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ACTIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS 

 

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2019:

  • RS07217Field Testing and Long-Term Monitoring of Selected High-Mast Lighting Towers.

WYDOT Sponsor:  

Paul Cortez, Assistant Bridge Engineer

Principal Investigator:

Robert Connor
Jason Lloyd
Purdue University S-BRITE Center
1040 S. River Road
West Lafayette, IN  47907

Study Objective:  This project will monitor four (4) high-mast light towers (HMLT) at locations designated by WYDOT officials in order to determine the cause of severe fatigue damage in the pole-to-base plate weld observed in the three (3) HMLTs at the Wagonhound Rest Area.  The outcome of this research is intended to determine what accelerated the fatigue failure of the HMLTs enabling WYDOT to take corrective actions on existing and future HMLT installations in order to ensure the public safety.

Study Benefits:  The benefits of this project are:

  • Discover the cause of the premature fatigue failures to help avoid this replacement cost before reaching the service life of the HMLTs.
  • Gain information on how to prevent premature catastrophic failure of HMLTs, such as when they fall down across lanes of traffic.
  • Help anticipate which improvements could be made to the inspection procedures for HMLTs.
  • Discover what is causing unreliable failures in the lighting system at certain locations.

Completion Date:  March 31, 2019, time extended to March 31, 2019

Cost Estimates:  $177,779, cost extension to $209,965

  • RS05214 - Safety Effectiveness of Regulatory Headlights Signs in Wyoming (Phase I and II) 

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Joel Meena, State Traffic Engineer
Kent Ketterling, Maintenance Administration

Principal Investigator:   

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

  • RS06216 - Development of Load and Resistance Factor Design Procedures for Driven Piles on Soft Rocks in Wyoming

WYDOT Sponsor:

          Mark Falk, Geology Program Manager

Principal Investigator:

Kam NG, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Wyoming
1000 East University
Laramie, WY  82071
307-766-4388

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, time extended to June 30, 2019.

Cost Estimates:  $160,372

  • RS06217Site Characterization and Site-Specific Seismic Ground Motions Analysis for Transportation Infrastructure in Wyoming

WYDOT Sponsors:

Jeff Booher, Bridge Department
Kirk Hood, Geology Department

Principal Investigator:

Shawn Griffiths
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objective:  This project will be used to establish the procedures, steps, and training required for WYDOT personnel to perform site-specific ground motion analysis.  This project is co-sponsored by the Geology and Bridge Departments at WYDOT and will include 1) measurement of the shear wave velocity for the Jackson-Wilson bridge site; 2) a site-specific ground motions analysis and; 3) training of WYDOT personnel on how to use shear wave velocity profiles to determine soil site classification and perform site-specific ground motion analysis.

Study Benefits:  When the project is completed, it is expected that WYDOT Bridge engineers will be able to perform site-specific ground motion analysis for future projects.  It is anticipated that these analysis will result in a better prediction of the ground motions expected at the site during an earthquake event. 

Completion Date:  July 31, 2019

Cost Estimate:  $140,500

  • RS02217Structural Health Monitoring of Highway Bridges Subjected to Overweight Vehicles, Phase II - Field Deployment

WYDOT Sponsor:  

Paul G. Cortez, P.E., Assistant State Bridge Engineer, Operations

Principal Investigator:

Johnn P. Judd, Ph.D., S.E., Assistant Professor
Michael G. Barker, Ph.D., P.E., Professor
University of Wyoming
1000 East University
Laramie, WY  82071

Study Objective:  Phase II of the research project is expected to make several direct contributions to the WYDOT goals of improving, enhancing, and preserving our State's transportation system, and to have a positive impact on the broader goals of preparing the next generation of bridge engineers as student participate in hands-on research and education.  

Study Benefits:  The proposed structural health monitor (SHM) system when completed is expected to improve the ability of bridge engineers to understand and predict traffic load behavior and bridge load capacity.  The SHM system is cost effective because the equipment and installation costs are relatively low compared to other sensor systems, and the cost of maintaining the system once installed is relatively low.  The SHM system is expected to lead to improved predictions of a bridges' longevity.  

Completion Date:  July 31, 2019

Cost Estimates:  $220,374

  • RS09216 - Design and Performance Evaluation of a Semiflexible Snow Barrier for Avalanche Protection

WYDOT Sponsor:             

Jamie Yount, WYDOT

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

  • RS09217 - Crash Modification Factors for Wyoming - Specific Conditions:  Application of the Highway Safety Manual - Part D.  Phase 2

WYDOT Sponsor:

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

Principal Investigator:

Mohamed Ahmed, P.E., 
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objective:  The focus of Phase 2 of this study is to continue the validation of the applicability and transferability of the Highway Safety Manuel to Wyoming-specific conditions. The study objectives of this research project can be listed as follows:

1. Applying the lessons learned in Phase 1 to mitigate data shortcomings.

2. Assess the safety effectiveness of additional selected countermeasures such as Cable Median Barriers, Resurfacing, Variable Speed Limit, Advanced Traveler Information Systems, Diverging Diamond Interchange, etc.

