Latest News from KTC

The Center is a national leader in multidisciplinary transportation research. Its talented staff publish their findings in leading research journals, help agencies around the country implement their recommendations, develop new training courses, present their work at prestigious conferences, and even host conferences. The Center’s unparalleled ability to develop and perform applied research and to communicate findings has meant that a wide range of stakeholders — including the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet,  Federal Highway Administration, and a number of  government agencies and transportation organizations — have benefitted from KTC’s work. Keep tuned to this page for the latest research findings and reports, details of projects that are in progress, accolades, and more.


Join Us Friday, October 27th for the 18th Annual

KTC Chili Cook-off

Can you believe it is fall already? With the fall season comes cooler weather, Football, and Chili! Lots and lots of chili! We encourage everyone to come join us on Friday, October 27th in OHR 112 from noon to 1 pm for a bowl (or two or three) of Chili. Our KTC staff take their chili seriously so we always host a competition to evaluate and crown a new chili champion for 2018! The top three receive prizes, a ribbon, and, best of all, bragging rights about having KTC’s best chili recipe! 

If you are up for the challenge, sign up on the competitors sheet in the front office and bring your chili entry on the 27th to be judged. A covered dish or dessert is always welcome. Come join your friends and coworkers for a celebration of all things fall!


Critical Path

From initial conception to letting, highway design projects typically span several years. Over that period, subject-matter experts from multiple disciplinary backgrounds participate in project development, but a detailed schedule is not usually provided by consultants involved with the project. Coordinating stakeholder activities poses challenges for even experienced project managers. KYTC and the Kentucky Transportation Center have developed critical path method (CPM) schedules for KYTC Project Managers. Process flowcharts and Gantt chart templates are meant to assist pre-construction project managers with organizing, sequencing, and scheduling project development activities. These tools will improve KYTC’s management of the limited resources needed to deliver the project in a timely and responsive manner. KTC’s CPM training on the critical path method and its intended uses will give KYTC Project Managers the knowledge and tools needed to apply CPMs to their projects.  More information plus files for Critical Path are available here.

Cable Barrier

High-tension cable median barrier (CMB) is a safety innovation in Kentucky, primarily used to prevent crossover crashes. In these crashes, a vehicle leaves the roadway on the left shoulder, crosses the median, and enters opposing lanes of traffic. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has observed inconsistent performance in CMB after a single vehicle hit; specifically, loss of tension in the cables. Ideally, if a second vehicle struck the cable barrier in a different location from the first hit, cable tension would be sufficient to prevent the second vehicle from crossing the median and causing a head-on collision.

KTC’ s objective during this cable barrier study was to improve the safety and effectiveness of the hundreds of miles of CMB installed across Kentucky. For more information on this topic click here

Update of Data for Estimating ESALs (Equivalent Single Axle Load)

This project involved updating processing traffic characteristics data using a series of quality control and analytical programs to produce an estimate of the following parameters of interest; 1) average daily traffic, 2) percent trucks, 3) percent trucks classified as heavy/coal, 4) axles per truck, 5) axles per heavy/coal truck, 6) ESALs per truck axle, 7) ESALs per heavy/coal truck axle, and 8) total ESALs. Computer programs processed classification data and weight data, and then combined output to calculate ESALs.

Highway Rail Crossing Prioritization

Research team members at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Civil Engineering and the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) worked with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) to develop a high-level mechanism for ranking highway-rail crossings for reconstruction and/or rehabilitation. The Highway Rail Crossing Prioritization implementation study yielded the Rail Crossing Improvement Priority (RCIP), which combined qualitative measures of crossing conditions with quantitative measures, including proposed project costs and a valuation of the crossing based on rail and truck traffic. This effort provides a template by which further development can yield prioritization procedures for road-rail grade separation projects.

Commercial Truck Parking and Other Safety Issues

Commercial truck parking is a safety issue, since trucks are involved in approximately 10% of all fatal accidents on interstates and parkways in Kentucky. Drivers experience schedule demands and long hours on the road, yet they cannot easily determine available parking locations. The objective of this study was to identify information related to parking demand, locations with documented or potential safety issues, and potential countermeasures. The literature review indicated substantial research has been done on commercial vehicle parking, and works have outlined the necessary facilities to accommodate trucks before drivers exceed their allowable hours of driving.

Best Practices for the Implementation of the REAL ID Act

The REAL ID Act specifies the minimum standards that must be used to produce and issue driver’s license and identification cards that are REAL ID compliant. Beginning in 2020, if a person does not possess a form of identification that meets REAL ID standards they will not be able to board an aircraft that is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Currently, of the 56 states and jurisdictions required to implement the REAL ID Act, only 23 are in compliance. Although the Commonwealth of Kentucky has not yet implemented the REAL ID Act, an extension allowing Federal agencies to accept state driver’s licenses is currently in effect.

Phase I Inspection of the Stay Cable System on the US 231 William H. Natcher Bridge over the Ohio River

The US 231 Natcher Bridge was opened in 2002. By 2006 cracking was observed in the plastic piping that protected the stay cable strands from the environment at both the deck and tower anchorages. Over time the extent of cracking increased and an investigation was initiated to assess the types of deterioration impacting the cables, their causes, and their impacts on the integrity of the stay cables. From 2012-2015, a series of in-depth field inspections were performed using visual and nondestructive testing. Most of this work focused on the piping at the deck anchorages.

Sealants, Treatments, and Deicing Salt Practices to Limit Bridge Deck Corrosion and Experimental Deck Sealants and Pier Cap Coating on Interstate 471

This project evaluated the ability of concrete sealants to impede the ingress of chloride ions into concrete bridge decks. Laboratory testing evaluated 24 concrete-penetrating sealants and four film-forming products. The sealants chosen for the field-testing were intended to reduce the ingress of chloride ions when deicing materials were applied to road surfaces. Pre- and post-application friction test data were collected – three of the four sealants increased friction resistance.


Excellence in Motion

© 2017 Kentucky Transportation Center



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