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Mid-America Transportation Center

MATC 2014 Request for Problem Statements

If you have any questions regarding the
problem statements please contact
Amber Hadenfeldt at ntc-ahaden@unl.edu.

Statements Received

  1. Testbed to Evaluate Arterial Travel Time Data Collection Methods and Results
  2. Use of Arterial Travel Time Data in Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) Packages.
  3. Benefits and Costs of NDOR ITS Deployments
  4. Research on Engineering Improvements for Older Drivers
  5. Pavement Texture’s Effect on Braking Friction on Contaminated Surfaces
  6. Testing Concrete Ties for Internal Cracks and Surface Cracks.
  7. Monitoring Railroad Curve Movement
  8. Digital Documentation of Element Condition for Bridge Evaluation
  9. Pavement-Edge Erosion: Pre-construction identification and Post-construction Restoration
  10. Effects of Sediments on BMPs for Highway Runoff Control
  11. Design Stormwater BMP for Ultra-Urban Applications
  12. Rapid Bridge Replacement: State-of-the-Art Report on ABC
  13. Assessment of the Constructability Issues with Phased Construction of Bridges
  14. Assessment of Culvert  Blockage of Aquatic Organisms
  15. Pot Hole Repair Materials Performance Evaluation

 

Testbed to Evaluate Arterial Travel Time Data Collection Methods and Results

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Testbed to Evaluate Arterial Travel Time Data Collection Methods and Results
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Travel time is the fundamental characteristic of system performance measurement. Travel times allow a direct comparison between different routes and modes and motorists can readily understand and relate to the concept of "travel time". While measuring travel time on freeways is a well-established application, obtaining travel time data on an arterial network has proven challenging due to the significant variability of traffic flow and speeds. In recent years, numerous devices and data collection methods are being used more frequently to collect arterial travel time and speed data. However, accuracy and reliability of this data can still vary considerably based on numerous factors. This research would test available methods of collecting arterial travel time data on a single corridor at the same time so that direct comparisons with regard to accuracy, speed, travel time and related installation and maintenance issues can be made.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    1. Review and summarize national literature on the current status of arterial travel time deployment.
    2. Develop a test bed on a local arterial roadway that can be used to set up and test the collection of arterial travel time using various available equipment and technology (Bluetooth – various products, cell phone data/probes, commercially available products such as Sensys, etc.).
    3. Evaluate the accuracy and reliability of the collected data as compared with conventional travel time data collected along the corridor.
    4. Evaluate cost, installation, maintenance, communications, and other related operations and maintenance characteristics of each deployment.

    Expected Benefits include advancements to collect and use arterial travel time data thereby improving the accuracy and reliability of real-time traveler information that can be provided to motorists.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
    Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Use of Arterial Travel Time Data in Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) Packages.

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Use of Arterial Travel Time Data in Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT) Packages.
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    In recent years, numerous devices and data collection methods are being used more frequently to collect arterial travel time and speed data.  This research would evaluate available methods of collecting arterial travel time data, select one or more reliable methods, and investigate options to import arterial travel time data for use in adaptive signal control technology (ASCT) packages.  This data could be used to enhance the results of ASCT deployments that are under increased scrutiny for their effectiveness and benefit/cost analysis.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    1. Review and summarize national literature regarding the use of arterial travel time data in ASCT.
    2. Evaluate and select one or more arterial travel time data collection methodologies.
    3. Develop methodologies to import arterial travel time data into ASCT packages for use in optimizing adaptive signal control.
    4. Evaluate feasibility of using arterial travel time data to improve performance of ASCT under varying travel time/speed conditions.
    Expected Benefits include advancements the state-of-the-practice in adaptive signal control technology and use of real-time travel time/speed data for adaptive timing adjustments.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
    Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Benefits and Costs of NDOR ITS Deployments

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)

    Benefits and Costs of NDOR ITS Deployments

  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    NDOR has invested significantly in ITS deployments across the state over the past several years.  The department believes this program and associated strategies is an effective way to use available technology to manage traffic and reduce motorist delays and increase safety in the State road network.  ITS projects and deployments also tend to be high-profile, and accessible by the motoring public.  Frequent requests are made by public and legislators alike inquiring on the costs, and associated benefits, of our ITS deployments.

