Dr. Pasi Lautala will provide coordination of the project and data collection from industry stakeholders.
Dr. Kuilin Zhang will lead the operational constraint and model development for log transportation model. He will also lead the analytical tasks related to the model, supported by the graduate research assistants.
Spring (or Seasonal) Load Restriction (SLR) policies that limit the axle loads of trucks have been implemented in many states of the United States and other countries to minimize costly roadway damage that occurs in seasonally frozen areas during the annual spring thaw and strength recovery period (Zarrillo et al., 2012). This is because concrete and asphalt, though look indestructible, can actually be quite fragile in late winter as frost comes out of the ground (County Road Association of Michigan).
The overall objective of the project is to establish a thawing model and a process for setting and removing seasonal load restrictions in a manner that will give industry the most amount of time to prepare for the restrictions and minimize the time to lift the restrictions based on the MDOT Project RC 1619. The overall objective will be accomplished through a series of objectives and tasks leveraging existing research, technology, and resources that MDOT already has in place.
Evaluate existing thaw/freeze depth prediction models, practice for SLR in state DOTs and MDOT’s needs and available resources, and based on that, determine if existing thaw depth models suffice for application as a decision support tool for Michigan or if a refined model would be prudent.
Identify the type, sources, and format of the soil and weather information used for analysis by the decision support tool.
Building on this project and the research of RC 1619, develop a thaw depth model th!it utilizes the existing data sources in Objective 2.
Identify locations for potential virtual Road Weather Information System (RWIS) sites and collect necessary data to implement those locations.
Develop a user friendly decision support tool that could be easily utilized by public and private sector in estimating potential thaw conditions and setting of SLRs for any location on the MDOT road network.
Recommend processes for predicting the time to post and remove SLR signs to protect the pavement structures from excessive damage during the spring thaw season.
Identify opportunities to collect, present, and apply data and develop models to refine pavement designs.
Develop professional training materials and course for training MDOT staff in the use of the decision support tool.
The Center for Technology & Training (CTT) developed and has supported the Roadsoft asset management system in 1991 for the Michigan Department of Transportation, when such a system was envisioned as a “best practice” for supporting Michigan’s local agencies in their effort to manage their road and bridge assets efficiently.
Over the years, Roadsoft became a “one-stop shop” for asset and safety management data for local agencies due to the continued support of MDOT as well as to specific developments supported by the Safety Programs Unit. In the fall of 2016, the CTT completed a two-year project to develop the needed functionality in Roadsoft that allows MDOT to take advantage of Roadsoft as a tool for the Department’s use. These functional changes were necessary because Roadsoft has historically been geared toward local agency needs. With the completion of this development, the safety functions of Roadsoft have evolved to the point where MDOT now uses Roadsoft as a tool for accomplishing its misslon to improve safety on Michigan’s roads.
While this development task has been completed, needs like ongoing maintenance, training technical support, and data handling will have to be addressed in order for MDOT to take full advantage of the Roadsoft tool. This proposal outlines the tasks and level of effort necessary to support MDOT’ s use of the safety tools in Road soft.
SPONSOR: MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (MDOT)
PI: Tim Colling
The Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC) began delivering its education program and providing technical services in 2004. Since that time, the Center for Technology & Training (CTT) has assisted the TAMC with its education programs and technical assistance services. The CTT is a logical choice for this program because, in addition to the TAMC
Education Program, the CTT houses other programs funded by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MOOT) including the Michigan Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), Roadsoft, Michigan Engineer’s Resource Library (MERL), and the Bridge Load Rating Program. This array of programs economizes upon professional, development, and support staff to make project delivery cost effective. The CTT focuses its efforts specifically on projects related to local government agencies and transportation.
The tasks for this proposal were identified from priorities outlined by TAMC in the TAMC 2017-2019 Work Program.
Task 1: Attend and Participate in TAMC Council Meetings
Task 2: Attend and Participate in TAMC Committee Meetings
Task 3: Review of the Data and QC Collection Results
Task 4: Maintain Roadsoft -IRT Data Submission Protocols
Task 5: Maintenance of TAMC PASER Training Certification Testing Instruments and Records
Task 6: Investment Reporting Project Cost and Treatment Life Study
Task 7: Undefined Staff Support
Task 8: Project Management and Monthly Reporting
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.
