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We drive on infrastructure from the last century, never knowing when its shaking in the wind might herald a collapse, while in our hands are devices that can communicate with satellites, capture high-definition video and sense the motion of a fly. To C.J. Riley, it seemed like the one should be able to help with the other.

Riley, an associate professor of civil engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology, is working on NITC research aimed at using low-cost, ubiquitous technology—like third-generation iPods—to evaluate the soundness of bridges and other transportation structures.

The goal of his just-published NITC education project, Dynamic Evaluation of Transportation Structures with iPod-Based Data Acquisition, was to expand Oregon Tech’s research lab while simultaneously figuring out two things: how can widely available technology be leveraged to assess structural integrity, and what is the best way to teach students this process?

To address both questions, Riley established the Structural Health and Kinetic Evaluation (SHAKE) Laboratory at Oregon Tech. While exploring options for structural assessment, Riley put some new lab tools in the hands of his graduate students: twelve third-generation iPod touch mobile devices with on-board accelerometers, Texas Instruments SensorTags, virtual visual sensors, and a...

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Deteriorating transportation infrastructure is constantly in the news. Government agencies at all levels are pursuing methods to monitor structural health, so that they can prioritize repairs. In Oregon, the Cascadia Subduction Zone megathrust earthquake looms as a significant natural hazard for which our transportation network is ill-prepared. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) estimates that it will take around $2.6 billion over seven years to repair or replace many of the existing bridges in the state’s network to maintain lifeline routes after a Cascadia event. Funding for the scenarios envisioned by ODOT is not forthcoming, and the project described in this webinar is aimed at creating a tool to support visual inspection of bridges for determining the extent of damage.

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Federal, state and local governments spend roughly 5 percent of their total expenditures on transportation: roads, bridges, tunnels, public transit, ports, etc. Such projects and programs are intended to support the efficient movement of people, goods and services, but also impact livability and other societal goals. The 2012 federal transportation reauthorization, MAP-21, is calling for more performance-based decision-making.

A recent research project examines transportation decision-making in six innovative states: California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.

This webinar will offer examples of current decision-making practices, note strengths and weaknesses, and highlight significant gaps in linking transportation investment decisions to outcomes.

Key takeaways include a suggested comprehensive framework for performance-based transportation decision-making and ideas for going beyond MAP-21.

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Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology is reshaping the civil engineering profession and offers many unique advantages. National efforts such as the 3D Elevation Plan (3DEP) are helping increase the availability of LIDAR data. LIDAR is one of the crucial technologies that is transitioning the world of civil and construction engineering from 2D paper-based design to 3D digital design. The high spatial resolution and accuracy capabilities of LIDAR have led to increased efficiencies, improved analyses, and more informed decision making.

A further advantage of this dataset is that multiple people can use the same dataset for a variety of purposes across multiple disciplines. The visual nature of the dataset also is more intuitive than traditional data acquisition and analysis techniques. This presentation will provide a brief background of LIDAR , its capabilities, limitations and platforms, and discuss its current and future role in civil engineering. Examples of a wide range of transportation, geotechnical, coastal, and structural engineering, science, and planning applications will be presented including development of mobile LIDAR guidelines for...

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Actuated traffic signal control logic has many advantages because of its responsiveness to traffic demands, short cycles, effective use of capacity leading to and recovering from oversaturation, and amenability to aggressive transit priority. Its main drawback has been its inability to provide good progression along arterials. However, the traditional way of providing progression along arterials, coordinated-actuated control with a common, fixed cycle length, has many drawbacks stemming from its long cycle lengths, inflexibility in recovering from priority interruptions, and ineffective use of capacity during periods of oversaturation. This research explores a new paradigm for traffic signal control, “self-organizing signals,” based on local actuated control but with some additional rules that create coordination mechanisms. The primary new rules proposed are for secondary extensions, in which the green may be held to serve an imminently arriving platoon, and dynamic coordination, in which small groups of closely spaced signals communicate with one another to cycle synchronously with the group’s critical intersection. Simulation tests in VISSIM performed on arterial corridors in Massachusetts and Arizona show overall delay reductions of up to 14%...

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Between aging infrastructure, climate change, peak oil, and livability concerns, the transportation profession faces significant challenges in the coming years. Meeting these challenges will require integrating the transportation profession in order to develop solutions and clearly articulate them to the public. This presentation will highlight the diverse roles within transportation, and the need for further interaction between them, using real-world examples.

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