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Oregon Research Advisory Committee Priorities

These priorities are used to help identify research during our FY 2016 research project selection process.

  • Research, development and technology transfer projects should result in a product that will be used to address a well-defined problem in transportation. In other words we are looking for projects that lead directly to an improvement in agency’s ability to provide a safe, efficient transportation system that supports economic opportunity and livable communities for Oregonians.
  • Project selection should achieve balance with regard to addressing short, medium and longer term ODOT needs
    • Short term is defined generally as research topics that can be addressed within 12 months, and may be addressed with a quick response or technology transfer project. Quick response may entail the use of funding set-asides to allow project initiation outside the annual project selection cycle.
    • Medium term needs are defined as problems in need of an implementable solution within 4 years, constrained by what we know about likely funding availability.
    • Long term needs are defined as significant problems in need of a solution beyond four years. These projects may entertain solutions which could not be implemented given today’s funding constraints.
  • In particular, research ideas should promise to deliver a benefit to transportation in at least one of the following areas:
    • Enhance transportation and/or employee safety.
    • Enhance mobility and/or access for citizens of Oregon
    • Improve ODOT’s ability to protect, sustain, or enhance the natural and cultural environment.
    • Improve the reliability of Oregon’s transportation system.
    • Incorporate methods and materials that extend the service life and/or reduce the life cycle cost of infrastructure investments.
    • Lead to other efficiencies, cost savings and cost avoidance

Furthermore, the committee will be looking favorably at project ideas that support or advance the objectives described in ODOT’s “Intermodal Oregon” initiative.


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ETG Members:
Timothy Rogers, Solomon Yim,
Jeff Swanstrom, Bruce Johnson,
Scott Nelson, Steve Soltesz
  • Load capacity evaluation and improvement of structural members. Research emphasis is on determining the load capacity of in-place structural elements and using high performance materials to increase integrity.
  • Non-destructive evaluation technologies for assessing structures. Research is aimed at developing technologies for monitoring the real-time behavior and long-term health of structures such as post-tensioning strands in metal ducts.
  • Remediation of corrosion in reinforced concrete. Efforts focus on improving and characterizing cathodic protection technologies and explaining the factors that lead to premature deterioration.
  • Methods for disaster mitigation. Research objective is to develop measures to reduce the impact of earthquakes and tsunamis on transportation over bridges.
  • Technologies for accelerating construction. Research is aimed at structural component fabrication and connection methods that reduce the construction time and life-cycle costs of bridges.
  • Service life design of critical bridge elements. Research emphasis is on planning for serviceability of decks, deck joints, and bearings during design and quantifying the benefits of using high performance materials and preservation actions as cleaning or sealing to increase service life.
  • Improvement of bridge deck integrity. Objective is to increase the life and reduce the life-cycle costs of bridge decks such as the use of improved concrete mixes.
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Maintenance and Operations

 ETG Members:

Allison Hamilton, Mike Kimlinger, Galen McGill, John Gambatese, Nathaniel Price, Timothy Swift, Michael Stinson, & Jon Lazarus

  • Optimal operations and utilization of transportation infrastructure.
  • Effective roadway and work zone safety, particularly in routine operations.
  • Effective and efficient methods to reduce operational delays and bottlenecks.
  • Efficient and effective maintenance practices

ODOT's mission statement and values will be the underlying priority for any proposals not directly attributed to the above list. ODOT's Mission Statement can be found here: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/about_us.aspx
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Active and Sustainable Transportation

 ETG Members:

Sheila Lyons, Bob Melbo, Dinah Van Der Hyde, James Brock, Michael Bufalino, David Porter, Chris Monsere, Liz Hormann, Jazmin Casas & Lyn Cornell

  1. Impact of shifting economic conditions and trends affecting multimodal transportation demands and transportation related infrastructure.
  2. Impact of land use and intermodal connectivity choices on safety at the interface of transportation modes, especially impacts on bicycles and pedestrians. The interfaces may include: transfers between modes, co-location of modes in a parallel arrangement, or the intersections of different modes.
  3. Regional passenger rail interconnectivity: Optimizing existing freight railroad infrastructure with new strategic extensions and connections for regional intercity passenger services offering automobile-competitive travel times and interconnectivity with other modes while retaining freight haulage. 
  4. Methods for assessing multimodal transportation needs, capacity development, intermodal transfer facilities, resource/supply flow, infrastructure maintenance and preservation, stressing the application of ITS.
  5. Development of integrated multimodal data warehouses for research and planning use. Critical gaps in bike/ped data.
  6. Sustainable transportation: Multimodal options for goals & strategies, including incorporating green technologies, for achieving the Governor's carbon reduction goals; and including assessing the impacts of climate change and climate change adaptation strategies on modal transportation.
  7. Congestion management using multimodal strategies.
  8. Methods for evaluating multimodal investment programs; eg: ConnectOregon II. 
  9. Studies of changes in regional supply chain trends reducing supply/shipping distances. Including opportunities and constraints such as: land use constraints for siting shipping facilities, and conditions that facilitate a variety of modal choices.
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Traffic Safety and Human Factors