The primary objective of the NU Rail Center is to improve and expand rail education, research, workforce development, and technology transfer in the US. Michigan Tech, in collaboration with its academic, industry and state partners, will work to identify important rail knowledge areas for inclusion in these activities. Under the center, the Michigan Tech team is expanding its multidisciplinary research activities from the previous NU Rail award in various areas, such as rural freight rail and multimodal transportation improvements, human factors and rail safety, infrastructure evaluation and assessment, high performance materials for railroad infrastructure preservation and renewal, and improved materials for the rail industry. Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program (RTP) director also serves as the Associate Director of Education for the consortium. Educational activities are a high priority with focus on expansion of undergraduate level funded projects and internships among other activities. On technology transfer, the main objective is to continue the development of Michigan Rail Conference.
Remote sensing technologies allow for the condition evaluation of bridge decks at near highway speed. Data collection at near highway speed for assessment of the top of the concrete deck and proof of concept testing for the underside of the deck was conducted for surface and subsurface evaluation. 3-D photogrammetry was combined with passive thermography to detect spalls, cracks and delaminations for the top of the concrete bridge deck, while active thermography was investigated for bottom deck surface condition assessment. Successful field demonstrations validated results comparable to MDOT inspections. Recommendations for immediate implementation for condition assessment of the top of a concrete deck are included for introducing the BridgeViewer Remote Camera System into current bridge inspections to provide a photo inventory of the bridge deck captured at 45mph and above using GoPro cameras. The combined optical photogrammetry (3DOBS) and passive thermography technologies provide an objective analysis of spalls, cracks and suspected delaminations while traveling at near highways speed. Using the same 3DOBS technology with higher resolution cameras and slower speeds, cracks can be detected as small as 1/32 in. Laboratory and field demonstrations show active thermography would benefit from further development as a remote sensing technology for condition assessment on the underside of the bridge deck.
A copy of this report can be found on the Michigan Department of Transportation website.
The Bridge Design System (BDS) is an in-house software program developed by the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Bridge Design Unit. The BDS designs bridges according to the required specifications, and outputs corresponding design drawings and calculations. It has been the primary design tool for MDOT’s bridges over the last several decades. Because of the BDS’s longevity of use and development, MDOT has experienced a high level of comfort, familiarity, and efficiency with it. However, components of the BDS have been added and removed over the years, and little associated documentation exists today. The code itself has seen nearly 60 years of evolution in the Fortran programming language. Migration to another software system is likely to require significant changes to MDOT business processes and may require multiple software systems rather than the unified design system of the BDS. Also, long-term viability of the BDS would require documentation of the existing architecture and operation of the system as well as development of a plan for future compatibility and functionality of the software. Therefore, the Center for Technology & Training at Michigan Tech was contracted to document, analyze and propose modernization options for the BDS. This report describes the tools used to conduct this assessment and the results of this task.
Motivated by the need to address challenges of global climate change, this study develops and implements a project based life cycle framework that can be used to estimate the carbon footprint for typical construction work-items found in reconstruction, rehabilitation and Capital Preventive Maintenance (CPM) projects. The framework builds on existing life cycle assessment methods and inventories. The proposed framework considers the life cycle emissions of products and processes involved in the raw material acquisition and manufacturing phase, and the pavement construction phase. It also accounts for emissions due to vehicular use and maintenance operations during the service life of the pavements. The framework also develops and implements a method to calculate project level construction emission metrics. Finally, the research provides a web-based tool, the Project Emission Estimator (PE- 2) that can be used to benchmark the CO2 footprint of highway construction projects. In conclusion, the research suggests ways of implementing the proposed framework within MDOT to help reduce the CO2 footprint of highway construction projects.
The Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) pavement preservation program dates back to 1992. MDOT’s pavement preservation strategy is primarily implemented through its capital preventive maintenance (CPM) program, in which preventive maintenance treatments are used to protect existing pavement surfaces, slow deterioration, and correct surface deficiencies. An overall objective of the CPM program is to postpone major rehabilitation and reconstruction activities by extending the service life of pavements.
This study evaluated the benefits and costs of various preventive maintenance treatments used in MDOT’s CPM program. Defining the benefit as the percent increase in performance over a “do nothing” or untreated pavement performance curve, where data were available benefits were calculated for preventive maintenance treatments. Using unit costs, benefit-cost ratios were calculated, permitting the comparison of the cost-effectiveness of similar treatments. The overall performance of MDOT’s CPM program was also examined by comparing the life-cycle costs (LCC) of a rehabilitation strategy to a preservation strategy using a simplified approach. The outcome showed that the preservation strategy results in agency cost savings of approximately 25 percent per lane-mile over the rehabilitation strategy.
Findings from this study can be used to help MDOT improve its CPM project selection, treatment selection, and performance monitoring and modeling practices.