|Evaluation of Fuel Usage Factors in Highway Construction in Oregon |
Prices for different construction materials change frequently. In recent years, the price for these different materials has dramatically increased. This result leads contractors to inflate the bid price for a construction project in order to cover the potential increased cost. In an attempt to modify the inflation inserted into bid prices, the Oregon Department of Transportation allows for adjustments in the monthly payment to the contractor for various inputs. One major input that receives an adjustment is fuel. The contractor is eligible to receive adjustments in the monthly payments for fuel when the project is of a certain magnitude. After the project qualifies for the adjustment, when the price of fuel varies by more than twenty-five percent positive or negative from the previous month, the ODOT will make a fuel price adjustment to the monthly payment. The fuel price adjustment is a function of a fuel usage factor. The value for the fuel usage factor for different bid items is based on an over thirty five year old 1974 national survey titled, “Fuel Usage Factors for Highway Construction.”
From that original survey the fuel usage factor for each bid item was recommended to be multiplied by the distance, weight, or volume built of the respective bid item, but not for structures. The fuel usage factor for structures was to be multiplied by the gallons of fuel used per $1,000 worth of work. The research presented in this report determines from a national survey whether other states, and their DOTs, use this same procedure to calculate a fuel price adjustment, and if so, whether the values for the fuel usage factors are the same. In addition, the report examines how the price of structural construction has changed over time to ascertain whether the current fuel usage factor for structures is still applicable. A new index is developed in a national model and one for the state of Oregon.
|Freight Performance Measures|
|Freight Performance Measures: Approach Analysis |
This report reviews the existing state of the art and also the state of the practice of freight performance measurement. Most performance measures at the state level have aimed at evaluating highway or transit infrastructure performance with an emphasis on passenger transportation. Freight performance measurement ultimately requires evaluation of performance of the entire freight transportation system, which includes highways, waterways, rail, air, and modal connections. This requires considerable expansion of thinking beyond the traditional focus of state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) on highway performance.
This project builds upon past and current work in the area of freight performance measurement and incorporates recent literature on the development of these measures. A thorough review of state practices is conducted by surveying state DOT web sites and reporting on the measures most frequently recommended and used by individual states for planning purposes. The emphasis is on the application of performance measures to freight transportation, and the usefulness and limitations of these measures, is discussed.
Recommendations are made for potential freight performance measures for each freight mode (air, rail, trucking, and water/marine), including initial information on data availability, validity, and feasibility given existing data for Oregon.
Future research needs discussed include additional data collection and development required to support performance measures, what is needed to track system performance changes over time, and testing of measures for their sensitivity and usefulness for policy and decision-making.
|Photo Radar Speed Enforcement in a State Highway Work Zone: Demonstration Project Yeon Avenue |
The 2007 Oregon legislative assembly passed House Bill 2466, allowing the Oregon Department of Transportation to use photo radar in ODOT work zones on non-interstate state highways and required ODOT to report back to them on the safety impacts of this enforcement action. This research project examined the impact of photo radar speed enforcement on traffic speed through an active highway work zone. The project also examined the speed data in an attempt to find speed impacts that persisted following the photo radar enforcement periods. During photo radar enforcement periods, speeding was reduced by an average 23.7% at the traffic sensor site within the work zone. The observed speeding reduction was temporary and did not persist beyond the departure of the photo radar enforcement van.
|Work Zone Design|
|Work Zone Design and Operation Enhancements |
Oregon Department of Transportation contractors are required to implement Traffic Control Plans (TCPs) to protect and direct traffic through work zones. The design and implementation of TCPs have shown variation from project-to-project across the State. The impact of this lack of consistency is magnified as a result of an increase in the number of work zones, higher traffic volumes, more work being conducted at night to minimize traffic interruptions, a greater number of parties (consultants) involved, and the pressure to complete projects faster. The primary purpose of this research study was to enable improved safety performance through work zones on state roadways. To fulfill this goal, the research aimed to identify ways to modify TCPs to improve their quality and consistency and develop suggested guidelines to follow to design, review, implement, and inspect TCPs. Implementation of the research results is expected to improve consistency of TCPs and decrease the number of work zone fatalities and injuries. Auxiliary benefits resulting from improvements in traffic flow through work zones and the elimination of work zone crashes will include greater mobility, smoother operations, and increased efficiency across the State’s roadway network.
