Wyoming Department of Transportation

Current Research Projects

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ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS 

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2015:

WYDOT Sponsor:

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

Tom Hart, P.E., Environmental Services.

Principal Investigator:   

Hall Sawyer

Chad LeBeau

Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc

200 South 2nd St. Suite B

Laramie, Wyoming 82070

Study Objective:  Determine how mule deer and pronghorn respond to newly-constructed underpasses and overpasses, and determine how many animals use each type of structure.

Study Benefits:  Determine whether crossing structures combined with game fencing can effectively reduce vehicle collisions with pronghorn and mule deer.  Further, understand how mule deer and pronghorn respond to and utilize overpasses which will improve future roadway planning and allow WYDOT to improve highway safety.

Completion Date:  September 30, 2015

Cost Estimates:  $139,884

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Keith Fulton, State Bridge Engineer

Principal Investigator:   

Richard J. Schmidt

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-5256                                  

Amendment:  The original contract on this matter was for $62,544.  An amendment was executed for additional funding and an extension of time.  When the original proposal was presented to the RAC, there was an understanding that the WYDOT Sponsor and the Principal Investigator would be requesting a second year of funding from the RAC in FY2013.

Study Objective:  The long-term objectives of the proposed project are to develop, install, and operate a field instrumentation package for SHM of bridges subjected to overweight trucks and to correlate field performance data to the behavior of the bridges predicted by analysis and rating software.

Study Benefit:  The proposed project will make direct positive contributions to the following strategic goals:  1) state of good repair which will improve the ability of bridge engineers to predict the effect that overweight vehicles will have on the condition of their bridges; 2) safety which will improve the operational safety of bridges during overload events by controlling the magnitude of the overload; and 3) economic competitiveness which will provide an economic advantage to the project.

Completion Date:  June 30, 2015. 

Cost Estimates:  $147,495.27

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Shelby Carlson, P.E., District 5, District Engineer

Principal Investigator:   

Embere Hall

Corinna Riginos

Morgan William Graham

Sara Fagan

Conservation Research Center of Teton Science Schools

700 Coyote Canyon Road

Jackson, WY 83001

Study Objective:  Deer delineators are a relatively inexpensive Wildlife Vehicle Collision mitigation tool, especially compared to wildlife overpasses and underpasses. However, little information exists in District 5 on whether or not the delineators have reduced WVCs. As WVCs continue to be a safety and environmental concern across the state, information on the efficacy of deer delineators will help WYDOT to evaluate the benefits of additional installations and maintaining existing installations.

Study Benefit:  This study will provide much-needed data on deer delineator efficacy as a WVC mitigation tool.

Completion Date:  June 30, 2015

Cost Estimates:  $234,303

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Captain Derek Mickelson, Safety, Training and Records

Wyoming Highway Patrol

Principal Investigator:   

Mehmet Egemen Ozbeck, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator

Department of Construction Management

Colorado State University

Guggenheim Hall

Fort Collins, CO  80523-1584

Study Objective:  The proposed research’s overall objective is to develop a DEA-based multi-measure performance assessment system to identify the overall performance of WHP’s different divisions in the presence of multiple performance measures so as to enable WHP benchmark the performance of its divisions. This system will perform comparative performance assessment of the 18 divisions of WHP using data from a multi-year period and its results will enable benchmarking.

Study Benefit:  The utilization of the above mentioned multi-measure performance assessment system will result in the identification of the best-performing (i.e., most efficient) divisions of WHP. These best performing divisions can, then, be used as peers/benchmarks for the divisions that do not perform as good so as to help those divisions improve their performances.  This should then lead to greater cost savings, greater safety benefits, and better public performance.

Completion Date:  February 15, 2015

Cost Estimates:  $133,987

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

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

Principal Investigator:   

Dr. Matthew Kauffman, Unit Leader

Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY 82071

 

Bill Rudd, Project Director

Wyoming Migration Initiative

Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY  82071

Study Objective:  Archive the substantial wildlife migration and movement research data sets at Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC).  Once data is housed an secure in a modern, accessible database, it will be enhanced and refined to produce useful online decision-support tools for transportation analysis, migration patterns, timing of migrations, etc.  A framework for how the long-term maintenance of this database between WYDOT and other partner agencies will be researched and agreed upon.

