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)
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)
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)
MnDOT Research Services is looking for an engineer to help develop and manage state and local transportation research and implementation projects. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31. Go to mn.gov/careers and search for Job ID 7302 to learn more about this exciting opportunity!
MnDOT is taking steps to ensure that the habitat pollinators depend on gets the protection it needs. In addition to recently signing an agreement with five other state DOTs to improve pollinator habitat along Interstate 35, a key migratory corridor for Monarch butterflies, MnDOT has just completed a review of other state and local government practices to identify more opportunities to use existing right-of-way to protect pollinators. (Posted 6/9/2016)
MnDOT recently announced the selection of a dozen research implementation projects for funding in Fiscal Year 2017. In addition to continuing MnDOT’s pioneering drone research, top initiatives aim to improve the accuracy of bridge load ratingsand map slopes statewide to identify locations that are vulnerable to flash flooding. (Posted 5/3/2016)
When it comes to creating the transportation system of the future, MnDOT is already doing its research and laying the groundwork for great things to come. Last month at Minnesota’s Transportation Conference, a keynote session titled “Future Forecast: How Drones, Sensors, and Integrated Apps are Rewriting the Rules” inspired many people in the room. Among the topics cited in the talk were the Internet of Transportation, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and 3-D printing, which MnDOT is already studying or even using. (Posted 4/26/2016)
To mark Earth Day 2016, MnDOT Research Services is taking a glance at five stellar examples of current research projects at MnDOT that involve pollution control, wetland mitigation, road salt reduction and new ways of recycling pavement. (Posted 4/22/2016)