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Public Roads - September/October 2005

September/October 2005
Issue No:
Vol. 69 No. 2
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Communication Product Updates

Communication Product Updates

by Zac Ellis of FHWA's Office of Research and Technology Services

Below are brief descriptions of products recently published online by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. Some of the publications also may be available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). In some cases, limited copies are available from the Research and Technology (R&T) Product Distribution Center.

When ordering from NTIS, include the NTIS publication number (PB number) and the publication title. You also may visit the NTIS Web site at to order publications online. Call NTIS for current prices. For customers outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the cost is usually double the listed price. Address requests to:

National Technical Information Service

5285 Port Royal Road

Springfield, VA 22161

Telephone: 703-605-6000

Toll-free number: 800-553-NTIS (6847)

Address requests for items available from the R&T Product Distribution Center to:

R&T Product Distribution Center, HRTS-03

Federal Highway Administration

9701 Philadelphia Court, Unit Q

Lanham, MD 20706

Telephone: 301-577-0818

Fax: 301-577-1421

For more information on research and technology publications from FHWA, visit the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center's (TFHRC) Web site at, FHWA's Web site at, the National Transportation Library's Web site at, or the OneDOT information network at

Office of Research, Development, and Technology Fiscal Year 2004 Performance Report Publication No. FHWA-HRT-05-040

Office of Research, Development, and Technology Fiscal Year 2004 Performance Report Publication No. FHWA-HRT-05-040The FHWA Office of Research, Development, and Technology (RD&T) recently released its third annual performance report to the American public and its stakeholders in the transportation community. The report reflects the office's efforts to identify new and improved ways to provide high-quality research products and technology services to its customers.

Without a budget or long-term authorization in place for the fiscal year, the Research and Technology (R&T) Program overcame many challenges to attain the notable accomplishments highlighted in the report. Among its successes, the office developed more than 60 multiyear program plans to provide direction for future R&T activities, and created a new exhibit to showcase FHWA's priority market-ready technologies and innovations at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Research Advisory Committee meeting.

The first section of the report describes the office's business philosophy and workforce composition, giving special attention to its role in the community and the impact it makes through outreach and special events. The report then highlights the strategic framework of RD&T, including its vision, mission, goals, and "vital few" priorities of safety, congestion mitigation, and environmental stewardship and streamlining. A third section features the results of the office's business endeavors, including delivering needed products and services and assessing the performance of each laboratory at TFHRC. The final portion of the document showcases techniques for performance management, such as conducting case studies on the benefits of research and obtaining feedback from customers. Several appendices provide additional information on RD&T services, outreach activities, technologies, and partnerships.

Manual for LS-DYNA Soil Material Model 147 Publication No. FHWA-HRT-04-095

This final report discusses the implementation of an FHWA soil model into the dynamic finite element code, LS-DYNA®. FHWA developed Soil Material Model 147 to predict the performance of foundation soil in which roadside safety structures are mounted, particularly in cases where those structures may be struck by a motor vehicle. The model is applicable for all soil types when one surface is exposed to the elements if the appropriate material coefficients are inserted. When the appropriate material coefficients are inserted, the model is applicable to all soil types when one surface is exposed to the elements.

The researchers divided the report into three sections: (1) the research plan, which describes the justification and the detailed theory of the model; (2) the user's manual, which was submitted for inclusion in the LS-DYNA user's manual; and (3) examples that show the expected results of the model. The companion report to this manual is Evaluation of LS-DYNA Soil Material Model 147 (FHWA-HRT-04-094).

Evaluation of LS-DYNA Soil Material Model 147 Publication No. FHWA-HRT-04-094

This report, the companion document for Manual for LS-DYNA Soil Material Model 147 (FHWA-HRT-04-095), discusses the soil material model's performance and the accuracy of the results it produced when implemented in simulations using LS-DYNA for roadside safety applications. The evaluation concentrates on the use of parameters to derive optimal results from the model, highlighting the importance of obtaining appropriate parameter values through testing or analysis, providing an engineering understanding of the parameters, and determining boundaries for the potential effects of varying the parameters. Although Model 147 requires further development before it can be used in most roadside safety applications, this report provides a springboard for future improvements.

Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide Publication No. FHWA-HRT-04-091

Cover of Signalized Intersections: Informational Guide Publication No. FHWA-HRT-04-091This guide provides a single, comprehensive information source on methods for evaluating the safety and operation of signalized intersections and tools to remedy deficiencies. The treatments featured in the guide range from low-cost measures, such as improvements to signal timing and signage, to higher cost measures, such as intersection reconstruction and grade separation.

The guide covers the fundamental principles of user needs, geometric design, and traffic design and operation; safety and operational analysis techniques; and a variety of treatments to address existing or projected problems, including individual movements and approaches, pedestrian and bicycle treatments, and corridor techniques. In addition, the document covers alternative strategies that improve intersection performance through the use of indirect left turns and other treatments. With the description of each treatment, the guide also presents discussions of safety, operational performance, multimodal issues, and physical and economic factors that practitioners should consider. Although the guide focuses primarily on high-volume signalized intersections, many treatments are applicable for lower volume intersections as well.

The information contained in the guide is based on the latest available research on treatments and best practices in use by jurisdictions across the United States. Additional resources and references are highlighted for students, practitioners, researchers, or decisionmakers who want to learn more about a particular subject.

The Freight Technology Story: Intelligent Freight Technologies and Their Benefits Publication No. FHWA-HOP-05-030

The freight transportation industry and its customers use information technologies and telecommunications to improve efficiency and productivity, increase global connectivity, and enhance security against common threats and terrorism. In short, these technologies help practitioners operate the transportation system more intelligently. Most importantly, they do so in ways that improve safety.

The Freight Technology Story discusses advancements in these technologies and describes how they work and the benefits they deliver, including results from the U.S. Department of Transportation's field operational tests and other initiatives involving intelligent freight technology. The report also discusses the implementation of freight technologies and the technical and institutional barriers to their acceptance.

Intelligent freight technologies are currently deployed in several areas:

  • Asset tracking. Mobile communications and global positioning systems, bar codes, and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags track the location of trucks, containers, and cargo to improve efficiency and ensure the safety and security of shipments.
  • Onboard status monitoring. Sensors record vehicle operating conditions, check the condition of cargo, and detect tampering or intrusion.
  • Gateway facilitation. Nonintrusive inspection technologies, such as scanners and RFID tags, are used at terminals, inspection stations, and border crossings to search for contraband and enhance national security.
  • Freight status information. Web-based technologies facilitate the exchange of information on freight shipments and improve data flows.
  • Network status information. Cameras, road sensors, and display technologies monitor congestion, weather conditions, and incidents.

The report highlights the benefits of deploying intelligent freight technologies, not only for the private and public sectors, but also for the economy as a whole.

For more information or to view the report, visit the Office of Freight Management and Operations Web site at or contact Mike Onder at

Reporting Changes of Address

PUBLIC ROADS has two categories of subscribers. One includes the organizations and people who receive the magazine without charge; the editorial office of the magazine maintains the mailing list for this group. The other category is the group of people and companies that pay to receive the magazine; the mailing list for this group is maintained by the Superintendent of Documents for the U.S. Government Printing Office.

Free copies are distributed to offices of the Federal Highway Administration, State highway agencies, technology transfer centers, and selected leaders who have responsibility for highway-related issues. Most of these copies are mailed to offices for their internal distribution or to people by position title rather than by name. If any office or individual subscriber in this category has a change of address, please send the complete previous mailing address and the complete new address to our distribution manager, Martha Soneira, via e-mail (, telephone (202-493-3468), or mail (Martha Soneira, PUBLIC ROADS Distribution Manager (HRTS), Federal Highway Administration, 6300 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA, 22101-2296).

Paid subscribers who have an address change should notify the U.S. Government Printing Office, Claims Office, Washington, DC, 20402; or call 202-512-1800; or fax 202-512-2168. Please do not send an address change for a paid subscription to the editorial office of PUBLIC ROADS. We do not manage the paid subscription program or mailing list, and we are not able to make the requested change.