/31/18

SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Peter Taylor

Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

This project is a task order under the main Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-sponsored project, “Technical and Support Services for the FHWA Construction Management Team.”

The objective of research is to produce four independent 1.5-hour long, web-based training courses that focus on the how-to of constructing quality concrete pavement preservation techniques. The specific topics to be included in the four courses are: full-depth patching, partial-depth patching, dowel bar retrofitting, cross-stitching, and diamond grinding.

The production of these courses will draw upon project team experiences with construction techniques applicable to these technologies, as well as with developing effective WBT. The team will produce training that meets the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI) learning standards and meets NHI Electronic Learning Management System (LMS) requirements. Materials prepared by the project team for the WBT will follow the requirements of NHI’s Style and General Standards Guide.

The team will develop new content, including a video of the techniques, worker interviews, and animations that will enhance adult learning. The team will draw from existing resources, including recently published materials such as second edition of The Concrete Pavement Preservation Guide (FHWA Publication No. FHWA-HIF-14-014), which was prepared by the National CP Tech Center. The guide covers full- and partial-depth repair, dowel bar retrofit, cross stitching and diamond grinding, including some aspects of construction.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

DTFH6113D00009, TO 693JJ318F000157

START DATE

06/01/18

END DATE

12/31/19

SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Katelyn Freeseman

Acting Director, BEC

Co-Principal Investigator
Steven Tritsch

Associate Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

This project is a task order under the main Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-sponsored project, “Technical and Support Services for the FHWA Construction Management Team.”

The objective of research is to produce a series of tech briefs that focus upon the capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technologies, as well as the coordinating and delivering of webinars covering the developed content. The project also includes support for the Every Day Counts 5 (EDC-5) Summits and development of an implementation plan. These combined efforts will advance the state of the practice with respect to the use of UAS technologies.

UAS technologies are not necessarily new as they have existed for well over 150 years as militaries sought to attack adversaries without putting their own forces at risk. Certainly, some of the earliest unmanned aerial vehicles are uncontrolled balloons carrying ordinates. Even more, hobbyists have been flying UAS for well over 40 years. Recently, the availability and ease of use of UAS has seen a rapid growth as computing and sensing technologies have made them safer and easier to operate. Such availability has opened the door to leveraging these technologies for the construction, management, and operation of infrastructure. The potential for UAS is exciting and creates opportunities to “see” local, regional, and global transportation systems from a perspective never before possible.

Unmanned Aerial Systems for Emergency Management of Flooding Webinar

Webinar held on April 29, 2018 featuring Dr. Robin Murphy, Raytheon Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University and Director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue. The webinar covers using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for emergency response efforts, particularly focusing upon flooding events. The webinar highlights lessons learned and best practices from past efforts, including examples from the response efforts associated with Hurricane Katrina (‘05), Harvey (‘17), and Michael (‘18).

Unmanned Aerial Systems for Construction Applications Webinar

Webinar held on July 10, 2019, featuring Paul Rogers, Principal at North Carolina based KPR Engineering, and Basil Yap, Program Manager for the NCDOT Aviation Division’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program. This presentation focused upon using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for construction applications. Topics included QA/QC, construction progress monitoring, and UAS platform needs specific to each use. Rogers and Yap also discuss collaboration between state agencies and private consultants based upon North Carolina’s past experience.

The Use of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems for Land Surveying Webinar

Webinar held on December 5, 2019, featuring Paul Wheeler, UAS Program Manager at the Utah Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics, will present on using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for land surveying. Topics will include surveying tools, rotorcraft versus fixed-wing UAS, GPS equipment, ground control points, flight planning, photogrammetry point cloud versus LiDAR point cloud, and QA/QC.

Use of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems for Bridge Inspection Webinar

Webinar held on Dec. 12, 2019, featuring David Cheyne and Brian Merrill of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. This presentation focused upon using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for bridge inspection. Topics include advantages of UAS for bridge inspections, which type of bridge inspection will benefit, UAS platforms and sensors, FAA regulations regarding UAS for bridge inspections, and UAS limitations.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

FHWA Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-12-H-00010

START DATE

09/13/12

END DATE

12/13/18

SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Peter Taylor

Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

The goal of this Cooperative Agreement project was to help bring the latest concrete pavement innovations, knowledge, and technologies to state highway agencies (SHAs) in support of the Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) program goals. The purpose of the AID-PT program is to document, demonstrate, and deploy innovative pavement technologies, including their applications, performance, and benefits.

