Wyoming Department of Transportation
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Current Research Projects

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ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS 

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2015:

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: 

                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:             

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

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2016:

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:             

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:

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:             

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

 

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

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.

Cost Estimate:  $19,178.

 

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:             

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.

 

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

 

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:             

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:             

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

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