Webinar to Discuss Transportation Asset Management and Resiliency Tools December 14, 2022 - Last week, members of three AASHTO committees as well as local and regional transportation agencies and researchers gathered in Rhode Island for AASHTO’s 2022 Conference on Performance-Based Management, Planning, and Data. Meeting attendees discussed a range of asset management issues, including resilience and opportunities for incorporating data into strategic decision-making. A follow-up webinar will be held Wednesday, December 21 at 2 p.m. Eastern, where presenters will share insights from the event and discuss tools available through the AASHTO Transportation Asset Management Portal. You can hear additional highlights of the conference and learn how transportation agencies can make their assets more resilient. Learn more and register.
Wisconsin Develops Methodology to Prioritize Maintenance of Roadside Slopes December 9, 2022 - Like other transportation assets, slopes along highway roadsides must be regularly maintained to ensure stability and long-term performance. However, the natural variations and characteristics of each slope can make it difficult to identify where maintenance activities are needed most. To prioritize its maintenance efforts more effectively, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation worked with researchers to develop a statistical model that combined current geographic information with historical data on a section of Wisconsin highway to predict the likelihood of slope failure. This model and framework could potentially be scaled to help engineers across the state.
FHWA Recognizes Innovations from No Boundaries Members November 29, 2022 - Several No Boundaries member states are featured in the November/December 2022 issue of Innovator, the bimonthly newsletter of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Texas DOT has partnered with higher education and industry groups to create the ConnectU2Jobs program, a workforce development initiative that provides young adults with the skills and training necessary for careers in the highway construction industry. Virginia DOT recently completed a multi-year evaluation of pavements treated with high polymer-modified asphalt overlays, finding these tended to outperform traditional overlays. Four No Boundaries member states were honored with America’s Transportation Awards for 2022. North Dakota DOT has developed an innovative approach for turning an existing intersection into a roundabout, increasing traveler safety while also saving time and money over a full reconstruction. New York State DOT and Louisiana DOTD each improved safety in their states by implementing road diets and installing roundabouts in place of crash-prone intersections. And a new online tool developed by California Department of Transportation aims to increase public engagement by allowing users to explore and interact with 3D models of current and upcoming transportation projects. Finally, a review of state innovations featured Maine’s bridge project bundling strategies to replace eight aging structures, and Michigan’s use of accelerated bridge construction methods to install the state’s first network tied-arch bridge.
Indiana Evaluates How to Illuminate Nighttime Maintenance Activities November 21, 2022 - Performing maintenance activities at night offers a number of advantages, such as cooler air temperatures, less traffic and fewer overall crashes. However, sufficiently lighting a work zone without distracting or impairing passing drivers can be a challenge. To determine the appropriate amount of lighting and other strategies for a work zone, the Indiana Department of Transportation and Purdue University conducted a glare assessment using a variety of lighting types, intensities and configurations.
Iowa Evaluates Quarry Byproducts to Stabilize Granular Roads November 8, 2022 - Granular and unpaved road maintenance can require a significant investment in both time and resources. In search of an economical and environmentally friendly way to keep the aggregates on its unpaved roads in place, the Iowa Department of Transportation sought to learn whether locally produced quarry fines – typically considered a waste product of the quarrying process – could be a viable option.
Louisiana Calculates Costs and Benefits of Maintaining Asset Data November 1, 2022 - While roads and bridges often receive the greater part of an agency’s maintenance budget, other assets – like culverts, guardrails, impact attenuators and pavement stripes – also need routine maintenance that can benefit from data-backed decisions. To better understand the costs and benefits of collecting and maintaining data for any asset it owns, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development initiated a research project to develop a methodology and tool to make tracking costs and quantifying benefits easier.
No Boundaries October 2022 Peer Exchange Highlights October 26, 2022 - On October 18 and 19, No Boundaries members met in Indianapolis for the group’s second peer exchange of the year. Hosted by Indiana DOT, the event included roundtable discussions on hot-button transportation maintenance topics such as cost and supply-chain issues and successful strategies to prompt implementation of maintenance innovations. Featured presentations from the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program and Indiana University’s Transportation and Autonomous Systems Institute (TASI) highlighted how the state’s partners are seeking to advance and implement creative transportation solutions, while Illinois DOT shared the importance of pollinators and how the agency is maintaining its roadsides with these delicate habitats in mind.
Oregon Develops Framework for Managing Coastal Assets October 18, 2022 - As rising sea levels and extreme weather events increase the likelihood and severity of storms, coastal highways and other infrastructure are at increased risk of landslides and erosion. To improve its coastal asset management program, the Oregon Department of Transportation developed a data-driven framework to measure and analyze key indicators associated with slope and cliff failure. The results will help the agency identify short- and long-term maintenance needs and prioritize its resources more effectively. Read the interim report: Coastal Landslide and Sea Cliff Retreat Monitoring for Climate Change Adaptation and Targeted Risk Assessment, June 2022.
Nevada Applies Smart Technologies to Bridge Assessment October 12, 2022 - Transportation agencies routinely monitor and inspect bridges to respond to immediate needs and to prioritize maintenance activities. For critical infrastructure or bridges in earthquake-prone locations, structural health monitoring (SHM) systems can be installed at key locations to measure a variety of indicators and alert authorities of potential problems in real time. The Nevada Department of Transportation recently installed two SHMs on the largest bridge in the state. Sensors on and around the structure, combined with smart software, will provide a comprehensive report in the event of an earthquake. For maintenance staff, an extra benefit of the system may be the ability to more cost-effectively schedule and target routine maintenance on the bridge. Read the final report: Galena Creek Bridge Health Monitoring Instrumentation, June 2022.
Minnesota Evaluates Fencing to Keep Small Animals Off Roadways October 5, 2022 - Small animals attempting to cross traffic can present a significant safety hazard for all road users. In Minnesota, two species of turtles are especially at risk. To help keep the turtles off the roadways and out of harm’s way, the Minnesota Department of Transportation collaborated with the state Department of Natural Resources to create standardized plans and specifications for small animal exclusion fencing using readily available materials.