Civil engineering faculty to present during Transportation Research Board meeting

01/05/2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Two Penn State faculty members, affiliated with the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute (LTI), have been invited to present research posters during the 97th Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting. The annual meeting will be held January 7­–11, in Washington, D.C.

Eric Donnell, LTI director and professor of civil and environmental engineering, is scheduled to present "Speed Limits Set Lower Than Engineering Recommendations." Sponsored by the Montana Department of Transportation and conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, the study illustrated by the poster examines the operational and safety impacts of setting speed limits lower than engineering recommended values. The project is one of 16 included in the “High-Value Research Maintenance and Safety Projects” session, as recognized by the 2017 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Research Advisory Committee. The before-after study, led by Donnell, along with Vikash Gayah, Zhengyao Yu, Lingyu Li and Anthony DePrator, examined multiple combinations and scenarios involving speed limits and compliance with posted limits. Among the results published in the August 2016 report, the LTI researchers found that there is a statistically significant reduction in the total and fatal injury crashes at sites with engineering speed limits set five miles per hour lower than engineering recommendations. The study also found that drivers tended to more closely follow the posted speed limit, when it was set only five miles per hour lower than the engineering recommendation. However, according to the study, when the posted speed limit is set 15 to 25 miles per hour lower than the engineering recommended limit, there appears to be a low level of compliance. To view the full report, visit mdt.mt.gov

Aleksandra Radlińska, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is scheduled to present "Bridge Deck Cracking: Effects on In-Service Performance, Prevention, and Remediation," as part of the “Sweet Sixteen” poster session. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the project identifies causes of early-age bridge deck cracking and most cost-effective remediation practices to extend the life of concrete bridge decks. The study also assesses the effect of cracks on the long-term durability and performance of concrete bridge decks and provides recommendations for effective mitigation of early-age cracking. Radlińska, along with Gordon Warn, Farshad Rajabipour, Dennis Morian, Shervin Jahangirnejad, Travis Hopper and Amir Manafpour, looked in depth at causes of early-age cracking shrinkage, including concrete material properties, construction methods and structural design factors and developed performance data base to track information about the bridge decks over time. To help reduce the risk of early-age cracking, key recommendations made by the team include limiting total cementitious materials (CM) content to a maximum of 620 pounds per cubic yard, making the top mat the longitudinal bars, staggering transverse and longitudinal bars vertically to eliminate weak planes in the deck where cracks could form, proper and timely water curing, aggregate optimization to minimize the cement paste content, increasing cover thickness to 2.5 or 3 inches, limiting water-to-cement ratio of 0.45 and limiting slump to 5 inches. To view the full report, visit dot7.state.pa.us

To be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the TRB Annual Meeting will cover all transportation issues, with 5,000 presentations in nearly 800 sessions. A number of sessions and workshops will focus on the meeting’s spotlight theme, Transportation: Moving the Economy of the Future. The meeting is expected to attract more than 13,000 transportation professionals from around the world. 

The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute is Penn State’s transportation research center. Since its founding in 1968, the Larson Institute has maintained a threefold mission of research, education and service. The institute brings together top faculty, world-class facilities and enterprising students from across the University in partnership with public and private stakeholders to address critical transportation-related problems.

 

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Danica Laub

dal185@psu.edu

(814) 863-7925

headshot of Eric Donnell

Eric Donnell, LTI director and professor of civil and environmental engineering, is scheduled to present "Speed Limits Set Lower Than Engineering Recommendations," as part of the “High-Value Research Maintenance and Safety Projects” session.

headshot of Aleksandra Radlinska

Aleksandra Radlińska, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, is scheduled to present "Bridge Deck Cracking: Effects on In-Service Performance, Prevention, and Remediation," as part of the “Sweet Sixteen” poster session.

 
 

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The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute is Penn State’s transportation research center. Since its founding in 1968, the Larson Institute has maintained a threefold mission of research, education, and service. The Institute brings together top faculty, world-class facilities and enterprising students from across the University in partnership with public and private stakeholders to address critical transportation-related problems.

Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute

201 Transportation Research Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-865-1891