Research

Effects of intersection right-turn island design and skew on safety & operations

Project P.I.:

Dr. Kerrie Schattler

At intersections on state routes in Illinois, raised channelized islands with exclusive right-turn lanes are commonly used. Some islands are designed for larger trucks and as a result may incorporate low angle of approach. The purpose of this study to determine if there is a right-turn approach angle and volume of traffic for which caution needs to be used in the design. An effectiveness evaluation will be conducted for six intersection locations in the Peoria area that were reconfigured by the Illinois Department of Transportation. This study will quantify the safety, operational, and economic benefits of various right-turn lane treatments to determine their effectiveness and to help guide their implementation and design features in Illinois.

Status: In Progress (Started September 2011)

Funding Agency: Illinois Center for Transportation
Funding Amount: $115,800


Students:


Jessica Lund
Cody Gulla
Adam Shedor 

Performance evaluation of snow & ice plows

Project P.I.:
Project Co-P.I.:

Dr. Souhail Elhouar 
Dr. Enad Mahmoud 


In this study, snow and ice removal trucks are being instrumented to measure plows scraping forces and shock acceleration. Several plows and blades as recommended by IDOT are being tested; testing is to cover different angles, speeds, and designs. Interstate highways and secondary roads are to be utilized during the snow storms of 2011 and 2012 winter seasons.

Status: In Progress (Started September 2011)

Funding Agency: Illinois Center for Transportation
Funding Amount: $250,000


Students:


Clifford Sugisawa
Drew Dragoo 

Evaluation of flashing yellow arrows for protected/permissive left turn control

Project P.I.:

Dr. Kerrie Schattler



IDOT is upgrading the left turn signal control at 105 signalized intersections in the greater Peoria area to facilitate the conversion of the left turn signal displays operating with protected/permissive left turn (PPLT) control from the circular green display to the flashing yellow arrow (FYA) display. The purpose of the proposed research is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of upgrading the circular green to flashing yellow arrow indications for PPLT control by performing comprehensive area-wide traffic crash analyses, conducting field studies of traffic operations and traffic conflicts, and administering a survey to assess driver understanding of the new traffic control. The use of flashing yellow arrows (FYAs) is considered to be a promising mode of operation to inform drivers of the permissive phase at a left turn signal. The objective of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of FYAs installed in the Peoria area in terms of safety and operations. The results of this study, if proven effective in reducing traffic crashes and injuries, will be extremely helpful to IDOT in terms of improving intersection safety and promoting the use of FYA for PPLT control as policy. These efforts may assist in the adoption of FYA as an area-wide policy throughout the state thereby improving intersection safety for Illinois motorists.

Status: In Progress (Started November 2010)

Funding Agency: Illinois Center for Transportation
Funding Amount: $243,854


Students:


Ashley Rietgraf
Jessica Lund
Utkarsh Pandey
William Lorton
Beau Burdett
Nicholas Pitzen

Implementing pavement management systems for local agencies

Project P.I.:

Dr. Kerrie Schattler



Pavement management systems have proven to be an effective tool for management of large state and metropolitan pavement networks. Although smaller agencies no doubt have similar operational and organizational needs and face the same general challenges as larger agencies, there are still many county and municipal agencies in Illinois that have not implemented pavement management systems. Regardless of whether this is due to the lack of adequate resources to establish the initial database and set up the system, or whether there is a general lack of technical expertise to implement the program, local agencies are in need of a methodology for effectively managing the various components of their pavement network. The objective of this project is to establish meaningful guidelines and recommendations that can be used by local agencies in implementing appropriately tailored pavement management systems so that better-performing pavements can be achieved. The research team anticipates that the research results will provide a document that will guide local agencies in two areas: 1) selecting a pavement management system that is suitable for their requirements, and 2) successfully implementing that pavement management system so that its full benefits can be realized. The document will feature illustrative case study examples of in-state local agencies that have successfully implemented pavement management systems and overcome various obstacles. In short, the results of this research will provide the information necessary for agencies to select the right type of system to match their needs and to successfully implement it at the local level

Status: Completed Fall 2011

Funding Agency: Illinois Center for Transportation
Funding Amount: $99,851 
(Shared with Applied Pavement Technology, Inc.)


