Welcome to the MN Transportation Research Collaboration Site

MnDOT Research Services wants your ideas for the Local Road Research Board, MnDOT Research Program and Research Implementation Program, and this is where we gather them. Register or log in to submit a new idea or vote on the ideas.

We are actively looking for research implementation project ideas for the April TRIG meeting. The deadline for new implementation project ideas to be entered here is February 10. (TRIG is a panel of MnDOT office directors and district engineers.) We will also be using an online questionnaire, which will be sent in an email to the idea champion, to collect detailed information for the implementation plan. The deadline to complete the questionnaire is March 3.

Research proposals were heard in December by TRIG and LRRB, and 21 new research projects were funded. Project funding awards were posted on the research RFP web site: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/research/RFP/FY2018/index.html

The deadline for new research ideas for the next research RFP is May 25, 2017. New implementation ideas can be submitted at any time for development into an implementation plan and funding request. MnDOT TRIG selected 16 research implementation plans for $1.6 million in funding at meetings in March and September, 2016. (Click HERE to read the implementation project guidelines and process PDF.)

Contact us: research.dot@state.mn.us

Questions about this web site? 651-366-3760

Visit our web sites: RESEARCH SERVICES - Minnesota Department of Transportation and LOCAL ROAD RESEARCH BOARD, or related web sites MnDOT research programs and offices and TRB Publications (MnDOT internal web site)

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

Implement a Bluetooth Based In-Vehicle Message System to Alert Motorists in Workzones

A prototype system was previously developed to investigate the feasibility of using in-vehicle messages to heighten drivers’ awareness of safety-critical and pertinent work zone information. The previous effort focused on using an inexpensive technology based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags that can be deployed in or ahead of the work zone. An Android smartphone app was developed to trigger non-distracting, auditory-visual ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Chen-Fu Liao

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : University of Minnesota

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Ken Johnson

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

The proposed approach could establish an alternative to automatic speed enforcement to potentially change the behavior in work zones by providing dynamic work zone information. This project will prepare us for a later field operational test. The outcome of this project will allow MnDOT to provide audible work zone information to drivers through a smartphone or a vehicle’s infotainment system. This project will provide guidelines for engineers and operational staff to determine the placement of tagged landmarks at work zones for triggering in-vehicle messages. The smartphone app can potentially be integrated with a 511 system or other navigation apps to dynamically receive relevant work zone information.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : MnDOT Implementation

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Materials and Construction

Potentially Acid Generating (PAG) Rock BMP

Develop a manual which will guide characterization, mitigation and construction practices on future projects where PAG rock will be encountered.

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Duane Hill

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Materials & Road Research

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jason Richter

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

MnDOT, MnDNR and local agencies have dealt with and will continue to deal with PAG rock particularly in northeastern Minnesota where soil and rock excavations could exhume and expose PAG minerals. PAG rock can create geotechnical and environmental problems. It would be beneficial to develop a guide so that PAG can be adequately addressed during subsurface investigations, design, construction and in environmental documents.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : MnDOT Implementation

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Implementation plan is being written

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

Evaluation of Central Traffic Signal System and Best Practices for Implementation

This summer MnDOT is exploring and implementing a new central traffic signal system for controlling all traffic signals in its jurisdiction. Currently most of MnDOT’s files are stored within Synchro files. While Synchro is good for analyzing delay and coordinating signals, it is not suitable for large scale traffic simulations and travel demand models that are becoming more common place as we attempt to analyze congestion ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : John Hourdos

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : University of Minnesota, TC

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Kevin Schwartz

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Traffic signal information is a precious commodity simply because they require effort saving and maintaining the information. Few commercially available systems exist and most are dedicated to specific brand of controllers. The system MnDOT is implementing is a combination of commercial software and open source applications developed by Texas DOT and Utah DOT. Transferring the current signal information and setting up a system that will serve efficiently all stakeholders is essential for gaining the most from this investment.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : MnDOT Implementation

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Implementation plan on hold pending new traffic signal system database