  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    1. Review and summarize national literature on the benefits of ITS projects and deployments.
    2. Review and summarize the benefits and costs of previous implementations of ITS technologies in other regions that are similar to the State of Nebraska.
    3. Conduct a user perception survey of the benefits of ITS deployments.
    4. Quantify the benefits of individual ITS projects and/or devices in Nebraska in relation to safety and mobility savings.
    5. Measure and quantify the benefits of previous NDOR ITS deployments.
    Expected Benefits include planning future ITS projects and prioritizing ITS projects.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Research on Engineering Improvements for Older Drivers

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Research on Engineering Improvements for Older Drivers
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    By 2030, older adults, age 65 and above will represent approximately 20 percent of the population Nationally. As this population ages, the Older Driver segment is getting more national attention and focus, and is starting to be considered in the design of the infrastructure in some states. The older driver population is also over-represented in crash statistics due to the inherent reduction of cognitive and motor skills of this section of the population. This study will look at the state of the art and state of the practice for engineering improvements targeted to improve elderly mobility. The study will also analyze and document such improvements already implemented in Nebraska and the safety benefits of these improvements as they relate to the older driver, and also as they relate to all drivers.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    1. Identify safety and mobility improvements that can improve elderly mobility
    2. Rank the improvements based on safety, mobility and applicability

    Expected benefits: A comprehensive list of improvements that can help elderly mobility that the State of Nebraska road agencies can choose to implement. A follow-up study after implementation of these improvements is also recommended to evaluate the effectiveness.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Pavement Texture’s Effect on Braking Friction on Contaminated Surfaces.

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Pavement Texture’s Effect on Braking Friction on Contaminated Surfaces
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    The transportation literature has limited information on the effect of the layer of snow, ice, water, chemicals, and abrasives (contaminant layer) on braking friction as the layer transitions from a dry to non-dry state. There is some general guidance in the literature regarding braking friction as roads go from dry to damp to wet; however, the literature does not provide specific metrics for road surfaces having different surface roughness frequencies and/or peak-to-peak amplitudes of its interstitial pavement materials (especially aggregates).  Techniques (grooving, tining, channeling, etc.) have been implemented to improve friction for pavements impacted by snow and ice, but little has been done to define the relationship between the typical surface characteristics of asphalt and Portland cement pavements and braking friction.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    Knowledge of the relationship between pavement roughness and braking friction for situations where thin contaminant layers exist could have a significant influence on treatment practices to optimize safety.  During the transition from snow- and ice-covered roadways to bare pavement conditions at the end of winter storms, drivers tend to return to normal driving speeds prior to the return of a road condition that supports the braking and slip friction associated with the designated normal speed limit.  Maintenance decision support systems that utilize simulation techniques to develop recommendations regarding effective treatment techniques to return contaminant layers to bare pavement conditions have the potential to use braking friction metrics to make treatment recommendations that minimize the transition period and thereby improve safety.  The texture/braking friction relationship also has the potential to benefit dynamic adjustment of variable speed limits, which has growing interest in the FHWA Safety Program.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Testing Concrete Ties for Internal Cracks and Surface Cracks.

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Testing concrete ties for internal cracks and surface cracks.
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Determination of cracked concrete ties in service is an issue for railroads.  Visual inspection of these cracks are very difficult.  Top surface cracks are an indication of an internal problem within the tie.  The top crack is the internal problem pushing to the surface.  We are not able to see the cracks until they appear on the top of the tie or on a side.  Need a process to identify top and side surface and internal cracks.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    The objective is to develop a cost effective process to determine the internal and external integrity of the concrete tie.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • We will provide U. P. support.  Such as access and people.

Monitoring Railroad Curve Movement

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Monitoring Railroad Curve Movement
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Lining and surfacing of curves can lead to a track buckle if not managed. On main tracks Class 2 tracks and higher all 3 degree curves and sharper must be staked. These stakes must be clearly marked and must be used to monitor any curve movement.  During cold weather curves tend to shift inward.  Curves need to be lined  back prior to warm weather to mitigate critical buckling temperatures.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    The objective is to develop a smart cost effective system that continuously monitors CWR thermal forces and stress free temperatures on railroad curves for improved CWR safety.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • We will provide U. P. support.  Such as access and people.

