September 2017

News from No Boundaries
Summer Meeting in Columbus, Ohio | New Chair and Vice Chair |
No Boundaries Welcomes Minnesota

Around the Maintenance World
Meetings and Events | Training Opportunities | Research

The No Boundaries Roadway Maintenance Practices pooled fund project, #TPF-5(330), facilitates the implementation of proven, ready-to-deploy maintenance innovations.

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Welcome! This newsletter from the national No Boundaries consortium features the latest updates on the group's activities and compiles recent research, state practices, and training opportunities related to non-winter roadway maintenance from around the country.

News from No Boundaries

Summer Meeting in Columbus, Ohio

More than 30 No Boundaries members and invited guests met in Columbus, Ohio, from August 29 to 31 to learn about maintenance management innovations. New members and guest agencies who participated in person or by webinar included Minnesota DOT, Tennessee DOT, Maryland DOT, and Manitoba Infrastructure.


As noted in the detailed agenda, state agency presentations included initiatives on innovation fairs and award programs, Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) plans, and maintenance asset management systems.

Links to all available presentations can be found on the meeting summary page.

In addition, local partners in the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative gave a joint presentation on their efforts, with perspectives shared by Ohio DOT, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Pheasants Forever.

Representatives from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission shared information on the Midwest Connect Hyperloop corridor, at the time a semifinalist for the Hyperloop One Global Challenge for a proposed Hyperloop high-speed transportation network. Since the time of the meeting, Midwest Connect Hyperloop has been named one of 10 global winners. Congratulations!

In the Field

The meeting also featured several maintenance-related field trips in the greater Columbus area:

  • Time on the floor at Ohio DOT's "Team Up ODOT" innovations fair
  • A walking tour of the aircraft hangar for the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Ohio Department of Natural Resources, located at Ohio State University Airport
  • A driving tour of the Transportation Research Center Inc., the largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds in the United States
  • A field visit to Ohio State University's Gwynne Conservation Area and Research Center, part of the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative
  • Ohio DOT's Statewide Traffic Management Center, located at the central office

High-resolution meeting and field visit photos are available on No Boundaries' new image sharing page on Flickr.

New Chair and Vice Chair

During the August No Boundaries meeting, pooled fund members elected the group's first leadership team:

Chair — Jay Wells, Washington State DOT
Vice Chair — Doug Gruver, Ohio DOT (No Boundaries lead agency)

Washington State and Ohio were founding member agencies of No Boundaries in 2011. Jay, Doug, and their colleagues at their respective agencies bring extensive institutional knowledge about the pooled fund.

Thanks to Jay and Doug for taking on these leadership roles.

No Boundaries Welcomes Minnesota

No Boundaries recently welcomed Minnesota DOT as a new member of the pooled fund. Clark Moe will serve as MnDOT's representative to No Boundaries. Minnesota joins these member agencies:

  • Connecticut Department of Transportation
  • Florida Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
  • Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Missouri Department of Transportation
  • New York State Department of Transportation
  • North Dakota Department of Transportation
  • Ohio Department of Transportation (Lead Agency)
  • South Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation

No Boundaries is Transportation Pooled Fund project #TPF-5(330). State DOT commitments to the project can be made using 100% federal funds. Contact Brian Hirt, CTC & Associates, at 402-770-9067 for more information.

Meetings and Events

Date Meeting / Event Location Details
October 23-25 Rocky Mountain West Pavement Preservation Partnership Annual Meeting Seattle, Washington Link
November 6-8 Midwest Bridge Preservation Partnership Annual Meeting Minneapolis, Minnesota Link
November 28-30 2017 American Concrete Pavement Association Annual Meeting San Diego, California Link
February 7-10, 2018 National Pavement Expo 2018 Cleveland, Ohio Link
February 11-14, 2018 2018 National Asphalt Pavement Association Annual Meeting San Diego, California Link
July 9-13, 2018 9th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management Melbourne, Australia Link
July 14-17, 2018 12th TRB National Conference on Transportation Asset Management San Diego, California Link
August 26-29, 2018 APWA Public Works Expo (PWX) Kansas City, Missouri Link
September 11-13, 2018 2018 National Roadside Vegetation Management Association Annual Meeting Chattanooga, Tennessee Link

To recommend a maintenance-related conference or meeting for this calendar (including state and local events), please email Brian Hirt with details and a link to the event website.