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

Pavement Markings - Wet Retroreflectivity Standards

The ability to see pavement markings during wet conditions has the potential to increase driver safety and reduce lane departure crashes. MnDOT's current specification does not include a minimum initial pavement marking retroreflectivity standard during wet conditions. Some states include a wet recovery or wet continuous value, but it may not be based on scientific data. This research would determine the appropriate ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Jay Hietpas

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Office of Traffic, Safety, and Technolgoy

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jay Hietpas

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

This has the potential to significantly increase safety on state, county and city roadways. This is especially important as our driving population continues to age.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notificatoin pending

Voting

9 votes
9 up votes
0 down votes
In Review

Campaign: Materials and Construction

Remaining Service Life Asset Measure

MnDOT has used the remaining service life (RSL) measure for pavement condition for several years and is starting to use it for bridge condition, however much work remains to be done. The purpose of this study is to examine what has been done to date and make recommendations on a future measure that can be used to show the "true" condition of the system. The goal is to define a measure that can be used across all asset ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Glenn Engstrom

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Mareials and Road Research

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Glenn Engstrom

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

In an era where system needs across all of our assets exceed available funding, planners and decision makers need tools to make informed decisions. This effort is will provide data to make improved decisions.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

9 votes
9 up votes
0 down votes
In Review

Campaign: Environment

Inventory & Monitor Rusty-patched Bumble Bee along Twin Cities metro area roadsides

The Rusty-patched Bumble Bee (Bombis affinis) has experienced a greater than 85% reduction in its historic range in recent years. This native pollinator was once found throughout the eastern and midwest U.S., and unlike many imperiled species, is now found primarily in urban environments – including the Twin Cities metropolian area. The value of roadside and other right-of-ways in the recovery of this species has yet ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Christopher E. Smith

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : MnDOT Office of Environmental Stewardship

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Christopher E. Smith

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

The petitioning for federal listing in 2013 as a threatened or endangered species and anticipation that USFWS will propose B. affinis for listing in the next 6-12 months poses potential and significant project development, delivery and roadside management challenges in the future for State, County and Municipal roadway projects. Baseline inventory and monitoring work is a proactive approach that can help inform and reduce or mitigate some of the project development and roadside management challenges that will present themselves if B. affinis becomes listed as a threatened or endangered species..

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : MnDOT Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Materials and Construction

High Density HMA

MnDOT HMA pavements are typically constructed with air voids close to 7% in the mat and often approach or exceed 10% directly over longitudinal construction joints. Since mixture density is one of the things that affects durability, it is proposed that the research would include designing and placing a low air voids (4-5%) mixtures in a test section. Researchers have clearly shown in a previous projects that a 5% mix ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Ed Johnson

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : MnDOT Materials

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Ed Johnson

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Designs that help achieve high mat density without increased construction cost may provide benefits such as higher longitudinal joint density and greater overall durability and longer service life. Greater durability also lowers maintenance cost over the pavement lifetime. Reference TRB committee AFH60 webinar called "Constructing Asphalt Pavement with Road Air Voids Equal to Design Air Voids"

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Not sure (contact Research Services to discuss)

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Bridge and Structures

Improved Structural Design of Rural Intersection Conflict Warning Signs (RICWS)

MnDOT districts have noticed excessive swaying of Rural Intersection Conflict Warning Signs (RICWS) under wind load. This has caused safety concerns as the base may fail causing the sign to fall over. As an engineering solution, one district put a knee brace on the back of the sign to keep it from moving. Such a bracing system, however, is unable to meet the FHWA breakaway sign requirements because the modified structure ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Behrouz Shafei

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : MnDOT Bridge Office

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jihshya J. Lin

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

MnDOT has deployed the Rural Intersection Conflict Warning Signs (RICWS) to reduce the fatal and serious injury crashes at rural non-signalized intersections. RICWS provide supplemental warning to motorists approaching some high crash risk intersections. Considering the reports received on the excessive excitation and even blow over of the existing RICWS due to wind, there is an urgent need to evaluate the structural vulnerability of them and identify the required modifications. This will not only improve the public safety, but also help the districts' maintenance groups to save a tremendous amount of resources. Furthermore, the ultimate success of the RICWS deployment program will be ensured throughout Greater Minnesota.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

