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 the next research RFP is May 18, 2017. Research ideas will be prioritized by TRIG and LRRB in June, and high priority research needs will be posted for university proposals in August. 21 new 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)

Traffic and Safety

The real value of Toward Zero Death

The real value of TZD has not been shown in terms of lives saved including reduced serious/minor injuries along with health care cost savings and employee/employer’s cost savings. The data to date reflects the lower number of crashes and related lower fatalities and corresponding injuries. We have not been showing the public the savings data resulting from the fewer crashes that is the result of the TZD program. ...more »

Submitted by (@luane.tasa)

Idea Submitted by : Luane Tasa

List your MnDOT Office,District,City, County, Univ. or Other : District 2 State Aid

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Bruce Hasbargen

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

People involved in TZD need to see that their efforts are valued. Currently we see the reduction in crashes and fatalities, however the value of those reduced crashes are only in numbers and the other values in terms of savings in grief, sorrow, and financial are not measured and are the very reason TZD was initiated. The benefits would be to energize the TZD efforts by having annual reports of these savings to the public to raise more awareness of TZD. We have been promoting a 5th E in the NW district and that is Everyone. This is one way of getting the message out that everyone should be involved in changing the culture of safety while driving the highways.

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

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Materials and Construction

Performance-based Tack Coat Specification

Functional and structural HMA overlays are widely used pavement preservation technique, where interface bonding can be one of the most important factors affecting the performance. Interface bonding is affected by various factors, including material, application, texture, and other environmental conditions. Tack coat plays a significant role considering low cost and potential damages caused by the premature failure of ...more »

Submitted by (@hyung.ahn)

Idea Submitted by : Hyung Jun Ahn and Dave Van Deusen

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jeffrey Brunner

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #492

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Traffic and Safety

Comprehensive Investigation of Aggregates in Asphalt Mixture Designs and Relationship to Compaction

Compaction is the most crucial factor in constructing durable asphalt pavements. The current asphalt mixture designs use a target of 4% air voids, however, the mixtures are compacted in the field at a target of 7% air voids and in some instances as high as 10% air voids are allowed. Recent research has shown that a different approach, in which the mixtures are designed at 5% and compacted at 5% in the field, could result ...more »

Submitted by (@dave.vandeusen)

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? :

This is a priority for road owner agencies because asphalt mixture density is the primary factor affecting long-term pavement performance.

 

Primary benefits are:

 

1. A better understanding of aggregate materials properties and how they affect the constructability of mixtures they are used in; and

 

2. Improved mixture design procedure to reconcile differences that currently exist between assumptions made in the lab and reality in the field.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #496

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Bridge and Structures

Review of Past MnDOT Barrier Types

Many Minnesota bridges have older barriers or parapets that met the design code at the time of original construction but no longer meet current standards. Document the use of post & beam, type G, type J, and type F barriers on MnDOT bridges. How many years was each used? How many bridges have each type? What is the capacity of each barrier type? Develop guidance and criteria for determining when an existing barrier ...more »

Submitted by (@paul.rowekamp)

Idea Submitted by : MnDOT Bridge Office

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Paul Rowekamp

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #491

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Policy and Planning

Spatial Analysis of Agriculture Supply Chain to Assess Transportation Impacts

Efficient agriculture movement is critical to Minnesota’s economic health. In the past two decades, the agriculture supply chain experienced a number of market, technological, and policy innovations that have directly influenced the way producers and wholesalers navigate their local freight networks. With producers’ reliance on rural and urban roadways projected to grow, so too are concerns for accelerated pavement degradation, ...more »

Submitted by (@lmunnich)

Idea Submitted by : Lee Munnich

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Jon Huseby, District Engineer, MnDOT District 8 (Willmar)

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

As rural and urban roads assume a more exaggerated responsibility for connecting agricultural products to the market place, local freight planners are increasingly seeking informed, innovative solutions to address the growing industry’s transportation needs.

Outcomes of this study can inform MnDOT district and strategic freight network investments. Specific potential benefits include:

-identification of trends in specific districts of the state, that can inform local decision making, such as roadway improvement priorities

-identification of statewide trends, that can inform strategic freight investments

-provision of maps than can be used to facilitate a broader understanding of agriculture supply chain and transportation implications, including among the public and policy makers.

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

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Bridge and Structures

Service Life and Performance Assessment of Bridge Decks with Corrosion-Resistant Reinforcement

MnDOT is in the initial phases of designing and constructing a pair of side-by-side bridges on I-35, one with GFRP and the other with conventional steel deck reinforcement. Because these two bridges will be exposed to the same environmental conditions, very similar traffic, and will be constructed within the same timeframe, a unique opportunity exists to identify and evaluate differences in performance between them. Thus, ...more »

Submitted by (@behrouz.shafei)

Idea Submitted by : Behrouz Shafei and Brent Phares

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Paul Rowekamp

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

Degradation of bridge decks is mainly due to the corrosion of steel reinforcing bars embedded in the deck concrete. Considering the significant time and labor investment needed to repair or replace bridge decks prior to the end of their design service life, the outcome of this project is expected to be an important step forward to implement non-conventional, corrosion-resistant reinforcement, which will improve the durability and performance of bridges, while reducing direct maintenance costs. This will also minimize the indirect costs originated from bridge closure, disruption in traffic, and impact on surrounding environment.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #498