|Evaluating Safety and Operation of High-Speed Intersections |
This Final Report reviews a research effort to evaluate the safety and operations of high-speed intersections in the State of Oregon. In particular, this research effort focuses on four-leg, signalized intersections with speed limits of 45 mph or greater where the intersections are not in the immediate vicinity of other signalized intersections. This report includes a literature review of high-speed intersection safety treatment strategies, a description of the research methodology used in this project, and a summary of final results. The final results include crash conditions at these high-speed intersections, a format for evaluating safety at these and similar intersections, a hierarchy of safety treatment options, and a demonstration of the use of these tools through example analyses of eight Oregon intersections.
|Financing Mechanisms for Capital Improvements: Interchanges |
This report examines the use of alternative local financing mechanisms for interchange and interchange area infrastructure improvements. The financing mechanisms covered include transportation impact fees, tax increment financing, value capture financing, local improvement districts, transportation corporations, state infrastructure banks, local option transportation taxes, fair share mitigation, and transportation concurrency. The financing alternatives are assessed in the context of Interchange Area Management Plans, which are required by the Oregon Transportation Commission, as well as in the context of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s responsibilities under the state’s Transportation Planning Rule.
|Bridge Replacement Project|
|State and County Delivered Bridge Replacement Project Analysis: Phase I and Phase II |
The purpose of the study was to compare the cost of state delivered bridge projects and county delivered bridge projects. A total of 190 different bridge replacement projects were analyzed. The first phase of the project focused on whether or not the project delivery type (state or county) was a significant predictor of project cost or project duration. The greatest variability in the cost of bridge replacement projects (79%), was found to be explained by project duration and bridge length, with length being the most influential. Overall, it was found that the duration of state-delivered projects was longer than the duration of county-delivered projects.
In the second phase, analysis was completed to determine if a predictive model could be developed for project costs and project duration. Variables included bridge closure type (on-site detour, off-site detour, and staged build), clearance type (over water, over railroad, over canal/irrigation), number of bids received, and project location. Clearance type was found to impact construction costs, but not be a significant predictor. It was also found that projects built in stages had higher construction costs than projects using onsite or offsite detours. Using the results from Phase I and analysis from Phase II, a model was developed. The model was found to account for 86% of variation in project costs.
|RAP and RAS|
|Preliminary Investigation of RAP and RAS in HMAC |
A laboratory study was undertaken to investigate how various proportions of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS) added to hot mixed asphalt concrete (HMAC) mixtures affect the Superpave performance grade of the blended binder. Only tear-off shingles (those obtained from re-roofing projects of residential structures) were included in the study. Critical temperatures of the blended asphalt binders from mixtures with 5% RAS and 0% to 50% RAP were compared with the critical temperatures of the virgin binder. Results indicated that the mixture with 5% RAS but no RAP resulted in an increase of the performance grade of the blended binder. Binders recovered from the mixtures with both RAP and RAS indicated an increase in both the high temperature and low temperature performance grades of the blended binder with increasing RAP contents up to about 30%. RAP contents above 30% did not result in any further increases in the low temperature performance grade and only slightly impacted the high temperature performance grade of the blended binders (the high temperature performance grade of the blended binder asymptotically approached that of the high temperature performance grade of the RAP binder).
A secondary objective was to develop recommendations for changes to the mix design method and specifications for HMAC, incorporating RAS and RAP for use in special provisions for a pilot study. Specifications and special provisions of several agencies that allow tear-off RAS, and particularly those that allow tear-off RAS and RAP together, were reviewed to determine restrictions, criteria, test methods, mix design procedures, etc. applicable to inclusion of RAS and RAP in HMAC paving mixtures. Proposed modifications to ODOT specification SP745 were developed from this review.
|Localized Anode Condition|
|Determining Localized Anode Condition to Maintain Effective Corrosion Protection |
Thermal sprayed zinc anodes used for impressed current cathodic protection of reinforced concrete deteriorate over time. Two different technologies, ultrasound and electrical circuit resistance combined with water permeability, were investigated in the laboratory to determine whether they were feasible methods for estimating anode condition. The ultrasonic method was unable to detect a reflected acoustic signal from zinc-on-concrete specimens due to scattering of the signal within the samples. Circuit resistance was shown to increase with the electrochemical age of the specimens, but the resistance trend did not correlate with the bond strength trend at later ages. The aged specimens were fairly impermeable to water infiltration presumably due to build up of reaction products in the porosity. Consequently, a method of using resistance measurements combined with water infiltration to determine anode condition was not successful. It was shown that the permeability improved if the surface was mechanically perturbed such as creating a pin hole. Improving permeability by penetrating the surface could have ramifications for improving anode performance.
