FDOT Research Update

Florida boasts one of the most active and innovative transportation research centers in the country. On this page, you will find links to resources that will help you stay up-to-date with the latest work from the FDOT Research Center. Select the resource you would like to investigate from the following menu:

For a searchable database of all FDOT research projects, past and present, visit the FDOT Research Center’s Documents and Publications webpage.

FDOT Research Showcase Magazine [return to menu]

Published twice a year, Research Showcase, highlights the technical advances made as a result of the FDOT transportation research program and the benefits of those advances to Florida traveling public.

The most recent issue of Research Showcase for winter 2016 was released in December 2016 and contains these stories:

  • AASHTO RAC Region 2 Sweet 16: Solutions for Wrong-Way Driving
  • Researchers Develop Tools to Tackle the SHRP2 Naturalistic Driving Study
  • Where Are They Now? Ternary Concrete Blends
  • Meet the Project Manager: Raj Ponnaluri
  • Meet the Principal Investigator: Neil Charness

FDOT Research Projects – Recently Completed

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November 2016-January 2017

Divisions reporting completed research projects in this period:

Maintenance – Completed [return to menu]

Analysis, Comparison, and Contrast of Two Primary Maintenance Contracting Techniques Used by the Florida Department of Transportation
University of North Florida researchers developed a quantitative demonstration of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of asset maintenance contracts, taking into consideration work quality. They compared this approach with the use of task work orders. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV34-977-04
Principal investigator: Raphael Crowley, University of North Florida
Project manager: Michael Sprayberry, FDOT Maintenance Office

Materials – Completed [return to menu]

Corrosion of Post-Tensioned Tendons with Deficient Grout
Florida International University researchers identified criteria of deficient grout properties that may cause active corrosion of strand in post-tensioned tendons. Important material and corrosion parameters that may need to be more comprehensively studied as well as refinement in a proposed set of criteria were identified in this phase of the research. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV29-977-04
Principal investigator: Kingsley Lau, Florida International University
Project manager: Mario Paredes, FDOT

Maximum Heat of Mass Concrete--Phase 2
University of Florida researchers built a database of rates of heat production of different cement blends used in mass concrete in Florida. This database provides convenient inputs to the DIANA software used in the modeling of mass concrete structures in Florida. They also evaluated typical segmental bridge pier segments used in Florida to determine whether some of them need to be treated as mass concrete structures and investigated the insulating properties of different types of soil and under various moisture conditions to be used in thermal analysis of footing placed on them. They further developed the software for mass concrete analysis. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV31-977-07
Principal investigator: Mang Tia, University of Florida
Project manager: Michael Bergin

Detection of Sinkholes or Anomalies Using Full Seismic Wave Fields: Phase II
University of Florida researchers developed standalone software for full waveform inversion (FWI) analysis of seismic waves for subsurface investigation (sinkhole detection, layering, top of rock, etc.). [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV31-977-29
Principal investigator: Michael C. McVay and Khiem Tran, University of Florida
Project manager: David Horhota

Planning – Completed [return to menu]

Framework for Multi-Resolution Analyses of Advanced Traffic Management Strategies
One complexity of traffic analysis is that different aspects of the problem must be considered at different levels of resolution, that is, some affect a network of roads, and some must be applied at the vehicle level. In this project, Florida International University researchers developed a framework for incorporating aspects of traffic analysis with different resolutions into one modeling environment. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV29-977-19
Principal investigator: Mohammed Hadi, Florida International University
Project manager: Vladimir Majano

Structures – Completed [return to menu]

Scaling and Validation of Breakaway Connection for Multi-Post Ground Signs
University of Florida researchers developed a series of 'scaled-down' moment-resisting collar breakaway connections and corresponding (compatible) support posts. They demonstrated and validated adequate breakaway system performance of these connections using a crushable-nose impact block that represents the behavior of a small car during impact. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV31-977-24
Principal investigator: Gary Consolazio, University of Florida
Project manager: Sam Fallaha

