➭ Home Projects Current


742Automatic Extraction of Vehicle, Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Traffic from Video Data
Dr. Nathan Huynh, The University of South Carolina, January 15, 2019 – July 15, 2020
Objective: The objective of this research is to develop image processing algorithms to automatically extract vehicle counts and classifications, as well as counts of motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians from real-time and offline videos. An easy-to-use graphical user interface will enable SCDOT staff to obtain multimodal traffic data accurately, safely, and cost-effectively to use for HPMS reporting and prioritize infrastructure design improvements and investments.
741Improving SCDOT Project Delivery Through Identifying Potentially Suitable Locations for Mitigation and Standardizing Section 401/404 Permit Application Process
Dr. Nathan Huynh, The University of South Carolina, September 01, 2018 – August 31, 2021
Objective: The objective of this research is to decrease the unknown risk in the Department’s Section 404 permitting process by standardizing permit application submittals using a web-based, interactive online tool/program. Additionally, this research will develop methods to identify potential mitigation areas/sites within watersheds and/or to assess and/or grade proposed mitigation sites. The SCDOT expects that findings from this project will improve accountability for risk, and cost allocation for both scheduling and budgeting projects.
740Design-Build Project Selection and Effectiveness Evaluation
Dr. Keith Molenaar, University of Colorado, Boulder, March 20, 2018 – March 19, 2020
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of SCDOT’s current design-build program, review current project selection processes, identify best practices, identify cost estimating procedures, and develop future effectiveness measuring processes.
739Assessment of Structural Degradation for Bridges and Culverts
Dr. Paul Ziehl, The University of South Carolina, January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2019
Objective: The objective of this project is to assist SCDOT with assessing which nondestructive evaluation/structural health monitoring  (NDE/SHM) technology, or combination thereof, is best suited for a wide variety of inspection needs in South Carolina.  The goal is to select technologies to increase the efficiency and accuracy of inspections while decreasing risks to SCDOT personnel.
738Development of a User’s Manual for Application of the South Carolina Unit Hydrograph Method
Dr. Michael Meadows, The University of South Carolina, January 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019
Objective: The purpose of this project is to develop a user’s manual for the South Carolina Unit Hydrograph Method that includes the most recent improvements and updates, and provides design aids (e.g., forms, spreadsheets) to assist in application of the method.  A training class to educate SCDOT staff in the theory and application of this method would be provided at the end of the project.
737Adaptive Signal System Safety Impacts
Dr. Ronnie Chowdhury, Clemson University, November 1, 2017 – March 31, 2020
Objective: Adaptive signal systems continuously change traffic signal timings to meet current traffic volume demands, as opposed to a typical coordinated signal system where timings are set to be the same each day based on historical traffic patterns. SCDOT has recently added several adaptive signal systems throughout the state, with more planned in the near future. Currently, it is unknown the extent of how adaptive signal systems are able to improve safety along corridors as compared to typical “time of day” signal coordination. Theoretically, signal systems better coordinated to traffic patterns will reduce vehicle stops and congestion, and therefore reduce rear-end collisions and collisions as a whole. The objective of the research is to determine the reduction in crashes due to the installation of the adaptive signal system. Before and after data will be collected on the corridors to include number and type of crashes, vehicular volume, and travel time (congestion) data. For corridors that are parallel routes to interstates, further analysis for those sections of interstate and the reduction in secondary crashes due to traffic being more efficiently routed through parallel adaptive corridors.
736Characterization of Bases and Subbases for AASHTO ME Pavement Design
Dr. Serji Amirkhanian, Tri-County Technical College, September 1, 2017 – August 31, 2019
Objective: The goal of this research is to identify material level 1, level 2, and level 3 inputs and properties for Graded Aggregate Base (GAB), Cement Stabilized Aggregate Base (CSAB), Cement Modified Recycled Base (CMRB), Soil-Cement, Cold in Place Recycling (CIR) with Foam, CIR with Emulsion required for use in the MEPDG. In addition, the research will investigate relationship between laboratory and field testing properties for each material type by comparing lab results to field results.
735Development of Pavement Investigation Strategies for Non-Interstate Routes
Dr. Nathan Huynh, The University of South Carolina, October 1, 2017 – December 30, 2018
Objective: The current SCDOT method of design for rehabilitation of non-interstate routes was developed with production in mind. While this has served the Department well for many years, we are faced with worsening pavement conditions, and new options for design and treatments that should be considered. Increased investigation and investment of resources on the design end may create savings on the construction and maintenance end with better selection of rehabilitation strategies and reduction of contractor risk during bidding. This research will evaluate the cost vs. benefit of additional investigation during design. The results will be used to form a guide focused on providing SCDOT with best practices for project-level investigation and a decision matrix for rehabilitation treatments. This research and guide will integrate with and supplement current efforts on pavement preservation, FHWA/SCDOT agreements on maintenance activities (preservation, reconstruction), and in-house research on FDR.
