Wyoming Department of Transportation
roadway

Current Research Projects

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ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS 

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2016:

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Robert Rothwell, P.E.

Principal Investigator:   

Dr. Kam Ng

Dr. Khaled Ksaibati

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-4388                   

Subcontractor:                 

Applied Research Associates, Inc.

Study Objective:  WYDOT has already invested over $500,000 in the implementation of the MEPDG. The previous research efforts concentrated on calibrating environmental and traffic factors. The overall objective of this research is to characterize representative, local material properties for unbound base and subgrade layers to insure a comprehensive MEPDG implementation in the state. Representative material properties will be characterized for various local geological, soil, traffic, climate, and material conditions to facilitate the full DARWin-METM implementation and to better predict pavement performance in Wyoming. This study will concentrate on determining material characteristics for layers underneath PMP only since asphalt pavement is the most widely used in the state. Specifically, the following products will be developed from Phase I of this work.

Study Benefit:   The research project outlined in this proposal has several direct benefits to road infrastructure in Wyoming. First, it will provide a catalog of locally calibrated material inputs, which reflect the local geological and soil conditions, for the full implementation of the MEPDG in Wyoming. Second, the implementation of the locally calibrated MEPDG will lead to a more cost-effective pavement design procedure in Wyoming. Third, the successful implementation of locally calibrated MEPDG will ensure the service life of Wyoming’s road infrastructure and lower road maintenance costs.

Completion Date:  March 31, 2016 - Time Extension on this project until December 31, 2016. 

Cost Estimates:  $192,926

THIS PROJECT IS TIED TO:

WYDOT Sponsor:

Bob Rothwell

Principal Investigator:

Applied Research Associates, Inc.

100 Trade Centre, Suite 200

Champaign, IL  61820

(207) 356-4500

Study Objectives:

Establish WYDOT's AASHTO Pavement ME Design database and revise WYDOT's ME Design User's guide.  

Completion Data:  September 30, 2015

Cost:  $404,972

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Keith Fulton, PE

Principal Investigator:   

Jay Pucket, P.E., Ph.D.

Brian Goodrich, P.E.

302 S. 2nd Street, Suite 201

Laramie WY  82070

307-721-5070              

Study Objectives:  This project will address the following questions:

• Are the FHWA requirements outlined in the 9/29/2011 memo met?

• How do the Current Legal Loads compare to Wyoming weigh-in-motion (WIM) data and vehicles allowed by state statutes?

• How do the WIM and current Legal Loads compare to the AASHTO LRFR Legal/Rating Loads?

• Can the accumulative damage effects of large loads on I-80 begin to be quantified?

Study Benefit:  There are several benefits that will be realized by WYDOT from this project: a) WYDOT will meet the FHWA requirements; b) a much better understanding of design and operational loads will be achieved; c) and initial understanding of live load effects and accumulated damage will be acquired; d) a  rigorous calibration method for estimating live effects (for example, state specific live load and multiple presence factors) will be developed; and e) a rigorous structural analysis (BRASS™ girder and route software systems) will be developed.

Completion Date:  November 30, 2016. 

Cost Estimates:  $223,961.42

 

WYDOT Sponsors:

          Vince Garcia, GIS/ITS Program Manager

Principle Investigator:  

          Mohamed M. Ahmed

           University of Wyoming

          100 East University Avenue, Department 3295

           Laramie, WY  82071

Study Objective:  The main goal of this study was to enhance the understanding of how drivers respond to adverse weather and road conditions.

Completion Date:  March 31, 2016. 

Cost Estimate:  $292,674

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2017:

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Bob Bonds, Environmental Coordinator, WYDOT

Principal Investigator:   

Erin Muths

U.S. Geological Survey

2150 Centre Avenue, Bldg C

Fort Collins CO  80526

970-226-9474

Study Objective:  To quantify the success of the phase I mitigation site by a) estimating population parameters of two amphibian species; b) surveying invertebrate fauna; and c) assessing site characteristics relative to amphibian success and comparing results between the phase 1 wetland mitigation site, the nearby swan pond and 2 reference sites. 

