38 Works

Best Practices for Performance Measurement in Transportation Operations and Maintenance

Bryan Gibson, Rachel Catchings, Chris Van Dyke, Steve Waddle & Doug Kreis
Public agencies benefit from measuring their performance as it helps to focus employee and organizational activities. State departments of transportation have become more performance-oriented over the past two decades and routinely collect data on highway safety, infrastructure condition, system operations, project delivery, winter maintenance, transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and customer service. While the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) use performance measures in a variety of areas, the agency wants to adopt new metrics related to...

In-Cab Alert System for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

Brian Howell, Jennifer Walton & Jeeyen Koo
In-cab telematic devices use an increasingly robust data platform and can be used to share safety alerts with other commercial vehicle drivers (CMV) drivers. Real-time alert data can come from state transportation agencies as well as from private companies. To address common quality and coordination issues among differing data sources, the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) partnered with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and a private vendor, PrePass, to share its App used to send information...

2021 Safety Belt Usage Survey in Kentucky

Erin Lammers, Kenneth Agent & Eric Green
The objective of the survey summarized in this report was to establish a statewide safety belt usage rate in Kentucky for 2021. This rate can be compared to those determined from previous surveys. The 2021 statewide survey documents the continued effect associated with law enforcement, related education, and general public attitude.

Improving Overweight and Over-Dimensional Logistics and Truck Routing

Jerry Kissick, Jerry Pigman & Jennifer Walton
In 2012, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Division of Motor Carriers (DMC) issued 98,196 overweight or over-dimensional (OW/OD) permits. To determine whether a route can accommodate an OW/OD vehicle, analysts must have current and accurate data on construction schedules, road conditions, and detour routes, among other factors. This study documents processes used by DMC for permitting and routing OW/OD vehicles. It includes detailed flowcharts that capture each aspect analysts follow during the decision-making process. As...

Project Management Research Support

Bryan Gibson, Jeff Jasper, Robin Baskette, Christopher Van Dyke & Doug Kreis
Like many state transportation agencies, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) faces unprecedented challenges related to project development and management. Staff losses due to attrition and retirements have resulted in the loss of institutional knowledge. Early- to mid-career project managers (PMs) shoulder more responsibilities than ever while being expected to deliver over 600 successful projects each year. To improve the efficiency of project management, PMs must be able to access effective project management concepts, tools, and...

Non-Nuclear Methods for Compaction Control of Unbound Soil and Granular Layers

Brad Rister, Charlie Sun, Kean H. Ashurst, Jr., Tim Jones & Christopher Van Dyke
In highway construction, the nuclear density gauge (NDG) is the industry standard for measuring soil density and moisture. They are widely used at state transportation agencies, however, because of their reliance on radiation, NDGs are expensive to maintain and have unique storage requirements. Operators must also earn specialized certifications and adhere to rigorous safety protocols. Equipment manufacturers have developed several non-nuclear density gauges which are more user friendly, however, their accuracy has sometimes not equaled...

Updating the Bridge Construction Cost Database

Rachel Catchings, Ying Li, Ryan Griffith & Sudhir Palle
Adopting a comprehensive suite of methods to track, analyze, and maintain data on bridge construction costs can help state transportation agencies identify and implement strategies to mitigate the influence of factors which escalate project costs. This report discusses how the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) should approach updating, maintaining, and analyzing its bridge construction cost data. Based on a review of practices introduced at other agencies and interviews with public and private industry stakeholders, the report...

Integration of Utility Engineering, Coordination, and Highway Design

Tim Taylor, Roy Sturgill, Kenny Franklin, Shani A. Montes Victorio & Gabi Dadi
State transportation agencies (STAs) strive to deliver highway projects on time and on budget. Utility relocations are frequently cited as a primary reason for delays. This report describes a new approach for enhancing the alignment of utility coordination and design. Researchers crafted this new approach based on the findings of a literature review, an evaluation of how utility coordination milestones and project development milestones are currently aligned at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), and the...

