Research

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and university researchers have subjected a high-tech material to trial by fire and ice in a quest for better bridge components. Steel has historically been the go-to material for reinforcing and pre-tensioning concrete for highway bridges.

When the I-20/I-59 corridor through Birmingham, Ala., was demolished and rebuilt over a period of 12 months in 2019, travel became a nightmare for thousands of truckers, daily commuters and other travelers. But where most people saw chaos and frustration, a pair of University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers found inspiration.

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost the average Birmingham area driver $1,846 per year — a total of $5.3 billion statewide — due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a recent report from TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national nonprofit transportation research organization.

Two recent studies conducted on opposite coasts of the United States led to the same conclusion: real-world vehicle emissions have dropped considerably over time, and advancements in diesel engines and emissions controls are delivering measurable reductions in black carbon emissions (PM 2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and greenhouse gases (GHG).

During a recent polar vortex event so extreme that train tracks were set alight to avoid transit slowdowns in Chicago, few people were likely concerned about the effects of salt on concrete roads. Luckily, however, Dr. Yaghoob Farnam of Drexel University in Philadelphia remained on the job.

Recently the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Dodge Data & Analytics and other allied construction industry parties conducted research to identify the top sources of uncertainty in design and construction along with best practices for managing associated risk.

In the early 1990s, Victor Li, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Michigan, developed Engineered Cementitious Composites, also known as ductile or bendable concrete. More than 20 years later, researchers at LSU are close to bringing this material to mass adoption, producing a cost-effective ECC that utilizes readily available ingredients.

A new study issued by TRIP Inc. claims that driving on deteriorated urban roads costs U.S. motorists an average of $1,049 annually in additional vehicle repair needs, extra maintenance, higher fuel consumption and tire wear, plus accelerated vehicle deterioration and depreciation.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As two of the city's most vaunted buildings sink or crack, an earthquake study released Oct. 4, recommended re-inspecting dozens of high-rises and beefing up construction codes for the growing crop of skyscrapers in the booming city.

Work is set to begin in 2019 on a medical center founding institutions say will transform Houston into an international hub for biomedical research. Dubbed the TMC3 — the 3 represents the branding of Houston as the “third coast” for life sciences — the new research campus is a collaboration between Texas Medical Center (TMC), Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Researchers are the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are working to create self-healing cement. The cement would be used in tough environments where normal materials can experience failures from either chemical or physical stressors, the Tri-City Herald reported.