Minnesota Department of Transportation

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2014 Reports and Technical Summaries

MnDOT Research Services

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Acoustic Emission Monitoring of a Fracture-Critical Bridge

Final Report: 2014-15

(PDF, 5 MB, 236 pages)

With bridge infrastructure in Minnesota aging, advancing techniques for ensuring bridge safety is a fundamental goal of MnDOT. As such, developing health monitoring systems for fracture-critical bridges is an essential objective in meeting the stated goal. This report documents the acquisition, testing and installation of a 16-sensor acoustic emission monitoring system in the Cedar Avenue Bridge, which is a fracture-critical tied arch bridge in Burnsville, Minnesota.

Using Truck GPS Data for Freight Performance Analysis in the Twin Cities Metro Area

Final Report: 2014-14

(PDF 3 MB,153 pages)

A GPS-based data analysis methodology was developed to study the freight performance of heavy commercial trucks along 38 key freight corridors in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The measures derived from the GPS data can be used to support the USDOT performance measure initiative and support regional surface freight planners in identifying freight bottlenecks, infrastructure improvement needs, and operational strategies to promote efficient freight movement.

Quantifying Moisture Effects in DCP and LWD Tests Using Unsaturated Mechanics

Final Report: 2014-13

(PDF, 5 MB, 188 pages)

Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) and the Lightweight Deflectometer (LWD) are used for in situ evaluation of stiffness and strength of soil and aggregate bases. Recent field and laboratory tests have provided calibration for these tests for several specific granular samples. However, the results are likely less reliable for a broader range of potential granular materials used for granular bases.The objective of this research is to build on a mechanistic model developed for dry aggregate bases under LRRB INV 850 – DEMP-3D – to increase its applicability to more materials and tests used in Minnesota.

Development of a Navigation System Using Smartphone and Bluetooth Technologies to Help the Visually Impaired Navigate Work Zones Safely

Final Report: 2014-12

(PDF, 1 MB, 86 pages)

Building on previous efforts to provide geometric and signal timing information to the visually impaired at signalized intersections, a smartphone-based navigation system was developed to alert pedestrians to upcoming work zones. The smartphone will vibrate and announce an audible message to users.

Evaluation of Guide Sign Fonts

Final Report: 2014-11

(PDF, 2 MB, 61 pages)

Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) completed a pooled fund study for several state transportation agencies interested in completing a field evaluation of current and potential fonts for use on guide signs. E(Mod), Enhanced E(Mod), and Clearview 5W were the three fonts studied.

Advanced LED Warning System for Rural Intersections: Phase 2 (ALERT-2)

Final Report: 2014-10

(PDF, 7 MB, 95 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-10TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

In this second phase of the Advanced LED Warning System for Rural Intersections (ALERT) project, the ALERT system is redesigned to mitigate the issue of vehicle roll-through at minor approaches with no intersection conflict. The ALERT-2 system also improves many aspects of the concept and basic technology.

Analysis of Bridge Deck Cracking Data

Final Report: 2014-09

(PDF, 6 MB, 69 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-09TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Cracking of the concrete decks on newly constructed bridges in Minnesota has become a significant concern. MnDOT has been collecting bridge deck construction and early age cracking information since 2005. Crack surveys were performed on 20 bridges. A statistical analysis of bridge data, including the updated crack surveys, was performed to determine if there were any relationships between variables collected on the forms and crack frequency, type, or time of development.

Evaluating an Herbicide-Applying Mower for Invasive Species Controls

Final Report: 2014-08

(PDF, 730 KB, 41 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-08TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This project evaluated the WetBlade mower’s effectiveness at controlling invasive plant species on roadside rights of way. The WetBlade controlled Canada thistle as effectively as broadcast herbicide application and eliminated herbicide drift that can damage crops and plants on neighboring properties. Due largely to its slower operating speeds, however, the WetBlade costs significantly more to operate and is likely suitable for limited applications where pesticide drift must be minimized, such as near schools or hospitals; where aesthetics are particularly sensitive; or during times of the year when traditional mowing would spread a weed’s seeds.

Hot Mix Asphalt Surface Characteristics Related to Ride, Texture, Friction, Noise and Durability

Final Report: 2014-07

(PDF, 2 MB, 116 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-07TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

The objective of this investigation was to develop a model to predict on-board sound intensity (OBSI) on hot mix asphalt pavements using on-site and laboratory data. The data used included noise and physical property data collected on 25 asphalt-surfaced roadway test sections at the MnROAD pavement testing facility.

