Invasive Japanese Knotweed May Adversely Affect Roadways Through Erosion March 28, 2019 - A researcher who noted the spread of the highly invasive Japanese knotweed in Vermont after Hurricane Irene continued his investigation into its detrimental effects. The plant spreads vegetatively—without seeds and through disruption—and thrives as it quickly kills groundcover and promotes erosion of banks, such as those along streams and roadways. This TRB conference presentation reveals the plant’s many destructive effects, including those relevant to transportation. Read the presentation: Japanese Knotweed as a Driver of Streambank Erosion, January 2019.
New Technology Enhances Bridge Deck Inspections in Michigan March 21, 2019 - Researchers for Michigan DOT developed a system to evaluate bridge decks at near-highway speeds. The vehicle-mounted 3D optical bridge evaluation system (3DOBS) uses GPS, a high-tech camera, and an inertial measurement unit to collect bridge deck imagery for inspectors’ use. The system will help bridge inspectors safely quantify deck distresses and optimize the timing of preservation treatments. Read the research report: Evaluation of Bridge Deck Using Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) at Near Highway Speeds for Effective Asset Management, October 2018.
Selected Turfgrass Mixtures Can Withstand Harsh Roadside Environments March 19, 2019 - Researchers for Minnesota DOT tested different grass seed mixtures to determine their ability to survive harsh roadside environments: heat, salt and ice cover. For each stress test, investigators identified top-performing varieties; these will be further field-tested to determine the best mixtures to use along Minnesota roadsides. Read the research report: Regional Optimization of Roadside Turfgrass Seed Mixtures, December 2018.
Ohio DOT Publishes Culvert Management Manual February 26, 2019 - The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Culvert Management Manual provides guidelines for the inventory and inspection of conduits and structures with a span less than 10 feet measured parallel to the centerline of the highway. The manual provides a regular and systematic approach to aid inspectors as they evaluate these structures in order to perform routine maintenance for the continued safety of the driving public. Read the manual: Ohio Department of Transportation Culvert Management Manual, September 2018.
Repairs with Ultra-High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced Concrete are Fast and Durable February 21, 2019 - Concrete transportation infrastructure is susceptible to constant deterioration and thus requires constant attention and maintenance. According to research conducted for the Transportation Consortium of South-Central States, the dense microstructure and damage-tolerant characteristics of ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete repairs can significantly reduce the need for subsequent repair, rehabilitation and maintenance work. Read the research report: Use of Ultra-High-Performance Fiber-Reinforced (UHP-FRC) for Fast and Sustainable Repair of Pavements, December 2018.
Rubberized Chip Seal Outperforms Conventional Rock Chip Seal in Field Tests February 19, 2019 - Quick and inexpensive chip seals as a pavement maintenance surface are widely used. Researchers for Missouri DOT tested using crumb rubber from recycled tires as portions of chip seal aggregate. Results showed “remarkable performance” in aggregate retention, and after one year of use, the sample chip seal sections outperformed trap rock chip seal in all areas examined. Read the research report: Field Implementation of Rubberized Chip Seal, December 2018
MnDOT Studies Effects of Concrete Grinding Residue on Roadside Soil February 8, 2019 - A new study from Minnesota DOT investigated how concrete grinding residue (CGR) impacted physical and chemical properties and plant growth. Researchers found that areas receiving CGR applications in the past did not negatively affect soil quality and plant growth. Read the research report: Concrete Grinding Residue: Its Effect on Roadside Vegetation and Soil Properties, January 2019
Colorado’s Degree Program on Maintenance Garners National Attention January 31, 2019 - A new associate's degree program in maintenance was featured in the June 2018 issue of APWA Reporter. The article "Highway maintenance management goes to college" discusses the joint efforts of Colorado DOT and Front Rage Community College to develop the first-in-the-nation two-year associates of applied science degree program in highway maintenance management. This article outlines the program curriculum and the anticipated benefits to those who earn this degree as well as to their employers. (Image source: APWA Reporter)