September 15, 2022
Innovation of the Month: Advanced Geotechnical Methods in Exploration (A-GaME)
Slope instability along existing highways and removal of rock materials for new construction are common issues for State Departments of Transportation in mountainous areas.
Geophysical exploration methods, highlighted by A-GaME technologies, can provide a more complete subsurface picture, especially where access is difficult. Geophysical equipment is generally small, lightweight, and portable. The output of many surface-based methods consists of 2D or 3D representations of subsurface conditions or material properties which can help engineers make more informed decisions, reduce project risk, and compliment soil and rock borings.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT), in collaboration with the University of Arkansas, used geophysical methods as part of a research project to benefit two highway projects. ARDOT gathered bedrock depth information at a landslide along I-40 near Ozark and bedrock rippability characteristics at the Hot Springs Connector Project using geophysical investigation techniques in combination with traditional drilling. Some of the geophysical methods used include multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and microtremor horizontal to vertical spectral ratio (MHVSR).
Why use several methods? Geophysical methods have strengths and weaknesses; all methods require interpretation and have issues and complexities associated with both data collection and processing. Certain geologies are better or poorly suited for geophysical techniques. The research effort showed the joint application of multiple geophysical techniques produced the most useful subsurface interpretations and additionally revealed subsurface features that were not captured by borings alone. ARDOT found that cost-effective, non-invasive, and rapid data acquisition geophysical techniques can add project value for bedrock characterization, especially when multiple methods are used.
To learn more about A-GaME, contact Ben Rivers, Derrick Dasenbrock, or Silas Nichols. The Arkansas projects are further documented in a 2021 TRB Transportation Research Record Paper, Advantages of Geophysics to Improve Site Characterization and Reliability for Transportation Projects.
High-Performance Thin Overlay Rises to the Challenge
The use of high-performance thin overlays (HPTO) along 1st Avenue, one of New York City’s major thoroughfares, has helped the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) overcome many challenges and provide a long-lasting solution to poor roadway conditions.
NYC DOT had two goals-repair a roadway in poor condition from years of utility projects and repairs and add bus and bike lanes. This would require the costly rehabilitation of 53 city blocks and 11,000 tons of asphalt mix. Conventional pavement design practice would have required the closure of several blocks and intolerable disruption to residents and city leaders. Additionally, curb and utility cover requirements prohibit the use of thick asphalt overlay, and any substantial removal of surface materials could possibly damage underlying utilities.
The agency decided to place two exploratory HPTO sections on two blocks of 1st Avenue in 2012. A year later, the sections were in very good condition, so NYC DOT decided to move forward with an HPTO approach for the entire project conducted at night with minimal traffic disruption. According to the NYC DOT website, nine years later, the roadway is still in good condition. Read more details about this project in TR News.
To learn more HPTO or other Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions, please contact Tim Aschenbrener, Office of Preconstruction, Construction and Pavements (Asphalt), or Robert Conway, FHWA Resource Center (Concrete).
e-Ticketing Industry Day Will Bring Together DOTs and Technology Solution Providers
e-Ticketing is a market-ready digital innovation that automates the recording and real-time transfer of material delivery information in digital format on highway construction and maintenance projects. e-Ticketing Industry Day, to be held October 6-7, 2022, will gather public and private subject matter experts, entrepreneurs, and solution providers in a first-ever, collaborative virtual event for this technology. Participants will meet other transportation infrastructure owners and organizations and learn about the current and future capabilities of the technology.
Industry Day will feature a virtual Vendor Showcase, at which participants can meet one-on-one with technology solution providers, schedule private meetings, view product demonstrations, and compare market-ready solutions. Vendors will also deliver live presentations on the Main Stage each day highlighting products features, value proposition, hardware/software requirements, use cases and case studies, production positioning, and more.
The event is free, however registration by October 3, 2022, is required. To learn more about the e-Ticketing Industry Day, contact Antonio Nieves Torres, FHWA Office of Infrastructure or Kathryn Weisner, FHWA Resource Center-Construction Team.
New Innovator Now Available!
In this issue:
- States Continue the Move to Digital Project Delivery
- Using TIM Data to Assess Performance
- Leaning Into Innovation
- STICs Celebrate 10-Year Milestones
- And more...
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U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
EDC News; September 15, 2022