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Monitoring Phase 1: System Assessment and Integration Recommendations
In phase 1, University of Florida researchers seek to  fully identify, assess, and understand the condition and challenges of the existing monitoring sensors currently (or soon-to-be) installed on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge by the FOOT and other organizations. Researchers will engage all stakeholders (current and past) to determine the intent of the currently installed hardware and the desired features of an upgraded system and investigate effective methods for collecting, processing, and using data from the bridge, including the integration of advanced data management and bridge modelling technique. The result of Phase I will be a comprehensive set of recommendations for upgrading the Sunshine Skyway Bridge monitoring system to achieve the long-term goals of the research and meet the ongoing needs of the FDOT Skyway maintenance office. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV31-977-43
Principal investigator: Justin R. Davis and Jennifer Rice, University of Florida
Project manager: Steve Wombel

Traffic Engineering and Operations – Completed [return to menu]

Damage to ITS, Traffic Control and Roadway Lighting Equipment from Transient Surge and Lightning Strikes
Florida State University researchers identified and characterized actual field conditions and failure rates for current and past intelligent transportation system (ITS), traffic control and roadway lighting installations. The goal of the project was to reveal the state of the practice and make recommendations for lightning/surge protection, grounding, etc. that will allow the Florida Department of Transportation to realize the benefits. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV30-977-09
Principal investigator: Bruce Harvey, Florida State University
Project manager: Jeff Morgan

Warrants, Design, and Safety of Road Ranger Service Patrols
University of Florida researchers established criteria to determine when Road Ranger Service Patrols might be warranted. They also developed a tool that guides the deployment of Road Ranger Service Patrols in terms of beat configuration, hours of operation, and the number of vehicles that might be required. The project included efforts to understand the characteristics of Road Ranger crashes and to identify practices and procedures that have the potential to mitigate identified dangers for Road Rangers. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV31-977-52
Principal investigator: Yafeng Yin, University of Florida
Project manager: Alan El-Urfali and Shawn Kinney

Commercial Truck Parking Detection Technology Evaluation for Columbia and Marion County Rest Areas
University of Florida researchers evaluated two different vehicle detection technologies as applied to commercial truck parking areas of interstate rest areas. The evaluation addressed several aspects: the accuracy of the vehicle detection in parking spaces; cost of the technology; installation, setup, and maintenance of technology; sensor output integration with SunGuide software; and sensor durability. [One-page summary] [Full Project report]

Project number: BDV31-977-56
Principal investigator: Scott S. Washburn, University of Florida
Project manager: Marie Tucker

FDOT Research Projects – Newly Funded [return to menu]

November 2016-January 2017

Divisions reporting new research projects in this period:

Environmental Management – New [return to menu]

Use of Communication Technologies to Enhance Public Involvement in Transportation Projects
The main objective of this project is to increase participation in public involvement activities by making effective use of today's increasingly available communication media. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV29-977-32
Principal investigator: Priyanka Alluri, Florida International University
Project managers: Rax Jung and Rusty Ennemoser, FDOT Environmental Management Office

Geotechnical – New [return to menu]

Load and Resistance Factors Design (LRFD) Resistance Factors for Tip Grouted Drilled Shafts
The objective of this project is to derivate land and resistance factor design (LRFD) soil resistance factors that designers can use when drilled shafts are post-grouted. This will be accomplished through field data collection, load test data analysis and reduction, and comprehensive statistical analysis. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV25-977-37
Principal investigator: Gray Mullins, University of South Florida
Project manager: Juan Castellanos, FDOT Geotechnical Office