3. Investigate the safety effectiveness of combined countermeasures (e.g., resurfacing + SRS + passing lanes).

4. Provide recommendations on the most cost-effective countermeasure(s) by conducting cost-benefit analyses for countermeasures based on the calibrated Crash Modification Factors.

Completion Date:  December 31, 2019

Cost Estimate:  $155,943

RS04219 - Pooled Fund for the Design, Development and Testing of a Box Beam Approach Guardrail Transition and an MGS Approach Guardrail Transition to a MASH TL-4 Three Steel Tube Bridge Rail.  

    Bill Wilson, P.E. Standards Engineer WYDOT
    Roger Bligh Ph.D, P.E., Senior Research Engineer and Program Manager

Study Objective:  The Objective of this study is to develop two non-proprietary approach guardrail transition systems from box beam and MGS guardrail that are MASH Test Level 3 (TL-3) complaint.

Study Benefit:  This research will develop safe connections from both guardrail systems smoothly transitioning the stiffness of the approach guardrails to the stiffness of the bridge rail and limits vehicle snagging when impacted.  
 
Completion Date:    December 31, 2019.  
Cost Estimate:        $197,076

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2020:

  • RS09218 - Wyoming Low Volume Roads Traffic Volume Estimation Phase III Study

WYDOT Sponsor: 

Martin Kidner, State Planning Engineer
Mark Wingate, Planning Administrator

Principal Investigator:  

Er Yue
Khaled Ksaibati
University of Wyoming
1000 East University
Laramie, WY  82071

Study Benefits:  The benefits of this project are that a better estimation of traffic volumes on low volume roads will allow Wyoming to make more effective planning and more efficient operations on low volume roads.  

Completion Date:  February 29, 2020

Cost Estimates:  $60,000

  • RS04218 - Human Machine Interface for Connected Vehicle:  Requirements, Development and Assessment

WYDOT Sponsor: 

Vince Garcia, GIS/ITS Program Manager

Principal Investigator: 

Mohamed Ahmed, P.E., 
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objectives:  The WYDOT staff recognizes the importance of developing a Human Machine Interface that is effective in delivering critical information while minimizing distraction risks that might be posed by the system.

Study Benefits:  This study will provide guidance and recommendations on the best HMI deign options compared to field studies.  

Completion Date:  March 31, 2020

Cost Estimate:  $228,720

  • RS06218 - Safety and Operational Analysis with Mitigation Strategies for Freeway GTruck Traffic in Wyoming

WYDOT Sponsor: 

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

Principal Investigator: 

Milan Zlatkovic, Ph.D., P.E., 
Khaled Ksaibati, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objectives:  .The goal of this study is to quantify the impacts of truck traffic on selected freeway segments along I-80, In Wyoming and test potential mitigation strategies.

Completion Date:  March 31, 2020

Cost Estimate:  $143,184

  • RS07218 - Assessment and Evaluations of I-80 Truck Loads and Their Load Effects:  Phase 2:  Service

WYDOT Sponsor: 

Jeff Booher, P.E., Assistant State Bridge Engineer - Design
Paul Cortez, P.E., Assistant State Bridge Engineer - Operations

Principal Investigator: 

Jay Puckett, P.E., Ph.D, 
Brian Goodrich, P.E., 
BridgeTech
302 S. 2nd Street, Suite 201
Laramie WY

Michael Barker, P.E., Ph.D.
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objectives:  This project will address the following questions:

  • Are the FHWA requirements outlined in the 9-29-2011 memorandum met for the service limit states?
  • How do the current legal loads compare to Wyoming weight-in-motion (WI<M) data and vehicles allowed by state statutes?
  • Can the damage effects of large loads on I-80 begin to be quantified?

Study Benefits:The proposal should allow WYDOT to met the FHWA requirements for service limit states; improve understanding of design and operational loads; better understand of live loads related to rating factor and damage; a rigorous calibration method for estimating live effects for design and rating; and a rigorous structural analysis.

Completion Date:  March 31, 2020

Cost Estimate:  $177,420

  • RS03218 - Developing a New Barrier Condition Index (BCI) to Optimize Barrier Improvements in Wyoming

WYDOT Sponsor: 

Ed Fritz, Planning Systems Coordinator

Principal Investigator: 

Khaled Ksaibati, Ph.D., P.E,
Amirarsalan Molan, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objectives:  The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the condition of barrier systems in Wyoming.  Afterward, improvement recommendations will be provided and optimized for each barrier system (segment) to upgrade the performance of the barriers in a cost-effective way.  

Study Benefits:  The data for this project will be used to compare the condition of barriers with the recent design alignments published by Roadside Design Guide, NCHRP report 656, and other valid references.