Training Opportunities

TRB Webinar: Solutions for Aging Low-Volume Road Bridges

TRB will conduct a webinar on October 3 that will illustrate ways to repair old bridges, close bridges, and find alternate structures or routes that adhere to budgetary constraints. Presenters will discuss several options, including salvaging old parts, using accelerated bridge construction and modular construction techniques, building geosynthetic-reinforced soil bridge abutments, and building long-span buried bridges.

TRB Webinar: Performance Grade Specifications for Emulsions Used in Pavement Preservation Treatment

TRB will conduct a webinar on October 23 on NCHRP Research Report 837: Performance-Related Specifications for Emulsified Asphalt Binders Used in Preservation Surface Treatments. The webinar will examine three pavement preservation surface treatments: chip seals, microsurfacing, and spray seals. Presenters will describe test protocols for evaluating binder properties for which test methods are not readily available.

Asset Management Research

Phased Array Ultrasonic Steel Corrosion Mapping for Bridges and Ancillary Structures
Minnesota DOT

Accurate thickness measurements and corrosion mapping are essential for determining load capacity of structural members on bridges and ancillary structures. This project tested a new tool for locating and measuring corrosion: a phased array corrosion mapping system that provides detailed three-dimensional images of structural members, including the remaining thickness of members that exhibit corrosion. Report.

Unmanned Aircraft System Bridge Inspection Demonstration Project Phase II Final Report
Minnesota DOT

This project examined the effectiveness of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to aid in bridge safety inspections. The report details the advantages and challenges of this approach, and analyzes the capabilities of current and future UAV technologies. Phase 3 of the project will focus on using specialized UAVs for inspections in confined spaces. Phase 2 report and article about Phase 3.

Bridge Repair and Rehabilitation Research

Proposal for Monitoring Concrete Painting as a Preventive Maintenance Tool (Abutments and Pier Caps)
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

This study evaluated the practice of applying thin film protective coatings to concrete bridge abutments and piers as a preventive maintenance measure. Researchers assessed the performance of several projects where a specific coating was applied, documenting elements such as initial substrate condition, surface preparation, application method, applied film conditions, and weather conditions. Report.

In related research, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recently published Proposed Testing of Concrete Sealers, which evaluated four concrete bridge deck sealers. Report.

Repairs With Self-Consolidating Concrete and Galvanic Anodes to Extend Bridge Life
Virginia DOT

This study investigated the use of self-consolidating concrete (SCC), which has high flow rates, bonds well, has low permeability, and provides smooth surfaces, as another option for repairs of bridge substructure elements that contain vertical and overhead sections. The study also explored the use of galvanic anodes in SCC repairs at various locations. VDOT has been evaluating galvanic anodes in substructure repairs as a means to prevent corrosion deterioration in the area around a repair. Report.

Culvert and Stream Maintenance Research

Structural Benefits of Concrete Paving of Steel Culvert Inverts
Ohio DOT

Concrete paving is a common method for rehabilitating deteriorated metal culvert inverts. Researchers conducted a comprehensive study to determine how this approach contributes to the culvert's structural capacity. Computer simulations demonstrated that paving a deteriorated invert can restore the culvert structure, and this was confirmed during field load tests at two highway culvert sites. The study developed load rating recommendations for metal culverts with deteriorated inverts and those that have received the paving treatment. Report.

Stream Channel Maintenance at Bridge Crossings in Ohio: Collaborative Approach Leads to Innovation and Implementation
TR News, May/June 2017

County crews in Ohio routinely maintain stream channels to minimize the impact of stream dynamics on bridges. This article spotlights how collaboration between Ohio DOT's central office and district and county staff led to innovative new approaches to stream channel maintenance near bridge crossings. Ohio DOT worked with the stream engineering community to identify natural channel design practices and tools that were feasible for county engineers to implement. The selected practices included single-arm vanes, cross vanes, W-weirs, and two-stage channels. Article and research report.

