Some rural landowners maintain snow fences to prevent blowing snow from reaching highways, decreasing the resources MnDOT spends on winter maintenance. A recent project provided new information and updated tools to encourage more landowners to adopt this alternative snow control method.Continue reading Expanding Alternative Snow Control Through Landowner Engagement
Over the years, dozers have been the desired tool for pushing snow drifts back along highways. While dozers work well, they are limited by the drivability between drift locations.Continue reading Tractor, Meet Snowplow: Snow Removal Innovation
This article was originally published on Clear Roads, February 10 2022.
AASHTO’s SICOP Talks Winter Ops podcast recently posted several new episodes. The latest looks at how agencies manage extreme weather events:Continue reading New Podcast Episodes from SICOP Talks Winter Ops
This article was originally published in Catalyst, January 2022.
University researchers are investigating ways to extend the life of asphalt pavements and generate cost savings by adding innovative materials to asphalt mixes. In a recent study, they found that improving asphalt mixes with graphite nanoplatelets and taconite concentrates offers new possibilities for enhancing damage-detection techniques and restoring subsurface cracking using microwave energy.Continue reading Innovative Additions Could Help Asphalt Pavements Sense Damage—and Repair Themselves
In search of enhanced pavement damage detection practices, researchers investigated two innovative additives to asphalt binders: graphite nanoplatelets and taconite concentrates. They also examined the ability of microwave energy to restore subsurface cracking.Continue reading Innovative Materials and Technologies for Sustainable Pavement Infrastructure
Researchers investigated pavement segments within MnDOT’s pavement management system that had received a poor ride quality level rating for more than five years. Their investigations showed that for most segments, the true pavement conditions differed from listed ratings due to the pavement segments’ unique characteristics.Continue reading Investigating Pavement Segments With Long-Term Poor Ratings
In this follow-up study, researchers checked the effectiveness of revised specifications for tightening anchor rods on sign and signal support poles. The revised specifications will ensure correct tightening procedures, which will result in better installations and maintenance.Continue reading Evaluating Improved Specifications for Retightening Anchor Rods on Support Poles
Finding resources that address manhole and catch basin issues occurring in Minnesota can be challenging. In a recent project, researchers surveyed 83 municipalities and interviewed other engineers and product representatives to gather data about manhole and catch basin installation and maintenance practices. The resulting report provides current information for municipal engineers about these essential installations.Continue reading New Resource for Manhole and Catch Basin Installation
Building on previous MnDOT-sponsored work, researchers have developed a nondestructive method of assessing pavement thickness using 3D ground-penetrating radar (GPR). A vehicle equipped with an array of transmitting and receiving antenna pairs travels at traffic speed collecting full-width GPR data for analysis, minimizing the amount of pavement coring required.Continue reading Evaluating Pavement Thickness With 3D Ground-Penetrating Radar
In Minnesota’s metro region, areas of shallow groundwater show increasing evidence of chloride contamination from winter road maintenance operations, particularly deicing. More than a quarter show chloride concentrations at the maximum contaminant level for municipal drinking water. In addition, 123 lakes and rivers show chloride impairment or risk of impairment for aquatic life. Chlorides are now considered the second most important threat, after phosphorus, to Minnesota’s urban waters.
The City of Edina, with funding from the Local Road Research Board, hired the University of Minnesota to analyze chloride accumulation in city snowmelt following winter maintenance operations to learn how to most effectively adjust its deicing strategies to reduce chloride contamination.
Over two winters, researchers collected data from city deicing operations and correlated it with chlorides present in meltwater runoff. A sampler box collected data continuously, and snow pile cores were also analyzed. Snowplow operators then examined the results during workshops, yielding innovative ideas for reducing salt use.Continue reading Edina Studies Snowmelt To Reduce Chlorides From Deicing Operations