Research Using Waste Shingles for Stabilization or Dust Control for Gravel Roads and Shoulders

Final Report: 2014-06

(PDF, 4 MB, 48 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-06TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This project evaluated whether recycled asphalt shingles could be incorporated into gravel roads to improve surface smoothness and reduce dust on test sections in Jackson and Goodhue counties. A mix of Class 5 gravel and shingles significantly reduced washboarding, while shingles added to Class 6 limestone reduced dust production.

Expanding and Streamlining of RTMC Freeway Network Performance Reporting Methodologies and Tools

Final Report: 2014-05

(PDF, 14 MB, 106 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-05TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

To provide the Minnesota Department of Transportation with timely performance information regarding the Twin Cities freeway network, a streamlined program was developed based on existing and new methodologies. The Highway Automated Reporting Tool (HART) utilizes a user-friendly interface for corridor, date, time, and report selection.

Effect of Signing and Lane Markings on the Safety of a Two-Lane Roundabout

Final Report: 2014-04

(PDF, 4 MB, 72 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-04TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This report presents a study of the impact lane markings and signing have on driving behavior at a two-lane roundabout located in Richfield, Minnesota. After its completion in 2008, this roundabout sustained a suspiciously high amount of crashes. In response, through this study, engineers experimented with changes in the roundabout’s signs and lane markings, as roundabout design regulations are relatively lax and nonspecific in contrast to those for standard signalized intersections.

Value Increase and Value Capture: The Case of TH-610 in Maple Grove, Minnesota

Final Report: 2014-03

(PDF, 5 MB, 36 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-03TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Value capture is a novel way of financing transportation projects by determining how much a project will increase property values and then collecting money from affected property owners. Researchers used the completion of TH-610 in Maple Grove, Minnesota, as a case study to develop methods for projecting these increases and determining the potential revenue that could be generated from four value capture strategies. This project was the first attempt to quantify the potential financial impacts of value capture.

Estimating the Crash Reduction and Vehicle Dynamics Effects of Flashing LED Stop Signs

Final Report: 2014-02

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-02TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Using statistical analysis and a field test, researchers evaluated the impact of flashing LED stop signs on right-angle crash rates and driver behavior. Statistical analysis found reductions in right-angle crashes at intersections where flashing LED stop signs had been installed, although more data is needed to assess the precise magnitude of crash rate reduction with statistical confidence.

Culvert Repair Best Practices, Specifications and Special Provisions − Best Practices Guidelines

Final Report: 2014-01

(PDF, 2 MB, 94 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014-01TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

The state of knowledge related to culvert repairs is constantly growing. This project synthesized current knowledge and developed best practices, special provisions and standard details for several repair and rehabilitation methods. By helping engineers maintain culverts effectively, this information will protect against potentially severe damage to roads and related economic costs and threats to safety.

Integrated Tools for Pavement Design and Management

Final Report: 2014RIC14

(PDF, 675 KB, 39 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014RIC14TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Brief overview of recent research and current usage of various pavement-related topics in Minnesota, including the use of RAP in local pavement design; implementation of an updated vehicle classification scheme; pavement design charts for ten-ton designs; revision and update of the FWD Viewer Tool; and the overlay design method for the FWD Viewer Tool. The review includes recommendations for further study or implementation. Implementation activities for the FWD Viewer Tool included development of spreadsheet tools and statewide training among local transportation engineers.

Implementation of TONN2010

Final Report: 2014RIC16

(PDF, 2 MB, 31 pages)

Technical Summary: 2014RIC16TS

(PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This report describes the implementation of the TONN 2010 analysis method for estimating spring load capacity of roads using pavement structure and traffic data, as well as results from the falling weight deflectometer. The resulting tool is a spreadsheet which combines the work of two other research projects – the FWD Viewer Tool and the TONN 2010 analysis. This project also included the development of training materials that were presented to county and state aid engineers throughout Minnesota.

Traffic Data Collection Processes Study

Final Report: 2014RIC51A

(PDF, 0.3 MB, 16 pages)

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) collects traffic volume counts for cities and counties outside of the Twin Cities metro area. This research implementation project considered options for cities and counties to gather traffic data themselves. Researchers shadowed three data collection processes: MnDOT collecting the data (current process), the respective county collecting the data with equipment and training provided by MnDOT and a consultant collecting the data.

Traffic Data Collection Improvements

Final Report: 2014RIC51B

(PDF, 3 MB, 89 pages)

The Local Road Research Board (LRRB), with assistance from Sibley County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), conducted a field evaluation of traffic data collection sensors. This study was initiated to explore low-cost and non-intrusive options to collect traffic data as possible alternatives to traditional methods such as tube counts, which require personnel to work close to or on the roadway rather than from a safer roadside position. This project reviewed new developments and alternatives to conventional road tube, inductive loop and piezo sensor data collection.