Access Management Best Practices

Adam Kirk & Chris Van Dyke
Research has persistently demonstrated that adopting a systematic access management framework improves highway operations and bolsters safety. Many state transportation agencies have adopted formal access management programs to systematize the application of access management techniques, however, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) been unable to institute such a program due to institutional, regulatory, and political constraints. Recognizing the benefits of judicious access management, the Cabinet asked researchers at the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) to identify access...

Analysis of Traffic Crash Data in Kentucky 2016-2020

Eric Green, Paul Ross, Christopher Blackden, Michael Fields & William Staats
This report documents analysis of traffic crash data in Kentucky. A primary objective of this study was to determine average crash statistics for Kentucky highways. Where used, rates were calculated for various highway types and for counties and cities. Difference criteria were used for exposure. Average and critical numbers, SPFs, and crash rates were calculated for various highway types in rural and urban areas. These metrics rely on crashes identified on highways where Annual Average...

Initial Project Estimates for Design, Right of Way, Utilities, and Construction

Christopher Van Dyke, Bryan Gibson, Jeff Jasper, Bob Lewis & Doug Kreis
Estimating the cost of highway construction projects is among the more challenging tasks state transportation agencies routinely deal with. Developing accurate estimates is a particularly fraught exercise during the planning and scoping phases, when projects have not been thoroughly defined and information on specifics is in short supply. While the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has used several methodologies to generate initial cost estimates for design, right of way, utilities, and construction (DRUC), approaches vary between...

Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2022

Michael W. Clark, James P. Ziliak & Simon Sheather
This report is one of the important ways that the Center for Business and Economic Research fulfills its mission to examine various aspects of Kentucky’s economy as directed by the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS 164.738). The analysis and data presented here cover a variety of topics that range from a discussion of Kentucky’s current economic climate to a broad presentation of factors affecting the economy. The report covers numerous dimensions of Kentucky’s economy including the...

A Review of Kentucky’s Extended-Weight Hauling Programs

P. Gayle Marks, Jon Wilcoxson, Bryan Gibson, Chris Van Dyke, Andrew Martin, Jennifer Walton & Doug Kreis
Kentucky established its Extended Weight Coal or Coal By-products Haul Road System (EWCHRS) to increase the state’s competitiveness within the coal industry and reduce financial burdens on coal haulers. A new extended-weight haul system for unrefined petroleum products will come online in 2022. To facilitate enforcement of weight limits throughout Kentucky, this report surveys literature on how overweight vehicles affect roads and bridges, describes statutes and regulations governing weight limits in the state, discusses policies...

Bridge Project Prioritization

Bryan Gibson, Christopher Van Dyke, Sudhir Palle, Ryan Griffith & Doug Kreis
Kentucky’s 14,000+ bridges are key nodes within the state’s surface transportation network. They facilitate the movement of freight, commercial vehicles, and personal vehicles alike. Historically, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has prioritized bridge maintenance projects using sufficiency ratings. These ratings are based on three factors — structural adequacy and safety, design obsolescence, and an asset’s importance within the roadway network. Although useful, sufficiency ratings do not account for factors that should be considered during the...

2022 Safety Belt Usage Survey in Kentucky

Erin Lammers-Staats, Derek S. Young, Eric Green & Kenneth R. Agent
Each year Kentucky Transportation Center researchers conduct a safety belt usage survey to estimate Kentucky’s statewide safety belt usage rate. In 2022, the safety belt usage rate in Kentucky was 86.72 percent, which represents a 3.06 decline over 2021. Safety belt usage peaked in 2018 at 89.99 percent. Declines in safety belt usage rate over the past couple years may be attributable in part to changes in driver behaviors and traffic dynamics following the COVID-19...

Design MythBusters

Christopher Van Dyke, Steve Waddle & Doug Kreis
When highway project designs depart from design values found in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Highway Design Manual and AASHTO’s A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, project managers at the agency must obtain either a design exception or design variance. While designers are more comfortable with exceptions and variances than they were 10 or 20 years ago, some hesitancy remains, especially among the Cabinet’s consultants. Misperceptions about what exceptions or variances entail...

USGS 104(b) Grant Program

Emily Koyagi, Steve Evans & Lindell Ormsbee
The Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) is one of 54 federally authorized water resource institutes or centers throughout the United States and its territories. It operates under the authority of the Water Resources Research Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-379 codified at 42 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.) through the Water Resources Research Institutes Program administered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). KWRRI’s annual base grant program under section 104(b) supports the following objectives specified...