|Cracked Bridge Repair|
|Shear Repair Methods for Conventionally Reinforced Concrete Girders and Bent Caps |
Thirteen large-scale girders and two bent caps that replicated as close as possible bridge components from the 1950s were cast and loaded to cause initial cracking similar to that observed in the field. The girders were repaired with epoxy crack injection, internal steel bars, external steel bars, surface bonded CFRP, and near-surface mount CFRP. The bent caps were repaired with surface-bonded CFRP and post-tensioning. The beams were loaded to failure while sensors recorded how the beams deformed. In addition, two bridges, one with surface-bonded CFRP strengthening and one with internal steel strengthening, were instrumented before and after strengthening to assess changes in behavior. The test results were used in conjunction with previous research to compare the repair methods based on ten attributes such as shear capacity improvement, aesthetics, durability, and installation requirements.
Surface bonded CFRP, external stirrups, and internal stirrups were all effective in increasing shear capacity of girders. Epoxy injection had minimal impact on capacity, and there were not enough data to make a conclusion for near-surface mounted CFRP. Considering surface bonded CFRP, external bars, and internal bars, no method was clearly superior, but internal stirrups did offer many advantages across the attributes considered.
The surface bonded CFRP and post-tensioning repairs for the bent caps did not provide as much capacity improvement as expected. However, there was only one bent cap specimen for each of the two repair methods tested; therefore, the results from these tests are considered a basis for further investigation.
|2009 Needs and Issues|
|FY 2009 Oregon Transportation Needs and Issues Survey |
The Oregon Transportation Needs and Issues Survey was first conducted in 1993 and has been done roughly every two years. The latest survey was completed in the fall of 2008 (State fiscal year (FY) 2009). This report summarizes the results of the FY 2009 survey. For some reoccurring questions, results are also compared to past surveys.
|Seimic Vulnerability of Oregon State Highway Bridges: Mitigation Strategies to Reduce Major Mobility |
The Oregon Department of Transportation and Portland State University evaluated the seismic vulnerability of state highway bridges in western Oregon. The study used a computer program called REDARS2 that simulated the damage to bridges within a transportation network. It predicted ground motions for a specific location and magnitude of earthquake, resulting bridge damage and the cost of the damage, as well as the cost to the public for traffic delays due to detours around damaged bridges. Estimated damage and delay costs were presented for major highways in the region.
|Safety Investment Program|
|Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Safety Investment Program (SIP) Policies for Oregon |
The Safety Investment Program (SIP) was originally called the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program - Safety Investment Program (STIP-SIP). The concept of the program was first discussed in October 1997 and the program was adopted by the Oregon Transportation Commission in August 1998. The concept for the program grew out of a cost-effective approach to pavement preservation projects that set out to maximize the impact of money spent on highway safety, based on crash reduction factors. Safety projects were to be selected based on high crash locations as identified by the Safety Priority Index System (SPIS) and SIP Category ratings of five-mile sections. This research evaluated the SIP Policy from the perspective of: 1) an overall program for safety improvement projects, 2) a guiding policy when safety improvements are planned as part of other project work, and 3) a component integrated with the highway design procedures for resurfacing, restoration, or rehabilitation (3R) projects. The research included two levels of evaluation; the first evaluation was done as part of the systemic evaluation, while the second was a project-level evaluation. The systematic evaluation revealed that, in general, projects where safety funds were used resulted in a net decrease in total crashes as well as severe and fatal crashes; however, these benefits were not realized for all locations or all work types. The detailed review of the 24 mixed safety-preservation projects highlighted some of the challenges of successfully implementing the SIP Policy. It was clear that the SIP Policy has not been applied consistently to mixed projects. In particular, the variety of design and, to a lesser extent, the funding eligibility scores, highlight the variety of policy interpretations. The project-level evaluation concluded that the most important project element to improve safety performance was the specific identification of a safety problem. Recommendations were made on improved documentation procedures at the project level as well as strategies to improve overall policy compliance.
