September 2020Vol. 28, No. 3

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MOUSETRAP

Congratulations, Minnesota Mousetrap winners!
Congratulations to the recipients of Minnesota’s 2020 Build a Better Mousetrap Awards! First place goes to the City of Plymouth for its underbody removal dolly, and second place to Jackson County for a mastic box wheel system.

National Mousetrap: cleaning trucks and spreaders
An undercarriage washing system and a manifold for cleaning conveyor chains were honored in the National LTAP Build a Better Mousetrap competition.

Submit your ideas for the 2021 Mousetrap competition!
We want to hear about your agency's creative solutions, and submissions are welcome at any time.

SAFETY

Operation Sign Harvest
One city in Minnesota is experimenting with a “less is more” approach that city officials hope will increase both road safety and efficiency.

Guidebook helps local agencies choose crosswalk treatments
A quick reference guide from the Minnesota Local Road Research Board provides a uniform approach to selecting crosswalk facilities for uncontrolled pedestrian crossings in Minnesota.

Shoulder rectangular rumble strips reduce crashes
Shoulder rectangular rumble strips reduce crashes for both two-lane undivided and four-lane divided rural roadways, according to findings of a MnDOT-sponsored analysis.

MCEA seeks nominees for annual safety award
The Minnesota County Engineers Association Highway Safety Committee is seeking nominees for its annual Highway Safety Achievement Award.

INNOVATIONS

OPERA project: traffic signal preemption for snowplows
The project team determined that travel times for snowplows improved by 22 percent using relative priority preemption technology.

Send us your OPERA ideas: tools, processes, or tips for COVID-19
Do you have ideas for improving tools or processes? Or maybe you’ve been finding solutions for COVID-related impacts to your job? If so, please send us your ideas.

Minnesota LTAP poster wins innovation award at NLTAPA
The poster shows how Minnesota LTAP partnered with the Minnesota LRRB to create the Fundamentals of Construction Inspection course.

PAVEMENT

Lower-cost pavement preservation treatments added to manual
The Minnesota LRRB has developed guidance for local agencies about five lower-cost treatments to preserve pavements based on the type and severity of the pavement distress.

Forecasting software can ease local road planning
A pavement condition forecasting tool is now available that allows county road agencies to predict future conditions on their roadway networks.

Calculating and communicating life-cycle cost
A Transportation Research Synthesis from the LRRB and MnDOT sheds light on how local agencies are calculating the life-cycle cost of maintaining roads and streets.

Preferred aggregate base courses for low-volume roads
A project sponsored by the LRRB and MnDOT’s Office of Materials and Road Research gathered information about the preferred aggregate base courses used for low-volume asphalt and concrete pavements.

PEOPLE

Rick West earns national engineering award
The National Association of County Engineers awarded Rick West, the Otter Tail County public works director, the prestigious David P. Brand Safety Award.

Mike Sheehan retires after 43 years of public service
Mike Sheehan, Olmsted County deputy administrator of physical development, retired in July after 43 years of public service.

Eugene Skok: leader in asphalt and paving
Eugene Skok, a leader in the pavement engineering profession, passed away on June 29.

LTAP Steering Committee: membership update
Minnesota LTAP welcomes Jim Foldesi to our steering committee. Lyndon Robjent (Carver County) and Greg Isakson (Goodhue County) completed their service.

COVID-19: a dispatch from Brainerd
Paul Sandy, Brainerd’s city engineer, shares how his city is adapting to life with COVID-19.

INFORMATION SERVICES

CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse now in use
The Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is now fully operational. Drivers, employers, and service agents are required to use the Clearinghouse.

Eight ways to engage the public virtually
Virtual public involvement is one of the Every Day Counts Program’s innovation areas this year. The program is promoting eight virtual strategies to enhance public involvement.

Clear Roads: specs for blades with carbide inserts
A Clear Roads project developed a set of standard specifications that agencies can use to specify carbide-insert plow blades.

Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery
The National Association of City Transportation Officials has released Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery, providing detailed strategies to redesign and adapt streets for new uses both during the COVID-19 crisis and in the recovery.

The Shelf
Recent publications from various sources.

WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING

Virtual workshops, webinars on tap
Minnesota LTAP’s in-person training is suspended through April 2021 because of COVID-19. However, we are offering six virtual workshops, at $45 each, in coming months.

CTAP training and resources online
Minnesota CTAP (Circuit Training and Assistance Program) is now offering more training options, including a new self-paced video training series and virtual instructor-led sessions.

Truck-weight training: video, calculator tutorial
A temporary training video has been created to meet your immediate training needs, and a new video tutorial explains how to use the Minnesota Truck Weight Calculator.

Gravel roads: test your knowledge
Answer a question from Minnesota LTAP’s online Gravel Roads training.