Digital Documentation of Element Condition for Bridge Evaluation

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Digital Documentation of Element Condition for Bridge Evaluation
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Bridges are currently evaluated by trained inspectors using a printed checklist. The FHWA and the NDOR are in the process of transitioning from a function-based rating system to an element-based condition rating system. The transition will be quite complex for some bridges because of the numerous and nearly identical elements that are part of the structure (i.e. steel truss bridges). Physically identical elements often show very different patterns of distress depending upon their location in the structure. An inspector must correctly identify the type and location of each element being inspected, document its distress, manually record this information in the field and then transcribe that information to the bridge evaluation database after arriving back at his/her office. This is a complex and time-consuming set of responsibilities which are prone to error.
    Under the proposed research, an inspector will be able to download a realistic 3D bridge model containing critical (or all) bridge elements to an electronic tablet before leaving his/her office. The model will contain the condition rating of each critical (or all) bridge elements at the time of the last inspection. At the bridge site, the inspector will identify an element by location on the bridge and then point to and click on that element on the tablet display. A picture of the specific element and information concerning its past condition ratings will be displayed. Inspectors will be able to update each element's condition as that element is being inspected. Inspection data will be stored as an electronic file on the tablet formatted as an update to the last inspection.
    When the inspector returns to his/her office, updated inspection data can be downloaded from the tablet directly into a bridge evaluation system. The condition rating of the bridge can be automatically updated based upon the most recent inspection. This will completely eliminate the need to transcribe field notes into an office database, saving time and effort which the inspector can use to complete additional inspections.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    This research will provide an improved means of accurately documenting the complex process of element-based bridge inspection that will soon become the national standard.  It will allow bridge inspectors to enter information pertaining to the condition of an element into the database while looking at the element in question, making the inspection process more accurate.  This research will eliminate errors resulting from data transcription and will provide bridge inspectors with the opportunity to spend additional time on site.  All of these factors should make US bridges safer and assist in maintaining bridges in a state of good repair.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Pavement-Edge Erosion: Pre-construction identification and Post-construction Restoration

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Pavement-Edge Erosion: Pre-construction identification and Post-construction Restoration
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    The interface between the edge of highway pavement and the soil on non-curbed highways often experiences erosion. This erosion often results in a channel that can be large enough to trap vehicle tires if the vehicle strays off of the pavement. This situation presents a significant traffic hazard if the driver over-compensates when trying to escape the channel and crosses traffic lanes. In addition, as the channel develops, top soil is removed resulting in loss of vegetation which encourages further erosion. If the channel grows large enough, it can threaten the stability of the pavement and potentially cause expensive damage.
    The pavement-edge erosional channels generally develop where concentrated flows move parallel to the roadway after they leave the pavement. This generally occurs where there is a significant longitudinal slope in the roadway and where incremental flows leaving the pavement cannot move to the ditch via the shoulder. Two common problems that can trap water next to the pavement include inadequate lateral slope of the earthen shoulder and tire-created depressions next to the pavement. Concentrated flows can occur where the runoff from a large area of pavement exits in one location. Examples of this condition include interstate ramps where the longitudinal slopes, the roadway banking, and the roadway curvature all can lead runoff from the pavement to exit at one location.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    The goals of the proposed research are: (1) develop methods to repair existing pavement-edge erosion sites, and (2) develop a method to identify locations where measures should be taken during highway construction to prevent pavement-edge erosion.

    The proposed research involves the following tasks: 1) conduct literature search to characterize the current state of science relating to pavement-edge erosion, its repair, and its prevention; 2) develop 3 to 4 potential repair methods for interface erosion sites; 3) install the potential repair methods at roadside sites; 4) monitor the test repair sites for: sustainability/durability due to tire damage; erosion/erosion prevention (e.g., rill development in the repair and in the soils next to the repair); and vegetation re-establishment in soils next to the repair.

    Currently, the common practice in other states is to build a strip with crushed limestone along the edge of the pavement, but crushed limestone is not always available locally in NE. Quick, cost-effective repairs to these erosion sites with locally available materials will improve highway safety and prevent potentially expensive pavement repairs. Identification of locations where preventative measures should be installed during highway construction will prevent costly and dangerous repair and maintenance post-construction.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Faculty summer salary as in-kind match.

Effects of Sediments on BMPs for Highway Runoff Control.

