2011 OPERA Projects
Implementation of a Scale-Tec Calibration Scale
Olmsted County used a Scale-Tec Calibrator to correctly calibrate the amount of salt and sand being applied by each of its 17 snowplow trucks. By measuring the weight of the discharged material, the calibrator helped the county determine the appropriate settings for each spreader and ensure the correct and consistent application of salt and sand.
Taconite-Enhanced Pothole Repair Using Portable Microwave Technology
The University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute partnered with Anoka County and St. Louis County to test the repair of potholes and damaged pavement with mobile microwave technology. Materials used included recycled asphalt pavement/millings, microwave-absorbing taconite materials, and recycled asphalt shingles.
Innovations in Microsurfacing Materials and Application Techniques
In an effort to improve the properties of microsurfacing for better performance on county roadways, Wright County partnered with Road Science to test a new flexible microsurfacing product on portions of two county roads. The new material was designed to improve the crack resistance of pavement compared to traditional microsurfacing.
Use of Laser Scanning Technology to Obtain As-Built Records of Historic Covered Bridges
The City of Zumbrota used laser-scanning technology to complete three-dimensional scanning and data processing of the Zumbrota Covered Bridge, the only remaining historic covered bridge in Minnesota. The information was used to assemble a complete digital representation of the bridge and to generate a 1/100-scale three-dimensional replica.
CAD Drawing of a Simple Salter/Sander Chute
Washington County fabricated a simple salter/sander chute to facilitate more accurate and precise salt and sand placement on roadways. Accompanying CAD drawings were created to allow other agencies to easily fabricate, install, and adjust the salter/sander chute. Washington County is now using chutes on a trial basis, with plans to install them on more trucks in its fleet.
- Fact sheet (PDF)
- Project final report (PDF)
- CAD drawing #1 (PDF)
- CAD drawing #2 (PDF)
- CAD drawing #3 (PDF)
- CAD drawing #4 (PDF)
- CAD drawing #5 (PDF)
- CAD drawing #6 (PDF)
Rehabilitating/Upgrading Low-Volume Roads with Waste Shingles
Blue Earth County completed a gravel road stabilization project on a section of County State Aid Highway 48 using a blend of recycled asphalt shingles and recycled asphalt pavement rather than the typical stabilizing binder used in past projects. The county plans to observe the performance of the shingle mix for one to two years.
Stormwater Pollutant Removal in Rain Gardens
The City of Grand Rapids constructed modified rain gardens as part of a street reconstruction project. The gardens were connected and allowed to discharge to the city's storm sewer system. Although not as large as traditional rain gardens, these modified gardens have potential as a best management practice for reducing stormwater pollutant discharge to receiving bodies of water.
Minnetonka "Winter Green" Initiative
The City of Minnetonka began a “Winter Green” initiative after being notified that it was exceeding its maximum chloride loading standards by the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District. The initiative included an aggressive and comprehensive training program as well as the purchase and installation of upgraded equipment.
Advanced Deicing Product Testing
The McLeod County Highway Department tested the use of IceSlicer™ granular deicing material. The department found that the IceSlicer™ material allowed for reduced material usage—about half as much material was needed compared to traditional white salt. The department also found the cost to be comparable to salt when the reduced usage of material was factored in.
Installation and Early Performance of Mastic Patches on City Streets
The City of Bloomington partnered with the City of Minnetonka to compare the performance of mastic products to that of traditional bituminous patching. The materials were used to repair potholes and transverse cracks, and results indicate that mastic products successfully restored ride quality to both types of deterioration.
Catch Basin Maintenance/Repair Trailer
The City of Lakeville Streets Division modified an existing trailer for use in catch basin repairs and maintenance. All the necessary equipment and materials are readily available, including a service crane and cement mixer installed directly on the trailer. Although designed specifically for catch basin repairs, it can also be used for sidewalk repairs, water main repairs, sewer casting adjustments, and other projects.
Application of Replay® Agricultural Oil Seal and Preservation Agent
The City of Hutchinson used Replay®, an agricultural oil seal and preservation agent that contains no petroleum, to seal two sections of asphalt pavement. After the application, visual inspections indicated that the top layer of asphalt had been sealed. Unlike other sealants, Replay® did not become sticky in hot weather, making it ideal for areas experiencing high volumes of pedestrian traffic during the summer.