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NDOT Research Blog

Nevada to Lead Wildlife Connectivity Pooled Fund Study

(Research Section) Permanent link

 Wildlife Crossing

Nevada DOT is preparing to lead its first pooled fund research project in recent history. Wildlife Vehicle Collision and Habitat Connectivity Pooled Fund Study is expected to be a five-year project, and will conduct tasks to address partners’ needs.  For more information, see solicitation number 1438 at www.pooledfund.org or contact Nova Simpson, NDOT’s Northern Nevada Biological Supervisor, at nsimpson@dot.state.nv.us or (775) 888-7035.


Library Staff Attend UDOT Research Peer Exchange

(Library Materials) Permanent link

 Utah DOT

Library staff were honored to have the opportunity to participate in the recent research peer exchange hosted by Utah DOT in Salt Lake City. 

Our staff learned from several library programs including Arizona DOT, Minnesota DOT, Oklahoma DOT, Utah DOT and the National Transportation Library.   

In addition, we were able to share some of the things we're proud of that we’ve been doing here and and hope other libraries took away something from us. 

Thanks goes to Utah for doing such a great job organizing the exchange.  We’re looking looking forward to implementing some of the great ideas we learned from our colleagues!

NDOT Authors Published in National Research Publications

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 Journal of Wildlife Management    World Environmental and Water Resources Conference

NDOT is fortunate to have several nationally recognized experts who, in addition to their normal jobs, contribute to the greater transportation knowledge base by publishing their research work in national academic publications.  We are pleased to announce the department's latest authors, Nova Simpson (Environmental Services) and Brian Wilson (Hydraulics).

Nova Simpson, Lead Author
"Overpasses and Underpasses: Effectiveness of Crossing Structures for Migratory Ungulates" in Journal of Wildlife Management (online)
Wildlife crossing structures are an important tool in multiple ecosystems to allow safe passage for wildlife across roadways. We used mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), a widespread species across diverse bioregions in western North America, to test hypotheses about efficacy of 2 different types of crossing structures for ungulates. We documented behavioral responses and use of overpasses and underpasses by mule deer. Crossing structures were used by mule deer immediately following construction and although all of the crossing structures were used, we observed greater passage rates at overpasses than underpasses. Wildlife crossing structures reduced habitat fragmentation and enhanced connectivity by allowing safe passage across US 93, making the highway safer for wildlife and motorists.

Brian Wilson, Contributing Author
"Design Storm Temporal and Spatial Rainfall Distributions from Radar and Rain Gauge Data Analysis in Nevada" in World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2016: Hydraulics and Waterways and Hydro-Climate/Climate Change
This study presents analysis methodology and results of characterizing the spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall used for design purposes by the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT). An assumption of uniform rainfall over watersheds can lead to unreasonably large peak flow rates, especially in regions where rainfall is highly variable or isolated in areal extent. Analysis of actual storm events in terms of temporal and spatial distributions is expected to be more representative of rainfall experienced in Nevada, thus making design of drainage infrastructure more efficient.

New NDOT Research Report Explores LRFD Load Factors

(Research Section) Permanent link

LRFD of Axially Loaded Drilled Shafts 

LRFD Resistance Factor Calibration for Axially Loaded Drilled Shafts in the Las Vegas Valley
Resistance factors for LRFD of axially loaded drilled shafts in the Las Vegas Valley are calibrated using data from 41 field load tests. In addition to the traditional implementation of Monte Carlo (MC) simulations for calibration, a more robust technique is investigated in which nested MC simulations are employed to capture the uncertainty associated with the interpretation of material properties from in-situ test data. Measures are also taken to improve design procedures regarding cemented sandy soils colloquially referred to as caliche. While caliche is common in Las Vegas, its potential contribution to resistance is dicult to predict using typical site investigation data and there is currently no consensus among local engineers regarding how it should be considered in design. Thus, an approach for treating caliche is proposed and compared to three other potentially viable methods. Overall it is found that the proposed design approach produces the most accurate nominal axial capacity predictions and the nested MC simulations yield lower resistance factors than traditional calibration procedures.
Read the full report.

QPL Update: Vendor responses due by 11/4/16

(Product Evaluation) Permanent link
All vendors of active products on the NDOT Qualified Products List (QPL) were sent a letter this week requesting an update of their product and contact information.  Vendor responses are due to the Product Evaluation Coordinator by 11/4/16 in order to maintain their listing on the QPL.

Research Library Joins LVIS

(Library Materials) Permanent link

The Research Library recently joined the Libraries Very Interested in Sharing (LVIS) interlibrary loan network.  LVIS is the largest free resource sharing network in the world-yes it is international.  With access to the collections of over 2,700 LVIS members worldwide, NDOT staff now have even more access to free interlibrary loan materials from all over the planet.  And as transportation research becomes more and more global, this only becomes more important.

Interlibrary loan (ILL) expands potential access to information for NDOT staff far beyond the confines of our little library (often it is the only way to obtain very obscure materials).  Since the beginning of 2016 ILL has saved NDOT over $2,000 in materials that we did not have to purchase.  Please contact the Research Library to take advantage of this powerful resource.  

On good terms: Transportation Dictionaries

(Library Materials) Permanent link

 Transportation Dictionaries

Transportation research can be challenging for numerous reasons.  Not least of which is the complex technical jargon regularly employed by practitioners-very often abbreviated-that can seem almost indecipherable to outsiders.  Identifying the correct terms to even begin searching for information can be extremely challenging. 

In addition, transportation is a multi-disciplinary field spanning engineering, construction and materials science, through management, human resources and planning (and many other disciplines in between).  No one can be an expert in all these areas making searching that much more challenging. 

To adequately mine the immense amount of information generated by the transportation industry it is essential to go beyond Google and familiarize yourself with sources that identify authoritative, indexed terms.  Controlled vocabularies are often essential in defining exact meanings of terms.

Fortunately, numerous resources exist to help you do just that.  Below is a list of some of the more important resources.  It includes dictionaries, glossaries, thesauri and acronym guides that define terms or identify authoritative, indexed terms in a controlled vocabulary.  It even includes our very own Nevada DOT Glossary of Acronyms.  The list is by no means authoritative or complete.  I'm just listing some of the resources I've found to be the most important and the most helpful to me.  Those with a star are especially important and should not be overlooked.

Research is never easy, but at least, armed with some of these resources, you can better identify where to begin.

 * AASHTO Transportation Glossary
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
NDOT Library call number: REFERENCE HE141 .T685 2009
(Available for purchase from the AASHTO Bookstore)

Dictionaries and Glossaries List
National Transportation Library

Glossary of Regional Transportation Systems Management and Operations Terms
Transportation Research Board (TRB)

Glossary of Transit Terminology
American Public Transit Association

Nevada Department of Transportation Glossary of Acronyms

Transportation Acronym Dictionary
City of Bloomington, Indiana  

 * Transportation Acronyms, Dictionaries, Glossaries, and Thesauri Guides
TRB Committee on Library and Information Science for Transportation (LIST)

Transportation Acronyms, Dictionaries, Glossaries, and Thesauri Guides - By Subject 

Transportation Dictionaries
LA Metro Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library

* Transportation Dictionary
US Department of Transportation

* Transportation Research Thesaurus 

I am indebted to the LA Metro Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library's Transportation Dictionaries page, where much of the information for this post came from.