Summer 2015 Vol. 23, No. 3

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Truck-Weight

Overweight or not? Truck-Weight Education Program has the answers
In recent years, legislative changes have increased allowable truck weights for some industries and for some vehicle configurations, complicating an already complicated and technical area of law. The Minnesota Truck-Weight Education Program deciphers these laws and explains the configurations in easy-to-understand language.

North Dakota truck-weight program is a success
The North Dakota Truck-Weight Education and Outreach Program has been a huge success for the past two years. The program was adapted from the Minnesota version.

Portable weigh-in-motion system provides low-cost screening
A University of Minnesota Duluth researcher has developed a portable WIM system prototype that can be installed with tape and anchors in less than 40 minutes and that costs significantly less than permanent WIM systems. MnDOT has two of these systems available for local agency use.

Tool measures impact of heavy trucks
City and county engineers can use the analysis method and corresponding spreadsheet tool to calculate the impact of heavy vehicles on asphalt roads.

Vegetation and Stormwater

Salt-tolerant seed, sod recommended for roadsides
What are the best seed mixes for grasses along roadsides? A multi-year research study aimed to find out. The final report, now online, recommends fine fescues—not Kentucky bluegrass.

Culverts are more fish-friendly using new strategies
To allow fish to pass through culverts, many are installed slightly below streambed level. But does this strategy actually work? A new study from U of M researchers reveals that it may not always achieve the desired results—and outlines new strategies for making culverts more fish-friendly.

Swales prevent water pollution near roadsides
In an LRRB-sponsored study, researchers developed methods and guidelines for assessing and improving the pollution prevention of roadside swales (low-lying tracts of land or ditches).

Municipil Lighting

LED technology is shining bright in more municipal roadways
As energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology has rapidly advanced and improved over the past few years, its use in municipal lighting applications has increased exponentially.

Bid and Project Management

Bidding and project management technologies are increasing city engineering efficiency
Technology innovations are occurring at an astonishing pace and drastically changing the tools city engineers use to do their jobs. One example is the shift to online digital bid management and distribution systems. Other types of process automation technology are also gaining popularity with city engineers.

Local OPERA Spotlight

Vinyl wrap for paint truck
Sherburne County Public Works installed a vinyl wrap on the box and tailgate of a pickup truck. This allowed the paint crew to have access to a newer truck with better strobes and an extended cab.

Pavements and Gravel Roads

Quieter rumble strips tested in Minnesota
In the search for a quieter rumble strip, Minnesota may have found a winner in California. California’s standard rumble strip design outperformed Minnesota’s and Pennsylvania’s in a comparison study along a rural highway near Crookston, Minnesota.

Blending fines into loose aggregate rejuvenates roads
The LRRB sponsored a project to see whether mixing fines into existing aggregate on a road could be an alternative to regraveling. The research suggests that the procedure is an option to if a suitable binder is available and less expensive than locally available aggregate.

Honors

Congrats Grads!
The latest graduates of the Roads Scholar program received a certificate of achievement during a ceremony at the 2015 Minnesota Roadway Maintenance Training and Demo Day.

Workshops and Training

Demo Day draws a crowd!
In classroom sessions and outdoor demonstrations, more than 200 students learned about gravel road maintenance, cargo securement requirements, and much more.

Underground Utilities Construction Inspectors School
The Underground Utilities Construction Inspector School provides practical information to enable people with underground utility inspection responsibilities to expertly and confidently do their jobs. This year the school will be held at the City of Bloomington’s Public Works Facility, and a web-based UUCIS version will be offered in St. Cloud at a reduced cost.

Information Services

The Shelf
Recent publications from various sources

Crossword Puzzle

Find the hidden answer...and win an online course registration!
When you finish our summer puzzle, the letters in the shaded boxes, moving from top to bottom, will spell out something many Minnesotans like to catch in the summer.