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2014 Reports and Technical Summaries

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2014 Reports and Technical Summaries

2014-40

Deterioration Rates of Minnesota Concrete Bridge Decks

Final Report (PDF, 0.5 MB, 54 pages)

Bridge decks are deteriorating across Minnesota and limited funds are available to rehabilitate or replace them. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Bridge Office is estimating construction costs well into the future to secure appropriate funding and to facilitate project programming. The rate at which bridge decks deteriorate is an important element used to estimate construction costs. MnDOT provided decades of inventory and inspection bridge data for this project. Data was analyzed to determine how many years, on average, a bridge deck remains at the various NBI condition code states. The data was used to determine what factors affect the rate of bridge deck deterioration. Researchers looked at type of deck reinforcement, presence of concrete overlay, average daily traffic (ADT), presence of three inches of cover to the top mat of reinforcement, superstructure material, and location.


2014-38

Automatic Generation of Traffic Timing Plan

Final Report (PDF, 3 MB, 67 pages)

This project develops a performance visualization and fine-tuning tool for arterial traffic signal systems, aimed at reducing the labor costs for signal retiming. Using high-resolution event-based data from the SMART-Signal system, a set of easy-to-use algorithms were developed to refine traffic signal systems. Specifically, a framework is developed to diagnose operational problems regarding cycle lengths, green splits and offsets. Then, algorithms for offsets and green splits fine-tuning are proposed.


2014-37

Scour Monitoring Technology Implementation

Final Report (PDF, 9 MB, 144 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers installed and maintained remote fixed scour monitoring equipment on two Minnesota bridges over the course of three years to determine the effectiveness and reliability of fixed scour monitoring deployments and provide MnDOT with the necessary technical information for future deployments. The project helped establish valuable lessons that can be applied to future installations, and MnDOT has used the technical knowledge learned from this implementation project to install scour monitoring equipment on two additional bridges.


2014-36

Anchorage of Shear Reinforcement in Prestressed Concrete Bridge Girders

Final Report (PDF, 29 MB, 256 pages)

Researchers constructed and rehabilitated test sections at the MnROAD pavement research facility to test the performance of sustainable concrete pavement designs. They collected initial samples and tested materials during construction, evaluated initial pavement performance after construction and will continue to monitor pavements. Data from MnROAD cells is typically used on a variety of projects by MnDOT, the Local Road Research Board and other state departments of transportation as well as by federally supported transportation pooled fund studies.


2014-35

2013 MnROAD Construction Report

Final Report (PDF, 2.4 MB, 92 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

In June and July 2013, MnDOT constructed three new concrete pavement test sections or cells at the MnROAD facility. On MnROAD’s Interstate 94 mainline, a 7.5 inch thick sustainable concrete pavement was constructed using a 75 percent recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) mix, to study the performance of recycled aggregates in new concrete. Also on the MnROAD mainline, new bonded concrete overlays of distressed asphalt pavement (BCOA) test sections were built. On MnROAD’s Low Volume Road loop, a 3 inch thick ultra-thin unbonded concrete overlay was constructed over two different thicknesses of geotextile fabric interlayer. The concrete overlay also contained structural fibers in the mix. This report documents the design, construction, field testing, sampling and testing, and sensor instrumentation associated with these new test sections.


2014-34

Concrete Bridge Deck Crack Sealant Evaluation and Implementation

Final Report (PDF, 40 MB, 164 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers conducted a field evaluation of the performance of bridge deck crack sealant products. They found that some of the sealants on MnDOT’s approved products list did not perform well, while others not on the list did perform well. Overall, after three winters the performance of all sealants was dramatically reduced. Based on numerous factors, four epoxy and three methacrylate products were recommended for consideration on MnDOT’s approved products list. MnDOT is evaluating manufacturer laboratory test data to identify the properties of the sealants that performed well in this study and updating the qualification process for the approved products list. Recommended procedures for sealant application identified in this project will also be incorporated into the MnDOT Bridge Maintenance Manual.


2014-33

Cost-Effective Pavement Preservation Solutions for the Real World

Final Report (PDF, 4 MB, 82 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers developed a guide to pavement preservation that serves as a clearinghouse of information for local engineers to use as they develop and implement pavement preservation programs. The guide includes realistic expectations for various treatments, appropriate timing for preservation activities, necessary data collection and contracting issues. View videos, interactive guidelines and other materials on the project website.