734SCDOT Crash Analysis Using Precisely Geocoded Crashes
Wayne Sarasua, Clemson University, September 11, 2017 – March 11, 2019
Objective:  Recent research has shown that the new SCCATS has resulted in dramatically improved crash positioning that can facilitate broad-based statewide safety analysis. Currently, the SCDOT’s method for safety analysis is primarily through the Department’s Road Inventory Management System (RIMS). RIMS has extensive information, but is challenging as a primary tool for crash analysis of midblock segments.  This research will use a fixed-length segmentation approach to identify the Top 500 midblock segments that have the highest crash incidents in the state. Each of the fixed length segments will be analyzed for potential counter measures using Crash Modification Factors developed in recent SCDOT research. Benefit-cost ratios will be identified for different alternatives. Research results will identify high crash patterns involving driveways and other access management issues and will be designed to work in conjunction with RIMS.
733Updating Techniques for Estimating Magnitude and Frequency of Floods for Rural Basins in the Southeastern United States
Toby Feaster, U.S. Geological Survey, August 25, 2017 – August 23, 2021
Objective: The objectives of this research project are to: (1) update magnitude and frequency of peak flows for rural, unregulated USGS stations in South Carolina where adequate data are available; (2) when appropriate and based on reviews of the data, update magnitude and frequency of peak flows at regulated USGS gages in South Carolina; (3) in coordination with the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center NC and GA offices and the USGS Office of Surface Water, update the regional generalized skew coefficient for NC, SC, and GA; 4) in coordination with the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center NC and GA offices, update the regional rural flood-frequency equations for the 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, 0.5-, and 0.2-percent chance exceedance flows; (5) update the StreamStats application to include the new gage flood-frequency estimates and the new regional regression equations; and (6) develop procedures for updating the flood-frequency estimates for stations on an annual basis with the results being provided through the StreamStats application.
732Calibration of the AASHTO Pavement Design Guide to SC Conditions – Phase II
Dr. Sarah Gassman, University of South Carolina, January 6, 2017 – July 5, 2021
Objective: The overarching goal of this multi-phase research effort is to reduce design bias and increase precision of the model predictions used in MEPDG with full consideration of South Carolina local conditions. The objective of Phase II will be to build upon the studies in Phase I to obtain local calibration factors and improve distress predictions by collecting new data of high priority.
731Deep Soil Test Borings to Determine Shear Wave Velocities across South Carolina
Dr. Inthuorn Sasanakul, University of South Carolina, September 15, 2016 – March 15, 2019
Objective: The overall goal of this research is to perform extensive site investigation and provide the SCDOT with a set of key parameters that can be used to conduct site-specific site response analysis (SSRAs) at two sites in the South Carolina Coastal Plain. Geotechnical site characterization and soil dynamic properties of the proposed sites will provide SCDOT engineers and contractors with more reliable resources that can be used for the design of transportation infrastructure projects. Designs based on site-specific data will reduce uncertainties, improve safety, and potentially reduce construction costs.
729Effects of Culverts on the Ecological Conditions of Streams at Selected Sites in SC
Celeste A. Journey, USGS, April 22, 2016 – April 22, 2020
Objective: The primary objective of this study is to assess the effect of culverts on the ecological conditions of streams at selected sites. The study will also assess regional trends related to those effects in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain physiographic provinces of South Carolina. This project benefits SCDOT by providing a large set of field data regarding the geomorphic, and biologic communities in streams near culverts. These data will aid in assessing the effects of culvert installations on ecological conditions of small streams in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain Physiographic Provinces of South Carolina.
728Best Construction Practices for Longitudinal Joint Construction and Compaction
Dr. Brad Putman, Clemson University, May 15, 2016  – January 15, 2018
Objective: The overall goal of this research is to identify best practices for construction of longitudinal joints in asphalt pavements in South Carolina. The final product of the research will include a guide of best practices for construction of longitudinal joints and recommendations for revisions to the current specification related to joint construction. These products will have the potential to enhance the quality of South Carolina’s transportation infrastructure at a lower life-cycle cost than under the present practices by minimizing premature pavement failure at longitudinal joints. The results from this project will provide SCDOT and asphalt paving contractors with information that can be used to construct longer-lasting asphalt pavements by improving the integrity of longitudinal joints.