With the guidance of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Concrete Pavement Technology (CP Tech) Center delivered products and technical support to SHAs so that they might be better equipped to manage their investments in concrete pavements. The objectives of this project were to advance the following:

  • Sustainability aspects of concrete pavements and materials
  • Preservation and maintenance techniques for concrete pavements
  • Long-life concrete pavements
  • Innovative concrete materials
  • New technologies and advancements in concrete pavement placement

The CP Tech Center provided nationwide open houses or showcases and workshops, presentations, and webinars in the five advancement areas to an average of 4,500 individuals representing associations, industry, academia, and SHAs each year. In addition to the technology transfer through these activities, the Center developed and delivered a number of resource webpages and a wide array of publications, which are also available online. Links to these are provided below.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

DTFH6113D00009, TO 693JJ318F000253

START DATE

08/15/18

END DATE

09/30/20

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CP Tech Center, CTRE
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Steven Tritsch

Associate Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

This project is a task order under the main Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-sponsored project, “Technical and Support Services for the FHWA Construction Management Team.”

BIM for Infrastructure (previously known as Civil Integrated Management or CIM) encompasses many innovative engineering technologies, which are making their way into the mainstream of infrastructure management and project delivery. These technologies revolve around the use of automation and enhanced processes for gathering, analyzing and managing digital data for tasks and decision-making throughout the lifecycle of an asset. Collected data are represented by the implementation of modeling, sensing and data management technologies, like 3D/xD models, intelligent compaction, e-Construction, Lidar, and many others and produce significant amounts of electronic data. Incorporation of the data into the transportation projects has proven to be very challenging particularly due to implementation of BIM for Infrastructure. FHWA has strategic initiatives to implement BIM for Infrastructure to include all these aspects which was defined as the collection, organization, managed accessibility, and use of accurate data and information throughout the life cycle of a transportation asset. The concept and practices of BIM support improvements in how agencies can accomplish with planning, environmental assessment, surveying, construction, maintenance, asset management, and risk assessment. This research will support the FHWA’s ability to provide strategic support needed for the deployment of BIM for Infrastructure in the United States transportation industry.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

08/23/18

END DATE

12/31/19

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CP Tech Center
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Peter Taylor

Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

Real-time smoothness (RTS) technology is arguably one of the most impactful technologies for concrete pavement construction quality control resulting from the Second Strategic Highway Research (SHRP2) Program. Contractors participating in equipment loans through the SHRP2 Solutions Implementation Assistance Program have quickly realized the benefits of RTS for improving smoothness for as-constructed concrete pavement in order to achieve smoothness specification requirements while maximizing incentives and minimizing disincentives and corrective actions.

Over the course of implementing this technology through equipment loans and workshops, it has become apparent that additional guidance for specifying and achieving concrete pavement smoothness is needed. Many agencies struggle to understand what a reasonable specification looks like with respect to smoothness limits and incentive/disincentive levels. And frequently they do not fully understand the impacts of design factors (curvature, grade and super-elevation changes, leave-outs, etc.) and prescriptive requirements for materials, mixtures, and construction equipment, on the contractor’s ability to achieve the smoothness requirements. Likewise, many contractors do not fully understand the impacts various construction factors such as the concrete mixture, paving equipment, and paving crew, have on smoothness. They often do not understand the importance of continually checking smoothness to adjust operations to ensure the smoothness requirements for the final product are achieved.

The purpose of this project is to continue implementing RTS technology through field trials, while also using what has been learned to-date to generate guide specifications and develop best practices for concrete pavement smoothness.  In short, the objective is to provide guidelines on how to specify and build smooth concrete pavements. RTS equipment demonstrations should provide contractors and agencies with a working knowledge of RTS technologies as well as an improved understanding of how material non-uniformity and paving processes impact the initial smoothness and long-term performance of portland cement concrete pavements.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

12-436

START DATE

07/15/12

END DATE

09/27/13

FOCUS AREAS

Safety

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, SWZDI
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration
Iowa Department of Transportation
Mid-America Transportation Center
Smart Work Zone Deployment Initiative
TPF-5(081)

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Shauna Hallmark

Director, InTrans

About the research

The main objective of this synthesis was to identify and summarize how agencies collect, analyze, and report different work-zone traffic-performance measures, which include exposure, mobility, and safety measures. The researchers also examined communicating performance to the public. This toolbox provides knowledge to help state departments of transportation (DOTs), as well as counties and cities, to better address reporting of work-zone performance.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

11/15/14

END DATE

08/14/18

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration
Iowa Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Brent Phares

Bridge Research Engineer, BEC

Co-Principal Investigator
Yaohua "Jimmy" Deng

About the research

The objective of this project is to evaluate the performance of a second-generation accelerated bridge construction (ABC) bridge that utilizes two types of continuity connections: the transverse joint at pier diaphragms and the longitudinal joint between precast superstructure/deck units.