Study Benefit:  Results from this project will provide information for future mitigation efforts in this and similar types of habitat and provide evidence of successful wetland mitigation efforts. 

Completion Date:  May 31, 2016. 

Cost Estimate:  $86,562

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Matt Carlson

Principal Investigator:   

Khaled Ksaibati

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-6230                  

Study Objective:  The objective of this study is to identify the primary factors behind the high truck crash rates in Wyoming and then develop mitigation strategies to reduce these high crash rates.

Study Benefit:  The study will provide specific conclusions, recommendations, and products at the following three levels:  a) provide the trucking industry with useful information about the hazards on the highways in Wyoming; b) by comparing crash types to citations, determine the best utilization and resources of the Wyoming Highway Patrol; and c) recommend systematic safety improvements.

Completion Date:  June 30, 2017

Cost Estimates:  $89,181

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Matt Carlson, State Highway Safety Engineer

Principal Investigator:   

Dr. Mohamed M. Ahmed, P.E.

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-5550

Study Objective:  In this study, the Empirical Bayes (EB) approach to analysis before-after effects will be utilized. The EB method can overcome the limitations faced by simple before-after evaluation and compare group methods by not only accounting for regression to the mean effects, but also accounting for traffic volume changes when identifying the crash modification factors. This will increase the reliability of the CMF and increase the likelihood of achieving the same change in crash frequency if the treatment is implemented elsewhere.

Study Benefit:  The results from this research will be of great interest to the WYDOT design office since many CMFs are based on changes in design, e.g., adding a lane, roadside safety, intersection skew angle, signal timing, etc. WYDOT traffic operations office would also be interested in the CMFs pertaining to intersections, e.g., signalization of a stop controlled intersection, etc. All district safety offices as well as cities and counties have also a great interest to quantify the safety benefits of various countermeasures.

Completion Date:  January 31, 2017.

Cost Estimates:  $79,234

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Pete Hallsten, District Maintenance Engineer, District 5

Principal Investigator:   

Corinna Riginos
Research Associate
Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative
185 Center Street
Jackson WY 83001

Study Objective:  The overarching objective of this project is to provide transportation planners with information that will help them to evaluate the placement of wildlife-vehicle mitigation measures. Doing so will increase the cost-effectiveness of mitigation measures and will be vital to reducing the rising problem of wildlife-vehicle collisions while maintaining and enhancing landscape connectivity for wildlife in Wyoming.

Study Benefit:  The results from this research will help to a) reduce costs and increase success of WVC collision mitigation measures by providing guidelines about which mitigations are most effective and have benefits exceeding costs for specific geographic locations in Wyoming; and b) improve safety by reducing collisions with wildlife.

Completion Date:  January 31, 2017.

Cost Estimates:  $36,960.

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Talbot Hauffe, Office of Local Government Coordination

Principal Investigator:   

Jaydeep Chaudhari, AICP Research Scientist
Western Transportation institute
Montana State University
PO BOX 174250
Bozeman MT  59717-4250
jaydeep@montana.edu

Study Objective:  The goal of this project is to access the feasibility of last mile package delivery as a revenue generation tool for rural public transportation in Wyoming.  

Study Benefit:  Public transportation systems have emerged as a viable solution for the last mile package delivery market.  These public transportation systems and state departments of transportation should research this opportunity to obtain new revenue.  This revenue could help rural transit systems obtain critically needed local match funds.  Package delivery through a transit system could help improve the efficiency, effectiveness, visibility of rural transit systems, and provide another venue to connect transit systems with the general public.

Completion Date:  October  31, 2017.

Cost Estimates:  $40,143 (WYDOT); $80,660 (WTI/UTC).

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

John Eddins, P.E.

Principal Investigator:   

Josh Hewes

InterAlpine, Associates, LLC

83 El Camino Tesoros

Sedona AZ  86336

928-202-8156

Study Objective:  To provide valuable information on the active snow pressures and in-situ performance of the snow supporting structures at milepost 151 site near Jackson, Wyoming.