ETG Members:

Doug Bish, David Kim, Anne Holder, Robert O'Shea, 

Angela Kargel, Nick Fortey, Dave McKane, & Mark Joerger

  • Urban / Suburban Design and Features - Research on speed zone transitions, efficient traffic calming, effective roadway geometry, meaningful clear zone requirements, and urban gateways. 
  • Roadside Features - Investigations into visual issues, changing driver behavior, visual barrier improvement, and proper application of barrier systems. 
  • Roadway Environmental Issues - Optimizing roadway functionality and determining best environmental practices in roadway design. 
  • Continuing Driver Education to Improve Safety and Reduce Congestion. -Effective uses of media and law enforcement to educate drivers in aspects of driving safety and more general knowledge of roadway design and usage. 
  • Reduce the number of unsafe drivers on Oregon roads - The safety of Oregon’s highways is compromised by unsafe drivers. Common concerns include those who drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, those who have medical impairments, those who drive in an unsafe manner, and those who do not have the necessary skills or experience to drive safely. Research projects are sought to help identify effective efforts to reduce the number of unsafe drivers.​
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Construction, Pavements & Materials

ETG Members:
David Trejo, Dean Chess, Anthony Bosen,
Larry Ilg, Jeff Gower, Shane Ottosen,
Justin Moderie, Greg Stellmach, Cole Mullis
& Norris Shippen  
  • Identify design, materials, construction, and maintenance practices that optimize performance.
  • Develop construction processes that allow construction phase completion to minimize service disruptions.
  • Identify materials and construction practices that optimize application while minimizing environmental and safety risks.
  • Evaluate effective project delivery and quality assurance methods
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Planning and Economic Analysis

 ETG Members:

Erik Havig, Jack Svadlenak, Becky Knudson
John Baker, Lana Cully, Jennifer Dill, Kirsten Pennington,
Amanda Pietz, Satvinder Sandhu & Brooke Jordan

Performance Measures- research that addresses the development and application of performance measures. Research projects result in better system information for evaluating progress in achieving agency goals and objectives.

Efficiencies- research that identifies efficiency gains related through better technology, innovative business practices, partnerships, or cost effectiveness. Research projects result in cost and/or time savings to the agency.

Integrated Multimodal- research that advances the understanding of mode choice, mode shift, or factors that influence supply and demand of various modes. Research projects result in balancing the needs of the transportation system and optimizing the movement of people and freight. This prioritization category also includes preference to research exploring multimodal measures of effectiveness.

Project Selection– research that identifies best practices, tools, and methods for project prioritization and investment. Research projects result in a better understanding of potential outcomes and a balancing of goals and objectives to facilitate strategic investments. Within this prioritization category, the following topics are of immediate interest to the ETG:
  • Benefit/Cost Analysis
  • Economic Impact Analysis
  • Economic Opportunity Analysis

Strategic Planning- research that advances approaches, methods, or tools for more defensible, transparent, and strategic decision making. Research projects result in transforming data into information to help improve our understanding of the transportation system and the impacts of decisions we make. Within this prioritization category, the following topics are of immediate interest to the ETG:
  • Performance Based Planning- use of performance measures and potential performance outcomes to develop long-range policies, assess project prioritization, and monitor the transportation system for needed adjustments.
  • Performance Management- selection of meaningful performance measures appropriate for monitoring the transportation system, assessment of data availability and potential applications, as well as data collection methods, processing, analysis, and storage.
  • Modeling and Analysis- creation or enhancement of modeling and analysis tools that support decision making.
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Geotechnical, Hydraulics & Environmental

ETG Members:

Paul Wirfs, Michelle Eraut,William Fletcher,
Jim Norman, Jon Guido, Alvin Shoblom, & Matthew Mabey

The Geotechnical, Hydraulics and Environmental ETG has identified ten strategic priorities distributed across the three major subject areas covered by the ETG. They are as follows:

  • Cost effective management and monitoring of storm water
  • Performance of high walls
  • Right-of-way vegetation establishment and management
  • Impacts and solutions to roadway induced habitat separation
  • Bank protection and scour
  • Rehabilitation, retrofitting, and replacement of pipes and culverts
  • Lifecycle cost analysis of pipes and culverts
  • Effects of slopes and embankments on the transportation system
  • Practical means and methods for subgrade stabilization
  • Impacts of re-using construction debris and other recycled materials in highway construction and maintenance, including feasibility, long-term financial costs and benefits, and environmental impacts.
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