|Truck Travel Time|
|Developing Corridor-Level Truck Travel Time Estimates and Other Freight Performance Measures |
The objectives of this research were to retrospectively study the feasibility for using truck transponder data to produce freight corridor performance measures (travel times) and real-time traveler information. To support this analysis, weigh-in-motion data from each of the twenty-two stations in Oregon were assembled, processed, and uploaded in the WIM data archive is housed under the Portland Transportation Archive Listing (PORTAL) umbrella at Portland State University’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Lab. Nearly 42,000,000 truck records were successful uploaded to the archive dating back to July 2005. Two separate algorithms necessary for this research were scripted, tested, and validated. The closest stations are 38.3 miles apart; the greatest are 258 miles apart. The first algorithm matched transponders between of all vehicles in a time window between the upstream and downstream stations. The second algorithm filtered these matches for through trucks. The filter was validated by comparing estimated travel times during a winter weather-induced delay. The analysis showed that corridor-level travel times for trucks for 2007 and 2008 could be generated from the archived data. To explore the feasibility using these same data for real-time traveler information, ground truth probe vehicle data were collected. Travel time estimates from the WIM data and the probes were used to establish a simple linear relationship between passenger car and truck performance. It was concluded that the long distances between stations was a primary challenge to directly adapting the WIM data to real-time use. Recommendations were given on increased sensor spacing and filter improvement. Finally, potential performance metrics for station level, matched trucks, and filtered matched truck data were shown
|Monitoring of Bioengineering Stabilization Projects |
Four sites with bioengineered stream banks were monitored for four years. Observations included quantitative measurements of stream discharge, stage and velocity. No bank erosion was observed to have affected the stream banks at any of the monitoring sites.
|HCRH Oral History|
|Historic Columbia River Highway Oral History |
The Historic Columbia River Highway: Oral History Project compliments a larger effort in Oregon to reconnect abandoned sections of the Historic Columbia River Highway. The goals of the larger reconnection project, “Milepost 2016 Reconnection Project” (http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/HCRH/), are to ‘remember,’ ‘restore,’ and ‘reconnect’ sections of the old historic highway. One of theses sections includes the area between Cascade Locks and Hood River, which was abandoned or destroyed as part of construction of Interstate 84 (I-84).
The objective of the Oral History Project was to capture oral histories surrounding the areas of Cascade Locks to Hood River. As part of the project, 19 people were interviewed who had either lived in the area, helped to build sections of highway or interstate, or who have helped to preserve the historic area. Much of the cultural history of this section of highway has been lost since its abandonment over 50 years ago. This research project was aimed at culturally reconnecting the highway and providing information useful to the overall restoration of the highway as a trail.
Included in this final report are recollections of the towns of Dodson, Bonneville, Cascade Locks, Viento, Sonny and Hood River, as well as memories of destinations along the Historic Columbia River Highway such as Crown Point, Multnomah Falls Lodge, Mitchell Point Tunnel, and others. Experiences from the highway builders and preservationists are also shared.
|Analysis of the ConnectOregon Program Through Two Project Selection Cycles |
The Oregon Legislature passed a law establishing the Multimodal Transportation Fund in 2005. The fund was part of what became known as the ConnectOregon program, with the purpose of making public and private investments in aviation, marine, rail, and transit. The legislation provided $100 million in state lottery bond revenues to fund the program. In 2007, the legislature provided another $100 million. For the $200 million available through ConnectOregon, a total of 181 project applications were received, and 73 were selected for funding. By June 30, 2009, 27 projects had been completed, and most of the others were under construction or in design. This report is intended to help inform other states considering a collaborative approach to multimodal transportation funding programs. The report is comprised of the following sections:
a discussion of participant feedback and lessons learned.
- an overview of ConnectOregon legislation and administration;
- procedures for submitting, reviewing, evaluating, and prioritizing ConnectOregon applications and for making final funding recommendations;
- a comparison of ConnectOregon I and ConnectOregon II results by region, mode, and size of funding request; and
|Investigating Premature Pavement Failure Due to Moisture |
This report details the forensic investigations conducted to identify the causes of pavement failures shortly after a rehabilitation activity on five interstate highway projects in Oregon, and the research efforts conducted to develop guidelines to minimize the risk of premature failures on future projects. One of the principal objectives of this research effort was to identify sources of moisture and other conditions that let to the early rutting problems observed along the five projects. Overall, improper tack coat or failure, permeable dense-graded layers, inadequate drainage, and, possible, inadequate compaction of dense-graded material, were all identified as the likely root causes of the observed moisture damage and consequential rutting problems. The other principal objective was to evaluate design, construction, and materials requirements that will minimize the risk of such failures for future rehabilitation projects so that guidelines could be developed for these processes. In this respect, this report contains guidelines for the following:
- Pre-construction site investigations to identify the potential for moisture-related problems.
- Pavement structural design techniques that have been effective in reducing the risk of failures related to moisture damage.
- Construction techniques that can reduce the risk of failure due to moisture damage.
- Materials selection and testing to assist in reducing the risk of failure due to moisture damage.