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Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

START DATE

06/14/16

END DATE

04/30/19

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, PROSPER
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Halil Ceylan

Director, PROSPER

About the research

Diamond grinding of portland cement concrete (PCC) highway surfaces, a maintenance operation carried out to extend the pavement service life, generates a high-pH and high alkalinity slurry (water, concrete, and aggregate residue), referred to as concrete grinding residue (CGR). The long-term impact of CGR slurry on soil properties (pH and infiltration) and vegetation needs to be investigated.

There is a potential for a number of ongoing/forthcoming Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) construction projects to place CGR slurries along Minnesota roadsides with potential environmental and economic implications. For instance, disposal of slurry along the “sensitive” areas of Marcoux corner (near Crookston, MN) can not only lead to reduced density of vegetation resulting in erosion problems, but can also increase the chance of invasion by exotic plant species that prefer open, well-drained soils, all of which have the potential to increase maintenance costs.

A better understanding of the potential soil chemistry impacts resulting from the application of CGR slurry may indicate preemptive soil amendments. Some previous studies have focused on investigating the influence of CGR slurry on soil pH and soil water infiltration rates in lab settings.

The objective of the proposed research is to gain a stronger understanding of the CGR effects on soil, water infiltration, and vegetation through an in-situ, statistically rigorous study that will analyze inslope and/or backslope soil samples and assess soil and vegetation properties before and after placement of the CGR.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

START DATE

12/21/17

END DATE

02/28/21

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CP Tech Center
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Peter Taylor

Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

Mixture proportioning generally uses a recipe based on a previously produced concrete, rather than adjusting the proportions based on the needs of the mixture and the locally available materials. As budgets grow tighter and environmental regulations increase, an emphasis on lowering the carbon footprint, is focusing attention on making mixtures that are more efficient in their usage of materials yet do not compromise engineering performance. A means of reducing environmental impact is to reduce the amount of binder in the mixture.

MnROAD is planning to construct several cells using reduced cementitious content mixtures, with the aim of monitoring the constructability and longevity of the concrete. The proposed work has been designed to identify the behavior and performance of concrete paving mixes with low cementitious content, i.e., between 475 to 500 lb/CY, and lower cementitious content, i.e., 430 to 470 lb/CY.

The objectives of this study include:

  • Investigate the early-age characteristics (i.e., placement issues, slow strength gain) of concrete paving mixes containing low and lower cementitious content
  • Assess causes of, or potential for, durability issues with very low cementitious content
  • Identify effect of reduced cementitious content on long term serviceability and economics of concrete pavements (i.e., benefits of reduced shrinkage)
  • Develop recommended specifications, mixing, and placement practices for the use of very low cementitious content concrete paving mixes
Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

02/21/18

END DATE

05/31/19

FOCUS AREAS

Safety

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, Iowa LTAP
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Shauna Hallmark

Director, InTrans

Co-Principal Investigator
David Veneziano

Safety Circuit Rider, LTAP

Co-Principal Investigator
Theresa Litteral

Statewide MDST Facilitator, LTAP

About the research

Connected vehicle technologies hold the potential to produce a number of safety, mobility and environmental benefits. The benefits of connected vehicle technologies are expected to be wide ranging and include reduced crashes, improved mobility and reduced emissions. Local transportation agencies, such as counties and cities can be expected to be affected by the transition to connected vehicle technologies. These agencies can also expect to benefit from connected vehicle technologies, through aspects such as a reduced need to construct roadway infrastructure (fostered by mobility improvements), increased fleet safety (e.g., maintenance vehicles in plowing operations), and other benefits.

However, transitioning highway infrastructure to be ready for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) will ultimately require a significant investment in infrastructure upgrades, new technologies, and power and connectivity. Agencies are already grappling with how and where to invest scarce resources to meet existing needs and addressing CAVs adds an additional burden. As a result, there is a need for local agencies to not only understand what the potential benefits of connected vehicle technologies are, but also how they should be preparing for the transition to such technologies for the infrastructure and fleets that they manage.