Study Benefit:  This effort will allow WYDOT, and Initiative partners, secure storage of wildlife research data, thus allowing the easy querying of all pertinent migration and wildlife movement studies, both in the past and into the future.  There should be significant time savings for project planners, environmental staff and designers, when evaluating corridor and project impacts.

Completion Date:  End of December 2015.  (This study is designed for 2 phases.  If the partnerships and funding commitments are not achieved for the 2nd phase, the project will be completed at the end of December 2014.)

Cost Estimates:  $152,677

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Martin Kidner, State Planning Engineer

Mark Wingate, Systems Planning Engineer

Principal Investigator:   

Dr. Khaled Ksaibati. P.E.

George Hunter, P.E.

Associate Professors

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-6230

Study Objective:  There are two basic goals of this project. First, a model will be developed that will estimate low-volume roads‟ traffic volumes and characteristics. This model will use various road, demographic, economic and energy development data along with actual traffic counts on a small fraction of the state’s lower volume roads to predict traffic on the rest of them. Second, a sampling plan – the number, duration, type and location of traffic counts – will be generated to provide the necessary inputs for the traffic estimation model. By accomplishing these two goals, a more efficient means of providing low-volume roads traffic information will be generated; this will support a wide variety of design, planning, and management functions on both the state and county road networks.

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:  December 31, 2015. 

Cost Estimates:  $161,244

 

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. 

Cost Estimates:  $104,566

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Matt Carlson, State Highway Safety Engineer

The Safety Management System Committee

Principal Investigators:                 

Dr. Mohamed M. Ahmed

Dr. Khaled Ksaibati. P.E.

Associate Professors

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-6230

Study Objective:  Two main goals are to be achieved in this study to provide recommendations for rumble strip/ stripes implementation in the State of Wyoming. The first goal is to review and amend the existing practices and policies as well as providing guidelines to update the Standard Plans of rumble strip/ stripes implementation. The second goal of the study is to determine the preferences and practices of surrounding states in the Rocky Mountains and Plains Region as well as to catalog the concerns and preferences of residence, cyclists, and motorcyclists with regards to rumble strips.

Study Benefit:  The Wyoming Strategic Highway Safety Plan recognized the importance of rumble strips in improving safety on roadways and therefore recommended continued implementation of rumble strips/ stripes. However, rumble strips may pose some concerns to residents, bicyclists and motorcyclists that may become more serious with the increased implementation of rumble strips. The objective of this study is to develop recommendations, guidelines, and policies for the implementation of rumble strips/ stripes that ensures that there is a significant reduction of negative impact to road users even with increased usage of rumble strips by WYDOT.

Completion Date:  March 31, 2015. 

Cost Estimates:  $97,052

 

WYDOT Sponsor: 

                Bob Rothwell, P.E., Assistant State Materials Engineer

Principal Investigator:   

                Kim Basham, Ph.D., P.E.

                KB Engineering, LLC

                1716 Capitol Ave

                Cheyenne, WY  82001

Study Objective:  Identify the failure mechanisms and root causes of the premature Silica Fume Concrete overlay distress and failures that include random cracking, de-bonding, and de-laminations.       

Study Benefit:  Identifying the failure mechanism and root causes of the premature SFC overlay distress and failures will allow WYDOT to mitigate this costly problem.

Completion Date:  April 30, 2014.

Cost Estimate:  $137,689       

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Bob Rothwell, P.E.

Principal Investigator:   

Jennifer Tanner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

University of Wyoming

1000 E. University

Laramie WY  82070

307-766-2073

Study Objective:  The proposed study builds on a comprehensive test program of a suite of eight aggregate types from pits around Wyoming, with the primary focus in the Big Horn Basin and supplemental sources in Rock Springs and Cheyenne.   While ASR is a problem in Cheyenne, it has not been observed in Big Horn Basin.  More detailed testing of concrete mixture in order to prevent ASR damage is necessary.

