Tire Rubber Modified Asphalt Emulsion for Effective Pavement Preservation


PI:  Zhanping You

This project will evaluate the feasibility of GTR-emulsion and activated rubber for pavement chip seal. The feasibility study includes the emulsification and performance evaluation of GTR-emulsions, and trial field sections of chip seals for GTR-emulsions and/or activated rubber. The project will be considered successful if the following results are obtained:

(1) GTR-emulsion and ARMA is successfully prepared and its performance is evaluated in laboratory. Its properties meet the requirements of each standard. The comparison between regular-emulsion and modified emulsions is made for performance evaluation.
(2) GTR-emulsion and activated rubber chip seals are successfully prepared and the performance is evaluated through the laboratory paving of chip seals. The life cycle cost analysis of chip seals is used to evaluate the ROI and the comparison between GTR-emulsion chip seal and others will be made.
(3) The road trial sections of GTR-emulsion and activated rubber chip seals are successfully implemented.

Zhanping You
Zhanping You
Qingli Dai
Qingli Dai

Log Movement in the Superior Region – Rate and Capacity Based Analysis of Modal Shares


PI:  Pasi Lautala

Since the purchase of the Wisconsin Central Rail system by Canadian National (CN) operations on the small branch lines throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin have seen reduced business. Starting in 2012, the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission (NRTC), formed by the economic development in the 13 counties of Northern Wisconsin as well as membership of nine of the UP’s 15 counties, has been leading an effort to not only put a spotlight on the decline, but seek solutions in collaboration with the CN. However, the effort has only been successful at keeping a spotlight on the issue.

One of the industries that have been particularly hard hit is the forest products industry. Moving logs by rail from aggregation points to the mills has been a very cost effective and safer method of moving raw material. Unfortunately, most of these movements start or end on branch lines and move below average distances to reach the mills. This doesn’t match well with the current business model for large railroads that is based on moving large blocks of cars (generally anywhere from 20-100) for fairly long distances (500+ miles). As a result, the prices CN considers profitable have been pushing logs off their rails and onto trucks.

Recent discussions by the Michigan Forest Products Council (MFPC), an industry group that includes representatives of the largest mills in the UP and Northern Wisconsin focused on the need to develop a strategy to either convince CN that a business case existed for them to get back into moving logs in the region or make a case for allowing a short line operator to take over service on the branch lines. The NRTC, who participated in the MFPC discussions, has also endorsed this strategy. Two specific steps to advance the strategy are an effort funded by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to update a previous rail study and a proposal by Michigan Technological University (MTU) to conduct a detailed analysis of the log movements to determine how a better business case can built by improving the operational movements related to where, when and how logs enter the rail system.

MTU’s study will use actual train movement data from CN and log movements data provided by the members of the Michigan Forest Products Council including a number of mills in Wisconsin, to create a spatial simulation model of the region. This model will analyze log movements (from several companies/mills) by rail and truck and look at where and how opportunities may be created to improve the business case for CN or a short line operator to provide cost effective service. One potential example is identifying locations where larger shipment sizes can be concentrated at once.

Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala

Sustainable Highway Construction Practices


PI:  Amlan Mukherjee

Subrecipient will perform the following scope of work:  Assist in the literature review, write and conduct an online survey of industry, help plan and participate in an industry workshop, conduct industry interviews, and help write and review reports.

Specifically, this work involves:

Task 1: Literature Review. Assist in the literature review.
Task 2: Gather Information.
Task 3: Summarize/identify gaps. Review written summary by UW.
Task 4: Prepare draft outline. Review draft outline of proposed Guidebook.

Task 5: Prepare interim report. Assist in drafting and reviewing interim report.
Task 6: Identify research agenda. Write the first draft of the research.

Task 7: Prepare final Guidebook. Assist in drafting and reviewing Guidebook.

Task 8: Present results. Review presentation developed by UW.

Task 9: Implementation memo. Review memo drafted by UW.

Task 10: Final report and PPT. Assist in drafting and review final report and

PPT presentation.