This toolbox was developed to provide a summary of information that local agencies should be aware of to prepare for CAVs. The main goal of this toolbox is to assist local agencies in preparing for CAVs in the short term—5 to 10 years. Since local agencies are not generally expected to have the resources to become test beds, this report provides information so that local agencies can leverage ongoing activities and resources to prepare for CAVs.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

START DATE

04/25/16

END DATE

02/29/20

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, BEC
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Behrouz Shafei

Structural Engineer, BEC

Co-Principal Investigator
Brent Phares

Bridge Research Engineer, BEC

About the research

MnDOT is constructing a pair of side-by-side bridges on TH 169, one with Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) deck reinforcement and the other with conventional epoxy-coated steel reinforcement. Because these two bridges will be exposed to the same environmental conditions, will experience very similar traffic, and will be constructed within the same timeframe, a unique opportunity exists to identify and evaluate differences in performance between them.

Although there is wide use of GFRP reinforcement in bridge decks in some parts of Canada, there have been only a few GFRP reinforced bridge decks built in the US. The Canadian decks were primarily designed using the empirical design method outlined in the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code and offered as an “alternative design approach” in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) code. The empirical design method differs significantly from the more traditional design guidelines given by AASHTO and American Concrete Institute (ACI), both in overall design philosophy and the resulting details.

The main goals of the project are to:

  1. Collect the behavior information and response characteristics of the two bridge decks under service loads,
  2. Examine the durability characteristics of the two bridge decks, and
  3. Assess the impact of using non-conventional, corrosion-resistant deck reinforcement on maintenance needs and life-cycle cost with a specific interest in including service life-design philosophies.

The outcome of this project will directly contribute to the development of guidance and details for the construction of corrosion-resistant bridges with service lives beyond 100 years.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

START DATE

07/23/18

END DATE

03/31/21

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, AMPP
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Chris Williams

Director, AMPP

About the research

Air void content, specifically at longitudinal joints, is well known as a key factor affecting pavement life. Hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavements historically constructed in Minnesota typically have air voids around 7% in the mat and often approach or exceed 10% directly over longitudinal joints. Mix density is very important in terms of the effect on durability performance in constructed pavements. Higher air voids in the mat, especially over longitudinal joints, leads to poor pavement durability. Poor durability is compounded because water infiltration is increased due to higher air voids, which leads to more required maintenance at longitudinal joint locations and can lead to the need for earlier reconstruction of the pavement. Infiltration of moisture in higher air void joints also leads to reduced strength of underlying pavement layers, which accelerates deterioration when the moisture undergoes freeze-thaw cycling in the pavement structure. Multiple studies show for every 1% decrease in air void content an increase of 10% in pavement life can be achieved. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has required the use of core measured air voids on projects for many years to monitor achieved air void content in the field. To improve upon current asphalt pavement compaction practices in the state of Minnesota, the research team anticipates datamining historical data to quantify the effect of air void content on pavement performance from confined and unconfined joints through the creation of an air void content database. Improvements will come in the form of modification to current construction practices and/or new standard methods.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

START DATE

07/23/18

END DATE

12/31/20

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, AMPP
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Chris Williams