Longer Service Life Bridge Coatings

Danny Wells, Theodore Hopwood, Bobby Meade & Sudhir Palle
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has maintenance oversight responsibilities for approximately 1,100 steel bridges; it also helps local governments and other entities with maintenance painting on other steel bridges. Because maintaining steel bridges is costly, Cabinet officials asked Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) researchers to identify materials and methods that will prolong their service lives. Steel bridges are uniquely vulnerable to deterioration resulting from exposure to atmospheric conditions (e.g. moisture, ultraviolet rays) and chlorides, the latter...

Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts 2020

Eric Green, Paul Ross, Christopher Blackden, Michael Fields & Kenneth Agent
KENTUCKY’S TRAFFIC COLLISION FACTS report is based on collision reports submitted to the Kentucky State Police Records Branch. As required by Kentucky Revised Statutes 189.635: “Every law enforcement agency whose officers investigate a vehicle accident of which a report must be made...shall file a report of the accident...within ten days after investigation of the accident upon forms supplied by the bureau.” The stated purpose of this requirement is to utilize data on traffic collisions for...

Evaluation of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Maintenance Rating Program

Bryan Gibson, Rachel Catchings, Vinh Dao & Doug Kreis
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) relies on its Maintenance Rating Program (MRP) to systematically measure conditions on state-owned roads and rights of way. Every year, the Cabinet evaluates 300-400 road segments in each of its highway districts. Segments receive aggregate scores ranging from 0 to 100, with the target score being 80. This report appraises the MRP and discusses potential strategies for its improvement. Compared to asset management programs established at other state transportation agencies,...

Optimizing Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Investments and Activities to Improve Safety and Increase Revenue Collections

Brian Howell, Jennifer Walton & Andrew Martin
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) owns and maintains 14 fixed weigh stations for commercial vehicle enforcement. The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is responsible for staffing these facilities to conduct enforcement, while KYTC is responsible for constructing and maintaining these facilities. Like many states, Kentucky has experienced a decline of enforcement personnel to operate weigh stations limiting its ability to conduct inspections for safety enforcement and revenue collection. This study analyzes three CMV facilities for their...

Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2021

Michael W. Clark, James P. Ziliak & Simon Sheather
This report is one of the important ways that the Center for Business and Economic Research fulfills its mission to examine various aspects of Kentucky’s economy as directed by the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS 164.738). The analysis and data presented here cover a variety of topics that range from a discussion of Kentucky’s current economic climate to a broad presentation of factors affecting the economy. The report covers numerous dimensions of Kentucky’s economy and COVID-19’s...

Kentucky Geological Survey Landslide Inventory

Matt Crawford
The Kentucky Geological Survey is compiling a landslide inventory database to better document the distribution and geologic context of Kentucky’s landslides. The database provides users with easy access to landslide information, raises awareness of landslide causes, and will help prevent property damage or injury. The database was used to create an online landslide information map, which provides online access to landslide data and gives users the ability to customize the map using other data layers...

KRS and KAR Review of Models as a Legal Contract Document

Bryan Gibson, Pam Clay-Young, Rachel Catchings & Chris Van Dyke
State departments of transportation (DOTs) are expanding the use of electronic engineering data (EED) throughout highway projects — from design and construction through asset management. Included under the umbrella of EED are technologies such as building information modelling (BIM), digital terrain models (DTMs), and 3D models and plan sets. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Digital Project Delivery (DPD) Initiative is spearheading the transition to EED in the state. While digital delivery promises to streamline project...

Economic and Environmental Benefits of a Reduced Roadside Mowing Program for Kentucky Highways

Chris Van Dyke, Candice Wallace & Doug Kreis
A growing number of state departments of transportation (DOTs) are introducing conservation mowing programs that aim to reduce the frequency of roadside mowing while expanding the footprint of pollinator habitat. Wanting to get a better handle on the utility conservation mowing, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) funded this study to explore the economic and environmental benefits that accrue from mowing less often. This report presents a synthesis of best conservation mowing practices based on a...

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