Wyoming Department of Transportation
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Current Research Projects

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ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2013:

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 WYDO to mitigate this costly problem.

Completion Date:  April 30, 2014.

Cost Estimate:  $137,689       

       

WYDOT Sponsor:             

                R. Vince Garcia, P.E., WYDOT ITS Program

Principal Investigator:   

                Rhonda Young, P.E, Ph.D.

                Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

                University of Wyoming

                1000 E. University Avenue, Dept. 3295

                Laramie, WY 82071

Study Objective:  Investigate the applicability of traveler information on travel time and travel time reliability measures to a rural interstate corridor for use in making travel decisions by passenger car and heavy vehicle travelers.

Study Benefit:  If found to be applicable, improved and more useful roadway condition information can be provided to local and regional travelers providing immediate benefits in safety, information credibility, and freight reliability.  The results will be applicable to other corridors in Wyoming.

Completion Date: July, 31, 2013.                                               

Cost Estimate:  $141,490

 

  • Evaluating Base Widening Methods - RS08(211)

Completed January 2014.

WYDOT Sponsor: 

               Bob Rothwell, P.E.

Principal Investigator:   

                Khaled Ksaibati, P.E. Ph.D.,

                Rhonda Young, P.E., Ph.D.

                Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

                Engineering Building Dept. 3295

                University of Wyoming

                Laramie, Wyoming 82071

Study Objective:  Evaluate road widening projects to determine if there is a preferred joint construction method.

Study Benefit:  The best performing widening joint construction method will lead to longer performing pavements and reduced costs to the agency.

Completion Date:  December 31, 2013   

Cost Estimate:  $177,980

 

  • Developing a Roadway Safety Improvement Program for Indian Reservations – RS09(211)

Completed 2013 FHWA 1307F

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Matt Carlson, P.E., State Highway Safety Engineer

Principal Investigator:   

Khaled Ksaibati, P.E., Ph.D.,

Joshua Jones, E.I.T

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

Engineering Building, Dept. 3295

University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming 82071

Study Objective:  Develop a methodology for identifying high risk locations on Indian reservation roads; identify gaps in crash data; and make recommendations to bridge these gaps.

Study Benefit:   A low cost safety improvement program may help in reducing the high crash rates on Indian reservations.

Completion Date:  September 30, 2013

Cost Estimate:  $79,237

 

  • Criteria for a WYDOT Culvert Selection Policy – RS10(211) 

Completed in 2013  FHWA 1301F

WYDOT Sponsor:

Bill Wilson, P.E.

Principal Investigator:   

John P. Turner, Ph.D., P.E.

Ryan Kobbe, P.E.

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

Engineering Building, Dept. 3295

University of Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming 82071

Study Objective:  Comply with a Federal mandate for State DOTs to “develop culvert selection policies that consider all available pipe products judged to be of satisfactory quality and equally acceptable on the basis of engineering and economic analyses,” while also meeting the needs of WYDOT.

Study Benefit:  This work will allow the Wyoming DOT to satisfy the FHWA directive and consider all available pipe products in a manner that provides fair competition and which is consistent with acceptable engineering practice.

Completion Date:  July 31, 2012

Cost Estimate:  $76,492

 

  • Understanding Mule Deer Movement and Habitat Use Patters in Relation to Roadways in Northwest Wyoming – RS03(210)

Completed 2013 FHWA 1308F

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Pete Hallsten, P.E.,

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:  Identify short distance mule deer migration corridors in Teton County using store-on-board GPS collars and understand ungulate road crossing behavior.

Study Benefit:  Data from the project will help WYDOT with traffic management efforts and habitat mitigation work designed to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions.

Completion Date:  September 30, 2013

Cost Estimate:  $310,864

 

  • Rural Variable Speed Limit System:  Phase II – RS04(210)

Completed in 2013 FHWA 1303F

WYDOT Sponsor:             

R. Vince Garcia, P.E., ITS Program

Principal Investigator:   

Rhonda Young, Ph.D, P.E.