Study Benefit:  The project is a very expensive preventative measure when considering the volume of concrete placed in some WYDOT jobs, such as road construction or repair. 

Completion Date:  August 31, 2015. 

Cost Estimates:  $103,283

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Thomas Hart, Wildlife Specialist

Principal Investigator:   

Corinna Riginos

Morgan Graham

Teton Research Institute, Teton Science Schools

700 Coyote Canyon Road

Jackson, WY  83001

307-734-3734

Study Objective:  The proposed study shall define ways to provide transportation planner, conservation planners, and wildlife managers with statewide information that will help them evaluate the placement of current and future wildlife vehicle mitigation measures.

Study Benefit:  This project aims to provide transportation and wildlife managers in Wyoming with updated information, using new information about mule deer migrations and new modeling wildlife-vehicle crash patterns, to improve the cost-effectiveness of current wildlife-vehicle crash mitigation measures, to improve mitigation of the effects of roadways on mule deer movement pathways, and to proactively plan future actions necessary to mitigate rising wildlife-vehicle crash rates in areas where traffic volume is rising. 

Completion Date:  December 31, 2015. 

Cost Estimates:  $29,201

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Tim McDowell

Principal Investigator:   

Mohamed Ahmed

Khaled Ksaibati

Rhonda Young

Joshua Clapp

Hesham Eldeeb

University of Wyoming

1000 East University

Laramie Wyoming 

Study Objective:  The proposed study examine the feasibility of using NDS data to improve the understanding of weather and visibility related to crashes.

Study Benefit:  This project should allow for a better understand the right speed for conditions, and better assessment of the relationship between driver behavior, roadway factors, and environmental factors. 

Completion Date:  December 31, 2015. 

Cost Estimates:  $126,835

 

  • Implementation of the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide for WYDOT - RS03(209)

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:  Thomas Hart

Principal Investigator:   

Corinna Riginos, Research Ecologist

Morgan Graham, GIS Manager

Teton Research Institute, Teton Science Schools

700 Coyote Canyon RD

Jackson WY  83001

 

Holly Copeland, Spatial Ecologist

The Nature Conservancy

258 Main Street

Lander WY  82520 

 

The Wyoming Migration Initiative

Study Objective:  The overarching objective is to provide transportation planners, conservation planners, and wildlife managers with statewide information that will help them to evaluate the placement of current and future wildlife-vehicle mitigation measures.  

Study Benefit:   This project aims to provide transportation and wildlife managers in Wyoming with updated information, using new information about mule deer migrations and new modeling of WVC patterns, to improve the cost-effectiveness of current WVC migration measure, to improve mitigation of the effects of roadways on mule deer movement pathways, and to proactively plan future actions necessary to mitigate rising WVC rates in areas where traffic volume is rising.  

Completion Date:  December 31, 2015. 

Cost Estimates:  $29,201

 

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. 

Cost Estimates:  $192,926

THIS PROJECT IS TIED TO:

  • Implementation of the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide for WYDOT - RS03(209)

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 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. 

Cost Estimates:  $344,428

 

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 Estimates:  $86,562

 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Paul Cortez, Bridge Department

Principal Investigator:   

Marc Maguire

Utah State University

Civil and Environmental Engineering

4110 Old Main Hill

Logan UT

435-797-1139

Study Objective:  The Contractor shall investigate relationships between bridge deterioration, design, and environmental factors, and develop design and maintenance strategies in repose to the findings.  . 

Study Benefit:  Predicting anticipated spending and funding allocations is important to the year to year operation of WYDOT.  This study will give the WYDOT Bridge Program the ability to predict bridge maintenance actions with better accuracy, which will save WYDOT capital and/or allow for more efficient allocation of their limited funds. 

Completion Date:  May 31, 2016. 

Cost Estimates:  $82,973

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2017:

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

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2018:

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

 

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

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