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MnDOT Evaluating Ideas for Research Implementation Funding

MnDOT is currently evaluating more than 25 research implementation ideas for its FY2018 research cycle. Project champions are competing for $650,000 in funds for demonstration projects that their unit, district or office implements to solve problems, save money, or change business practices. Each year, MnDOT solicits proposals from MnDOT staff who want to put local or national research into practice in their day-to-day work. Research Services staff are helping develop proposals that will be presented to the Transportation Research Innovation Group (TRIG) on April 4.
(Research Implementation Solicitation page) (Posted 2/14/2017)

21 New Projects Selected for Funding in 2018

In December, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board heard dozens of research project proposals and chose 21 projects for FY2018 funding.
(View selected projects) (Posted 1/5/2017)

Partner States Get First Look at Minnesota Road Experiment

Nearly 60 one-tenth mile sections of Co. Rd. 8 and nearby Hwy 169 were recently treated with various combinations of fog seals, chip seals, crack seals, scrub seals and microsurfacing and a number of thin overlays. Data will be collected from these experimental test roads for three years and compared with the results of a similar experiment in Alabama, where the same test sections were also built on a low- and high-volume roadway, to see which techniques are the most effective for preserving road life. (Read the full blog post) (Posted 11/17/2016)

Knowing While Mowing: GPS Keeps Maintenance Workers Out of the Weeds

Thanks to a research project that installed GPS devices in tractor cabs, MnDOT Metro District mowing operators have a better sense of exactly which areas they need to mow and which areas should be left alone. Five Metro District tractors were tested in 2015. This year, more than 40 tractors were fitted with the automated vehicle location (AVL) technology, which includes a GPS antenna, an on-board central processing unit (CPU) and an in-cab screen with a user interface. (Read the full blog post and watch the video) (Posted 10/10/2016)

Drone Bridge Inspection Project Earns State Government Innovation Award

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs, in partnership with the Bush Foundation, presented a State Government Innovation Award for the research project, titled Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAV) Bridge Inspection Demonstration Project. The study found that using drones for bridge inspections improves safety, lessens traffic disruption and reduces work time. For one type of bridge, inspection time shrank from eight days to five. (Watch the video) (Posted 8/18/2016)

Making Construction Sites Safer

If you have spent any time driving on Minnesota roads and highways lately, you know that road construction work zones are all over the place. They can contribute to traffic delays and require vigilance to ensure the safety of both drivers and workers. MnDOT and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) are doing their best to make  work zones more efficient and safer for crew members and the traveling public alike. Take a look at a roundup of some great work zone safety research projects. (Posted 7/8/2016)