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ODOT Research Unit - Active Projects

SPR 761

Evaluation of Weather Based Variable Speed Limit Systems
Project Coordinator Jon Lazarus
Research Agency: Portland State University/Western Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Robert Bertini/Ahmed Al-Kaisey
Start Date for ODOT: September 5, 2013
Completion Date for ODOT: December 31, 2015
The goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of two new active traffic management
(ATM) system projects featuring VSL and VAS components being installed on OR 217 (urban)
and US 26/OR 35 (rural/mountain), to aid in optimizing the operation of these systems as well as
laying the groundwork for future implementations of ATM and VSL systems across the state.
The two systems in Region 1 are the first of potentially many more projects to be implemented.
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SPR 762

High Strength Steel Reinforcement for Bridges
Project Coordinator Matthew Mabey
Research Agency: Oregon State University
Principal Investigator: Andre Barbosa/David Trejo
Start Date for ODOT: September 25, 2013
Completion Date for ODOT: December 31, 2016
Recent federal and state laws are placing increasing emphasis on using comprehensive
transportation performance measures that include mobility, safety, economy, livability, equity,
and environment to guide transportation decision making. Proof-of-concept research in SPR 375
developed a Transportation Cost Index (TCI) for use in comparing transportation performance
outcomes for different modes in common terms. The TCI accomplishes this by building on the
concept of the widely-used Consumer Price Index (CPI). As a result of the logic appeal of the
TCI and the proof-of-concept research, this measure was adopted by the Accessibility Indicator
Development Team (IDT) for the Oregon LCP project. The aim of this research project is to
advance the TCI from the proof-of-concept stage to implementation in transportation
performance measurement and decision-making at the state, MPO, and community levels.
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SPR 763

Mechanistic Design Data
Project Coordinator Norris Shippen
Research Agency: Auburn University
Principal Investigator: David H. Timm
Start Date for ODOT: July 8, 2014
Completion Date for ODOT: July 1, 2016
ODOT began implementation of Mechanistic design practices and principles starting in
approximately 2003. At the time, implementation was as a secondary evaluation tool in asphalt
concrete pavement design due to uncertainty in the design method precision, lack of ongoing
calibration, and lack of data. Three pavement sites were instrumented across Oregon between
2004 and 2008 to gather data to help in moving the implementation of mechanistic design
practices forward. Data from the sites was collected as part of a previous research project, but
was not completely summarized or analyzed and a large part of the data is currently providing no
useful benefit to ODOT. If these data are to be useful in ODOT’s ongoing mechanistic
pavement design calibration, the data from the instrumented sites needs to be reduced from its
current “raw” format and evaluated.
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SPR 765

High Strength Steel Bars and Casing in Response to Drilled Shafts
Project Coordinator Kira Glover-Cutter
Research Agency: Oregon State University
Principal Investigator: Armin Stuedlein
Start Date for ODOT: February 5, 2014
Completion Date for ODOT: February 15, 2017
Drilled shafts provide significant geotechnical resistance for support of highway bridges, and are
used throughout the State of Oregon to meet its structural foundation requirements. Due to
changes in construction methods and poor near-surface soils, the use of permanent steel casing
for drilled shaft installation has increased. However, geotechnical design models for axial and
lateral resistance of drilled shafts are largely based on soil-concrete interfaces, not soil-steel
interfaces associated with large diameter steel casing. Owing to the increased understanding of
our regional seismic hazards, the amount of steel reinforcement used in drilled shaft construction
has increased over the past several decades. This creates a new construction concern for
engineers: the increased steel area results in a reduced clearance between adjacent reinforcement
bars in the steel cage, such that concrete has an increased difficulty in penetrating the cage,
increasing the likelihood for voids and defects within the shaft, which can lead to poor structural
and geotechnical performance. The use of high-strength reinforcement steel can lead to
increased clearance within the steel cage, mitigating concreting issues. The use of steel casing
and the amount of steel area control the axial and lateral resistance of the shaft. Thus, existing
approaches need to be evaluated for modern construction methods, and new approaches
developed if necessary to ensure desired performance criteria are met.
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