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Traffic and Safety

Enhancement and Integration of the TeTRIS and TICAS Freeway Performance Tools

This project would integrate the TeTRIS and TICAS Freeway Performance Tools into one system. The Traffic Information & Condition Analysis System (TICAS) was developed for the RTMC several years ago to help extract RTMC freeway data and develop performance measures for the metro freeway system. TeTRIS is currently being developed to be able to monitor travel time reliability on metro freeways. This project would combine ...more »

Submitted by (@brian.kary)

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? :

MnDOT is developing new performance measures to track congestion levels on metro freeways. This tool will allow staff to more quickly access traffic data allowing for more in depth analysis into freeway performance. It will also consolidate existing tools into one.

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

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Materials and Construction

Longitudinal Joint adhesive, J Band

J Band is a proprietary product. It is applied to a longitudinal joint before placing the top lift / driving surface. It is place by a special distributor in an 18” wide area at the joint. Both passes of the final wearing surface will be over about 9” of the J Band. This material will greatly reduce longitudinal joint deterioration. Here is a link to a minute video on the product. http://www.roadfabrics.com/videos/ ...more »

Submitted by (@jerry.geib)

Idea Submitted by : Jerry Geib

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

My estimate is about $2.50 / ln ft. This equates to $13,200 / mile or $6,600 / lane mile on a two lane trunk highway. This is a high initial cost solution (vs. the Crafco joint adhesive or rolling options) to the longitudinal joint problem. It may be the most cost effective solution.

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

Idea Status (this will be updated by the moderator) : Need Statement #512

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Bridge and Structures

Synthesis regarding performance of slipformed barriers and parapets

MnDOT has allowed contractors to use the slipform method of barrier and parapet construction for many years with seemingly good long performance. However, some other surrounding states prohibit the use of slipformed barriers and parapets due to some performance issues, such as local cracks. Water accumulated inside the cracks can cause potential chloride corrosion to the barrier reinforcement. There is also a concern ...more »

Submitted by (@anchen)

Idea Submitted by : An Chen

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Paul Rowekamp

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

Barriers and parapets are typically replaced at the same time as the replacement of bridge deck. Premature cracking and failure of the barriers and parapets may require their replacement before the replacement of bridge deck, which incurs additional cost. In addition, barriers and parapets are a critical part of roadway safety. Damaged barriers and parapets can cause safety issue. This study can eliminate potential problems and improve the long-term performance of slipformed barriers and parapets in Minnesota. It has several benefits, including cost savings, increased safety and durability of these structures.

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

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Bridge and Structures

Use of Ground Penetrating Radar Technology for Critical Civil Infrastructure Assessment and Manageme

The research hypothesis is that the ground penetrating radar technology, in combination with other established/emerging NDE technologies (Tetrahertz [THz] imaging, Step Frequency Radar [SFR], Falling Weight Deflectometer [FWD], etc.) could be used to create fused data and visualizations in the context of critical civil infrastructure assessment and management.

Submitted by (@djeisen)

Idea Submitted by : Dr. David Eisenmann

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Paul Rowkamp

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

It is anticipated that the proposed study will provide significant insights into the use of GPR-based hybrid/multi sensing technologies for advanced and rapid critical infrastructure assessment and management. Specific recommendations from this work will provide guidance on extending the technology to other similar areas such as railroad inspection, airport pavement evaluation, etc.

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

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Bridge and Structures

Low-Cost Portable Device for Welding Quality Monitoring

Welding is commonly used for connecting metal components in these bridges during fabrication and/or construction. Welding processes require high heating input while various factors, such as shrinkage of weld/parent metal or overheating of joint, vulnerably lead to cracks and other defects on the surface. These defects not only could result in severe cracks and corrosion, but also may ultimately lead to malfunction and ...more »

Submitted by (@zhibin)

Idea Submitted by : Drs. Zhibin Lin, Mijia Wang, Jinhui Wang and Na Gong

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Paul Rowekamp, Jihshya Lin

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

The proposed technology will address the need for an effective and rapid method for timely welding inspection and maintenance of steel bridges in Minnesota State, and introduce an efficient tool for MnDOT that reduces cost, man hours and human risk. Furthermore, the end product may provide practical tools for steel bridge fabricators, construction and in-service welding inspectors, local and state bridge owners in MnDOT to assist in identifying welding quality in critical locations to meet their needs and to assist in decision making.

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

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Materials and Construction

Optimizing Concrete Mixtures

With increasing environmental regulations, emphasis on lowering carbon footprint, as well as concerns about future availability of supplementary cementitious materials, DOTs are continually seeking ways to lower the use of cementitious materials in concrete pavements. These efforts are supported by national and state research showing that the total cementitious content in paving mixes can be as low as 470 lb/CY, while ...more »

Submitted by (@john.siekmeier)

Idea Submitted by : John Siekmeier

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

Idea Champion - Who at MnDOT/LRRB? : Ben Worel

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

National Road Research Alliance Rigid Team

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

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