Light rail transit and bus rapid transit in the Twin Cities provide urban residents with fast, safe and reliable transportation. These transitways have the potential to attract more riders and further reduce automobile traffic, relieving the growth of congestion on nearby roads as people decide to be transitway passengers rather than motorists.Continue reading Urban Rapid Transit Reduces Traffic on Nearby Roads
Across the transportation industry, public and private employers are experiencing workforce shortages and an uncertain future. As older employees retire and younger workers fill their roles, organizations must naturally adjust to accommodate their changing workforce. In the transportation industry, shifting demographics have also brought new attitudes regarding technical jobs. The result is that fewer engineers and other highly skilled professionals are entering the field, and keeping those who do is becoming increasingly difficult. To address this changing landscape, transportation agencies of all sizes must be prepared to meet the challenges ahead or risk falling behind.Continue reading Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Minnesota’s Transportation Workforce
Potholes and other pavement failures in asphalt typically occur at the seams between lanes, where the mixture loses density during compaction because the edges are not confined like they would be with cement concrete forms. Researchers found that spraying J-Band, a void-reducing asphalt membrane (VRAM), in a band along longitudinal joints before asphalt layers are applied increased bond strength, lowered permeability and air void levels, and improved crack resistance.Continue reading Evaluating the Impact of J-Band on Pavement Service Life and Crack Resistance
The National Road Research Alliance (NRRA) is hosting “Research Pays Off: FRC Jointless Roundabouts in Minnesota” on March 16 at 10 a.m. CST, presented by Principal Investigator Peter Taylor, Ph.D., P.E., Iowa State and Technical Liaison Maria Masten, P.E., MnDOT.
The NRRA’s monthly seminar highlights research topics that will make an impact on the work done here in the state of Minnesota and around the country.
The use of roundabouts to improve safety and traffic flow in rural areas is growing rapidly in the U.S. Proper design details and construction methods are important to the long term performance of these facilities. Joint layout in roundabouts constructed with concrete pavement are especially challenging. To reduce the need for sophisticated joint layouts, some roundabouts are now be constructed without joints, utilizing structural fiber-reinforced concrete to bridge cracking that might occur. Fiber-reinforced concrete is also being used in thin concrete overlays to increase longevity and enhance joint load transfer capacity.
In 2018, Minnesota’s first jointless fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) pavement roundabout was constructed near the city of Sleepy Eye. It is of interest to the NRRA Rigid Team members to understand the design, construction, and near-term performance of this roundabout. Also constructed in 2018 were two fiber-reinforced concrete whitetopping (bonded concrete overlay on asphalt) projects in southern Minnesota. These projects were unique in that early construction vehicle loading was applied to each project to encourage the deployment of transverse contraction joints. The NRRA Rigid Team members are interested in documenting the innovative steps performed during the early loading process.
The objectives of this study are twofold:
- Write a construction report and carryout a 3-year performance monitoring regime for the jointless FRC roundabout project
- Write a construction report for the two FRC whitetopping projects subjected to early loading.
Visit the MnROAD website for webinar connection information.
A new six-part video series, “Hot Shots for Cold Climates” explores treating Minnesota’s iciest roadways, with safety and environmental impact in mind.Continue reading Evaluating “Hot Shots”: Winter Roads Treatment of Hardest Icy Spots
MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation and Office of Maintenance hosted, “Winter Research Lightning Talks” on Wednesday, February 25.Continue reading Webinar Recording Available: Winter Research Lightning Talks
A quick reference guide is now available to help local agency planners and designers select the best bicycling facilities for their system. This guide walks local agencies through the selection and design process, and directs users to specific places within design manuals for details on facility questions.Continue reading Local Guidance for Bicycle Facility Design
In a recent study of inspection reports, design documents and other data to evaluate the safety performance of bridge barriers, investigators found that the most commonly used barrier designs meet newer safety requirements and keep Minnesota drivers safe.Continue reading Assessing Bridge Barriers for Today’s Vehicle Needs
In a recent research project, MnDOT sought to validate a smartphone app designed to guide pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired through signalized and unsignalized intersections. The project succeeded in showing the app’s effectiveness in tests at six intersections in Stillwater, Minnesota.Continue reading Smartphone App Gives Crossing Guidance to the Visually Impaired
Assisted by many county agency staff, researchers collected and analyzed runoff from low-volume rural roads over two years to determine how their contaminants compared to those of high-volume roadways. Results documented that runoff from low-volume roads has a lower contaminant concentration and that ditches and swales can be used to effectively treat rural road runoff.Continue reading Low-Volume Road Runoff Analyses Suggest Optimal Treatments