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Investigate existing Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technologies for port cargo inspections

Description: "The goal of this research was to identify the most effective and efficient combination of NII technologies for inspecting cargo arriving at U.S. ports. For this purpose, a discrete-event simulation model was developed to simulate the cargo inspection procedure. By simulating the operations of different combinations of NII technologies, the effectiveness and efficiency of the various combinations were evaluated."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Salehi, Yasamin & Wang, Yubian
Item Type: Report

Laboratory evaluation of friction loss and compactability of asphalt mixtures

Description: "This study aimed to develop prediction models for friction loss and laboratory compaction of asphalt mixtures. In addition, the study evaluated the effect of compaction level and compaction method of skid resistance and the internal structure of asphalt mixtures."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Kassem, Emad Abdel-Rahman; Masad, Eyad; Awed, Ahmed & Little, Dallas
Item Type: Report

The light-duty-vehicle fleet's evolution: anticipating Plug-In-Electric-Vehicle adoption and greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S. fleet

Description: "The first part of this report relies on stated and revealed preference survey results across a sample of U.S. households to first ascertain vehicle acquisition, disposal, and use patterns, and then simulate these for a synthetic population over time. The second part of this report relies on data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey (CEX) to estimate the welfare impacts of carbon taxes and household-level capping of emission (with carbon-credit trading allowed)."
Date: May 2011
Creator: Kockelman, Kara; Musti, Sashank & Paul, Binny
Item Type: Report

Managing commodity risks in highway contracts: quantifying premiums, accounting for correlations among risk factors, and designing optimal price-adjustment contracts

Description: "The main goal of this report is to investigate the impact of commodity price risk on construction cost and the optimal risk hedging of such risks using price adjustment clauses. More specifically, the objective of the report is to develop models that can help highway agencies manage commodity price risks. In this report, weighted least square regression model is used to estimate the risk premium; both univariate and vector time series models are estimated and applied to simulate changes in commodity prices over time, including the effect of correlation; while genetic algorithm is used as a solution approach to a multi-objective optimization formulation. The data set used in this report consists of TxDot bidding data, market-based data including New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) future options data, and Engineering New-Record (ENR) material cost index data. The results of this report suggest that the optimal risk mitigation actions are conditional on owners' risk preferences, correlation among the prices of commodities, and volatility of the market."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Damnjanovic, Ivan & Zhou, Xue
Item Type: Report

Megaregion freight movements : a case study of the Texas triangle

Description: "U.S. population growth is predicted to substantially increase over the next 40 years, particularly in areas with large regional economies forecasted to contain over two-thirds of the national economic activity. In Texas, population growth from 200 to 2040 is predicted to increase around 72% and produce a diverse population of some 36 million. This will comprise 12% rural and 88% urban, much of it in the 26 metropolitan areas. These population and economic estimates stimulated the exploration of appropriate planning strategies to address the needs of serving such growth, including a macro approach encapsulated in the term mega-regions. Although some planners are skeptical about whether this concept enhances traditional planning, it does merit examination in the freight transportation sector, which tends to get less emphasis in community and regional planning. Texas has at least one mega-region, and the largest-The Texas Triangle, comprising Dallas/Fort Worth-San Antonio-Houston-generates over 60% of the gross stat product. The project will consider the Texas Triangle with an emphasis on maintaining efficient future freight movement and will offer multimodel solutions to moving freight to , between, and within the metropolitan economies of the mega-region to 2050."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Harrison, Robert & Seedah, Dan
Item Type: Report

Network methods for project selection based on optimizing environmental impact

Description: "Traditionally, transportation road networks have been designed for minimal congestion. Unfortunately, such approaches do not guarantee minimal vehicle emissions. Given the negative impacts of vehicle pollutants as well as tighter national air quality standards, it is critical for regions to be able to identify capacity modifications to road networks such that vehicle emission are minimal. This ability combined with land use changes and opportunities for non-auto travel are paramount in helping regions improve air quality."
Date: August 2010
Creator: Duthie, Jennifer Clare; Waller, S. Travis & Ferguson, Erin M.
Item Type: Report

