A soon-to-be completed MnDOT research project has developed a spreadsheet tool for estimating how the risk of a left-turn crash varies as traffic volumes change throughout the day. The goal is to use this tool to support decisions about switching between protected and permitted left-turn treatments using flashing yellow arrow. The goal of this implementation project is to incorporate several suggestions made by potential... more »
Research has shown that driving after 1 night without sleep is similar to driving at a BAC of .05; however, drivers tend to underestimate or ignore the impact that drowsiness has on their ability to drive safely. For example, in 2012, 443 crashes were attributed to drowsy driving in Minnesota alone. However, this number may be an underestimate of the true magnitude of the problem of drowsy driving due to the lack of an... more »
A previous project from the UMN entitled "Evaluation of the Effect MnPASS Lane Design has on Mobility and Safety" developed recommendations for designing access spacing on HOT lanes. Based on the recommendations of this study, MNDOT restriped the I-394 MnPASS lanes to have a more open access design. This project would measure the effectiveness of these changes to ensure that a more open access design has not had any... more »
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 »
Currently MnDOT is experiencing problems with loose nuts at the anchor bolts of various transportation structures including signs and luminaires. To address this issue, MnDOT funded a research project titled “Re-tightening the Large Anchor Bolts of Support Structures for Signs and Luminaires,” which will end in June 2018. In this project, the researchers developed guidelines with tables and charts for tightening and re-tightening... more »
MnDOT is experiencing the problems of loose anchor bolts for the support structures for overhead signs, high mast light tower (HMLT), and tall traffic signals. MnDOT inspection crews found loose nuts for most of the anchor bolts, even some newly installed signs. Many of the nuts got loosened even after being tightened by the maintenance, following the recommended procedures, less than two years ago. This has drained... more »
Recycled materials are readily available in excess quantities, especially in the metro area, for use as aggregate base for roadway projects. There is a desire to use these materials, but there is a need to create a formula or recommendation for the optimal amount of each material (RAP, recycled concrete, virgin aggregate) in an aggregate base. The goal is to use as much recycled material as possible without causing the... more »
The California rumble strip design is intended to reduce noise pollution for adjacent residents. Its tactile intensity, however, appears to be less intense than that of the Minnesota rumble strip design. While noise pollution should be minimized where possible, it is important to ensure that the trade-off does not reduce its efficacy in capturing the attention of fatigued and distracted drivers. An investigation should... more »
Recycling and reuse of materials is critical for achieving sustainability. Also it is known that local aggregate sources are being depleted. A recently conducted lab based study investigated the possibility of using recycled clay brick as aggregates for applications such as shouldering and base course. It was found that when blended with natural aggregate, it should be suitable for such applications. However, it is necessary... more »
Illegal or unsafe speed was the leading contributing factor of 2011 single vehicle crashes in Minnesota. Past work has shown that Minnesota drivers do not view speeding 10 mph over the speed limit as dangerous suggesting that the attitudes toward speeding must be changed to accomplish safer roads for Minnesotans. This project aims to examine the effectiveness of a smartphone-based support system for Minnesota drivers... more »
This would be a phase 2 project that would reevalute the Traffic Information & Condition Analysis System (TICAS) developed for the RTMC. This tool was developed several years ago to help extract RTMC freeway data and develop performance measures for the metro freeway system. The goal of this research would be to make enhancements and modifications to the software now that it has been in use for a few years.
Fracture energy based tests on asphalt mixtures have been correlated to pavement performance. In an effort to reduce low temperature cracking in asphalt pavements, MnDOT has been investigating the use of a Disk-Shaped Compact Tension Test (DCT) based specification as a way to reduce or delay thermal cracking. MnDOT is nearing the end of the DCT Low-Temperature Fracture Testing Pilot Project, which implemented a trial... more »
The next generations define and value sustainability differently than previous generations. How does this impact transportation planning and infrastructure development in the Twin Cities? Which communities will benefit/which will be hurt? How do we plan for the shift, maximize its benefits and mitigate its negative impacts?
MnDOT's 'Minnesota GO' envisions a multimodal transportation system that maximizes the health of our economy. In small towns in Greater Minnesota, a MnDOT trunk highway is often the town's commercial main street. MnDOT plans and develops context sensitive projects that are performance-based, using a 'complete streets' approach. When completed, such small town projects have been found to benefit main street businesses,... more »