Maintenance Worker Safety Research

Evaluation of Safety Practices for Short Duration Work Zones
Ohio DOT

This project evaluated the safety and efficiency of Ohio DOT's procedures for single-work-shift maintenance operations and tested equipment-related safety enhancements. Researchers tested six alternatives: (1) addition of a basket to existing temporary traffic control (TTC) setup and removal equipment, (2) use of a specially designed vehicle for TTC setup and removal, (3) use of equipment-mounted task lighting on specific equipment, (4) use of personal lighting, (5) use of Performance Class 3 apparel, and (6) use of a mobile barrier. Report.

In related research, Florida DOT recently completed Improving Safety in Pavement Field Testing, which focused on operator safety for staff collecting annual pavement condition and performance data. Report.

Pavement Repair and Rehabilitation Research

Comprehensive Field Evaluation of Asphalt Patching Methods and Development of Simple Decision Trees and a Best Practices Manual
Minnesota DOT

In this project, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of different pavement patching methods in order to develop simple decision trees and a best practices manual. The decision trees can be used to select a patching method based on pothole location, condition, area and depth, as well as construction season. The best practices manual provides guidelines on method selection, pothole preparation, placement of patching materials, and compaction. Report.

Better Concrete Mixes for Rapid Repair in Wisconsin
Wisconsin DOT

Using high early strength (HES) portland cement concrete in pavement repairs can help reduce the duration of traffic closures. Through field and lab tests and a survey, researchers evaluated the performance of repairs constructed with HES portland cement. They found that durability issues in rapid-repair pavements are more likely caused by difficulties associated with construction or mix procedures than mix specifications. Report.

Quantifying Asphalt Emulsion-Based Chip Seal Curing Times Using Electrical Resistance Measurements
Indiana DOT

Chip sealing typically consists of covering a pavement surface with asphalt emulsion into which aggregate chips are embedded. Currently, no field technique is available to quantify when sufficient mechanical strength has developed in the binder to allow traffic on a newly sealed roadway or to remove the surplus aggregate from a fresh chip seal through brooming. This study investigated the use of electrical resistance measurements to develop a quantitative method for determining the optimum curing time for chip seals. The electrical properties of the fresh seals were quantified using a handheld electrical device with a two-point probe to measure resistance. Report.

The Math Proves the Savings in Pavement Preservation Strategies
FHWA Innovator magazine, September/October 2017

This article highlights the savings that state DOTs have realized through timely application of pavement preservation strategies, including a strategic diamond grinding initiative in Kentucky and a chip sealing program in North Carolina. "Pavement Preservation (When, Where and How)" is one of the innovations in round four of FHWA's Every Day Counts program. Article.

Roadside and Vegetation Maintenance Research

Best Management Practices for Establishment of Salt-Tolerant Grasses on Roadsides
Minnesota DOT

This project identified best management practices for improving the establishment and performance of a new roadside turfgrass mixture that can withstand pressure from road salt. Researchers investigated three possible influences on the grasses' success -- pre-establishment soil amendments, planting date, and watering during establishment -- and made recommendations to hasten establishment and reduce future maintenance. Report.

Use of Adjuvants for Roadside Vegetation Control
California Department of Transportation

Adjuvants, also known as additives or carriers, are substances added to herbicides to enhance their delivery, penetration or stability. Adjuvants are also added to herbicide formulations to decrease their drift and dispersion during application and to minimize transport to nontarget plants. Caltrans uses adjuvants as part of its vegetation management program. California and several other states regulate adjuvants as pesticides, and this investigation examined state practices and research that addresses adjuvant use and potential toxicity when used for roadside vegetation control. Report.

Slope Stabilization Guide for Minnesota Local Government Engineers
Minnesota Local Road Research Board

This user guide provides simple, cost-effective methods for stabilizing locally maintained slopes along roadways in Minnesota. The guide presents eight slope stabilization techniques that local government engineers can undertake using locally available materials and equipment. The guide was developed through a research effort that analyzed recent slope failures in Minnesota. Guide and final report.

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