Students:


Ashley Rietgraf


Investigation of the effect of concentrated forces near steel member ends & design approach validation

Project P.I.:

Dr. Souhail Elhouar 

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) manual gives equations to be used for calculating the capacity of a steel member to resist concentrated forces applied at the member flanges. In the case of flange local bending, the capacity can be calculated for an interior point on the member length. When a concentrated load is applied less than 10 column flange thicknesses away from the member's end, AISC requires a fifty percent reduction to be applied to the column capacity. This reduction, however, is not supported by any research. In this study, finite element analysis modeling is used to investigate the actual reduction in capacity near the end of a steel member. Further modeling is also used to investigate which member properties mostly affect the flange local bending capacity of a member. The results indicate that the AISC equation for flange local bending is conservative for forces at member ends..

Status: Completed Spring 2011

Funding Agency: A Caterpillar Fellowship provided funding
for this project 
Funding Amount: $5000


Student:


Alicia B. Kamischke

3D-Simulation of the Behavior of a One-Bay Steel-Framed Structure Under Fire

Project P.I.:

Dr. Souhail Elhouar 

For this project, the PI proposed to develop a prototype three-dimensional computer tool that can be effectively used to simulate the behavior of steel framed structures under fire. The tool combines structural engineering concepts with fire engineering knowledge to produce a reasonable assessment of the response of a given steel structural system to a given fire hazard. The simulation tool can then be used to demonstrate the usefulness of developing a full-pledged 3-D fire behavior simulation program that can be used by engineers, researchers, and other public safety officials and fire hazard litigation professionals to design for and investigate the effects of fire loading on building structures.

Status: Completed Fall 2009

Funding Agency: A Caterpillar Fellowship provided an initial funding for this project 
Funding Amount: $5000
 



Implementation of a Pavement Management System for the Peoria County Highway Department

Project P.I.:

Dr. Kerrie Schattler 

As a part of this grant, faculty and students collaborated to develop and implement a pavement management system (PMS) for Peoria County roads. The PMS system was designed by conducting a needs assessment of the stakeholders in Peoria County, assessing data availability, and evaluating PMS software packages. This initiative then required detailed inspections of pavement condition for 19 distress types and three levels of severity for both concrete and asphalt roads. The data was then populated into the system with a photo-log of the inspected pavement units, linked with GIS interface and installed on the County's network. The project also included support and training as needed to Peoria County staff.

Status: Completed in March 2009

Funding Agency:

Peoria County Highway Department
Funding Amount: $99,150 
Students: Daniel Frohlich 
Collette Glauber
Nicholas Homerding
Phillip Keller
Matthew Mathien
Luke Nelson
Utkarsh Pandey
William Pearsall
Jason Shurtz
Cyndi Stenwall
Mitchell Wedell

Investigation of the Necessity of Designing for Second-Order Effects in Low-Rise Steel Framed Buildings

Project P.I.:

Dr. Souhail Elhouar 

This project tried to shed some light on the effect of inclusion of frame-level second order effects on the design of low rise steel framed buildings. This involved the design and analysis of a number of structures representing a variety of building configurations. Some of the parameters that were considered are the number of bays, number of floors, floor height, and bay length-to-floor height ratio. To accomplish this task, a spreadsheet application was first developed to automate the design of the members of a given steel frame. Consequently, the spreadsheet was used to design sixty different frames ranging from single-bay single floor systems to four-bay four-floor systems. For each case, data pertaining to second order effects on frame columns was collected in a data set. The ensuing parametric study allowed for a better understanding of the effects of second order moments and forces on the final design of low-rise steel-framed buildings. Observations were summarized and a simplified design procedure for these types of structures was proposed.

