Research, Development, and Marketing of Minnesota's Iron Range Aggregate Materials for Midwest and National Transportation Applications

Principal Investigator(s):

Donald Fosnacht, Former Associate Director, UMD-NRRI


Project summary:

The Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth (NRRI-UMD) led a comprehensive research and demonstration program through 2009 designed to: 1) further assess the technical suitability of and identify new and economically viable uses for Minnesota Iron Range taconite aggregate materials in road construction, road repair, and other applications where crushed stone aggregate is needed; and 2) conduct demonstration projects inside and outside Minnesota, including several targeted upper Midwest states. A cooperative and collaborative research approach was taken, one which involved the staff and facilities of the University of Minnesota in Duluth and the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) via its Maplewood and MnROAD facilities and District offices, Minnesota state agencies and organizations, upper Midwest and Great Lakes state DOTs, the taconite industry, and other public and private sector transportation and aggregate industry professionals, organizations, and individuals. Research activities included: communicating to increase state and national awareness, compiling historic taconite aggregate usage in Minnesota, identifying potential markets/end-uses, geologically identifying potential aggregate units at the mines, mineralogy, laboratory testing of bulk aggregate samples, HMA and PCC mix design/testing, development/testing of taconite aggregate-based innovative concepts and products, field demonstrations, and investigating long-distance taconite aggregate transportation issues.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2006087
  • Start date: 01/2006
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Infrastructure