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Effects of Sediments on BMPs for Highway Runoff Control
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Considerable studies conducted on highway stormwater runoff and its control with Best Management Practices (BMPs) indicate that sediments (which will be in the form of suspended solids in storwater runoff) are the major pollutants that affect performance and longevity of BMPs. Currently, it is essentially unknown:
    • how much sediments will be generated by a construction site or by a section of highway with its surrounding watershed under different conditions ̶ knowledge gap 1;
    • how are sediments intercepted by different BMPs with or without pretreatment sections ̶ knowledge gap 2; and
    • what are the effects of these sediments in BMPS on pollutants' removal (e.g., via sorption or filtration mechanisms during low flow conditions) or release (e.g., via resuspension or washout mechanisms during high flow conditions) and on hydraulic behavior and longevity of BMPs ̶ knowledge gap 3.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    This proposed research will focus on knowledge gap 1. The objectives of this proposed research are to 1) develop a model that can be used to model sediment generation under different conditions; 2) collect some field data to calibrate the parameters to be used in these models, and 3) evaluate how to incorporate models into design and management of BMPs for highway runoff control.

    Essentially, we will develop a model to estimate sediments generation rate and quantity for different settings (e.g., construction sites, different highway sections) under different environmental (e.g., soils or surface vegetation coverage) and weather conditions (e.g., different storm events). We will go to field to find some sites (e.g., construction sites or highway sections) to collect storm water samples (for quantifying sediments) during storm events, which will allow us to calibrate the parameters and the model. We will then evaluate how to use the model in BMP design and management.

    This project will provide important information on how critical knowledge gaps 2 and 3 are. The project will provide information and designs to DOT/MATC to assist in the planning, design and management of structural BMPs for highway runoff control. This information will help DOT/MATC to combat MS4 issues and comply with Clean Water Act requirements.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Faculty summer salary as in-kind match

Design Stormwater BMP for Ultra-Urban Applications.

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Design Stormwater BMP for Ultra-Urban Applications
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) are required for new development projects that lie within urban areas considered municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4). A particularly challenging application for stormwater BMPS is in the ultra-urban setting where space is very limited and where there is generally very little open, unpaved land. In the ultra-urban setting, BMPs will need to be designed to fit beneath sidewalks or streets or be incorporated within the current stormwater infrastructure (e.g. pipes).
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    The objectives of this proposed research will be to: (1) develop designs for ultra-urban stormwater BMPs, and (2) test the effectiveness of the bench-scale BMPs.

    The methods for this research will include: (1) conduct a literature review to identify and evaluate the applicability of previously developed ultra-urban BMPs, (2) identify designs that could be adapted for Nebraska ultra-urban settings, (3) develop designs for ultra-urban BMPs for Nebraska cities, (4) construct bench-scale BMPs and test the effectiveness of the BMPs by measuring influent and effluent concentrations of synthetic stormwater containing typical pollutants in highway runoff.

    This project will provide information and designs to DOT/MATC to assist in the planning and design of stormwater BMPs for ultra-urban settings. This information will be useful in planning construction activities in ultra-urban settings, and it will help NDOR comply with Clean Water Act requirements.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Faculty summer salary as in-kind match.

Rapid Bridge Replacement: State-of-the-Art Report on ABC

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Rapid Bridge Replacement: State-of-the-Art Report on ABC
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    The Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technique has drawn the attention of many State DOT's after its recent development and applicability. The application of the ABC for new bridge construction practices and bridge replacements along with its unique benefits such as minimizing traffic disruption, higher safety and less environmental impact has made this technique a strong alternative in designing and construction of highway bridges.
    In this research a comprehensive state-of-the-art report will be developed based on the latest research studies, developments and applications. The main focus will be evaluating this technique in regards to the sustainability issues such as life-cycle costs, safety, traffic disruption, pollution, used energy, and social impacts both in qualitative and quantitative approaches for the State of Nebraska.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    Nebraska as a non-seismic zone can particularly benefit from the Accelerated Bridge Construction. To implement this new technique in local projects, it is beneficial to provide a clear evaluation for decision makers, investors, and tax payers. Practicing more sustainable construction projects and considering environmental and social impacts as well as economic aspects of a project by public authorities can be a strong motivation for the bridge industry and private parties in Nebraska.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Assessment of the Constructability Issues with Phased Construction of Bridges.

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Assessment of the Constructability Issues with Phased Construction of Bridges
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    TravPhased construction is a common practice used by State DOTs during the replacement of a bridge.  This method allows for the traffic flow to be maintained during construction.  An issue that often arises during the construction sequence is differential elevation of the phases, requiring remediation. An investigation is needed to determine the effectiveness of using temporary barriers as a remediation technique.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    The objective of the proposed project is to assess the remediation technique(s) used to reduce deflection between phases of construction of a steel girder bridge.  The project will include a finite element analysis, monitoring of a bridge under-construction and a qualitative survey.  The research findings have the potential of advancing knowledge of constructability issues associated with phased construction of steel girder bridges.  This will lead to reduction in construction duration and savings in cost.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Potential for soft match labor support and/or hardware/software contributions based on final problem statement and proposed research program.