Amlan Mukherjee
Amlan Mukherjee




Identify Best Practices in Pavement Design, Materials, Construction and Maintenance in Wet Freeze Climates Similar to Michigan


PI:  Zhanping You

The success of this research project can enable MDOT to understand which best practices in other states or countries can be potentially implemented in Michigan. This would help Michigan to improve their pavement system by lowering construction and maintenance cost and extending pavement durability. It is also beneficial for MDOT to update their specifications, manuals and guidelines to be consistent with the development of those innovations in pavement design, pavement materials, construction and maintenance.

The objectives of this research are the following:

• Document best practices nationally and internationally for pavement design,   pavement materials selection, construction (workmanship), and maintenance of roadway pavements in wet freeze climates that are similar to Michigan.
• Identify barriers to implementing the best practices presently not used in Michigan.
• Recommend the best practices that could be implemented in Michigan.

Zhanping You
Zhanping You
Chris Gilbertson
Chris Gilbertson

A Workshop to Address Data Needs to Support Sustainable Decision-Making for Pavements


PI:  Amlan Mukherjee

The objective of this this task order is to organize and conduct a workshop where a report shall be created. outlining good practices and suggested methods for developing and operating a centralized data source, providing convenient access to comprehensive. reliable. transparent, publicly available. and context sensitive LCI data to support a pavement LCA.

Task 1.3.1: Conduct a comprehensive literature review and online search of ongoing efforts related to the development and use of LCI data specifically and LCA in general, within US and internationally, for sustainable transportation infrastructure decision making.

Task 1.3.2: Provide support for holding a two-day workshop and developing the draft report from the workshop discussions.

Task 1.3.3: Develop a draft final report that presents various options identified in Tasks 1.3. i and l.3.2 with benefits and challenges for each. FHWA anticipates that the final report will undergo subsequent editing and layout should FHWA choose to publish the report.

Task 1.3.4: Present draft final report to one selected lead state or local agency.

Task 1.3.5: Finalize and submit the final report. The final report should be prepared as an MS Word file and may include graphics. as appropriate. that are used during the workshop. FHWA anticipates that the report will undergo subsequent editing and layout should FHWA choose to publish the report.

Amlan Mukherjee
Amlan Mukherjee

WisDOT Inter-tribal Task Force (ITTF) Tribal Survey

SPONSOR: Lac Courte Oreilles Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

PI:  Scott Bershing

Scope of Work
By leveraging existing expertise and relationships, Eastern TTAP staff will assist the ITTF with completing, compiling, disseminating, and presenting the findings of the 2015 WisDOT Inter-Tribal Task Force Tribal Survey. Eastern TTAP will conduct the following activities to help ITTF complete their survey:

1. Create an electronic version of the existing survey using SurveyMonkey within one week of signing by both parties
2. Allow 10 working days for Tribes to respond
3. ITTF sends collected survey results to Eastern TTAP
4. Integrate electronic survey responses with the responses collected from ITTF – One week after receiving data from Work Item 3
5. Compile and disseminate all survey responses – Two weeks after receiving data from Work Item 3
6. Assist ITTF with identifying key data points collected through the survey
7. Create final summary report.

Scott Bershing
Scott Bershing

Impact of High-Speed Passenger Trains on Freight Train Efficiency in Shared Railway Corridors


PI:  Kuilin Zhang

Michigan Tech will lead the efforts in Tasks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and will participate in all the remaining tasks.

Task 1: Literature review.
A comprehensive literature review will be conducted on existing research in railway capacity and train delay to assess the state of knowledge and to ensure that all relevant previous work is incorporated into the work to be conducted in this proposed project.

Task 2: Analytical corridor capacity model.
The core task of this research project is to develop an analytical f framework to estimate rail corridor capacity under mixed high-speed passenger traffic and regular freight traffic. The outcome will help quantify the following: how high-speed passenger trains affect the capacity of a shared railway corridor, what are the relationships among various operational and design factors (e.g. speed, headway, and siding spacing), and bow do these design factors affect the railroad capacity.

Task 3: Simulation validation.
A commercial software called Rail Traffic Controller (RTC) will be used to evaluate the effects of homogeneous and heterogeneous train operations. We will analyze train delays caused by introducing passenger trains on a single track freight network (the most common track configuration in North America). We will then validate the analytical model proposed in Task 2.