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

University of Wyoming

Department 3295

1000 East University Avenue

Laramie WY  82071

Study Objective:  Study baseline conditions for weather and speeds for each of the proposed VSL corridors in order to develop a decision support system for each corridor. 

Study Benefit:  Develop a general methodology for operations of all future VSL systems to increase corridor safety.

Completion Date:  May 31, 2013. 

Cost Estimates:  $182,403

 

  • Statewide Mesoscopic Traffic Simulation for Wyoming – RS06(210)

Completed 2014 FHWA 1305F

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Lee Roadifer, Traffic

Sherm Wiseman, Planning

Principal Investigator:   

Stephen Boyles, Ph.D.

The University of Texas at Austin (UTA)

101 E. 27th Street, Suite 5.300 (Stop A9000)

Austin, TX  78712-1539.

Study Objective:  Develop statewide mesoscopic traffic simulation software for WYDOT.

Study Benefit:     The software will help facilitate the use of ITS traffic data and ensure statewide consistency among future traffic count projections.

Completion Date:  July 31, 2013. 

Cost Estimates:  $127,538

 

  • Managing Risks in the Project Pipeline – Minimizing the Impacts of Highway Funding Uncertainties – RS02(212)

Completed in 2013 FHWA 1306F

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Tim McDowell, P.E.

Principal Investigator:   

Larry Redd

Larry Redd, L.L.C.

5302 Golden Willow Drive

Fort Collins CO  80528

Study Objective:  The study will analyze the potential impacts of future funding uncertainties in terms of costs and delays. 

Study Benefit:  It is anticipated that the cost-to-benefit of this proposed project is very positive for WYDOT. 

Completion Date:  August 31, 2013. 

Cost Estimates:  $197,600

 

  • Instrumentation and Analysis of Frost Heave Mitigation on WY-70 – RS05(211)

Completed 2014 FHWA 1401F

WYDOT Sponsor:

Tim McGary, DME, District 1                     

Principal Investigator:   

Thomas V. Edgar, Ph.D, P.E.

Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering

1000 E. University Ave., Dept 3295

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

Study Objective:  Determine whether the controlled injection of Urethane in the subgrade soil will stabilize the frost heave occurring at milepost 51.8 on WY-70. 

Study Benefit:  If injected Urethane will stabilize frost heave then full reconstruction of the site may not be necessary.  The cost savings to WYDOT is thought to be substantial. 

Completion Date:  May 31, 2013. 

Cost Estimates:  $127,586

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2014:

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:             

Michael E. Menghini, P.E.

Principal Investigator:   

Dr. Kam Ng and Dr. Thomas Edgar

Associate Professors

University of Wyoming

Laramie WY  82071

307-766-4388

Study Objective:  The objectives of this study are to 1) identify and narrow the focus on parameters causing the settlement problem; 2) develop rational approaches to retrofit the approach slab system; 3) revise and improve the approach slab system design and construction; and 4) propose changes in current WYDOT design and construction manuals for the approach slab system.

Study Benefit:  The anticipated benefits from this project are: 1) reduce excessive settlement in the approach slab, eliminate road bumps at the approach slab, and improve the road and bridge rideability; 2) provide a more cost-effective and improved approach slab system; 3) provide more rational and cost-effective procedures for remediation of existing problematic approach slabs; 4) lower the overall maintenance cost and time; and 5) increase the safety of the public using the roads and bridges throughout Wyoming.

Completion Date:  December 31, 2014. 

Cost Estimates:  $69,466

 

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, 2014. 

Cost Estimates:  $103,283

 

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, 2014. 

Cost Estimates:  $86,562

 

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:   

Dr. 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 Five 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

 

  • Multi-Measure Performance Assessment and Benchmarking of the Divisions of the Wyoming Highway Patrol RS08(212)

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 abovementioned 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

 

  • Developing a Database and Web Viewing Tool for Ungulate Migration in Wyoming – RS01(213)

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:   

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 catalogue 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

 

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

 

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

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