Category Archives: Maintenance Operations

Research, Updated Tools Help MnDOT Encourage Landowners to Join Snow Fence Program

This article was originally posted on Catalyst, November 2022.

Snow fences are a useful tool for controlling snow and ice on Minnesota’s roads. However, installing them relies on the cooperation of landowners. An ongoing collaboration between U of M researchers and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) aims to develop outreach tools that can be used to attract more landowners to the MnDOT snow fence program.

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Expanding Alternative Snow Control Through Landowner Engagement

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.

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Innovative Additions Could Help Asphalt Pavements Sense Damage—and Repair Themselves

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.

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Innovative Materials and Technologies for Sustainable Pavement Infrastructure

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.

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Investigating Pavement Segments With Long-Term Poor Ratings

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.

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Evaluating Improved Specifications for Retightening Anchor Rods on Support Poles

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.

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New Resource for Manhole and Catch Basin Installation

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.

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