Assessment of Culvert  Blockage of Aquatic Organisms

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Assessment of Culvert  Blockage of Aquatic Organisms
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Globally, riverine fishes are affected by habitat degradation, stream alterations, loss of stream connectivity, and the introduction of non-native species. We are currently assessing the potential impacts on fish movement that result from different types of culverts. Assessment is conducted by capturing fish upstream and downstream of the culvert and comparing the communities. However, it is possible that fish freely move past the culvert and limited sampling would not reveal this fact.
    Recent advances in technology allow fish to be individually marked and assessed repeatedly using non-lethal methods. Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags can be implanted in fish and then sampled with field portable readers. By marking males and females and different age classes of fish and then repeatedly sampling, life history information can be gained and the effects of stream blockage from culverts and other structures can be assessed. In addition, fish movements can be followed on intermittent streams to study the effects that various disturbances (drought/seasonal drying, irrigation drawdowns, and floods) have on fish communities. Placing PIT tags in fish at various sites will help identify whether culverts act as barriers to native and exotic species and whether fish move up and down stream past the culvert, which are data that cannot be otherwise obtained.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    This research will address current mandated changes to replace culverts with "bottomless" structures in Nebraska. This research will also determine effects of culverts on endangered species and their exotic competitors and predators. The plains topminnow occurs in most drainages of Nebraska and is a Tier 1 species with the possibility of becoming federally listed as endangered or threatened. Conservation of this and other native fishes is important and conservation measures are already associated with at water-crossings in the state. By determining if fish move past apparent barriers, insights best management practices for culverts will be gained. These data may show that the proposed benefits from modified culverts in Nebraska will actually cause more harm than good. Because bottomless culverts are more expensive to build and because Nebraska streams are highly mobile, data on potential impacts of these structures on native fish communities will aid NDOR in providing continued protection of stream communities.

  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • Uncollected indirects (UNK rate 38.5%), one semester graduate assistantship ($9,000) and faculty salary and benefits ($10,000) will be used as match.

Pot Hole Repair Materials Performance Evaluation

  • 1) Problem Title: (Limit 10 Words)
    Pot Hole Repair Materials Performance Evaluation
  • 2) Research Problem Statement: (In no more than 3 paragraphs, provide a general description of the problem.) (Related to US DOT Research Topic Areas: Enhancing Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Livable Communities, and Environmental Sustainability)

    Pot holes have always been a problem for highway maintenance in cold region. The evaluation of pot hole repair materials in terms of durability and serviceability of the repair could significantly reduce roadway maintenance costs.  Current practice primarily uses cold asphaltic patching materials for pot holes.  The materials are subjected to field evaluations, however, standardized performance test procedures under specific conditions are lacking.  A method of objectively evaluating patching materials performance would ensure best value and lowest lifecycle cost.

    The objective of this study is to develop best test and evaluation methods for cold mix patching of pot holes specific to Nebraska and its pavement deterioration modes (stripping, ASR, low air joint deterioration), weather events, and types of deicing chemicals being used.
  • 3) Objective & Expected Benefits: (Include a clear, concise statement of the objectives (anticipated products/benefits) that are expected to be met by this particular research.

    NDOR spends approximately $300,000 annually on bituminous cold patch materials.  The cost of equipment and labor for pothole patching may be significantly greater than the cost of materials. 

    Using the highest quality patching material available at a competitive price will extend the life of repairs, thereby reducing the maintenance cost and improving the condition of the pavement.  Vehicle damage and accidents may be reduced by reducing the incidence of unfilled potholes.
  • 4) Availability of Matching Funds:  While not required, the amount of matching funds is an important criteria for project selection.  In the past all selected projects have had at least 1:1 match.  Please note: matching funds may be in the form of cash match or in-kind match in the form of salaries, wages, and benefits of company employees assisting with the project, donated equipment, access to facilities, access to equipment, supplies, travel expenses, other expenses (computer time, etc), indirect costs associated with applicable costs shared direct costs.  If none, please just state not applicable.
  • NDOR will provide test equipment and pot hole repair materials as "in-kind" match.