9011 77th St. NE
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Researchers from all over the world have toured the facility and are using MnROAD data and research to improve roads in cold weather climates.
Contact Us to arrange a tour.
Collaborating on research is critical to the ongoing success of MnROAD. It is necessary from a funding perspective, but also ensures that we are addressing the most important issues.
There are many ways to become involved in MnROAD:
- Use MnROAD data in your research
- Participate in a planned or ongoing research project
- Propose a new project for collaboration
The MnROAD project relies on help from its partners from around the world to help fund and share research. If you're interested in discussing a partnership please contact:
Funding for MnROAD comes from a combination of industry, the Local Road Research Board, Federal and state funds and other resources.
MnROAD is a pavement test track using various research materials and pavements owned and operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Currently, MnROAD works in conjunction with MnDOT's Materials Lab located in Maplewood, MN. It finds ways to make roads last longer, perform better, cost less to build and maintain, be built faster and have minimal impact on the environment.
MnROAD consists of:
- A test section of I-94 carrying live interstate traffic
- A low volume roadway that simulates conditions on rural roads
- Thousands of sensors that record load response and environmental data
History of MnROAD
In the 1980s, the Minnesota Department of Transportation explored the idea of a Cold Regions Pavement Research Test Facility. This led to a task force that consisted of MnDOT engineers and officials, Federal Highway Administration and Strategic Highway Research Program administrators, representatives of industry, and experts from universities.
In May 1987, the task force developed proposed interstate and low-volume test section plans. With the assistance of Dr. Matt Witczak and MnDOT engineers, fourteen original research objectives were developed.
MnROAD was constructed from 1990 through 1993 at a cost of $25 million funded by state and federal sources. A partnership between Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board provided the majority of the operations funding for the first ten years. Over the years researchers from around the nation and the world have utilized the MnROAD facilities and data.
Phase Two: Increased Partnerships
By 2003 many of the studies were completed and planning for the next phase of MnROAD began. MnROAD phase two includes reconstructing over 30 of the original test cells, instrumenting and developing a testing and data collection plan, and initiating the initial research projects that will use the test cells.
The Transportation Engineering and Road Research Alliance was formed to provide governance and for the use of partnerships for MnROAD funding and research. TERRA partners private industry and academia with national, state, and local road authorities. A task force of government, industry, and academic representatives investigated road research governing structures and evaluated ways to broaden the use of the unique MnROAD research facility.
In 2005 TERRA prioritized a set of research ideas and initiated pooled fund research projects to address those that had interest from other states. Other priorities are being addressed through partnership projects and MnDOT initiatives.