Hot Topics is our electronic newsletter highlighting new publications and resources from a variety of sources.
In this issue:
Meeting the challenge of gravel road maintenance
A DVD created by Minnesota LTAP last year is now online. Gravel
Road Maintenance: Meeting the Challenge is meant to provide instruction
on proper gravel road maintenance techniques, either as a stand-alone
tutorial or as an instructor's tool to introduce the topics. The
toolkit consists of a six-part DVD and two PDF instructional resources,
both on the Minnesota
LTAP Web site.
Video clips are available using a Flash viewer:
You can also request a copy of the complete DVD and the instructional
documents at the site.
The DVD was created in partnership with SRF Consulting Group with
funding from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) State
Aid for Local Transportation Division.
Going into rehab: Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation
Best Practices Manual
This manual, published in September by Mn/DOT State Aid, provides
specifications for concrete repair of local city streets and county
pavements. It was developed from existing concrete repair standards
used by Mn/DOT since 1981, and incorporates successful modifications
by the cities of Owatonna and Austin, Minnesota. For the first time,
the manual also incorporates standards for sidewalk, curb, and gutter
repairs into a specification format.
Content from the manual is used in Minnesota LTAP's Concrete Pavement
Repair workshop. Minnesota LTAP is also under contract with Mn/DOT
to redesign the manual into an easy-to-use format later this year.
The current version of the Concrete
Pavement Rehabilitation Best Practices Manual is available from
the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB).
Finding a balance between loads and roads
Striking a balance between the needs of commerce to carry heavy loads
on roads and the need to preserve the significant investment in our
transportation infrastructure is a delicate process. Both sides of
the picture can present compelling arguments.
The LRRB Research Implementation
Committee recently completed a 20-minute educational/training DVD, Loads and Roads: Finding a Balance. This DVD can be shown in
its entirety for a comprehensive look at the subject, or it can be
divided into about five-minute segments for viewing by different audiences.
The DVD is being distributed to Minnesota city and county engineers,
along with a brochure and other materials that can be used when making
presentations about this subject. The DVD will also be posted this
spring on the LRRB Web site.
Managing your assets
Asset management is a strategic approach for allocating resources.
Using management systems, software, and other tools, agencies can view
the big picture before making decisions. The tools also provide data
useful for informing county boards and other decision makers.
The Federal Highway Administration's Office of Asset Management offers
many resources on its Web site. To learn how asset management can work
for you, see the Office
of Asset Management Web page.
Preserving your pavements
The following checklists are available on the Web site of the National
Center for Pavement Preservation.
Bridge and culvert spring-cleaning
Conducting basic bridge maintenance and inspection at this time of
year can help local agencies keep their bridges as strong and safe
as possible. A checklist for spring-cleaning is available on the Iowa
LTAP Web site.
Helpful plans for a culvert spreader are on the Idaho LTAP site.
Kathy Schaefer, instructor for Minnesota's Circuit Training and
Assistance Program (CTAP), says she'll use the plans and photographs
in her culvert classes this spring. Get a preview at www.uidaho.edu/engr/ME/sr_des/culvert.
Truck-weight compliance training
Truck traffic in Minnesota continues to grow each year. Along with
this growth comes concern by state, county, city, and township transportation
authorities about possible damage to routes from overweight trucks.
There are ways, however, for shippers and carriers to adjust their
vehicles and loads to minimize roadway damage.
To learn how, attend one of the free training sessions now under way
across the state. Funded by Mn/DOT, the training is
presented by Northland Community and Technical College of Thief River
Falls and East Grand Forks, and coordinated by Minnesota LTAP. Participants
will receive one credit in Minnesota LTAP's Roads Scholar program.
For more information, see the LTAP's Minnesota
Truck-Weight Compliance Training.
Minnesota Roundabouts Conference
Is Minnesota behind in using roundabouts for traffic control? Learn
what roundabouts are, where they might be used, how to plan and design
them, and how they operate at this conference, April 5–6 in Brooklyn
Center. Speakers from Florida, Virginia, Colorado, California, Wisconsin,
and Oregon, as well as Minnesota roundabout pioneers, will share their
Preliminary research indicates roundabouts reduce speed, fatalities,
accident severity, delays, and vehicle emissions.
The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota
is hosting the event. Sponsors are Mn/DOT and its State Aid Division,
the Minnesota County Engineers Association, the City Engineers Association
of Minnesota, and the Federal Highway Administration. To register,
see Mn/DOT State Aid.
If you can't attend or just want to learn more, try these resources:
The James L. Oberstar Forum on Transportation Policy and Technology
will explore the value of integrating bicycling and walking into communities.
Sponsored by the Center for Transportation Studies, the forum will
be held April 10 in Minneapolis. For more information, visit the Oberstar
Forum Web page.
Spring Maintenance Training Expo
Gravel roads, street sweeping, and trenching are just some of the
topics on the program of the 2006 Minnesota Spring Maintenance Training
Expo, April 11–12 in St. Cloud.
Sponsors are Minnesota LTAP, the Minnesota Local Road Research Board,
Mn/DOT, the Minnesota Public Works Association, and the Minnesota Street
Register online at www.mnltap.umn.edu/register/expo.
Train the Trainer Workshop for Blowing Snow
The north winds will blow and we shall have snow, but no one wants
it to pile up on roadways. This workshop will show roadway designers
how to use state-of-the-art technology to help eliminate snowdrifts
from forming along roads. Implementing these preventive snow-control
measures will improve public safety, reduce snow removal and road maintenance
costs, and provide economic benefits in travel time saved.
The workshop—geared for design and maintenance engineers, consultants,
and county highway engineers—will take place May 2–3 at
the Mn/DOT St. Cloud Training and Conference Center. For content information,
contact Dan Gullickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workshop sponsors are the Minnesota Department of Transportation and
the Center for Transportation Studies.
online for Blowing Snow Control.