725Evaluation of Open Graded Friction Courses: Construction, Maintenance, and Performance, Phase II
Dr. Brad Putman, Clemson University, November 18, 2015 – November 17, 2020
Objective: The main objective of this study is to determine how to improve the longterm durability and performance of open graded friction course (OGFC) mixtures in South Carolina. The results of this project will enhance the understanding of the factors associated with OGFC long-term durability, thus increasing the likelihood of designing and constructing longer lasting OGFC layers on South Carolina roadways that are safer and have lower life-cycle costs.
724Feasibility Study for Rapid Condition Assessment of Bridge Decks
Dr. Paul Ziehl, University of South Carolina, January 1, 2016 – September 30, 2018
Objective: The main objective of this study is to determine which nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technology, or combination of NDE technologies, is best suited for evaluation of concrete bridge decks in South Carolina.  The goal is to select the technology that increases the efficiency and accuracy of inspections while decreasing risks to SCDOT personnel.
721Better Construction Project Management Through Better Scheduling
Dr. Robert Mullen, University of South Carolina, July 1, 2015 – March 31, 2018
Objective: The objective of this research is to determine the relationship between scheduling practice and the on time completion of projects.  The deliverables of this study are to provide SCDOT a report on a quantitative assessment of the reduction in uncertainty of contractor payments and project completion time provided by the use of Critical Path Method (CPM) based project scheduling and to recommend modifications to the November 4, 2013 supplemental specifications on construction schedules.
717Cost Effective Strategies for Estimating Statewide AADT
Dr. Ronnie Chowdhury, Clemson University, March 1, 2015 – December 31, 2018
Objective: The objectives of this research are to: 1) review current statewide data collection programs in the U.S. for obtaining, maintaining and estimating AADT data, and identify best practices; 2) review current data collection practices for obtaining, maintaining, and estimating AADT on different functional classes of roads in South Carolina; and 3) develop and pilot test methods and procedures to improve the statewide AADT data collection program in South Carolina, which includes county and city roads in the state.
716SCDOT Asset Collection
Dr. Jennifer Ogle, Clemson University, March 1, 2015 – December 31, 2017
Objective: The objectives of this research are to: 1) identify state-of-practice for asset data collection and maintenance at SCDOT and prioritize data improvements; 2) determine the most accurate and cost effective means of collecting asset data for SCDOT; and 3) provide specifications for database and related data collection methods and/or technologies to respond to MAP-21 and SCDOT requirements.
714Implementation of the U.S. Geological Survey’s StreamStats Application for South Carolina Department of Transportation
Toby D. Feaster, USGS, October 1, 2014 – April 30, 2018
Objective: This project will implement the USGS StreamStats web application in South Carolina. Implementation will include regression equations to estimate flood-frequency flows at rural ungaged locations (Feaster and others, 2009) and at urban and small, rural ungaged locations (Feaster and others, 2014) along with the basin characteristics needed to compute those estimates. The StreamStatsDB also will include basin characteristics and streamflow statistics published in these reports and in low-flow reports by Feaster and Guimaraes (2012), Guimaraes and Feaster (2010), Feaster and Guimaraes (2009) and Zalants (1991). Additionally, field measurements of historic bridge scour in South Carolina (Benedict, 2003; Benedict and Caldwell 2006, 2009) and USGS historic indirect flow measurements will be incorporated into StreamStats.
712Development of SC Databases and Calibration Factors for the Highway Safety Manual (HSM)
Dr. Jennifer Ogle, Clemson University, October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2018
Objective: This research will enable the compilation of databases and development of calibration factors for use across the state of South Carolina. Calibration factors will be developed for three distinct areas within the state – coastal areas, midlands, and the upstate. Each of these areas has different terrain, weather patterns, and traffic patterns and these variations are expected to produce varying calibration factors.  This research will allow the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to confidently use the Highway Safety Manual (HSM) with expectations that the resulting predictions are going to be a fair estimate of the effects of safety improvements in the state.
710Determination of Changes in Water Quality, Streambed Sediment, and Benthic Macroinvertebrates as a Result of Stormwater Runoff from Selected Bridges in South Carolina
Noel M. Hurley, Jr., USGS, June 1, 2013 – March 31, 2019
Objective: The primary objective of this investigation is to quantify the downstream changes in receiving water-quality conditions during periods of observable stormwater runoff from selected bridge decks in South Carolina. The information collected will help to estimate or predict changes in water quality at bridge crossings with similar characteristics.  Results of the study may be used by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) to reduce the SCHDEC requirements for bridge run-off treatments as part of the CWA Section 401 certification process.  These treatment reductions should potentially result in cost savings to the SCDOT.
702Compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Effluent Limitation Guidelines – Turbidity Control and Surface Outlets
Dr. Charles V. Privette, III, Clemson University, December 1, 2012 – June 30, 2018
Objective: To evaluate turbidity and surface water withdrawal associated with Department construction site stormwater discharge.