Study Benefit:  The results will be used to evaluate the performance of the milepost 151 installation, and will also provide an initial basis for development of design guidelines for future constructed defense measures at other locations within the western United States. 

Completion Date:  September 15, 2015 - Time Extension until September 30, 2017. 

Cost Estimates:  $104,566

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

John Eddins, P.E., DE, District 3

Principal Investigator:   

Rand Decker, P.E., Ph.D.

InterAlpine  Associates. LLC

83 El Camino Tesoros

Sedona, AZ 86336

Study Objective:  Develop a generic, broadly applicable, structured process to optimize the choice of avalanche hazard management methods and technology for a given roadway application, including an assessment of the state-of-the-art TAS OBELLX portable, remotely operable gas blaster for active avalanche control.

Study Benefit:  The development of a decision support metrics that will allow WYDOT and other state DOT transportation facility planners to make avalanche mitigation decisions in a structured and near optimal way.

Completion Date:  September 30, 2016 - Extension on project until September 30, 2017. 

Cost Estimates:  $344,428

 

WYDOT Sponsor

Kathy Ahlenius and Clifford Spoonemore, Field Operations and Maintenance Services

Principle Investigator

Dr. Noriaki Ohara, Assistant Professor

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

University of Wyoming

1000 E. University Avenue, Dept 3295

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-4366

Study Objectives:  The objectives of this study are to a) develop new wind and winter precipitation tables for snow fence design using the WRF model; b) compare the existing Tabler tables to the new data to see if there have been significant changes in what WYDOT has been using; and c) determine the appropriate timeframe and frequency for continuous data updating.  

Study Benefits:  The main benefit of this study will be the update of he existing manually-measured wind direction and annual snowfall data for snow fence design, using the contemporary WRF model.

Completion date:  May of 2016 - Extension granted to February 28, 2017.

Cost Estimate:  $19,178.

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2018:

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Martin Kidner, State Planning Engineer

Mark Wingate, Systems Planning Engineer

Principal Investigator:   

Khaled Ksaibati, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, Wyoming Technology Transfer Center
University of Wyoming, Laramie Wyoming

Study Objective:  There are three basic goals of this project. First, the travel demand model developed in phase I will be enhanced by including oil and gas impacts in the model and improving the transportation analysis zone (TAZ) delineation of the study location. The second goal will be to implement the model for the remaining 19 counties in Wyoming. The model will apply travel behavior parameters to network, demographic, and economic data in the four-step modeling process to estimate traffic volumes. Finally, an analysis will be carried out to determine the length of time over which estimates can be considered valid and when to update the model to improve accuracy of results to account for traffic variations in the future.

Study Benefit:  As part of the federally mandated Highway Performance Management System (HPMS), each state is required to provide summary data for their rural minor collector and local road networks. A primary element of this summary data is the total vehicle miles traveled on these roads.

Completion Date:  February 29, 2018.

Cost Estimates:  $119,100.

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Chris Romo

Bob Rothwell

Greg Milburn

Principal Investigator:   

Jennifer Tanner

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-2073                   

Study Objective:  To conduct tests on fly ashes; evaluate moderately reactive, reactive, and very highly reactive aggregates; conduct concrete prism testing; demolish blocks and make recycled concrete aggregate; and continue monitoring field specimens. 

Study Benefit:  Developing more durable concrete will improve the effectiveness of the state highways and result in a cost benefit.  Using fly ash in an effective way and using recycled aggregate are both measures that have a positive on the environment.  Further, developing an ultra-rapid method by autoclaving prism specimens advances our engineering knowledge.

Completion Date:  September 30, 2018

Cost Estimates:  $65,975

 

WYDOT Sponsors:

Ryan Steinbrenner and Mike Farrar

Materials and Testing Program

Principle Investigators:

Dr. Kam Ng, P.E.

Dr. Khaled Ksaibati, P.E.