Bearing Capacity Factors for Shallow Foundations Subject to Combined Lateral and Axial Loading
The objectives of this project are to: (1) Collect Data on current B/L (width/length), embedment (D/B), eccentricity, lateral/axial load combination and sand densities beneath shallow foundations in Florida. (2) Select 1 average foundation width, B 2 B/L rations, 2 embedment depths, 2 loading locations, 3.5 axial to lateral load ration, and 2 sand densities for centrifuge testing. (3) Based on the results of the first 112 tests, 3 conditions will be repeated where D near B. (4) Construct a loading frame fro shallow foundation testing in the centrifuge which considers, 2 embedment depths, 2 load locations on the foundation with 3.5 axial/lateral load ratios, (5) Conduct all of the centrifuge tests with various soil densities, axial/lateral load ratios to obtain both the measure nominal bearing capacity as well as the measured axial/lateral inclination and eccentricity factors. (6) Compare the measured centrifuge results with current American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) bearing equations as well as European and Australian approaches, and identify which combination of bearing combination factors are representative/recommended for Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) use. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV31-977-66
Principal investigator: Michael McVay, University of Florida
Project manager: Larry Jones, FDOT Geotechnical Office

 Materials – New [return to menu]

Evaluation of Corrosion Inhibiting Materials Applied by Impregnation (Pressure Injection) Methods to Prevent Corrosion of Post-Tensioned Tendons
The goal of this project is to evaluate the long term effectiveness and the service life of the material(s) actually used for impregnation of tendons and identify other materials that could produce better end results. In addition, the project will evaluate the effects of the impregnation methods on the physical characteristics of the tendon system to determine applicability to bonded tendons. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV25-977-35
Principal investigator: Alberto A. Sagues, University of South Florida
Project manager: Ivan R. Lasa, FDOT Materials Office

Use of Infrared Thermography for the Inspection of Welds in the Shop and Field
The objective of this project is to evaluate the feasibility of using advanced infrared thermography technologies for inspection of weld quality. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV31-977-64
Principal investigator: Michele Manuel, University of Florida
Project manager: Steve Duke, FDOT Materials Office

 Durability Evaluation of Ternary Mix Designs for Extremely Aggressive Exposures
This project seeks to determine the correlation between concrete mixture proportions for ternary blends and surface resistivity. This project is a phase 1 project that will focus primarily on literature review, mixture design, and specimen fabrication. Sample testing will being in phase 1, and relevant preliminary data will be reported and used to determine the approval status of phase II. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV31-977-65
Performing organization: University of Florida (STRIDE)
Project manager: Harvey DeFord, FDOT Materials Office

 Development of Calcined Clays as Pozzolanic Additions in Portland Cement Concrete Mixtures
The objectives of this research are: (1) evaluate the quality of various clay sources available in Florida in terms of their chemical and mineralogical composition and amorphous content through the use of x-ray fluorescence and x-ray diffraction techniques; (2) explore different calcination temperatures and accompanying phase transformation for various clay samples through the use of x-ray diffraction or other techniques; (3) evaluate the reactivity of calcined pozzolanic materials in combination with ordinary Portland cement through the use of mortar compressive strength. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV25-977-38
Principal investigator: A. Zayed, University of South Florida
Project manager: Harvey DeFord, FDOT Materials Office

 Evaluation of FC-5 with PG 76-22 HP to Reduce Raveling
The objectives of this project are (1) to determine if PG 76-22 HP binder would produce longer lasting opening graded friction course mixtures, (2) if the answer to objective 1 is positive, then determine if the increased life span of the open graded friction course mixtures more than offsets the increase price of the PG 76-22 HP binder. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BE287
Principal investigator: Edith Arambula, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Project manager: Greg Sholar, FDOT Materials Office

Operations – New [return to menu]

Establishment of Effective Control Factors to Achieve Federal Enforcement Consistency with the Highway Beautification Act
The purpose of this study is to secure a vendor who will poll the states and collect consistent data for a comprehensive study of state outdoor advertising control factors. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BE288
Principal investigators: Maxim A. Dulebenets, Eren Erman Ozguven, and Ren Moses, Florida State University
Project manager: Robert Jessee, FDOT Operations Office

Planning – New [return to menu]

Florida Driver Assistive Truck Platooning Analysis
The objective of this project is to provide research required to assist the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in the development of an analysis of Driver Assistive Truck Platooning in Florida and Guidelines for implementation. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV31-977-69
Principal investigator: Carl Crane, University of Florida
Project manager: Ed Hutchinson, FDOT Planning Office