Operational and vehicular strategies for reducing fuel consumption and Green House Gas emissions from trucking

Description: "Reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is becoming increasingly important in the United States, and new legislation can be expected in the near future that will affect trucks either directly or indirectly. This work is a qualitative examination of operational strategies for reducing fuel consumption from freight trucking, and also compares them with vehicular strategies. A focus is placed on who implements, benefits from, and pays for each strategy, and what type of trucking each strategy is applicable to."
Date: August 2011
Creator: Walton, C. Michael & Thompson, Melissa Renee
Item Type: Report

Opportunities and challenges for high-speed rail corridors in Texas

Description: "This thesis seeks to clarify the potential for passenger rail specifically in Texas through comparison and contrast with other regions and nations in the midst of new national-level knowledge and the changing transportation opportunities and challenges facing the state."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Walton, C. Michael & Carroll, Todd
Item Type: Report

Partnering with AVID to create transportation scholars

Description: "The goal of this project was to team with the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program in local schools to stimulate student awareness of transportation and engineering careers and to encourage interest in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields."
Date: October 2010
Creator: Jasek, Debbie & Finley, Melisa D.
Item Type: Report

Performance analysis of the "zoning" strategies for Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit services

Description: "The objective of this research is to provide a more in-depth evaluation and comparison between centralized and decentralized zoning strategies for the city of Houston, Texas, by developing a simulation model to evaluate the effect of zoning strategies on the productivity and service quality for the ADA paratransit service."
Date: August 2010
Creator: Shen, Chung-Wei & Quadrifoglio, Luca
Item Type: Report

Performance measures for metropolitan planning organizations

Description: "The aim of this project is to consolidate available knowledge and provide guidance to transportation agencies, specifically MPOs, to help them incorporate performance measurement relating to transportation planning and operations. This research includes a survey of agency practices and agency needs, development of guidance on effective performance measurement and allied issues of strategic planning, goal setting, and data collection."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Moore, Devin; Ramni, Tara; Norboge, Nicolas & Turnbull, Katherine
Item Type: Report

Portable Emission Measurement System-based approach to developing and evaluating driving cycles for air quality assessment

Description: "The first objective is to develop driving cycles for classified roads incorporating both a vehicle's driving activities and its emission characteristics, using the data collected by Portable Emission Measurement System (PEMS), which was neither available nor has ever been used in developing driving cycles. A comprehensive database is established for the collected data and a sophisticated computer program is developed to generate the specific driving cycles. The second objective is to develop an evaluation approach of driving cycles in which Vehicle Specific Power (VSP), a parameter that can readily connect the driving modes with emissions, is used to evaluate how well the driving cycles can represent the driving and emission characteristics on real roads."
Date: April 2010
Creator: Wang, Ziqianli; Shi, Qinyi & Lei, Yu
Item Type: Report

Potential connected vehicle applications to enhance mobility, safety, and environmental security

Description: "Researchers first conducted a comprehensive review of the state-of-the-art connected-vehicle research and technologies. Once researchers had a thorough understanding of the technology, they focused on selecting and developing the near-term practical applications that use connected vehicle technology. The research team then sought expert opinions from the Texas Transportation Institute working group during two brainstorming sessions, which produced two lists of potential applications and prioritized the applications based on deployment feasibility. In particular, a total of five applications were selected for development of the full concept of operations, including two in safety, two in mobility, and one in environmental security. These applications address various problems, including wrong-way driving and unprotected-grade-crossing crashes (safety): work-zone merge efficiency and safety, and freeway speed harmonization (mobility): and slippery pavement-related crashes (environmental security)."
Date: February 2012
Creator: Balke, Kevin N.; Songchitruksa, Praprut. & Zeng, Xiaosi
Item Type: Report

The potential for improving rail international intermodal services in Texas and the Southwest region of the United States