Status: Completed in December 2008

 
   
Students:

Maulik Patel 

Utility Work Zone Traffic Control

Project P.I.:

Dr. Kerrie Schattler 

In a $500,000 research grant sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration researchers from Wayne State University and Bradley University addressed safety and mobility issues related to utility work zone traffic control. Researchers and students from both universities worked collaboratively to develop utility work zone safety guidelines and conduct ‘train-the-trainer' workshops at a national level on the methods and procedures of implementing these guidelines . The training materials developed are available on-line athttp://www.workzonesafety.org/wsu_ttcp/overview .

Status: Completed in September 2008

Funding Agency: Federal Highway Administration 
Funding Amount: $500,000 (shared with WSU)
Students:

Matthew Christ 
Collette Glauber
Nicholas Homerding
Utkarsh Pandey 

Impact of Signal Mounting Configuration on Intersection Safety and Operations

Project P.I.:

 

Dr. Kerrie Schattler

Navigating through signalized intersections is considered to be one of the most complex driving tasks. Traffic signal visibility and conspicuity is critical to achieve safe and smooth traffic flow at intersections. In regards to standards, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices regulates the location, size, number and meaning of the signal indications. These standards are in place to ensure uniformity in signal design features throughout the USA. However, there are substantial differences in the mounting configurations of traffic signals from one area to the next. A study was conducted to evaluate safety and operations at signalized intersections with different types of signal mounting configurations: overhead mast arm, overhead diagonal span wire, and near-side/far-side post mounted configurations. Data on red light violations and vehicles entering the intersection late in the yellow interval were collected at each approach of twelve signalized intersections located in Illinois and Michigan . Comparisons were made among three groups of intersections classified by signal mounting configurations, with substantial efforts made to control for other geometric and operational influences. Statistical analyses were performed to evaluate driver behavior in terms of red light running and yellow light running rates at the three groups of intersections. Overall, based on the intersections included in this study, the group of intersections with mast arm configurations had lower violation rates as compared to the span wire group and post mounted group of intersections, and the span wire group of intersections had lower violation rates than the post mounted group of intersections.

Status: Completed in August 2008

Funding Agency: Caterpillar Fellowship
Funding Amount: $5,000 
Students: Matthew Christ and Collette Glauber

Evaluation of Safety and Operations at Countdown Pedestrian Signals

Project P.I.:

Dr. Kerrie Schattler

A study was conducted to assess the effects of countdown pedestrian signals on both pedestrian and motorist behavior at thirteen intersections in Peoria , Illinois . The variables tested in this study included proportion of pedestrians who started crossing the street during the WALK, Flashing DON'T WALK, and Steady DON'T WALK intervals, as well as vehicular positions in the intersection with respect to traffic signal indication (late in the yellow interval and red light violations). A ‘before and after' study was used at three intersections where the pedestrian countdown signals were installed. Additionally, comparisons were made between five test intersections with countdown pedestrian signals, paired with five control intersections with traditional pedestrian signals. The control sites were similar to the test sites in terms of traffic volumes, geometry, and adjacent land use; however, the control sites did not have the countdown feature. The results of this study indicated that countdown pedestrian signals are effective in enhancing pedestrian safety. No evidence of increased risk-taking behavior on the part of the motorists was observed while crossing the intersections with countdown pedestrian signals . A paper on this research is published in the Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Record No. 2002, The National Academies, Washington, D.C. 2007.

Status: Completed in May 2007

Funding Agency:

Caterpillar Fellowship
Funding Amount: $5,000
Students: Joseph Wakim

Verification of a New Technique to Confine Reinforced Concrete Members

Project P.I.:

 

Dr. Riyadh Hindi

Several graduate and undergraduate students have been working with Dr. Hindi on a research project to experimentally investigate the behavior of reinforced concrete circular columns confined using a new confinement technique. The new confinement technique is meant to enhance strength and ductility or to facilitate construction. The experimental program includes columns with different lengths, diameters, and several spiral spacing and patterns. The columns are tested under different types of loading (monotonic axial load, constant axial load and reversed cyclic lateral load, and reversed cyclic torsion). The influence of the new confinement technique on the strength and ductility of reinforced concrete circular columns is investigated and compared to columns confined with conventional spirals.

Status: Completed

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