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MnDOT Now Accepting New Ideas for Research and Implementation

The solicitation for new MnDOT research and implementation project ideas has been combined for this year. For priority consideration of implementation projects, submit your idea by February 9 to be considered for the March 27 TRIG meeting. All research ideas must be submitted by May 11 to be considered for this year's university research RFP. (Posted 1/12/2018)

MnDOT Explores the Use of a Unified Permitting Process for Oversize/Overweight Loads

Researchers found that a one-stop permitting process can be developed to allow commercial haulers to plan a travel route and secure all required permits from a single source. MnDOT is working to develop a first-of-its-kind, unified permitting process to consolidate the requirements of every jurisdiction in the state. (Posted 10/18/2017)

Pothole Patching Study Yields Best Practices Guidance

Researchers identified four pothole repair methods suitable for Minnesota and tracked the performance of each at five sites in northern Minnesota. Then they developed decision trees for choosing the right repair method and made them available for use in a guide and as flash cards for quick reference in the field. (Posted 10/16/2017)

MnDOT Chooses EasyMile for Autonomous Shuttle Bus Project

Initially, it will be tested at MnROAD, MnDOT’s pavement test facility. Testing will include how the shuttle operates in snow and ice conditions, at low temperatures and on roads where salt is used. Testing is scheduled to start in November and go through February 2018. The shuttle will also be showcased during the week of the 2018 Super Bowl. (Posted 10/4/2017)

New Procedures Offer Guidance for Using Bonded Whitetopping on Asphalt Pavements

Researchers developed procedures for selecting asphalt pavements for thin whitetopping based on site examination and lab testing. Test results do not offer definitive indications of how overlaid asphalts will perform, but procedures offer recommendations on pre-overlay pavement treatment, testing protocols and design considerations for bonded concrete overlay of asphalt. (Posted 10/2/2017)

Research Confirms Low-Binder Asphalt Pavement Mixtures Prone to Cracking

Research showed that lower asphalt binder mixtures are susceptible to premature cracking. The current use of coarse-graded mix designs should be adjusted to narrow the gradation difference between larger and smaller aggregates in the mixes. While the research suggests such mixes should be used sparingly in Minnesota, it did not provide definitive data suggesting the practice should be stopped altogether. The practice may continue on a limited basis. (Posted 9/28/2017)

Field Guide Helps Local Engineers Stabilize Slopes

Researchers identified 14 sites representing destabilized roadway slopes in Minnesota. Following site investigations, lab testing and modeling, researchers recommended eight slope stabilization techniques that local engineers can undertake without the help of outside geotechnical engineers. The methods were packaged in a simple, accessible field guide for county engineers. (Posted 9/27/2017)

New Recommendations Aim to Help Roadside Turfgrass Thrive

Keeping Minnesota’s roadsides green is about more than just aesthetics—healthy turfgrass can improve water quality, reduce erosion and road noise, and provide animal habitat. However, harsh conditions such as heat, drought, and salt use can make it difficult for roadside turfgrass to thrive. (Posted 9/15/2017)

Using Smartphones to Deliver Effective In-Vehicle Work Zone Messages

Under simulated conditions, drivers were not distracted by controlled work zone-related messages delivered through smartphones. In fact, driving performance improved. Researchers also learned that the location of the smartphone did not affect the driver if the message included an auditory component. (Posted 9/13/2017)