No Boundaries Member States Recognized Nationally for Innovation March 15, 2022 - The March/April 2022 issue of Innovator, the Federal Highway Administration’s bimonthly newsletter, showcased a number of exciting innovations from No Boundaries member states. Connecticut and New York State DOTs were highlighted for their work to advance the use of ultra-high performance concrete for bridge repairs. Texas DOT won a 2021 National Roadway Safety Award for its Safety Scoring Tool, which uses predictive technology to show the outcomes of a project’s design before ground is even broken. And Colorado, Missouri and Texas DOTs were recognized for their use of State Transportation Innovation Council funds for a wide array of time- and cost-saving initiatives. Sign up to get the next issue of Innovator delivered to your inbox.
Maintenance Sessions and Papers for 2022 TRB Meeting March 9, 2022 - No Boundaries has published a listing of technical sessions and papers related to maintenance for the 2022 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting. The compendium includes each poster and lectern session's title, authors, identification number, and a link to find the work on TRB's Online Program portal. Note: TRB requires a login to access full papers. If you are having trouble accessing the papers, check with your DOT or other transportation library. Download the compendium: 2022 TRB Annual Meeting: Technical Sessions and Papers Related to Maintenance.
Webinar to Help States Assess Condition of Low-Speed Roads March 3, 2022 - The Transportation Research Board will host the virtual webinar, “How Rough is Your Pavement? Measuring Pavement Profiles for Low-Speed Roads” on Tuesday, March 22 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern. States are required to calculate road roughness as part of the federal Highway Performance Monitoring System, but unique features of low-speed and urban roads can make these difficult to assess. To help states with their estimates, this program will discuss the challenges and best practices for collecting accurate data. Learn more and register.
Tennessee Develops Plan to Restore Pollinator Habitats Along State Highways February 23, 2022 - To help restore the state’s native ecosystems and pollinator habitats, the Tennessee Department of Transportation initiated a research project to plot a roadmap for short- and long-term conservation along the state’s highways. Researchers located and documented remnants of grasslands in the right of way, identified maintenance strategies for these sensitive areas and installed a highly visible prairie restoration project to increase public awareness. Read the report: Developing a Plan to Restore and Enhance Native Habitats for Pollinators Along Tennessee’s Interstate and Highway Systems, September 2021
Ohio Assesses Resurfacing Mix Designs Made With Recycled Asphalt February 15, 2022 - Given Ohio’s significant recycled asphalt pavement stockpiles, the Ohio Department of Transportation wanted to determine whether the supply could be used in place of traditional virgin aggregates for chip seals and other pavement preservation techniques. Researchers developed custom mix designs and tested the mixes’ performance in the field. They found that recycled content can be a suitable alternative to new materials, and may save costs as well as conserve natural resources. Read the report: Design of Microsurfacing and Chip Seal Mixes with RAP for Local Roadway Application, August 2021.
Florida Improves Accuracy of Macrotexture Assessments February 8, 2022 - Adding macrotexture, or grooves, to pavements improves traction by helping water drain from roadways. However, as the macrotexture changes over time it can become less effective, so measuring and monitoring macrotexture is critical. While the Florida Department of Transportation has successfully used point-laser systems to assess the macrotexture of the state’s asphalt pavements, the strategy has not produced as reliable results for concrete. To improve the accuracy of measures taken for both types of pavements, researchers tested line-laser systems in the lab the and the field. Read the summary: Macrotexture Assessment of Florida Pavements, December 2021
Utah’s Innovative Saddle Lift Allows for Easier and Faster Roadway Sign Repairs February 1, 2022 - Maintenance crews with the Utah Department of Transportation needed a better way to repair damaged signs mounted on the median barrier of multi-lane highways. To reach the signs and supply the necessary leverage, workers often needed to use a crane and close a lane of traffic – a time-consuming, costly and potentially hazardous routine task. The saddle lift makes the entire job easier, safer and less disruptive to traffic. Developed at a UDOT maintenance facility, the tool can be transported by a light-duty vehicle and temporarily affixed alongside the damaged sign. Using cables to connect the sign’s post to the winch on the maintenance vehicle, crews can hoist the sign upright from the service lane, without the need for heavy equipment or lane closures. Watch UDOT’s “Innovation Station” video featuring the saddle lift.
Tennessee Streamlines Processes for Assessing Bridge Decks Using Ground Penetrating Radar January 25, 2022 - Ground penetrating radar (GPR) offers a noninvasive method for inspecting and detecting deterioration in concrete bridge decks. To make the process faster and more efficient, Tennessee DOT developed new data collection and processing tools that increase automation. These resources use GPR scans to generate color-coded maps, allowing inspectors to visualize areas in need of further investigation. Read the report: Concrete Bridge Deck Deterioration Assessment Using Ground Penetrating Radar, May 2021
Webinar to Discuss Benefits and Requirements of Native Roadside Plants January 18, 2022 - Planting prairie strips, or native perennials, along a field’s borders is an age-old strategy used by farmers to naturally reduce erosion. When planted along roadways, prairie strips may provide similar environmental benefits by increasing the stability of the soil, reducing runoff and pollution, and establishing habitats for pollinators. A new three-part webinar series will explore what it takes to establish and maintain prairie strips to maximize their potential, including how to properly prepare a site, seed prairie strips and manage the plants over time. The entire series is free to attend, with sessions on different aspects of prairie strips to be held on February 8, 15 and 22 from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. Central. The webinar is presented by Sand County Foundation, a nonprofit private land conservation organization. Learn more and register.
Utah Advances Strategies to Reduce Highway Litter January 11, 2022 - Each year in the United State, thousands of vehicle crashes are caused by roadway debris. To better understand the causes and potential solutions of this pervasive problem, Utah DOT conducted an assessment of the current litter-mitigation strategies across the state. In addition to identifying the major contributors of highway litter, the effort produced a list of recommendations to track, enhance and enforce Utah’s existing litter-reduction tactics. Read the report: Highway Litter Mitigation: Executive Report, September 2021