Welcome to the Minnesota Transportation Research Collaboration Site


The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) welcome your ideas for research and research implementation funding. Register or log in to submit a new idea or vote on an idea to show your support. (To enter a new idea, click the "Submit New Idea" button, choose your idea's topic area, fill in the online form and click "Submit" at the bottom of the form when you are done.)

Idea solicitation for the 2020 academic transportation research program is open. Submit your ideas by Monday, March 16 for consideration in the 2020 research RFP. Ideas submitted after March 16 will be included in the 2021 cycle. MnDOT research implementation projects can be proposed at any time (pilot projects, training material development, etc.)

During the month of October, LRRB solicits ideas directly from member cities and counties at State Aid pre-screening meetings. If you have an idea for LRRB funding consideration, submit your ideas at the pre-screening meetings or on this website by November 1, 2019 for consideration in the 2020 RFP. After November 1, 2019, the LRRB will only consider ideas submitted for joint-funding with MnDOT during the 2020 research RFP.


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

Questions about this process? Call 651-366-3903.

Visit our web sites: RESEARCH & INNOVATION - 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)
(@pdahlberg)

Multimodal

Utilizing UAS for Railroad Inspections

MnDOT conducts several different types of railroad inspections across the state. Rail safety inspectors monitor railroad track infrastructure, equipment, locomotives and hazardous material shipments for compliance with safety regulations. Rail safety and coordination staff inventory and inspect all public railroad-highway grade crossings in the state. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have the potential to improve the efficiency... more »

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
(@nlmorris)

Traffic and Safety

Infotainment and traffic signal timing: investigating impacts on driver behavior and risk

In-vehicle systems such as infotainment screens can provide meaningful real-time information to drivers to allow for good decision-making and responses in the vehicle. One such category of information useful for drivers is signal-timing, which allows drivers to realize when the signal is about to enter a yellow phase or turn red. Would providing traffic signal timing information to drivers through an infotainment screen... more »

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
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(@nlmorris)

Traffic and Safety

Investigating Roadway Features for Safe, Intuitive Driving for Naïve Drivers Approaching a RCUT

Rural thru-STOP intersections consistently experience high crash rates in Minnesota. A Restricted Crossing U-turn (RCUT) intersection decreases potential points of conflict by restricting crossings. RCUTs have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing fatal crashes but are sometimes reported as confusing to first-time drivers due to its novelty and relative rarity. Therefore, there should be a thorough experimental examination... more »

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
(@nlmorris)

Multimodal

Driver Operator Speed in Bike Lanes and Other Shared Road Designs

The design of shared roadways encourages people to use alternate forms of transportation, such as bicycling, which provides health benefits and reduces carbon emissions from traveling. However, these roadways are often felt to be risky by bicyclists, due to the close interaction between motorists and cyclists in the roadway. A 2018 Vision Zero Crash Study by the City of Minneapolis reported that bike crashes typically... more »

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
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(@nlmorris)

Traffic and Safety

Identifying Covert and Illegal Texting Behaviors While Driving

Although the Minnesota hands-free law bans any type of phone use while driving, motorists continue to use their smartphones, with over 5,000 hands-free citations issued. Although there are observable indicators of drivers violating the hands-free law, motorists are now attempting to conceal phone use while driving (i.e. placing the phone out of sight) to avoid being detected by law enforcement. Drivers in states with... more »

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
(@nlmorris)

Traffic and Safety

Developing roadside testing for drug-impaired driving

In Minnesota, there were 5 reported incidents of DWI-controlled substances reported in 1990 and these numbers climbed to 1,982 incidents in 2017 (MN State Patrol, 2019). Often, offenders have multiple drugs in their system, including alcohol. The rising trend of drug and cannabis use while driving is troubling, especially since low dose combinations of cannabis and alcohol are known to be superadditive and significantly... more »

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
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(@sarah.sondag)

