South Carolina Reevaluates its Pavement Performance Predictors May 31, 2022 - For decades, South Carolina DOT has relied on pavement performance models to anticipate future maintenance needs and budget accordingly. Given changes in pavement materials and practices, as well as improved data collection technologies, the agency sought to determine whether the models still provide accurate predictions. Finding that modern pavements are slower to degrade than previously thought, the agency will be better positioned to conserve its limited resources. Read the report: Pavement Performance Curves: Modeling Pavement Deterioration for SCDOT, February 2022.
Missouri Investigates Effectiveness of Temporary Rumbles Strips in Work Zones May 24, 2022 - For crews performing road maintenance and repair activities, fast-moving traffic can pose a serious hazard. Temporary rumble strips offer a flexible solution for slowing vehicles near work zones. To understand how well the devices improve driver behavior, the Missouri DOT evaluated different configurations of short- and long-term varieties and surveyed other state DOTs about their experiences. The study found temporary rumble strips to be generally effective and revealed a variety of best practices to maximize their influence and durability.
FHWA Highlights Innovations from No Boundaries Members May 18, 2022 - Several No Boundaries member states received recognition in the May/June 2022 issue of Innovator, the Federal Highway Administration’s bimonthly newsletter. Connecticut DOT was noted for its work with digital as-builts. By cataloging all of its infrastructure assets into a geographic information systems database, the agency is providing real-time data to help maintenance crews make better-informed decisions when it comes time to repair or replacement. Texas DOT’s success with crack attenuating mixtures was also highlighted. This type of pavement overlay has been shown to slow the rate of reflective cracking by as much as 50 percent. Finally, Wisconsin and Virginia were applauded for their use of State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) funds. In Virginia, these funds have been used to install fencing along highways to reduce collisions between vehicles and wildlife, while the Wisconsin DOT was able to develop and implement its Standard Bridge Design Tool using STIC funding. Sign up to get the next issue of Innovator delivered to your inbox.
No Boundaries May 2022 Peer Exchange Highlights May 13, 2022 - No Boundaries held its first peer exchange of 2022 from May 3-5 with an in-person meeting in Sacramento. Highlights of the event include roundtable discussions on hot-topic issues, featured presentations showcasing leading efforts and creative solutions, and technical site visits providing behind-the-scenes insights and hands-on demonstrations. Additional information and the full agenda are available on the meeting page. Stay tuned for details about No Boundaries’ future peer exchange events in the fall of 2022 and spring of 2023!
No Boundaries’ May Peer Exchange Is Next Week – All No Boundaries Members Are Welcome April 28, 2022 - No Boundaries members are convening next week for the first peer exchange in 2022 in beautiful Sacramento, California. With a packed schedule of presentations, discussions and on-site demonstrations, this three-day event hosted by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has been designed to offer informative programming for transportation maintenance professionals and their agency colleagues attending virtually or in person. All staff from No Boundaries member states are invited to participate remotely in any part of the event.
Michigan Develops Guidance for Planting on Roadside Slopes April 20, 2022 - The green spaces along sloped urban highway roadsides can present a variety of challenges for maintenance crews. Mowing these steep areas can be hazardous, but pollution and other factors can make it difficult to grow anything other than turfgrass. To find low-maintenance alternatives, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) commissioned a research study to test and track a variety of soil improvement strategies and plant types over several years. The efforts resulted in a documented process for improving roadside soils as well as a list of plants that can be reliably grown—and which require minimal maintenance—along sloped areas in similar climates. View the video and read the two-page brief to learn more about the project’s findings.
Upcoming Webinar on Forensic Evaluation and Pavement Performance April 15, 2022 - The Washington State Department of Transportation will host the virtual webinar, “Forensic Evaluations: Listen to What Our Pavements are Telling Us” on Wednesday, April 20 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Central. Through the federal Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTTP) program, data collected on pavement sections removed from service have helped explain how and why the pavements performed as they did. This webinar will discuss the history of the LTTP program, its evolution to become a current pooled fund study and what insights the data have provided. Learn more and register.
Florida Develops Guidance for Pavement Blisters April 5, 2022 - Blisters, or bulges of an asphalt pavement’s surface, sometimes occur when moisture becomes trapped between layers of asphalt. However, a variety of environmental, material and other factors contribute to whether blisters appear and how severely they form, making them a challenge to predict and study. To better understand why blisters occur and how they affect the pavement’s service life and ongoing maintenance needs, the Florida Department of Transportation compared five segments of the same road project with and without blisters. The research resulted in recommended paving strategies to keep these distresses from forming, as well as guidance for repairing blistered pavements. Read the research summary: Evaluation of Roadway Worms/Distortions, February 2022.
Indiana Develops Tests for Asphalt Marking Materials and Adhesives March 29, 2022 - To identify which pavement marking materials work best on asphalt surfaces in the Midwest, the Joint Transportation Research Program—a collaboration between Indiana DOT and Purdue University—developed and assessed a variety of new testing methods and protocols. Designed to assess a range of properties, such as elasticity, durability and bond to the pavement, the tests can help maintenance crews identify tapes and thermoplastics that are likely to adhere well to pavements and withstand extreme temperature fluctuations. Read the report: Mechanical Properties of Durable Pavement Marking Materials and Adhesion on Asphalt Surfaces, October 2021
Recorded Webinar Showcases California’s Highway Maintenance Research March 25, 2022 - Earlier this month, California Department of Transportation’s Division of Research, Innovation and System Information (DRISI) presented an hour-long webinar on two recently initiated research studies related to highway maintenance. The webinar featured presentations from both projects’ researchers, who discussed the goals and anticipated outcomes of their work. First, Dr. Bahram Ravani from the University of California, Davis described how his team is developing a new maintenance prioritization tool, using project location, activity type and other considerations to determine risk. The tool is intended to improve highway workers’ safety while increasing the efficiency of maintenance work. Next, Dr. Simon Bisrat, who manages the DRISI Environmental Impact Mitigation Research Program, described the cost-effective mitigation strategies that can be integrated with existing highway infrastructure to allow sensitive wildlife like amphibians and reptiles to cross safely. Learn more about both projects by watching the recording on YouTube: Mitigating Safety Risks and Environmental Impacts, March 2022.