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-4388

Study Objective:  The proposed research serves as a complementary study to enhance the pavement design in Wyoming through the characterization of base materials.  This research project has the following objectives:  a) characterize the properties of local base materials; b) understand the effects of rock type, moisture content, fine content and gradation on base modulus; c) improve base modulus estimations; and d) facilitate the full MEPDG implementation in the state of Wyoming

Study Benefit:   A Master-degree student majoring in civil engineering has been enrolled in September 2015 to assist the Principal Investigators to complete this project. The MEPDG will be introduced in a required civil engineering course, CE3500: Transportation Engineering, and will be integrated as part of the curriculum for the civil engineering course CE 4510/5510: Pavement Design for Airports and Highways.

Completion Date:  January 31, 2018.

Cost Estimates:  $64,577

 

WYDOT Sponsor:

          Jim Coffin

Principle Investigator:

          Kam NG, Ph.D., P.E.

          University of Wyoming

          1000 East University

          Laramie, WY  82071

Study Objective:  The overall goal of the proposed research project is to develop locally calibrated LRFD procedures for driven piles on soft rocks in Wyoming.

Study Benefit:  The proposed research project will have several direct benefits to WYDOT, deep foundations industry and other relevant stakeholders.  

Completion Date:  December 31, 2018

Cost Estimates:  $160,372

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2019:

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Joel Meena

Kent Ketterling

Principal Investigator:   

Dr. Mohamed Ahmed

Dr. Khaled Ksaibati

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-4388                   

Study Objective:  To conduct a synthesis of existing research studies of the dynamic message signs (DMS), safety benefits; identify and rank hotspot locations of lane departure crashes, head-on and opposite sideswipe crashes on Wyoming roadways; evaluate the safety effectiveness of daytime running lights using Wyoming crash data for DRL-equipped and non-DRL, and motorcycles; conduct a field study on current headlight signed hotspot locations to collect data about the compliance of DRL use and the newly 24-hour low beam lights in newer vehicles; develop a plan for state wide sign implementation; conduct a cost/benefit analysis; conduct a driving simulation experiment; field test the experiment; and finalize state wide implementation and cost/benefit analysis. 

Study Benefit:  The objective of this study is to evaluate the safety effectiveness of regulating the use of daytime running lights under certain scenarios and weather conditions on specific types of crashes. 

Completion Date:  June 30, 2019

Cost Estimates:  $194,197

             PHASE 1 REPORT

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Jamie Yount

Principal Investigator:   

Joshua Hewes
InterAlpine Associates
83 El Camino Tesoros
Sedona AZ  86336

Study Objective:  The results of this project will provide the necessary background information that will describe the relative performance of SSU in their ability to effectively mitigate the risk of avalanche release from the starting zone.  

Completion Date:  December 31, 2019

Cost Estimates:  $138,781

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

James A. Eversen

James Meena

Matt Carlson

Principal Investigator:   

Khaled Ksaibati, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, Wyoming Technology Transfer Center
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, 82071
307-766-6230
khaled@uwyo.edu

Study Objective:  The objectives are to update the GRSR model for current truck population characteristics; and to evaluate Wyoming mountain passes and their warning systems with regard to truck downgrade crashes.

Completion Date:  January 31, 2019

Cost Estimates:  $157,004

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Keith Compton, District Engineer, District 3

Principal Investigator:   

Corinna Riginos, Research Ecologist
Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative
PO Box 2705
Jackson WY  83001
 
Marcel Huijser, Research Ecologist
Western Transportation Institute, MSU
PO Box 174250
Bozeman MT  59717
 

Study Objective:  Provide transportation planners with scientifically-defensible and robust information about whether reducing nighttime speed limits is an effective means of reducing vehicle collisions with wildlife.

Study Benefits:  The results of the study will help to a) increase the cost-effectiveness of wildlife vehcle collision mitigation measures by testing the effectiveness of one mitigation method under consideration for multiple parts of Wyoming; and b) improve safety by reducing collisions with wildlife.

Completion Date:  January 31, 2019

Cost Estimates:  $250,026

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