Category Archives: Materials and Construction

Fiber-Reinforced Concrete’s Potential as a Performance Engineered Mixture

Reinforcing concrete pavement with structural fibers improves its durability and helps protect against potential faulting and cracking. MnDOT has used fiber-reinforced concrete (FRC) on some concrete bridge decks and pavements. Winter weather, freeze-thaw cycles and road salt, however, still hasten concrete deterioration. In a recent study, researchers evaluated FRC in the context of performance engineered mix design methods, giving MnDOT confidence in the parameters that FRC needs to meet to help withstand Minnesota’s harsh weather. 

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Improving Asphalt Performance and Durability With Superpave 5

Minnesota’s harsh climate requires dense, durable asphalt to avoid frequent maintenance and replacement. Asphalt mixes as designed in the laboratory, however, don’t always perform consistently in the field. A new Superpave mix shows promise for providing cost-effective, high-performing pavements for state roadways.

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Research Pays Off Webinar Series: Intelligent Compaction Technology as a Service and for Compliance

The National Road Research Alliance (NRRA) is hosting “Intelligent Compaction Technology as a Service and for Compliance – How ICT Research has led to the Removal of Technicians from Construction Sites in the UK” on July 19 at 10 a.m. CST, presented by Ruairi Charlesworth of Highway Data Systems.

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Increasing Cold In-Place Recycling Efficiency for Pavement Rehabilitation

New tools will help local road engineers reliably estimate the curing time of a cold in-place recycling (CIR) layer. Researchers identified factors that affect asphalt curing when a CIR method is used to know when pavement is sufficiently hardened, which will minimize delays in road construction and reopening.

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Optimizing Pavement Network Maintenance

Maintaining Minnesota’s 14,000 miles of pavement is challenging, especially with the growth in traffic volume resulting in system needs that exceed available funding. New ways to characterize pavement conditions and methodologies to determine the optimal maintenance schedule for individual road segments will allow planners to optimize resources while providing the highest possible ride quality across the pavement network.

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Research Pays Off Webinar Series: Intelligent Compaction Technology as a Service and for Compliance

The National Road Research Alliance (NRRA) is hosting “Intelligent Compaction Technology as a Service and for Compliance – How ICT Research has led to the Removal of Technicians from Construction Sites in the UK” on March 15 at 10 a.m. CST, presented by Ruairi Charlesworth of Highway Data Systems.

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Quantifying the Benefits of Improved Compaction

Compaction is the final and most critical step in asphalt pavement construction. National research conducted several years ago indicated that a slightly more compact pavement than typical could help roads last longer. To understand the relationship between pavement density and long-term performance, MnDOT has built a database with performance data from samples collected soon after they were constructed more than a decade ago. The agency hopes to eventually have enough data to determine the right amount of compaction. 

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Quantifying the Effect of Geogrids in Asphalt Pavement Foundation Layers

Geogrid inserted between the layers of asphalt pavement during construction can increase the strength and durability of the finished road. To help engineers decide whether to use geogrids in road construction projects, researchers calculated just how much strength and durability geogrid material can add to an asphalt pavement and integrated the findings into MnDOT’s design software.

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New Project: Evaluation of Corrugated HDPE Pipes Manufactured with Recycled Content

Historically, federal regulations have required that MnDOT use pipes made with all-new materials in various applications, such as redirecting stormwater under roadways. However, recent changes to these regulations have made it possible for the agency to also consider pipes made with recycled materials, which could provide MnDOT with more options when choosing products for future projects.

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New Project: Evaluation of Proprietary Rejuvenators

A wide range of proprietary spray-on asphalt rejuvenators are available on the market. A National Road Research Alliance field study has been initiated to monitor the performance of some vendors’ materials on test sections over the next five to 10 years. Local agencies are interested in learning more about the many products on the market.

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