LRRB Update Newsletter
- February 21, 2014
Concrete Re-Certification Course to be Offered Online
Beginning November 1, 2013, MnDOT’s Concrete Field Level I technician re-certification training started to be offered as an interactive online course.
The new E-Learning module provides an alternative to the eight-hour, classroom-based training. The goal is to allow MnDOT personnel, city and county staff and others to re-certify without incurring unnecessary travel costs and lost work time. In addition, students can now work at their own pace, which could lead to better learning outcomes.
“They can go back into this over and over again until they really understand the material, vs. taking the course in the traditional classroom setting,” said John Micheau, MnDOT technical certification specialist.
The online course takes approximately six hours to complete, after which learners are given one hour to complete the 50-question re-certification exam. The course and exam must be completed by April 30. Certification cards will be issued as a batch in June.
The project to move re-certification online was funded by the Local Road Research Board. Micheau said city and county engineers would like to avoid sending personnel to a one-day class that could involve traveling long distances and staying overnight at a hotel. He estimates that between 150 and 200 people will take the class each year.
In addition to being more cost-efficient, Micheau believes the online course is more attuned to the needs of a younger generation.
“We’re trying to do this for all of our re-certification courses. We just think this is the wave of the future,” he said.
Students can get more information by visiting the technical certification website. They can also visit the Aggregate & Ready Mix Association of Minnesota website to register for classes.
- October 16, 2013
Aggregate Roads Dust Control – A Brief Synthesis of Current Practices
More than 50 percent of U.S. roadways are gravel roads, making them a vital part of our transportation system. One of the drawbacks and biggest complaints about gravel roads is the dust they produce when vehicles drive over them. Dust settles on homes, yards and parked cars, potentially reducing the quality of life for people who live along gravel roads. Dust can also have adverse effects on air quality and reduce safety due to drivers’ impaired vision. To control dust on gravel roads, local agencies apply various dust suppressants, mainly calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. However, many other dust suppressant options exist.
The Minnesota LRRB has developed a new document, Dust Control of Aggregate Roads, A Brief Synthesis of Current Practices , to provide local agencies with a summary of research on various dust suppressants, their effectiveness, and impacts. The report, which includes information on both Minnesota and Iowa practices, is available by clicking here.
- October 15, 2013
Complete Streets Implementation Resource Guide for Local Agencies
Complete Streets is a transportation approach that provides safe access for all street users regardless of age or ability. This movement continues to gain momentum as communities across the nation plan and design roadways that safely and efficiently accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders, and motor vehicles.
The Complete Streets Implementation Resource Guide for Minnesota Local Agencies is a new tool that helps transportation professionals, advocates, and decision makers understand and implement Complete Streets policies in their communities. Funded by the Minnesota Local Road Research Board, SRF Consulting Group, Inc. collaborated with city and county engineers, MnDOT staff, and University of Minnesota researchers to develop this comprehensive guide, which features the following information and resources:
• Complete Streets Overview
• Local and National Best Practices
• Terms and Definitions
• Assessment of Current Practices
• Implementation Guide/Process
• Local Case Studies
The Complete Streets Implementation Resource Guide for Minnesota Local Agencies is available by clicking here.
- August 20, 2013
Minnesota’s Best Practices and Policies for Safety Strategies on Highways and Local Roads
A new handbook aims to reduce the number of severe crashes on the state’s highway system by helping agencies design, operate, and maintain their systems of roads and highways. A spinoff from the ongoing County Road Safety Plan efforts, this resource contains traffic safety strategies, sample policies and best practices information to support agencies as they implement their own policies. Download the complete handbook or view a list of its strategies and best practices.
The best practices are all based on studies and research done and are consistent with guidance prepared by FHWA, AASHTO and NCHRP. The sample policies that are given with each safety strategy are meant to help reduce the potential exposure to claims of negligence associated with motor vehicle crashes on an agency’s roadway system.
- May 29, 2013