Developing the guidance needed to begin using drones for bridge inspections statewide is among the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s latest batch of research implementation projects.
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 ratings and map slopes statewide to identify locations that are vulnerable to flash flooding.
Each winter, MnDOT solicits proposals from staff who want to put local or national research into practice in their day-to-day work.
The state research program’s governing board then selects projects for funding based on benefits, impacts on the department and support from management.
Project champions take previously proven concepts and help MnDOT turn them into useful practices and procedures to make the state’s transportation system better. Funds can be used for equipment, consultant services or researcher assistance.
“The research implementation program fills the gap between research and deployment of new methods, materials and equipment,” Bruce Holdhusen, MnDOT Research Services senior engineer, said.
Here are the 12 newly funded research implementation projects by category:
Bridge and Structures
- Improving Quality of Bridge Inspections Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
- Prestressed Concrete Beam Shear Rating
- OmniScan Phased Array Ultrasonic Corrosion Imaging System
- MnDOT Slope Vulnerability Assessments
- Ultra-thin Bonded Wearing Course (UTBWC) Snow and Ice and Wind Effects
Materials and Construction
- Cold In-Place Recycling (CIR) for Bituminous Over Concrete (BOC)
- Geogrid Specification for Aggregate Base Reinforcement
- Balanced Design of Asphalt Mixtures
- Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) Design Manual for State Geotechnical Engineers
Policy and Planning
- One-year Pilot Test and Evaluation of ASTM DOT Package Compass Portal
Traffic and Safety
- Improve Traffic Volume Estimates from Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC)
- Understanding Pedestrian Travel Behavior and Safety in Rural Settings