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 to show your support.

The deadline for new research ideas for this year's research RFP was May 18, 2017. Research ideas were prioritized by TRIG and LRRB in June, and high priority research needs were posted for university proposals on August 1. The proposals will be prioritized and selected for funding in December. Last year, 21 research projects were funded in December 2016 by TRIG and LRRB. Those project funding awards were posted on the research RFP web site: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/research/RFP/FY2018/index.html .

New implementation ideas can be submitted at any time for development into an implementation plan and funding request. Eight new implementation projects were selected for funding at the April 4 TRIG meeting. (TRIG is a panel of MnDOT office directors and district engineers.) (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)

Policy and Planning

Measuring the Economic Impact of Rural Transit Service in Greater Minnesota

The state legislature set a target for MnDOT to increase Greater Minnesota transit ridership by 40% by 2025. To reach this goal, transit systems need to add hours of service and connect to more communities. MnDOT currently provides 80% of operating funds; the local share is 15%. In Greater Minnesota, local funds from cities subsidize urban service. For rural services, contract revenue provides the majority of the local ...more »

Submitted by (@sara.dunlap)
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Idea Submitted by : Sara Dunlap

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Mike Schadauer

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

Currently, there are few resources that calculate the economic impacts of transit, and very few that can be applied to Greater Minnesota considering the population density and geographic make up. Through this research, MnDOT will be contributing to the limited national body of research on this topic, provide information to local leaders about the benefits of transit and help MnDOT justify funding requests from the legislature for Greater Minnesota transit.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #497

Voting

19 votes
19 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Maintenance Operations

Salt Reduction Implementation - Alternative De-Icer

MnDOT District One uses on average 40,000 tons of salt per year. To create a visual, this equates to over 1,000 semi loads of material or which would stretch over 20 miles if parked end to end. One table spoon of salt will contaminate 5 gallons of fresh water. Since Northeastern Minnesota is near one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, Lake Superior, we should be concerned about reducing the long term ...more »

Submitted by (@duane.hill)
1 comment

Idea Submitted by : Duane Hill

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Duane Hill, District Engineer; Steve Lund, MnDOT Maintenance Engineer, Perry Collins Distriict One ADE, Operations, Chris Cheney, MnDOT D1 maintenance superintendent

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

Reduce the environmental impact of chemical use in snow and ice operations.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Implementation plan and funding request has been written for TRIG consideration

Voting

18 votes
18 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Traffic and Safety

Generating Traffic Information from Connected Vehicle V2V Basic Safety Messages

NHTSA published a notice of proposed rule making that will require all new cars as of some model year to broadcast a basic safety message (BSM) using Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC). The BSM will contain information such as the car's location, speed, heading and acceleration. This will enable a car to know where the surrounding cars are and avoid collisions. Installing DSRC roadside units will allow MnDOT ...more »

Submitted by (@ray.starr)
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Idea Submitted by : Ray Starr

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Ray Starr

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

Travel times and end of queue information are important in work zones for safety and mobility, and knowing queue lengths at traffic signals could potentially enable smarter traffic signal control. Listening to vehicle BSM broadcasts is a means to gain early benefits from connected vehicles. Other vehicle to infrastructure connected vehicle applications will require additional capabilities in the car beyond what NHTSA is requiring, whereas generating traffic information from BSMs will be a possibility in the nearer term when vehicles may only have the vehicle to vehicle BSM broadcast capability on board. A literature search should be performed to determine what has already been done by others.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #493

Voting

10 votes
10 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Environment

Vegetation management practices to increase and enhance roadside pollinator and wildlife habitat

Migratory pollinator species such as Monarch butterflies and other wildlife are at risk due to the loss of native habitats from increasing development, intensive agricultural practices, and greater use of pesticides. Roadside habitats, in particular, have grown in importance, especially as migratory corridors and places that aid in species dispersal and mixing. We’d like to identify cost-effective roadside vegetation ...more »

Submitted by (@lrrbmetrofocusgroup)
2 comments

Idea Submitted by : Metro LRRB Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Dan MacSwain - Washington County

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

• cost savings (reduced mowing costs)

• stabilizing migratory pollinator populations

• development of priority migratory corridors

• better informed decision makers

• possible large-scale implementation (for operators, supervisors)

• increased safety (for pollinators and people)

• project prioritization

• case studies

• design of practices

• types of practices

• increased pollinator services

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #505

Voting

10 votes
10 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Policy and Planning

Construction Project Traffic Impact Analysis Methodology and DTA Model Validation

MnDOT has been working toward better understanding of traffic impacts and Road User Costs associated with reduced system capacity during construction activities. In an effort to quantify those impacts, a Dynamic Traffic Assignment (DTA) / Mesoscopic Travel demand model was developed within the DynusT/DynuStudio software platform. This model has been useful for quantifying these impacts among various construction phasing ...more »

Submitted by (@jim.henricksen)
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Idea Submitted by : Jim Henricksen

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Ron Rauchle

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

There is more emphasis and desire for MnDOT to minimize traffic impacts relating to construction projects placed on system users. To effectively doe this, we need to continue to refine and improve the tools the improve our capabilities of analyzing the trade offs made between minimizing Road Users Costs and Construction Costs. This project could help us move us toward improving our effectiveness in balancing these tow competing goals.

