Fall 2014 Vol. 22, No. 4

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Safety

New guidebook aims to make pedestrian crossings safer
To help Minnesota transportation agencies evaluate pedestrian crossings and determine where improvements are warranted, the Minnesota Local Road Research Board funded the development of a new guidebook for practitioners. The guidebook focuses specifically on uncontrolled pedestrian crossings, which aren’t controlled by a stop sign, yield sign, or traffic signal.

High Friction Surface Treatment reduces crashes at crash-prone areas
Each year, approximately one quarter of highway fatalities in the United States occur at or near horizontal curves. At some locations, the deterioration of pavement surface friction is a major contributing factor. The introduction of High Friction Surface Treatment technology now provides an overlay option that supplies more friction than traditional overlays

LRRB Update

Gravel road management synthesis identifies tools
The LRRB conducted a study to understand the gravel road management needs of Minnesota local agencies. The study synthesis includes a matrix of existing gravel road management tools used in the U.S.

OPERA spotlight: In-pavement crosswalk system
The City of St. Anthony Village identified and installed a pedestrian-activated in-pavement lighting system designed to increase driver compliance with state yielding law and minimize potential dangerous situations for crossing pedestrians.

Awards

LTAP director receives award
Minnesota LTAP’s own Jim Grothaus received a National Achievement Award at the 2014 National LTAP Association annual meeting in St. Louis.

Bridges

Surface treatment for bridge decks quick…and sticky
Civil engineering researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth have been testing alternatives to traditional concrete or asphalt wear courses by instead adhering a variety of small aggregates to the decks of 11 bridges in Minnesota using a thin layer of epoxy.

Timber bridge videos show inspection methods
Across Minnesota, hundreds of wooden bridges are reaching the end of their lifespan, but counties don’t know which ones to repair and which ones to replace. MnDOT’s Research Office has posted videos demonstrating two proven timber bridge inspection tools that counties can use to see past the surface of a timber bridge and identify the actual amount and area of internal rot.

MN2050 ‘Roads and Bridges’ video on the air and online
The new video from Minnesota 2050 (MN2050) began airing on public television in September. State of Repair—Roads and Bridges is the first of three video productions by MN2050 and tpt MN on the infrastructure future in our state

Equipment

Videos demonstrate sander calibration
Four new videos are available that demonstrate how to operate, calibrate, and upload software for the FORCE America 6100 sander controls. The videos were made in cooperation by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Maintenance and Video Services offices and the Oakdale Maintenance shop) and FORCE America.

Device shows at a glance if wheels are loose
A wobbly wheel on a big truck is a dangerous thing. It isn’t always easy, however, to see when lug nuts are coming loose. The Polk County Highway Department has put a simple plastic device on all its trucks that shows at a glance when a lug nut is loosening.

Communications

Michigan road agencies “Like” Facebook
This is the first article in a two-part series about how Michigan road commissions (the state’s county agencies) are using Facebook to enhance public relations efforts. This article covers general Facebook setup, policy, and legal information.

Information Services

Save time and money, get better results with MnDOT Library Services
City and county employees are always welcome in the MnDOT Library, located on the first floor of the Transportation Building near the State Capitol. However, you don’t need to visit in person to benefit from its variety of services.

Salt handling tip sheet to help agencies reduce pollution
MnDOT’s Office of Maintenance and Office of Environmental Stewardship have created a handy one-page tip sheet to help agencies handle salt and reduce pollution.

The Shelf
Recent publications from various sources.

Workshops and Training

Coming this winter: New online training courses for sign and culvert maintenance
These new online courses from Minnesota LTAP will provide training opportunities on sign maintenance and management as well as culvert design and maintenance.

Program prepares workers for supervisory positions
The American Public Works Association–Minnesota Chapter has modified the curriculum of its Public Works Certification Program. Offered through North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, the program prepares students for supervisory positions.