Bridge and Structures

Best Practices for Utilization of E4 (2") Relief Joints

Current practice for bridge and approach construction include installing an E8 (4") relief joint at the roadway end of the approach panel to accommodate potential movement between the pavement and the approach panel. For integral and semi-integral bridges, this joint must also accommodate bridge expansion and contraction. E4 (2") joints have been installed in lieu of E8 (4") joints in some test applications. This research... more »

Voting

2 votes
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(@syedwaqa)

Materials and Construction

Plan for Evaluating Long-life Pavement Sections

The concept of perpetual or long-life pavements has been introduced in the USA and Europe in the last few decades. Such roadways are defined as a flexible or rigid pavement designed and built to last longer than 50 years without needing major structural rehabilitation
or reconstruction and requiring only periodic surface renewal in response to distresses that are confined to the top surface. It is also recognized that... more »

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
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(@prosper)

Maintenance Operations

Heated Concrete for Enhancing Sustainable and Resilient Winter Maintenance and Management of Transportation Infrastruct. Systems

Since Minnesota has the fifth-largest roadway system in the country experiencing more extreme weather conditions than most states, snow and ice control operations are important to ensure safety, mobility, and efficiency of highways and local roads where driving conditions are often aggravated by inclement wintery weather. Snow and ice removal are expensive components in winter road maintenance for the Minnesota Department... more »

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
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(@prosper)

Environment

Effective Use of Recycled Plastic Waste Materials in Minnesota Transportation Infrastructure Applications

Plastic pollution is one of the great environmental challenges in the world. Negative impacts of plastic pollution include degradation of natural systems as a result of leakage, (especially in the ocean), health and environmental concerns affecting plants, wildlife and even human population, and greenhouse gas emissions. According to United Nations (UN), about 300 million tons of plastic (which is nearly equivalent to... more »

Voting

1 vote
2 up votes
1 down votes
(@syedwaqa)

Materials and Construction

Feasibility of Using Nondestructive Testing Technologies in Quality Assurance Practices

The importance of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) as a quality assurance tool for highway construction is the need for current times. Innovative research in materials science and digital technology have paved the way for more new methods in NDT technology. Therefore, with the rapid development in technology, the use of NDT is becoming more practical and affordable. State highway agencies routinely accept highway materials... more »

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
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(@cetinbor)

Materials and Construction

Comparison of Pavement Performance —Thicker Base and Thin Subbase versus Thin Base and Thicker Subbase Layer Thicknesses

Since the main working principle of pavements is to distribute the axle loads to the layers beneath the pavement surface course (aggregate base, subbase, and subgrade), these layers play a significant role in the long-term pavement performance. Aggregate base course, the main load-carrying layer, is the first layer beneath the pavement surface course. It usually constructed by using coarse-grained aggregates to provide... more »

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
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(@syedwaqa)

Materials and Construction

Estimating As-built Pavement Initial Service Lives from PMS Data

Highway agencies use life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) to choose the most cost-effective project alternatives when planning new construction or rehabilitation of their roadways. LCCA considers all anticipated costs over the life of each pavement alternative. However, it is generally assumed that the competing alternatives provide the same level of performance or benefits to the project's users. Therefore, the alternatives... more »

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
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(@cetinbor)

Materials and Construction

Identify Minimum Pavement Base/Subbase Thicknesses to Provide Adequate Frost-Heave Protection to the Pavement Structure

The Pavement-ME design approach considers the effects of environment and climatic factors on the performance of a pavement section throughout its design period by using the Enhanced Integrated Climatic Model (EICM). The EICM considers all variations in temperature and moisture within the pavement structure. However, it is essential to note that the EICM does not directly consider any effect of frost heave susceptible... more »

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
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(@syedwaqa)

Materials and Construction

Screening and Characterizing Recycled Concrete Aggregates (RCAs) for Unbound Base/Subbase Applications in Road Construction

Pavement unbound base/subbase layers are the most common reuse applications for recycled concrete aggregates (RCAs) in several states. The widespread acceptance of RCA for use in pavement unbound layers offer sustainable and environmental benefits at a low cost. Besides, the use of RCA provides the potential for better pavement performance than virgin aggregates (VAs). However, there are particular challenges with RCAs... more »

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes