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Public Roads - November/December 2004

November/December 2004
Issue No:
Vol. 68 No. 3
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Along the Road

Management and Administration

Along the Road is the place to look for information about current and upcoming activities, developments, trends, and items of general interest to the highway community. This information comes from U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) sources unless otherwise indicated. Your suggestions and input are welcome. Let's meet along the road.

Seven State Projects Named Models of Environmental Conservation

Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters recently named seven State department of transportation (DOT) initiatives as models for providing extraordinary environmental benefits to their communities.

Peters praised the State DOTs in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, and Virginia for developing projects she deemed "exemplary ecosystem initiatives." The individual projects encourage protection of endangered or threatened species, and their goals range from preservation of black bears to replacement of manmade flood control measures with backwater lakes, marshes, and floodplain forests.

FHWA Administrator Mary E. Peters recently cited seven State DOT-based transportation projects as models for wildlife protection and conservation. Here, a worker in Alabama uses an underground camera to identify active burrows of the endangered gopher tortoise.

Alabama's DOT worked to protect the threatened gopher tortoise, while Florida initiated a first-of-its-kind program to protect wildlife and wetland habitats. Georgia's program protected a diverse range of plant and wildlife species along the Flint River, and the Illinois DOT helped return a wetland in LaGrange back to its natural state. Other projects include a program in Mississippi that saved hardwood trees, a program in New York that protected and enhanced native plant life in the Adirondack Park, and a program in Virginia that provided wildlife areas for more than 200 species of birds and countless varieties of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

For more information, visit the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives Web site at, or contact Nancy Singer at 202-366-4650 or Doug Hecox at 202-366-0660.

FHWA Initiates Web Conferences on Transportation Security

In spring 2004, FHWA's Office of the Administrator and other FHWA offices spearheaded a series of Web conferences- live, real-time training sessions held online-to address transportation security concerns such as military deployment and border crossings. Following the first conference, which focused on emergency response and recovery, the Office of Bridge Technology held a second conference, promoting the use of risk management to prioritize projects for infrastructure security. The discussion focused on using risk methodology to find cost-effective solutions to protect critical infrastructure and fund security projects that have tight budgets and competing needs.

The first two conference presentations were broadcast to several sites, with participants ranging from FHWA division offices to State and local transportation agencies. Based on the success of the first two efforts, the FHWA bridge office initiated a conference in July 2004 on military deployment and continuity of operations plans, and another in September highlighting freight and border security.

For more information, contact Steve Ernst in the Office of Bridge Technology at 202-366-4619 or

Technical News

FHWA Produces New Operational Planning Tool

DYNASMART-P is one of two state-of-the-art dynamic network traffic operational planning tools recently produced under FHWA's Dynamic Traffic Assignment (DTA) research project. Developed by researchers at the University of Maryland, DYNASMART-P supports transportation network planning and traffic operations decisions, including evaluation of deployment options for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies. The new tool combines dynamic network assignment models, used primarily in conjunction with demand forecasting procedures for planning applications, and traffic simulation models, used mainly for traffic operations studies.

DYNASMART-P makes it possible to model traffic flow changes resulting from the decisions of individual travelers. It also overcomes many of the known limitations of the static tools used in current planning practice by expanding the alternative measures that can be evaluated. Because the tool considers the time-varying nature of traffic flows, FHWA officials expect it to produce outputs with more useful estimates of Statebased variables—including traffic speeds, queue lengths, delays, and congestion effects—which will in turn help to better assess the functional and environmental impacts of measures such as ITS deployment. Applications to date have included metropolitan and regional networks with up to 35,000 nodes and 100,000 links, with nearly one million vehicles simulated over horizons of several hours. DYNASMART-P is available from the Center for Microcomputers in Transportation (

For more information, visit . Contact Henry Lieu at for more information about training workshops on DYNASMART-P.

Public Information and Information Exchange

MoDOT Wins Perpetual Pavement Award

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) recently named the Missouri DOT as one of the winners of its 2003 Perpetual Pavement Awards. MoDOT received the award for its work on a section of Route 63 in Texas County, MO.

The award was presented at a special ceremony at APA's Asphalt Pavement Conference in Nashville, TN. The award-winning pavement is a 33.2-kilometer (20.6-mile) stretch of Route 63 that originally was built in 1963, mostly with a 178-millimeter (7-inch) rolled stone base and a 152-millimeter (6-inch) bituminous base, followed by a 44-millimeter (1.75-inch) binder course of Type B asphalt-a mix with aggregates of 25- millimeter (1-inch) maximum size. The surface course consisted of Type C asphalt-a mix with aggregates of 19-millimeter (0.75-inch) maximum size. The road received a 44-millimeter (1.75-inch) overlay in 1978 and a chip-and-seal treatment in 1996, followed by small sections of resurfacing in 1997 as turn lanes were upgraded. With only these slight modifications, the pavement has endured despite the State's wet-freeze climate and an accumulated travel load of more than 7 million equivalent single-axle loads since construction.

For more information, contact MoDOT District 9 Public Information and Outreach Manager Eddie Grover-Bisker at 417-469-6203.

Missouri Department of Transportation

KDOT Releases New Research on Pavement Smoothness and Soil Stabilization

The Kansas DOT recently issued two reports addressing important issues in pavement preservation: how to prevent early-life pavement roughness and how to keep pavements stable.

The first report, Investigation of the Effect of Curling on As-Constructed Smoothness and Ride Quality of KDOT Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) Pavements (K-TRAN: KSU-01-07), aims to quantify the effect of slab curling—the result of environmental conditions such as a temperature or moisture gradient across the thickness of a concrete pavement slab. By using a set of models to describe how various construction, geometric, and climatic variables would affect the roughness of the pavement, researchers found curling to be associated with slab thickness and stabilized base stiffness. They found that curling could be minimized by a subbase that would yield when the overlying concrete slab expands or contracts. In turn, they reasoned that if curling could be minimized, then roughness becomes a function of a few, easily monitored variables, including slab thickness, compressive strength of the concrete, and strength of the base layer. For technical information on this report, contact Mustaque Hossain, Ph.D., P.E., at 785-532-1576 or

The second report, Performance of Soil Stabilization Agents (K-TRAN: KU-01-8), describes the degrees to which various chemical additives-including lime, cement, and fly ash-can improve the engineering properties of soil. Using durability testing procedures like freeze-thaw, wet-dry, and leach testing, researchers found that lime- and cement-stabilized soils showed the most improvement in soil performance for multiple types of soil. In addition, for many soils more than one stabilization option may be effective for the construction of durable subgrades. For technical information on this report, contact Robert L. Parsons at 785-864-2946 or

Kansas Department of Transportation


Sterling Jones Named ASCE Hydraulic Structures Medal Recipient

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently selected J. Sterling Jones, manager of the Hydraulics Laboratory at FHWA's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA, as recipient of its 2004 Hydraulic Structures Medal. The award recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of the art and science of hydraulic engineering as applied to hydraulic structures. Thomas M. Rachford, president of the Environmental and Water Resources Institute Governing Board, and William P. Henry, president-elect of ASCE, presented a gold-plated medal and certificate to Jones during a ceremony in Salt Lake City, UT.

Jones is a registered professional engineer and has been with FHWA since 1971 as a hydraulic research engineer. He is a charter member of ASCE's Task Force on Bridge Scour and is currently the Hydraulics Subcommittee chairman for the Transportation Research Board's Committee A2A03, which deals with transportationrelated hydraulics, hydrology, and water quality.

Indiana's Nicol Named AASHTO President; Lettiere Of New Jersey, Vice-President

In September 2004, at the 90th annual meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in Philadelphia, PA, Indiana DOT Commissioner J. Bryan Nicol was elected president for the coming term, taking the reins from Utah DOT Executive Director John Njord. John F. "Jack" Lettiere, commissioner of the New Jersey DOT, was named AASHTO vice president. The terms last for 1 year.

In his opening remarks, Nicol outlined his emphasis areas, which include reestablishing transportation as a national priority, making project delivery and operations a new way of doing business, and incorporating new technologies into the transportation system.