2014-32

Assessing the Effects of Heavy Vehicles on Local Roadways

Final Report (PDF, 4 MB, 49 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers developed an Excel-based tool to calculate the impact of a variety of heavy vehicles on local asphalt roads. The tool will help local agencies make informed decisions when developments such as construction, distribution centers or hauling routes create an unexpected increase in heavy vehicle traffic on a temporary or permanent basis, and it will aid in planning if these traffic increases can be predicted.


2014-31

Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contracts

Final Report (PDF, 5 MB, 312 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

The objective of this research was to develop Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracting implementation guidelines for MnDOT to better use these contracts for cost-effective project delivery.


2014-30

Assessing and Improving Pollution Prevention by Swales

Final Report (PDF, 3 MB, 134 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Roadside drainage ditches, or swales, were found to enable stormwater infiltration significantly more efficiently than anticipated based on published values for Minnesota soil types, although infiltration rates varied by large amounts within a swale. A follow-up project will develop a tool to calculate real-world infiltration rates in swales, which MnDOT hopes will be used in determining stormwater management credits. That may reduce the need for other stormwater management practices, potentially saving significant construction and right of way acquisition costs.


2014-29

Rolling Resistance Measurements at the MnROAD Facility, Round 2

Final Report (PDF, 9 MB, 67 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

MnDOT collaborated with Minnesota State University, Mankato, and the Technical University of Gdańsk, Poland, to conduct a second study of rolling resistance at the MnROAD pavement research facility and to evaluate the relative fuel economy of various pavement surfaces. Results showed that pavement surfaces with higher rolling resistance coefficients and energy consumption were those with greater amounts of surface texture, such as porous asphalt, conventional diamond grinding and exposed aggregate. Pavements with lower rolling resistances tended to be asphalt pavements with dense graded aggregates and concrete pavements with broom or turf drag surfaces.


2014-28

Hot Mix Asphalt Surface Characteristics

Final Report (PDF, 8 MB, 188 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers evaluated the relationship between asphalt mixture properties and various pavement surface characteristics so that pavements can be designed for optimum durability, safety and quietness. Results include observations of MnROAD test cells constructed using various mixtures and monitored for friction, ride quality, texture, sound absorption, tire-pavement noise and distress.


2014-27

Simplified Design Table for Minnesota Concrete Pavements

Final Report (PDF, 2 MB, 87 pages)

This project led to the creation of MnPCC-ME, a standalone 32-bit Windows executable program to replace the preexisting RigidPave. Whereas RigidPave was based upon the outdated AASHTO 1993 design procedure for rigid pavements, MnPCC-ME is based on MEPDG version 1.1, a mechanistic-empirical design procedure that accounts for the effects of traffic loading and environment. Furthermore, MnPCC-ME was localized for Minnesota pavements through: 1) the use of local climate data and weigh-in-motion traffic data; 2) the incorporation of previously conducted calibrations of the MEPDG for Minnesota pavements; and 3) the inclusion of advanced analysis features included in MnPCC-ME’s flexible design counterpart, MnPAVE. The development and source code of MnPCC-ME is detailed in this final report.


2014-26

Investigation and Assessment of Colored Concrete Pavement

Final Report (PDF, 36 MB, 374 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers observed colored concrete being constructed at three sites and performed petrographic analysis of core samples from four sites to investigate potential causes of premature distresses in many Minnesota colored concrete projects. No cause was conclusively identified, but recommendations include using a mix with a maximum water-to-cementitious materials ratio of 0.43 to eliminate excessive porosity and using a vibrating screed for concrete consolidation.


2014-25

Flocculation Treatment BMPs for Construction Water Discharges

Final Report (PDF, 29 MB, 235 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This report presents the evaluation of chemical treatment practices known as flocculation for purifying construction site runoff of sediment, suspended solids and colloidal particles. It also presents the best management practices for evaluation and design of flocculant treatment methods and technologies and the associated sizing for flows representative of field operations.


2014-24

Development and Evaluation of Effective Turbidity Monitoring Methods for Construction Projects

Final Report (PDF, 7 MB, 158 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This project investigates turbidity relationships for conditions of Minneosta and develops protocols for the design and installation of cost-effective monitoring systems.