Investigate single loop based detector for statewide vehicle classification counts

An inductive loop signature technology was recently developed using existing loop infrastructure for vehicle classification. High resolution inductive signatures are used to analyze unique attributes of vehicles and improve classification count accuracy. Currently, vehicle classification is performed manually on high volume roadways. Double tubes are used to get axle-based vehicle classification counts on roadways with ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Chen-Fu Liao

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : University of Minnesota

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Gene Hicks

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

(1) Leverage existing loop detectors for vehicle classification counts. (2) If successful, the technology can save lots of time and money, and could provide State, County or City more data especially in the metro area where loop detectors are already installed.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : MnDOT Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

9 votes
9 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Maintenance Operations

Wastewater Reuse Potential

All MnDOT buildings produce wastewater that is either discharged to a local wastewater treatment facility or managed through a combination of septic systems and holding tanks. Treating and reusing wastewater for business processes has the potential to reduce our water consumption and minimize some constituents that are discharge to the sewer system. Research is needed to identify how MnDOT could implement wastewater ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Neile Reider

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Office of Maintenance, Building Services Section

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Steve Lund - State Maintenance Engineer

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Public water supplies are becoming stressed and as a result existing water supplies must go further. This research may determine the potentials for onsite wastewater reuse and identify the operational and maintenance implementation barriers.

 

This research would benefit the State, Counties, and Cities by identifying what a typical wastewater stream from a Truck Station looks like, what constituents are difficult to remove or manage, and what building processes are suitable for using reclaimed wastewater. As the State, Counties, or Cities construct new facilities, this research would provide insight into what options are readily available to reduce water consumption and improve water efficiency.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Maintenance Operations

Truck Station Location Optimization

There are 140 truck stations that MnDOT owns and operates with an expected life expectancy averaging 50 years. Based on life cycle, there will be 80 truck stations needing replacement within the next 20 years. Research is needed to optimize the truck station replacement program so that new and renovated buildings meet the needs of the Department now and into the future. Are the existing truck stations in the right ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Chris Moates

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Office of Maintenance-Building Services Section

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Steve Lund, State Maintenance Engineer

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

The research could determine best locations for truck stations as a majority of them are planned for replacement in the next 20 years. Efficiencies could be created from having optimal routing of maintenance equipment, potentially fewer truck stations, properly sized truck stations for known and predicted equipment, and more and better partnerships with cities, counties and state agencies.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

9 votes
9 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Materials and Construction

Pavement Thickness Evaluation using 3D Ground Penetrating Radar

Accurately and effectively evaluate pavement thickness in HMA pavements is important for pavement design and project planning. For an FDR, CIR, SFDR, and Whitetopping pavement designs, the existing HMA layer thickness is needed for determining the proper pavement design. Currently, MnDOT uses cores to assess pavement condition and determine pavement thickness, but pavement core only provides localized information. 3D ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Shongtao Dai and Kyle Hoegh

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Office of Materials and Road Research

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Tim Andersen

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

For designing an FDR, CIR, SFDR, and Whitetopping projects, the pavement design depends on the existing pavement thickness. Therefore, accurately obtaining existing pavement thickness is important for designing appropriate rehabilitation project.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

How Stop Lines Affect Vehicle Position, Approach Speed, and Driver Attentiveness

There are few studies on the subject of stop lines (also known as advance stop lines, stop bars, or advance stop bars) and their effect on driver behavior, specifically at stop-sign-controlled intersections. Currently, searches on Google Scholar and the University of Minnesota catalog reveal studies from Retting and Van Houten and Berger; these studies are 16 and 41 years old, respectively, and only consider moving pre-existing ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : 2016 LRRB Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Nick Bauler, Traffic Safety Coordinator - City of Edina