Completion Date:  May 31, 2020

Cost Estimate:  $179,645

  • RS03217 - Development of an Ultra-Accelerated Test to Evaluate ASR Potential in Concrete

WYDOT Sponsor:  

Chris Romo, P.E., Principle Materials Engineer
Bob Rothwell, P.E., Assistant State Materials Engineer
Greg Milburn, P.E., State Materials Engineer

Principal Investigator:

Jennifer Tanner, Ph.D., P.E., Associate Professor
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objectives:  Alkali silica reaction (ASR) is a significant problem in Cheyenne and other towns because of the presence of reactive aggregates. WYDOT's only means of evaluating fly ash as a mitigating agent is utilizing ASTM C1567 along with the history of the fly ash and the aggregates.  The autoclave test would be extended to consider results of fly ashes combined with local aggregates.  The overall goal is to provide a single test that can combine aggregates, cement, and mitigating measure within a one week time frame.  

Study Benefits:  The cost of mitigation of fly ash can be significant.  The goal is a cost savings by producing durable concrete with an extended service life.  

Completion Date:  September 30, 2020.

Cost Estimates:  $142,880

  • RS02218  Revegetation Success and weed Resilience of Wyoming Right of Way Reclamation

WYDOT Sponsor:  

R. Scott Gamo, Environmental Services Manager

Principal Investigator:

Kristina Hufford, Associate Professor
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Study Objectives:   The objective of this study is to evaluate different reclamation seed mixes over the years to determine the rate of reseeding success and better define combinations of species and site variables that contribute to successful revegetation outcomes.  

Study Benefits:    Evaluation of both the rate of success, as well as the factors that contribute to the success of WYDOT revegetation actives, will allow identification of optimal seed mixes and site factors, and lead to practical recommendations for cost-effective plant materials for reseeding of road corridors.  

Completion Date:  November 30, 2020 

Cost Estimates:  $151,270

  • RS08218 - Investigating Potential Solutions to the Barrier Effect of Interstate 80 on Pronghorn Movements

WYDOT Sponsor:  

Keith Compton, District 3 Engineer; 
R. Scott Gamo, Environmental Services Manager; 
Thomas Hart, Wildlife Specialist

Principal Investigator:

Matt Kauffman
Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc. Matt Kauffman
WY Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

William Rudd
WY Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
University of Wyoming
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie WY  82071

Hall Sawyer
Western Ecosystems Technology, Inc.

Study Objectives:  The purpose of this study is to collect movement data and develop predictive models for pronghorn to aid WYDOT and agency partners in reducing potential vehicle collisions and conserving ungulate migrations along the I-80 corridor.  

Study Benefits:  The pronghorn data will add to the understanding of the complex corridor picture along this section of I-80.  

Completion Date:  December 31, 2020

Cost Estimates:  $142,680

RS03219 - Connected-Autonomous Traffic Signal Control Algorithms for Trucks and Fleet Vehicles.

Principle Investigators

Milan Zlatkovic, Ph.D, P.E.
Mohamed Ahmed, Ph.D. P.E.

Project Champion

Christina Spindler, P.E., Assistant State Traffic Engineer

Study Objective:  The Objective of this study is to create field-ready, CAV-Based traffic control programs that will improve operations and safety of trucks and fleet vehicles.

Study Benefit:  This research will be beneficial to not only WYDOT but also for agencies across the United States that are preparing for the era of CAV technologies.  The research will also represent an excellent starting point for special signal operations using connectivity technologies.  
 
Completion Date:    December 31, 2020.  
Cost Estimate:        $250,866 - $148,866 SP&R funding; $42,000 WYDOT internal funds; $60,000 MPC funding

TO BE COMPLETED IN 2021:

RS06219 - Characterization of Blowover Risk in the Wyoming Highway System.

    Noriaki Ohara, P.E., Ph.D. University of Wyoming
    Rhonda Young, P.E., Ph.D. Gonzaga University
    Kathy Ahlenius, Field Operations and Maintenance Services 
    Clifford Spoonemore, Field Operations and Maintenance Services

This project is set up to help better understand how wind, vehicle speed, load weights, and road geometry correlate, and how to improve operational practices related to weather responsive road management.  

Completion Date:    May 31, 2021  
Cost Estimate:    $119,762
RS02219 - Developing a Prototype System for Establishing Passing and No-Passing Zones of Two-Lane Highways

Principle Investigators

Ahmed Farid, PhD
Khaled Ksaibati, Ph.D., P.E.
Suresh Muknahallipatna, Ph.D.
Victor Bershinsky, P.E.

Project Champions

Jeffery Mellor, P.E. Assistant State Traffic Engineer
Ryan Shields, P.E. Principle Engineer, Geometrics and Studies

Study Objective:  The main objective for this project is to develop a quick and functional prototype of the two-vehicle method for measuring the PSD on Wyoming’s two lane highways.      

Study Benefit:  The project will allow WYDOT to accurately establish passing and no passing zones of two-lane highways.  The final product will be used in the day to day operation of the traffic program of WYDOT.       
 
Completion Date:    December 31, 2021.  
Cost Estimates:       $287,815 - $171,899 SP&R funding; $115,916 MPC funding