The bridge replacement project located on IA 92 over Little Silver Creek in Pottawattamie County, Iowa was used to demonstrate a second-generation ABC technique that had been previously used in Iowa. As a part of the holistic evaluation, the performance of an ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) longitudinal joint detail and a high-performance material (HPM) transverse joint detail were studied through laboratory testing and numerical simulations. Additionally, field testing was conducted to evaluate the in-place integrity of the bridge.

The goals of this project are to demonstrate the performance and benefits of the ABC techniques using prefabricated bridge elements and systems (PBES) and HPMs and to contribute toward increased adoption of the technologies by Iowa and other states.

Through this project, the Iowa DOT gained valuable insights into the innovative ABC techniques used. The following were some of the lessons learned:

  • UHPC is an excellent material for longitudinal closure pour connections.
  • There may not be a need to use a compression block for the beam-to-beam transverse closure pours on a similar ABC project in the future.
  • The UHPC longitudinal joints and the HPC transverse joints at the pier location are sufficient for the modular bridge systems of ABC projects.
Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

16-573, 16-574, TR-683

START DATE

04/26/16

END DATE

03/31/18

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration
Federal Highway Administration State Planning and Research Funding
Iowa Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Sri Sritharan

Faculty Affiliate

About the research

A large number of bridges in the nation are rated as structurally deficient and require immediate retrofits or replacements that will impose a significant financial burden on bridge owners. A fast, cost-efficient, and reliable retrofit solution is needed to tackle this problem. Typical bridge deck deterioration starts with shrinkage cracks, and additional cracks may occur due to traffic loads and time-dependent effects, which are worsened by freeze-thaw cycles over time. These cracks then lead to water and chloride penetration into the concrete deck, causing rebar corrosion and further damage to the superstructure.

A potential solution, suggested in a previous study, is to apply a thin layer of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) on top of normal concrete (NC) bridge decks. Because UHPC has a higher tensile strength and low permeability, cracking as well as water and chloride ingression can be minimized, which in turn will extend the lifespan of the bridge. Moreover, UHPC is also deemed to have a higher fatigue resistance than NC.

In this study, a new UHPC mix to accommodate surface crowning was developed by a material supplier and tested in the laboratory. Using this new mix, the thin UHPC overlay concept was successfully implemented on a county bridge in Iowa. The implementation involved state and county engineers, a local contractor, and a material supplier. The bridge overlay was periodically monitored, and thus far there have been no concerns regarding the performance of the UHPC overlay or the bond at the interface between the UHPC and NC layers. In addition to the field implementation, three concrete slabs with and without a UHPC overlay were tested in the laboratory.

The results showed that a UHPC overlay in the positive moment region increased the strength by 18% while showing a more ductile response. In the negative moment region, although wire mesh was used, its effectiveness was not significant due to its small steel area. The effectiveness of the wire mesh could be improved by increasing the amount of steel area within the overlay, but its impact on the UHPC-NC interface bond needs to be evaluated.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

05/01/15

END DATE

06/29/18

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Iowa Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Shauna Hallmark

Director, InTrans

Co-Principal Investigator
Jing Dong

Transportation Engineer, CTRE

About the research

This report summarizes the findings from a study that evaluated consumer acceptance of different blends of ethanol at fueling stations in Iowa. This project expanded on an earlier evaluation of two stations that participated in the Fueling Our Future pilot program, which was administered by the Iowa Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program (RFIP) of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT).

Because the two stations initially surveyed were typical of rural cooperatives, offered significantly different fuel options than Iowa’s conventional gas stations, and yielded a small sample size, a second phase of the research was initiated that conducted additional surveys at 16 stations. In addition, the air quality impacts of several different implementation scenarios for Fueling Our Future and similar programs were evaluated. Because most stations where surveys were conducted did not offer a range of biodiesels, biodiesel was not included in this study.

Findings are presented for all respondents together and for drivers of flexible fuel and non-flexible fuel vehicles separately. Among other key findings, the survey showed that cost was the primary factor in fuel selection for purchasers of E-0, E-10, and E-85 ethanol blends, and compatibility of the fuel with the respondent’s vehicle was a major factor for all respondents. Concerns about compatibility, followed by cost, were the top reasons why respondents did not select a higher ethanol blend. More than 80% of respondents selected the particular station due to location.

The results of the air quality analysis showed that statewide adoption of ethanol options and subsequent changes in purchasing behavior (based on the percentage difference between the statewide sales information and the customer survey information) could result in a 20% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx), a reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions much greater than 100%, a 3% reduction in carbon monoxide (CO), and a 20% reduction in hydrocarbon (HC) emissions.

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