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

How Locals Need To Prepare for the Future of V2V/V2I, Connected Vehicles

Connected vehicle technologies, such as vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), will potentially transform the way people travel and improve the nation’s transportation system in terms of safety, mobility, and the environment. Much work in this area is underway nationally that could be synthesized and handed down locally. Local road agencies would also like to take advantage of this technology as ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : 2016 LRRB Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jeff Hulsether, City of Brainerd

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Policy and Planning

Transportation Workforce Recruitment and Retention Strategies

The transportation industry is facing a severe and growing workforce shortage. Not enough new workers are entering the field, and retaining current workers is often challenging. It can be difficult for local agencies, especially in rural areas and small towns, to find the staff needed to deliver projects. The problem extends to consultants and the private sector. Research is needed to understand the causes of the shortage. ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : 2016 LRRB Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Chris Byrd, Benton County

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Not funded

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Environment

Stormwater Contaminant Data Collection & Cost-Effective Treatments Low-Volume Roads

Current MPCA stormwater regulations require the same treatment of impervious areas regardless of ADT/road volume. Stormwater contaminant data is available for urban areas but not for rural areas. Research is needed to quantify the contaminant level coming off paved roadways with different traffic volumes, in particular, for rural and low-volume roads. The data could be used to better match conditions to appropriate treatment ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : 2016 LRRB Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : John Welle, Aitkin County

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Maintenance Operations

Is seal coating counterproductive or not?

Several communities that have seal coated their pavement have experienced extremely early pavement stripping, creating a need to prematurely overlay all streets, a very big expensive deal. Is the stripping caused by seal coating? What are the negative effects of seal coating? Is it mix design, timing, or something else?

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : 2016 LRRB Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Steve Bot, City Engineer/Public Works Director

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

2 votes
4 up votes
2 down votes

Campaign: Maintenance Operations

Cost/benefit analysis of the effectiveness of crack sealing techniques

It’s known that routing and sealing is effective as a crack sealing technique. However, it is very time-consuming compared to traditional crack sealing. Research on the relative costs and effectiveness of the two techniques is needed. If you can get 90% similar performance, is the less expensive technique the better option? Include sealing on lip and curb. Also, what is the cost-effectiveness of keeping water out of the ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : 2016 LRRB Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Daniel Knapek, Assistant County Engineer

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

Examining optimal sight distances at intersections

In rural areas, serious injuries commonly result from insufficient gaps selected by motorists when crossing or entering an intersection. Clearing and grubbing adjacent right-of-way is a widely used safety strategy to improve sight distances at rural through/stop intersections. Applying a "more is better" approach, however, may be problematic in that sight distance increases may not provide a continually linear gain in ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Nichole Morris

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : University of Minnesota

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : County Engineer TBD

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Intersections have been highlighted as one of the most important focus areas identified in the Minnesota 2014 Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Successful project outcomes could lead to a reduction in serious injury and fatal crashes at rural intersections. Additionally, the project could result in financial savings by prescribing only the necessary amount of clearing and grubbing at intersections.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

10 votes
10 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

Pedestrian Crossing Safety Evaluation

The City of St Paul has been combining enforcement and education through a grass-roots effort for pedestrian crossings. This effort is a perfect example of what's been called for through TZD for pedestrian safety and yet this is the first city who has tried it in a consistent, continued way. This project would research the effectiveness, both immediate and longer term throughout the city and at crosswalk enforcement sites. ...more »

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Melissa Barnes

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : MnDOT CO - OTST

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Melissa Barnes

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

The City will have data on what's working and what types of issues are associated with failure to yield. This will provide data, a record, and a framework for other cities/counties across the state to undertake similar efforts.

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

36 votes
36 up votes
0 down votes

Campaign: Traffic and Safety

Personal warning sensor

a wearable device that would alert workers of vehicles that are approaching them rather than passing by. A presenter from Texas A & M had enhanced reality gadgets, and I thought one of those might be adapted if the processing is quick enough.

Submitted by

Idea Submitted by : Gordon Regenscheid

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Mankato

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Ted Ulven

Why is this a priority and what are the benefits for the State/County/City? :

Worker Safety

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Joint MnDOT/LRRB Research

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Funding notification pending

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes

Displaying all 21 Ideas