Bridge and Structures

Integrating Climate Change Vulnerability Metrics into BRIM and TAMS

In 2014, MnDOT conducted a pilot project to better understand the vulnerability of the state’s trunk highway system to flash flood events. MnDOT developed asset vulnerability scores for bridges, large culverts, and pipes in Districts 1 and 6 using a series of weighted metrics. This project will build on the pilot with the goal of integrating key metrics from the 2014 study into decision-making at the agency. To achieve ...more »

Submitted by (@siri.simons)

Idea Submitted by : Siri Simons

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Philip Schaffner; Solomon Woldeamlak

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

Minnesota’s climate is changing, including the frequency of larger rainfall events. Understanding how climate change impacts MnDOT’s assets will help identify infrastructure that may be more vulnerable to flooding and other issues that could impact public safety and associated cost to MnDOT.

The FAST Act requires states to consider improving the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system in planning and programming as well as developing risk-based asset management plans. At the state level, the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan includes a System Stewardship strategy to proactively identify risks to the transportation system in order to prioritize mitigation and response activities. The SMTP also includes a short term work plan item to identify vulnerabilities and assess risks to the transportation, specifically referencing the changing risks of flooding.

This project will provide staff with new information to help mitigate risks to our statewide infrastructure.

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

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Materials and Construction

Adjiusting Rings -Design of a Product - Strong, Flexible and Resistant to the Elements

MnDOT uses adjusting rings to set their catch basins and manholes. The plate which governs the placement and use of the adjusting rings is Standard Plate 4026A. When Metro District inspects storm sewers we are discovering the adjusting rings are failing - cracked, concrete removed, crumbling and other failures. Additionally construction reports the rings which are supplied to the construction site appear to be brittle ...more »

Submitted by (@alan.rindels)

Idea Submitted by : Alan Rindels, Senior Engineer Metro Water Resources

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Alan Rindels and Beth Neuendorf

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

If a more concrete ring can be specified. There will be reduced maintenance and construction costs.

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

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Traffic and Safety

Private Contractors -Proper use of Temporary traffic Control Devices and Signs

After noticing numerous private contractors, working off of state highway shoulders and right of ways, with improper, or, lack of, temporary traffic control devices, or signs, I reached out to other employees, for their opinion, and, found out I was not alone. After consulting supervisors, TGS's, in both, maintenance, and construction, I could not find a clear answer on who enforces this area. I contacted a safety director, ...more »

Submitted by (@van.zwettler)

Idea Submitted by : Van Zwettler

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : MNDOT, Hutchinson, District 8

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Van Zwettler

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

more and more private contractors, are working on / off state highways, and right of ways, without the proper knowledge / training along with a lack of enforcement, creating a high risk for accidents.

I feel a positive educational approach, rather than, strictly, enforcement / fines, would result in a higher compliance rate, and, it turn, safer highways for all.

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

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Maintenance Operations

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) - Pond and Stormsewer Inspection and Data Collection

MnDOT Metro District has over 600 stormwater ponds to manage. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have proven beneficial for the inspection and maintenance of bridges. Could the same technology be used to assist Metro District in the management of these ponds? The ponds tend to be very difficult to survey. Most are overgrown with vegetation and to survey pond bottom a boat is required. We would like to develop a ...more »

Submitted by (@alan.rindels)

Idea Submitted by : Alan Rindels, MnDOT Metro Pond Reconstruction Project Manager

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Alan Rindels and Beth Neuendorf

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

The costs for sending a survey crew to a pond site, the costs associated with launching a boat and doing soundings of the 60 ponds would cost roughly $250,000. However, many of our ponds are adjacent to freeways and safe access is a concern. Traffic control may be necessary to safely survey the ponds. To be able to collect this information in a safe fashion with the minimum impact to the traveling public is a very big benefit.

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

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Maintenance Operations

Non-invasive road sensors in RWIS and AVL systems

Implement non-invasive road sensors in RWIS and AVL systems.

Submitted by (@mindo22)

Idea Submitted by : Jon Bjorkquist

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : MNDOT Operations Division Office of Maintenance (RWT)

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Joe Huneke

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

Current passive road sensors are imbedded in the road surface. Whenever there is a construction or maintenance project that impacts the road surface (mill and overlay, sealcoating, patching, etc.), the imbedded sensor must be replaced. This, and periodic RWIS site and sensor maintenance, requires lane closures and cutting the road surface to install the sensor and cables. The non-invasive sensors are attached to the RWIS tower or a pole near the roadway and uses laser technology to read the road surface temperature and condition; subsequently, future road projects do not impact the sensor and periodic maintenance does not require lane closures.

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

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Policy and Planning

Applying the ride-share business model to support public transit service needs in Greater Minnesota

In Greater Minnesota organizations coordinate volunteer drivers, utilizing their personal autos, who are an important service provider for non-emergency medical trips such as kidney dialysis. Volunteer driver studies conducted by the Minnesota Council on Transportation Access (MCOTA) describe the value of the volunteer drivers in meeting in Greater Minnesota’s transportation needs in the most cost effective manner compared ...more »

Submitted by (@sara.dunlap)

Idea Submitted by : Sara Dunlap

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

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

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

Volunteer drivers are an important part of the transportation network, support public transit services and fill a gap for residents in Greater Minnesota by providing trips that are not cost effective for public transit providers. The number of volunteer drivers is declining for multiple reasons. There is no 'back-up' plan for how to deliver these transit trips. This issue is a high priority as it requires time to both understand the potential solutions and work with drivers to implement the new model.

