University of Minnesota Driven to Discover

Local Operational Research Assistance (OPERA) Program

A program of the Minnesota Local Road Research Board

Have you ever dreamed that all of your tinkering, fussing, and fiddling in the shop and on the road could help improve every road in Minnesota? Do you need funding to develop innovations for roadside sign maintenance, work-zone safety products, or pothole-repair technology?

Well, now there's a way to help without becoming a pavement engineer or a University professor. Forget the classrooms and fancy degrees. Hang up those tuxes and put away the slide rule. Finally, there is OPERA for regular folks! With OPERA, you can share your ideas with other agencies and road crews around the state.

The Minnesota Local Road Research Board’s Local Operational Research Assistance
Program helps to develop innovations in the construction and maintenance operations of local government transportation organizations and share those ideas statewide. OPERA encourages maintenance employees from all cities and counties to get involved in operational or “hands-on” research. The program funds projects up to $10,000 through an annual request-for-proposal process.


As of 2010, the Local OPERA Program began publishing fact sheets on each of the projects completed by local government transportation organizations receiving OPERA support. The fact sheets are published on an ongoing basis as project reports are submitted. Each year the Local OPERA Program also compiles an annual report featuring all of the project fact sheets completed during the fiscal year.


These videos highlight a variety of projects completed with funding from the Local OPERA Program.

National LTAP 'Build a Better Mousetrap' Entry Booklets

A program similar to Local OPERA is the FHWA Local & Tribal Technical Assistance Program "Build a Better Mousetrap" National Competition. 

Minnesota LTAP | University of Minnesota | Minneapolis, MN 55455 | Location & Contact Information