Can Twin Cities roadsides be used to grow habitat for endangered bumble bees? Are unseen factors affecting safety at rural intersections? How should Minnesota transportation agencies be preparing for connected vehicle technology?
Minnesota’s next round of transportation research projects will attempt to solve these and other questions facing the state’s transportation community. The Transportation Research and Investment Group, which governs MnDOT’s research program, and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board, which represents cities and counties, recently met and selected 21 transportation research projects for funding in fiscal year 2018.
A couple of MnDOT’s most interesting projects will evaluate the reuse of wastewater at safety rest areas and truck stations and develop a system to optimize the location of 80 truck stations due for replacement in the next 20 years. MnDOT will also partner with the Local Road Research Board to evaluate the use of personal warning sensors for road construction workers.
In addition to the problem of stripping underneath sealcoats on some city streets, other top research projects for local governments involve pedestrian safety enforcement and investigating whether rural, low-volume roads should be treated differently than urban roads for stormwater runoff. Current regulations govern runoff the same, regardless of daily vehicle count or surrounding land use.
“The selected research studies, which typically take one to three years to complete, will address some of the most major policy, environmental and maintenance dilemmas facing transportation practitioners,” said Linda Taylor, director of MnDOT Research Services & Library.
Below is a list of the selected projects, with links to associated need statements. Final project scopes will become available once contracts are approved. For further information, go here.
Bridges & Structures
- Understanding and Mitigating the Dynamic Behavior of Rural Intersection Conflict Warning Signs and Digital Message Signs Under Wind Loading (PDF)
Materials & Construction
- Remaining Service Life Asset Measure, Phase 1 (PDF)
- Experimental and Computational Investigations of High Density Asphalt Mixtures
- Pavement Thickness Evaluation using 3D Ground Penetrating Radar (PDF)
- Is Seal Coating Counterproductive or Not? (PDF)
- Cost/Benefit Analysis of the Effectiveness of Crack Sealing Techniques (PDF)
- Characterization of Runoff Quality from Paved Low Volume Roads and Optimization of Treatment Methods
- Monitoring and Habitat Assessment of Declining Bumble Bees in Twin Cities Metro Roadsides
- Development and Regionalization of In Situ Bioslopes and Bioswales (summary unavailable)
- Investigating Wastewater Reuse at Truck Stations and Rest Areas (PDF)
- Truck Station Location Optimization (PDF)
- Personal Warning Sensor for Road Construction Workers (PDF)
- Adaptive Management to Improve Deicing Operations (summary unavailable)
Traffic & Safety
- Pavement Markings – Wet Retroreflectivity Standards (PDF)
- Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Stop Lines in Increasing the Safety of Stop-Controlled Intersections (PDF)
- How Locals Need To Prepare for the Future of V2V/V2I Connected Vehicles (PDF)
- Prepare Local Agencies for Future of V2V/V2I and Connected Vehicle Technologies (PDF) (there will be two separate projects evaluating new vehicle technologies- both proposals responded to the same need statement )
- Examining Optimal Sight Distances at Rural Intersections (PDF)
- Evaluation of Sustained Enforcement, Education, and Engineering Measures on Pedestrian Crossings (PDF)
- Cloud-Based Dynamic Warning System (summary unavailable)