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

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Materials and Construction

Super Air Meter (SAM) Implementation on Concrete Paving Projects

The SAM will give you both the air content and a SAM number. The SAM number correlates to an air void size and spacing. The SAM measures the size and volume of the air void system in the fresh concrete which gives you great insights into the stability of your air void system as well as the impact on strength before the concrete hardens. The SAM would help eliminate the need to take cores and conduct hardened air tests ...more »

Submitted by (@maria.masten)

Idea Submitted by : Maria Masten/Rob Golish

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Maria Masten

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

MnDOT has been researching through multi-state pooled funds and concrete testing contracts the validity and use of the Super Air Meter on a limited basis. The implementation of the Super Air Meter will verify the quality of the air void system in regards to freeze-thaw durability in the plastic concrete in as little as 10 minutes. This will give the Agency insight at the time of placement as to the long term performance of the concrete pavement.

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

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Traffic and Safety

Implementation of New Guidelines in Tightening Large Anchor Bolts of Supports for Signs & luminaires

To implement the large anchor bolting tightening guidelines and specifications derived from the results of the current research project: "Re-tightening Large Anchor Bolts of Support Structures for Signs and Luminaires", which will be completed by the end of June 2018. This implementation project will include the tasks to generate workshop materials and three to four web-based training videos in anchor bolt tightening ...more »

Submitted by (@jihshya.lin)

Idea Submitted by : Prof. An Chen

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Iowa State University

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jihshya Lin, Josie Tayse, Sue Zarling, Trisha Stefanski, Eric Embacher

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

The loose nuts in over 19% of large anchor bolts of the overhead sign and HMLT support structures has created MnDOT maintenance and inspection problem. AASHTO and FHWA guidelines allow DOTS to inspect OH supports and HMLT at the frequency of 5 years. With so many loose bolt nuts, it will need almost annual inspection for over 2000 OH signs and almost 500 HMLT. This also causes the public safety concerns. The results from the current research project basically has pin-pointed the causes of the loose nut problems and following the proposed guidelines and specifications in construction and maintenance can help in eliminating or minimizing this kind of problems. This will decrease the needs for more inspections and maintenance work and save MnDOT costs in traffic control, bolt inspection and retightening, and all related work. It will also improve the public safety in the loose bolt nut concerns. All state counties and cities can also be trained and benefited from this.

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

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Maintenance Operations

Implementation of Wet or Soft Soil Crossing Technology

Maintenance and construction operations need to cross and stage over wetlands or low bearing capacity soils to perform necessary state work. Various permits require wetland avoidance or minimization of impacts. Additional environmental commitments include minimizing or preventing soil compaction, preservation of soil function and structure, preservation of the native plant community, preservation of soil habitat for ground ...more »

Submitted by (@dwayne.stenlund)

Idea Submitted by : Scott Bradley

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : Central Office, St Paul

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Dwayne Stenlund

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

Priority to allow maintenance to perform all-season work operations and construction to stage within restricted footprint, regardless of equipment type. The benefits are temporary work in wetlands and other soft soils that prevent compaction, allow winter tree removal for endangered bat avoidance, repairs to noise walls and other infrastructure in wet areas. This has statewide benefits for all road authorities for construction and maintenance of the infrastructure, regardless of season and soil type and will enhance financial effectiveness by allowing both work and meeting environmental commitments..

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

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8 votes
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Materials and Construction

Cost Effective Left Turn Lane Construction

The addition of left turn lanes on a 2-lane undivided highway greatly improves safety at the intersection. There are many feasible options for widening the pavement to develop the left turn lane. One low-cost option is to saw cut along the existing lane-shoulder line and construct only the new shoulder with the widened section. However, this creates a situation in which thru traffic traverses the longitudinal pavement ...more »

Submitted by (@tim.clyne)

Idea Submitted by : Tim Clyne

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Kaare Festvog, MnDOT Metro District Traffic Office

Project Type - MnDOT or LRRB / Research, Implementation or TRS : Transportation Research Synthesis (TRS)

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6 votes
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Traffic and Safety

Lowrey Tunnel Communications System

When employees are working in the plenum space above the road inside the tunnel they have no ability to communicate with one another which poses a significant risk should an emergency occur inside the tunnel while employees are working. A communications system with radios & repeaters would make work much safer and provide piece of mind for employees while working so they can focus on the task at hand...

Submitted by (@safety.doug)

Idea Submitted by : Doug Thies

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Doug Thies

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

A communications system will provide for much improved employee safety while working inside the Lowrey Hill Tunnel...

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

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7 votes
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Bridge and Structures

Lightwieght Architectural Slope Panels

The pavers are 2' x 4' x 3" with a tongue and grove around the edges with a 1" architectural surface. The pavers are made with foam concrete and fibers for reinforcement and weigh less than 80lbs each.

Submitted by (@steven.lanz)

Idea Submitted by : Steven Lanz Jr.

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Steven Lanz Jr

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

The way that slope paving is currently done, the panels are poured in vertical strips and from the top down. With every other one being poured, the material where the contractor is working gets disturbed and never gets recompacted and the rebar doesn't get incorporated into the concrete. With the way that I'm implemting the panels is to place them from the bottom to the top and left to right. Also, you would be able to remove the panels if there is a problem under the panels. It would also take you less time to do a section of slope paving.

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

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