2014-23

Evaluation of the Effect of MnPASS Lane Design on Mobility and Safety

Final Report (PDF, 9 MB, 164 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This study focuses on the operational and design features of dynamically priced High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. HOT lanes’ mobility and safety are contingent on the design of zones (“gates”) that drivers use to merge in or out of the facility. This study presents an assessment of safety and mobility on the two HOT facilities that were built using different design philosophies — the I-394 freeway and the I-35W HOT corridor. In addition, two design tools were developed, the first assisting in the optimal design of access zones based on traffic measurements, and the second allowing the assessment of the influence congested General Purpose Lanes can have on the mobility and safety of the HOT under different traffic conditions and utilization due to changes in pricing strategy.


2014-22

Minnesota Department of Transportation Metro Barrier Extraction and LiDAR Project

Final Report (PDF, 1 MB, 13 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This project created an inventory of concrete barriers and plate beam guardrails in the MnDOT Metro District through the use of mobile imagery. This inventory will be valuable for many MnDOT staff, with applications that include planning, design and maintenance. The project also demonstrated the use of LiDAR to collect highly accurate data at three sites.


2014-21

Evaluation Incorporating Highway Capacity Manual Unsignalized Pedestrian Crossing Analysis Methodology

Final Report (PDF, 1 MB, 284 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This report provides a procedure for the evaluation of uncontrolled pedestrian crossings that takes into account accepted practice, safety and delay. A guidebook was developed to help Minnesota transportation agencies evaluate their uncontrolled pedestrian crossings and determine appropriate treatment options.


2014-20

Traffic Sign Life Expectancy

Final Report (PDF, 1 MB, 45 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

The primary goal of this research is to provide objective data about sign life based on the degradation of retroreflectivity and color over time.


2014-19

Investigation of the Impact of the I-94 ATM System on the Safety of the I-94 Commons High Crash Area

Final Report (PDF, 5 MB, 98 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This project evaluated variable advisory speed limits implemented as part of the Active Traffic Management system for the I-94 Commons High-Crash Area. The variable speed limit advisories had minimal impact on safety, suggesting the need to improve VSL algorithms and reconsider their potential to affect driver behavior.


2014-18

Implementation of Floating Weir System for Surface Skimming of Temporary Stormwater Ponds

Final Report (PDF, 3 MB, 43 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

The purpose of this study is to provide design information for temporary stormwater ponds with floating head skimmers to remove suspended sediment and nutrient loads from stormwater runoff on active construction sites.


2014-17

Building Local Agency Capacity for Public Engagement in Local Road Systems Planning and Decision Making

Final Report (PDF, 8 MB, 91 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Aging infrastructure, changing patterns in road demand, and persistently constrained revenues challenge the sustainability of local road systems. This research is a comparative analysis of public engagement methods for involving stakeholders in decision-making about these complex issues.


2014-16

Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Pile Driving Project – Phase II Study

Final Report (PDF, 24 MB, 514 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers reevaluated the pile driving formula and associated load resistance factors developed in Phase 1 of this study, compared its performance to other pile driving formulas, and recommended a new formula and resistance factors for implementation by MnDOT. The new pile driving formula developed in this study, MPF12, correlated very well, far outperforming all other equations. Researchers also conducted static load testing, investigated use of the formula for timber and prestressed precast concrete piles, and compared its predictions to the Wave Equation Analysis Program.


2014-15

Acoustic Emission Monitoring of a Fracture-Critical Bridge

Final Report (PDF, 5 MB, 236 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers tested and optimized an acoustic emission bridge health monitoring system to sense cracking in fracture-critical steel bridges by using the system to collect data on the Cedar Avenue Bridge in Burnsville, Minnesota. The final report provides a framework for selecting appropriate acoustic emission equipment and formulating effective data processing methods for assessing the formation and growth of cracks in these bridges.


2014-14

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

Final Report (PDF, 3 MB, 153 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

This project used commercially available truck GPS data to study freight performance on 38 corridors in the Twin Cities. Based on performance measures, including average truck volume, truck mobility, truck delay and truck travel time reliability, researchers identified the top bottlenecks for heavy truck traffic in the Twin Cities.