Director, AMPP

About the research

Hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavements historically constructed in Minnesota typically have air voids around 7% in the mat and often approach or exceed 10% directly over longitudinal joints. Mix density is very important in terms of the effect on durability performance in constructed pavements. Higher air voids in the mat, especially at longitudinal joints leads to poor pavement durability. Poor durability is compounded because water infiltration is increased due to higher air voids that leads to more required maintenance at longitudinal joint locations and can lead to the need for earlier reconstruction of the pavement. Infiltration of moisture in higher air void joints also lead to reduced strength of underlying pavement layers, which accelerates deterioration when the moisture undergoes freeze-thaw cycling in the pavement structure. Previous research on longitudinal joints has shown that lower air voids mixtures (3% to 5%) are stronger and more durable than 7% to 10% air void mixtures. To achieve higher density/lower air voids in the mat directly at longitudinal joints, the Maryland joint construction method has been implemented in conjunction with an improved longitudinal joint density specification in Minnesota. However, density cores are not taken within 6 in. of the longitudinal joint in Minnesota, and is where deterioration of the pavement starts. Pavements are Minnesota’s Department of Transportation (MnDOT)’s largest asset, valued at $29.5 billion. J-Band is a hot applied asphalt membrane used to extend the life of longitudinal HMA joints by migrating into 50% to 75% of the HMA void structure after rolling, thus reducing permeability at the joint. The reduction in permeability minimizes water and air intrusion into the joint resulting in reduced cracking and stripping and improved pavement performance. Extending the pavement life by one year saves MnDOT 5% per year in life extension costs. The research team anticipates using field produced cores with and without J-Band to evaluate how J-Band improves the performance of asphalt pavement mat at longitudinal joints against deterioration due to water and air infiltration through extensive lab testing of field cores.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

04/01/16

END DATE

04/30/18

FOCUS AREAS

Infrastructure

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE, Iowa LTAP
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
David Veneziano

Safety Circuit Rider, LTAP

Co-Principal Investigator
Omar Smadi

Director, CTRE

About the research

The installation and maintenance of pavement markings represents a significant financial investment for local agencies. Local agencies need a mechanism to better understand the value, cost, and need for markings along their roadways to make the best use of available budgets. This project developed a prioritization approach and spreadsheet tool (link provided in box 15) to assist local agencies in meeting this need. Multicriterion decision analysis using the simple additive weighting method was employed to assess the multiple factors/criteria that affect pavement marking decisions. An Excel spreadsheet tool was developed to implement this approach using different pavement marking alternatives, including centerlines, edgelines, centerlines and edgelines, high-visibility markings, and enhanceddurability markings. The criteria considered by the process include project type, County Roadway Safety Plan (CRSP) rating, functional classification, pavement condition, traffic volume, age of current markings, pavement width, preferences for marking costs, desired marking durability, and crash reduction potential. This tool is posted on the Local Road and Research Board (LRRB) website in the “Resources” section at the following URL: https://lrrb.org/ resources/. Factor weights are used to assign a relative importance to each of these criteria for a respective alternative compared to other alternatives. The result is a performance rating score for each marking alternative relative to all model criteria and factors that provide users with information on the relative performance of different marking alternatives in comparison to one another and an estimated project cost for the highest ranking alternative for a site. The highest scoring alternative represents the marking that should be considered for use. Additionally, the tool ranks all sites being evaluated compared to one another based on the highest rating scores from each individual site.

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

02/01/08

END DATE

02/01/08

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CWIMS
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Tom Maze

Transportation Engineer

Co-Principal Investigator
Chris Albrecht

About the research

The objective of this research was to conduct an independent evaluation of winter maintenance performance indicator and LEM data collection and processing practices. The evaluation sought to establish whether the correct data were being collected and if the appropriate analyses were being conducted on the available data. Appropriate analyses means analyses that are able to identify successes and isolate best practices. Once we can distinguish and measure success, management can reward and encourage it elsewhere.

 

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

START DATE

04/01/04

END DATE

12/31/04

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CWIMS
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Peter Taylor

Director, CP Tech Center

About the research

This project will complete the testing and deployment of an advanced system for forecasting frost on bridges in Iowa by application to four bridges in central Iowa. Our method employs a widely used research and operational numerical model for weather forecasting and includes a bridge-surface temperature balance equation for specific forecasts of bridge surface temperature.

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

START DATE

04/09/09

END DATE

12/31/09

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, CTRE
SPONSORS

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Omar Smadi

Director, CTRE

Co-Principal Investigator
Neal Hawkins

Associate Director, InTrans

About the research

 

 

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