Haul Road and Detour Maintenance

Principal Investigator(s):

Mihai Marasteanu, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering


  • Michael Levin, Assistant Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

Project summary:

Quantifying and minimizing pavement damage due to detours and haul roads that are part of construction projects represents a very challenging problem. Policies were developed to ensure that roads are returned to pre-construction condition, and overweight trucks can sometimes be allowed to travel on roads through a Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) permit process. However, due to the complexity of the problem, the current permit assessment is based on a flat fee rather than the damage caused to the pavement.

The research team proposes an approach to quantifying damage by using both traditional and newly developed technologies that can more accurately quantify pavement damage. By measuring pavement deflection using falling weight deflectometer (FWD), rolling wheel deflectometer (RWD), or traffic speed deflectometer (TSD), critical information can be collected about the structural capacity of a pavement structure before and after detouring traffic. Ground-penetrating radar can be used to accurately determine layer thickness, and lidar systems can be used to evaluate the surface condition of the pavement before and after detours.

In addition, damage can be theoretically minimized by rerouting traffic to roads that are in better condition. Although detour routes are explicitly marked, drivers' route choices are not controlled. Researchers will construct a model to predict driver route choices during a construction project, especially for heavy trucks. The link flows predicted by the model will inform which additional roads ought to be examined for damage. The model will also be extended to suggest optimal detour routes to minimize damage.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2023015
  • Start date: 12/2022
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Infrastructure
  • Topics: Maintenance, Trucking