Description: "The report covers a period of great significance for railroading in the U.S as it contains a number of milestones now shaping the future performance of the industry. The specific subject is improving inter-modal service so that it can support state and regional highway planning, now facing severe financial cut-backs as revenue sources become fully committed to bond servicing, user taxes, loose purchasing power and fuel consumption begins to fall."
Date: June 2011
Creator: Blaze, James R. & Harrison, Robert
Item Type: Report

Predicting damage in concrete due to expansive aggregates : modeling to enable sustainable material design

Description: "A poroelastic model is developed that can predict stress and strain distributions and, thus, ostensibly damage likelihood in concrete under freezing conditions caused by aggregates with undesirable combinations of geometry and constitutive properties.Sensitivity of the stress distributions to the aggregate and matrix constitutive parameters are assessed to allow improved concrete design."
Date: April 2012
Creator: Grasley, Zachary Charles & Rahman, Syeda
Item Type: Report

Predicting the incremental effects on transit ridership due to Bus-On-Shoulder operations

Description: "Bus-On-Shoulder (BOS) operations are an extremely effective method for increasing the quality of a bus service; allowing for a bus to use a freeway shoulder as a bypass lane not only decreases bus travel time but also increases the bus service's overall performance. BOS has also been found to increase bus ridership. The modern BOS system began in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area almost 20 years ago. Using the extensive data available from Minneapolis-Saint Paul, ridership changes due to BOS operations were explored. The data showed that with 90% confidence, ridership will increase by at least 4.5% and as much as 14.3%. This paper also explores how the citizens of Austin, Texas would respond to a BOS operation on local freeways. A stated preference survey was administered to a sample of Austin commuters. It was determined that potential riders would desire a time savings of 7 or more minutes. Typically it is challenging for persons to accurately predict time savings, therefore it was concluded that for a BOS operation to be successful it was necessary for a there to be a perceived time savings."
Date: August 2010
Creator: Machemehl, Randy B. & Pappas, Elani
Item Type: Report

Prioritization of highway maintenance functions using multi-attribute decision making with fuzzy pairwise comparison

Description: "As is the case for most of the Departments of Transportation in the U.S., the Texas Department of Transportation has been experiencing fluctuations of budget for maintaining and preserving its highway infrastructure over the recent years. If the maintenance budget shortfall lasts for an extended period of time, the condition of the highway network would be harmed directly or indirectly since some maintenance work would be deferred or canceled. Thus, in order to control and minimize the risk caused by maintenance budget reductions, it is important for highway agencies to adjust their maintenance and rehabilitation policies to accommodate budget fluctuations. This thesis presents a methodological framework that helps highway agencies quantify the risks to highway networks, and revise the highway routine maintenance work plans to minimize the impact of budget fluctuations. The proposed methodology aims to assist highway agencies in prioritizing and selecting maintenance functions according to the risk of not performing a specific maintenance activity. Also, this methodology considers the subjective nature of decision makers' assessments, allowing different levels of confidence and different attitudes toward risk to be captured as the uncertainty and imprecision involved in the decision making process. In the case study, the proposed methodology is tested with a set of data obtained from the Texas Department of Transportation. The result is compared with the outcome obtained from the crisp Analytical Hierarchy Process using the same set of data. The outcomes from the two methodologies are very close, validating the effectiveness of prioritizing highway maintenance functions using Multi-Attribute Analysis with Fuzzy Pairwise Comparison."
Date: September 2011
Creator: Zhang, Zhanmin & Liu, Wenxing
Item Type: Report

Quantitative characterization of microstructure of asphalt mixtures

Description: "The main objective of this study was to quantitatively characterize the three dimensional micro-structure of the asphalt binder withing the fine aggregate matrix of an asphalt mixture and compare the influence of binder content, coarse aggregate gradation, and fine aggregate gradation on this micro-structure."
Date: October 2010
Creator: Badgekar, Swapneel; Bhasin, Amit & Izadi, Anoosha
Item Type: Report