March 2021Vol. 29, No. 1

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MAINTENANCE

Hot shots video series

Six educational videos are
available about the Hot Shots
for Cold Climes study.
Topics of the short videos
include drifting, blow ice,
fog, bridges, and shading.
The playlist is available
on YouTube.

Hot shots: treating the iciest spots with less salt
Researchers are quantifying what makes for a bad patch—known as a “hot shot”—of snow or ice and raising awareness of issues such as level of service and public expectations.

Fixing problems before they happen: proactive maintenance
As part of a virtual summit on rural road safety, presenters hosted sessions on “Strategies for Applying Rural Safety Countermeasures in a Proactive (Not Reactive) Way.”

Is seal coating counterproductive?
A study sponsored by the LRRB investigated the mechanisms that cause asphalt pavement stripping under seal coats and provided recommendations to improve seal-coat implementation.

Timber-based bridges offer a cost-effective, durable alternative
Researchers found that timber-based bridges can be built more quickly than steel or concrete bridges for similar costs, perform well for 70 years or more, and help meet green construction standards.

WORKFORCE

Organizing maintenance crews during a pandemic
What happens if an entire maintenance crew gets sick or needs to quarantine right before a storm? Speakers at a virtual roundtable came up with options.

Organizations respond to the pandemic
The City Engineers Association of Minnesota issued a survey to see how organizations handled COVID-19.

INNOVATIONS

OPERA project: Cement-stabilized gravel roads
McLeod County undertook a rehabilitation project of County Road 54 in 2018 using cement-stabilized full-depth reclamation to increase the road strength, along with the application of a double chip-seal surface.

Burcham sandbagger improves efficiency, safety
This machine reduced labor by 75 percent and improved bag quality and worker safety.

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.

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.

HONORS

Congratulations, Roads Scholar Class of 2020!
Fifteen standouts earned their Roads Scholar Maintenance Operations & Technical Certificates in 2020.

Associations honor 2020's top projects
The City Engineers Association of Minnesota, Minnesota County Engineers Association, and American Public Works Association – Minnesota Chapter honored top projects.

CTS director retires after distinguished career
Laurie McGinnis stepped down as director of the Center for Transportation Studies on January 15. She also served on the Minnesota LTAP Steering Committee and the Minnesota Local Road Research Board.

In memoriam: Steve Klein
Steve Klein, an engineer and vice president with Barr Engineering for 45 years, died December 1. He provided extensive service to municipalities and counties.

INFORMATION SERVICES

MS4 general permit changes: A how-to guide
The MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system) permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recently got an update, and there are new requirements.

NRRA workshops on YouTube
Many meetings and webinars from 2020 were recorded and are available on the NRRA YouTube channel.

Unmanned aerial systems aid in flood response
An eight-page technical brief from the Federal Highway Administration highlights how unmanned aerial systems are being used to respond to flooding events.

Questions about spring load restrictions?
Find answers and much more on the Minnesota Truck-Weight Education Program web page.

The Shelf
Recent publications from various sources.

WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING

Online training
We invite you to participate in online training, webinars, and virtual events.

Going virtual: Minnesota Roadway and Maintenance Demo Day
The pandemic means we’re again unable to bring you our in-person Demo Day, so instead, Minnesota LTAP will host virtual trainings and demonstrations in April and May.

Level of service: Test your knowledge
Answer a question from the new Clear Roads snowplow operator training module.