Task 4: Optimization model and design guidelines.
Based on the validated capacity model, optimization models and design guidelines (e.g. speed, headway, and infrastructure design) will be developed to maximize corridor capacity for both freight and passenger traffic. The optimization model will cope with train delays due to the knock-on effects, i.e. meet, pass, overtake, and possible delay propagation in a mixed traffic system.

Task 5: Policy development and analysis.
The proposed modeling framework will be used as the basis for policy analysis (regarding planning, management, and operations of the shared rail corridor). Several key issues such as infrastructure investment, service charge/pricing, and public subsidies (for accommodating the high-speed passenger trains) will be addressed to support decision making for both public agencies and the private sector.

Task 6: Final report.
Each individual task will be documented in a progress report. The final report will include the literature review, model development, validation, and key technical and policy findings. We will publish journal papers and make conference presentations to disseminate findings from this project.

Kuilin Zhang
Kuilin Zhang

Low Emission Asphalt Pavements with Crumb Rubber


PI:  Zhanping You

This project will conduct comprehensive evaluations on the CRM WMA for pavements in the State of Michigan.  The main objective of this project is to develop and apply low emission asphalt pavement technology through the combination of crumb rubber and warm mix asphalt and to evaluate the feasibility of CRM WMA with respect to performance improvement, emission reduction, and cost effectiveness. The performance of CRM WMA will be evaluated through laboratory and field testing. The emission reduction will be assessed through laboratory and plant emission measurements. The environmental impact of the CRM asphalt mixtures will be evaluated through LCA, while the cost effectiveness will be evaluated through LCCA.

The evaluation includes performance improvements, emission reduction, life cycle environmental impact assessment, and life cycle cost analysis. If it shows that the CRM WMA is a feasible option after the evaluation, it is anticipated the CRM WMA can have more applications in the future. And therefore a sustainable market for scrap tires can be developed in Michigan. In this project, we anticipate the CO2 output for the designed materials will be reduced by up to 30% and other volatiles will be reduced by up to 30% as well, while the engineering parameters of the pavement meet or exceed the pavement agency’s goal.

Zhanping You
Zhanping You

Phase Composition Curves in Frozen Porous Materials


PI:  Zhen Liu

The relationship between unfrozen water content and temperature, which is referred to as the Phase Composition Curve (PCC) in frozen soils, has long been observed. However, this relationship has not been extensively studied and widely used, possibly due to the lack of a physical understanding. Recent studies of the Pl succeeded in obtaining a physical description, a physically-based equation, and a physic-empirical prediction method for this relationship. Based on the common nature of porous materials, it is hypothesized that there is a relationship between unfrozen water content and temperature in all frozen porous materials. This study will experimentally investigate the existence of the PCC in typical porous materials. Optimization analyses will be conducted for the design of a Time Domain Reflectometry sensor. The TOR sensor together with thermal couples, which is suitable for the measurement of the PCC in the selected porous materials, will be fabricated and calibrated. The sensor will be utilized to measure the PCC by strictly following a specially designed procedure. The measured PCCs will be analyzed using the physically-based equation proposed by the PL The parameters in the equation will be obtained by means of curve fitting to the measured results. The values of the parameters for different porous materials will be categorized and compared.

The research will not only offer a definite answer to the wide existence of the PCC, but also obtain the characteristics of that of different porous materials. The research will provide a clear understanding of phase transition of water in porous materials which is currently absent. The resultant conclusions may advance many engineering applications involving the freezing process of porous materials. The research thus will lay down a necessary basis for the exploration in extraterrestrial environments, where both porous materials and the phase change of water or other liquid are very likely to exist. Also, this study will open a new research area for the PI and will answer a key question for preparing a solid proposal which will be submitted to the NSF.

Zhen Liu
Zhen Liu

Elkhart County Highway Department 2014 Roadsoft Sign Data Integration Services


PI:  Gary Schlaff

CTT staff will integrate Elkhart County’s street sign location and inventory data into Roadsoft that exist along roads specified in the county’s GIS document. If additional sign inventory data is provided it may also be imported at the CTT’ s discretion if it can be directly related to existing Roadsoft sign inventory data fields. This data will be provided to the County for use in their licensed version of Roadsoft.

Gary Schlaff
Gary Schlaff
Nick Koszykowski
Nick Koszykowski