2014-13

Quantifying Moisture Effects in DCP and LWD Tests Using Unsaturated Mechanics

Final Report (PDF, 5 MB, 188 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers developed computer models to assess the variability of dynamic cone penetrometer and lightweight deflectometer test results with differing amounts of moisture and fine particles. One of these models can be used to predict behavior for a relatively narrow range of base materials encompassed by MnDOT’s Class 5 specifications, but can be expanded to other materials with some improvements.


2014-12

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

Final Report (PDF, 1 MB, 86 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers developed and tested a new system to provide audible messages to help visually impaired pedestrians safely navigate through or around work zones. This system uses Bluetooth beacons attached to work zone infrastructure that send messages to a pedestrian’s smartphone app rather than the traditional method of beeping buttons that announce a message when pressed.


2014-11

Evaluation of Guide Sign Fonts

Final Report (PDF, 2 MB, 61 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers funded through multi-state pooled fund TPF-5(262) evaluated the field performance of the Clearview 5W, E-Modified [E(Mod)] and Enhanced E(Mod) highway sign fonts to see if one font provided better legibility, especially at night. Using a closed-course test track, they found no statistical difference between the legibility of fonts, but concluded that luminance levels for the test were not enough to cause the halation effect that would lead to such differences.


2014-10

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

Final Report (PDF, 7 MB, 95 pages)
Technical Summary (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.


2014-09

Analysis of Bridge Deck Cracking Data

Final Report (PDF, 6 MB, 69 pages)
Technical Summary (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.


2014-08

Evaluating an Herbicide-Applying Mower for Invasive Species Controls

Final Report (PDF, 730 KB, 41 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

Researchers conducted two tests to compare the effectiveness of the WetBlade to traditional broadcast herbicide application in controlling Canada thistle, a serious invasive species in Minnesota, and minimizing herbicide drift.


2014-07

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

Final Report (PDF, 2 MB, 116 pages)
Technical Summary (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.


2014-06

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

Final Report (PDF, 4 MB, 48 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

It is estimated that Minnesota generates more than 200,000 tons of shingle waste each year. Recently, a portion of this waste has been incorporated into hot-mixed asphalt (HMA) pavement mixtures. The current technology limits the amount of recycled asphalt shingles (RSA) in HMA to no more than 5 percent by weight. This leaves a lot of underutilized shingle waste material. This has prompted MnDOT to investigate other potential uses for RAS. One potential use is to improve the performance of gravel surfacing and reduce dust by replacing common additives, such as calcium chlorides, with RAS.


2014-05

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

Final Report (PDF, 14 MB, 106 pages)
Technical Summary (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.


2014-04

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

Final Report (PDF, 4 MB, 72 pages)
Technical Summary (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.


2014-03

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

Final Report (PDF, 5 MB, 36 pages)
Technical Summary (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.


2014-02

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

Final Report (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

In a field study, portable video equipment was used to record vehicle approaches at an intersection before and after installation of flashing LED stopsigns. After installing the flashing stop signs, there was no change in the relative proportion of clear stops to clear non-stops when minor approach drivers did not face opposing traffic, but the relative proportion of clear stops increased for drivers who did encounter opposing traffic.


2014-01

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

Final Report (PDF, 2 MB, 94 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

These guidelines provide guidance to Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) engineers in making better decisions on culvert repairs. New materials specifications, special provisions, and standard details will ensure adherence to standardized practices and increase the effectiveness and longevity of repairs. Focus is on repair of centerline culverts of 24 inches to 72 inches in diameter.

LRRB RIC Products

2014RIC51B

Traffic Data Collection Improvements

Final Report (PDF, 3 MB, 89 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 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.


2014RIC51A

Traffic Data Collection Processes Study

Final Report (PDF, 0.3 MB, 16 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 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.


2014RIC16

Implementation of TONN2010

Final Report (PDF, 2 MB, 31 pages)
Technical Summary (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.


2014RIC14

Putting Research into Practice: Enhancing Pavement Design Tools

Final Report (PDF, 2 MB, 31 pages)
Technical Summary (PDF, 1 MB, 2 pages)

The objective of this project was to review existing methods, data and tools for pavement design, maintenance and rehabilitation, and to recommend implementation and, in some cases, training needs for each.