 Pubic Transportation – New [return to menu]

 Florida Aviation Activity Forecast Methodologies and Tools Development
The objectives of this research are: (1) Develop new methodologies for airport aviation activity forecasting for Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT); (2) Update the existing Florida Aviation Database aviation activity forecast tool with advanced forecast methodology. Data driven methods, such as time-series, data fitting, and simulation, will be applied to forecast the aviation activity in addition to conventional what-if and scenario analysis. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV25-977-36
Performing organization: University of South Florida
Project manager: Todd Cox, FDOT Public Transportation Office

 Florida Airport Sustainability Tracking/Monitoring System
This project, based on the outcomes of Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) and National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) studies in related areas, proposes to explore the unique needs of Florida's airport system and produce a Florida Airport Sustainability Performance Tracking/Monitoring System that can be easily used by airport sponsors and related transportation agencies. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV25-977-39
Principal investigator: Yu Zhang, University of South Florida
Project manager: Jim Halley, FDOT Public Transportation Office

 Large Truck Crash Analysis for Freight Mobility and Safety Enhancement in Florida
The primary objective of this project is to enhance freight mobility by removing crashes as an inhibitor so transportation safety and economic viability are improved in Florida. Specific objectives are: (1) conduct a statewide crash analysis focusing on crashes involving large trucks in the past ten years, and investigate the impacts, occurrences and severity of crashes involving freight mobility; (2) develop practical countermeasures to reduce crashes involving freight mobility, and recommend engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency response strategies to offset impacts of crashes on productivity loss and operation costs while enhancing freight mobility safety; and (3) recommend a better economic appraisal approach that accounts for the impacts of freight incidents on the economic viability. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV29-977-31
Principal investigator: Xia Jin and Ilir Bejleri, Florida Institute of Technology
Project manager: Rickey Fitzgerald, FDOT Public Transportation Office

Traffic Engineering and Operations – New [return to menu]

Feasibility of Using Video Image Detectors for Ramp Signal Operations and Performance Monitoring
This project will investigate the feasibility of using a video detection system to collect performance data, such as queue length and delay, in addition to vehicle volume and occupancy that are currently being detected using traditional inductive loops and sensors. The project will survey existing video detection systems and invite three for field tests at an actual ramp signal location. Based on the test results and other considerations including costs, maintenance requirements, and ease of integration, the project will recommend an existing video detection system that can be immediately implemented. This project will further develop a web-based system for calculating and visualizing performance data for monitoring and analysis. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV29-977-30
Principal investigator: Albert Gan, Florida International University
Project managers: Javier Rodriguez and Elizabeth Birriel, FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office

Evaluation of Incident Response Improvements for Statewide Application: Learning from the New Regional Traffic Management Center in Jacksonville, FL
The main objective of this project is to quantify the improvements in incident management and ultimately evaluate cost savings to the public resulting from the new regional traffic management center. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV34-977-10
Principal investigators: Thobias Sando, Priyanka Alluri, and Ching-Hua Chuan, University of North Florida
Project managers: Russell Allen and Peter Vega, FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office

Development of Safety Performance Functions for Restricted Crossing U-Turn (RCUT) Intersections
The overall goal of this project is to provide appropriate safety performance functions for different types of restricted crossing U-turn (RCUT) intersection for use by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) planners and engineers at various levels of project development and safety analysis. Consistent with this goal, the main objectives of this project are: (a) to collect geometric, traffic and crash data from a sufficient number of existing RCUT intersections in the United States; (b) to determine significant factors influencing the RCUT intersection safety; and (c) to develop, calibrate, and validate safety performance functions (SPFs) for RCUTs with different characteristics (urban/rural, unsignalized/signalized, etc) base don the collected data. [TRB Summary]

Project number: BDV30-977-19
Principal investigator: Eren Erman Ozguven, Florida State University
Project manager: Alan El-Urfali, FDOT Traffic Engineering and Operations Office