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

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes
Active

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 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. The problem is especially acute for ...more »

Submitted by (@lrrbmetrofocusgroup)
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Idea Submitted by : LRRB Metro Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Lyndon Robjent, Carver County

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

The transportation industry, and particularly local transportation agencies, would gain an understanding of the workforce shortage and be equipped with strategies to attract a skilled workforce. A skilled workforce is necessary to deliver transportation projects efficiently, maintain transportation systems, and, ultimately, meet the state’s transportation needs.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #508

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes
Active

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 (@chenfu)
2 comments

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

7 votes
8 up votes
1 down votes
Active

Traffic and Safety

Guidance for Protected/Buffered Bike Lanes with Delineators

Interest continues to grow in safe bicycle facilities such as protected bike lanes. Adding flexible bike-lane delineators is a relatively quick and affordable way to create a protected bike lane. The City of Minneapolis, for example, has added delineators on a number of streets. This project would provide information about bike-lane delineators—including types, benefits, drawbacks—and criteria for implementing them. ...more »

Submitted by (@lrrbmetrofocusgroup)
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Idea Submitted by : LRRB Metro Focus Group

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Paul Oehme - Chanhassen

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

Well-designed, interconnected bicycle facilities allow bicyclists to safely and conveniently get where they want to go. This increased sense of safety may encourage additional people to consider biking, more often, potentially reducing auto travel and improving public health. Safety may be improved for non-motorized and motorized vehicles if shared roads lead to slower speeds and reduced crashes. Better information developed through this project would guide agency decision-making and help engineers make cost-justified decisions about delineator installation. Guidelines could indicate potential methods to reduce maintenance costs. The project could also provide valuable information for cooperating with the community and bicycle advocates about bicycle improvements.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #500

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Traffic and Safety

Deploy and Test a Smartphone Based Accessible Traffic Information System for the Visually Impaired

We have developed a smartphone-based accessible pedestrian system to support wayfinding and navigation for people with vision impairment at both signalized and un-signalized intersections. A digital map was also created to support the wayfinding app. Our system allows a visually impaired pedestrian to receive signal timing and intersection geometry information from a smartphone app for wayfinding assistance. A beacon ...more »

Submitted by (@chenfu)
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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? : Steve Misgen and Cory Johnson

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

An increasing number of Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) have been installed at new or upgraded intersections to assist people with vision impairment to navigate streets. For un-signalized intersections and intersections without APS, people with vision impairment have to reply on their own orientation and mobility skills to gather necessary information to navigate to their destinations. This proposed approach will allow state, county, or local agencies to provide a more complete and accessible solution to the visually impaired community, thus improving their mobility and independence in using the transportation system. Furthermore, this project will evaluate the efficacy of VPN to provide a secure wireless environment for communicating with traffic signal controllers. In addition, our approach can also be applied for providing the visually impaired with sidewalk workzone bypass or bus arrival information at bus stops.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #502

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Materials and Construction

Test Methods for Verification of Low-Temperature Cracking Resistance of Asphalt Binders and Mixtures

Low-temperature cracking continues to be the number one distress in Minnesota. While progress has been made in developing fracture mechanics tests to obtain relevant material properties, there is a need to develop simpler test methods and analyses that can be used on a routine basis and at lower costs to verify the properties of asphalt materials used in construction of Minnesota pavements. These test methods are: ...more »

Submitted by (@dave.vandeusen)
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Idea Submitted by : Dave Van Deusen; John Garrity

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : John Garrity

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

In order for performance testing to be fully implemented in MN quick, reliable test procedures are needed so that construction acceptance decisions in a timely manner.

 

Primary benefits to road owners and industry include improved procedures for specifying and designing asphalt mixtures in light of heightened sustainability requirements and project-specific performance requirements, reduced construction costs, extended pavement life and reduced maintenance costs.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #495

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Traffic and Safety

Evaluation and Refinement of Queue Warning System Using ATM Infrastructure

MnDOT has been a leader in investing funding in new technologies to help reduce congestion and improve safety. One such example is the Active Traffic Management (ATM) system on I-35W and I-94 which includes intelligent lane control signals (ILCS) spaced every half mile over every lane to warn motorists of incidents or hazards on the roadway ahead. A previous project entitled "Development of a Queue Warning System Utilizing ...more »

Submitted by (@brian.kary)
1 comment

Idea Submitted by : Brian Kary

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Brian Kary

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

The systems deployed have shown some benefits in reducing crashes at these locations but the test period was too short to reach official conclusions on their success. Further analysis is needed to refine the systems and measure their benefits.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Implementation plan developed, hold for future funding consideration

Voting

6 votes
6 up votes
0 down votes
Active

Maintenance Operations

Salt Reduction Research - Chloride Capture

MnDOT District One uses on average 40,000 tons of salt per year. To create a visual, this equates to over 1,000 semi loads of material or which would stretch over 20 miles if parked end to end. One table spoon of salt will contaminate 5 gallons of fresh water. Since Northeastern Minnesota is near one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, Lake Superior, we should be concerned about reducing the long term potential ...more »

Submitted by (@duane.hill)
Add your comment

Idea Submitted by : Duane Hill

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : District 1

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Duane Hill

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

MnDOT is committed to being a leader in finding ways to reduce the amount of chloride entering the environment while still providing safe winter driving road conditions for Minnesota. The benefit will be long-term sustainability of our economy and natural water resources.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #511

Voting

6 votes
7 up votes
1 down votes
Active