➭ Home Projects Current

756Impact of Utility Delays on Project Delivery
Dr. Kalyan Piratla, Clemson University, January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022
Objective:This research project will evaluate the impacts of utility delays on construction project delivery for transportation projects and recommends best practices for minimizing those impacts and improving project delivery. Specifically, this project will:

  • Explore the inclusion of utility relocation in the prime contract with the goals of saving time and money, and expediting state, county, and municipal infrastructure improvement projects.
  • Provide recommended solutions for overcoming most common utility related delays in order to improve project delivery efficiency.
  • Review Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) between utility owners and SCDOT with the goal of offering suggestions based on research findings and best practices from other state DOTS.
  • Develop best practices on identifying utilities early in the transportation project and minimizing delays through effective management of utility relocations.
755Investigation and Assessment of Effective Patching Materials for Concrete Bridge Decks
Dr. Prasad Rangaraju, Clemson University, September 1, 2020 – February 28, 2023
Objective: Patching of deteriorated portions of concrete bridge decks is an important repair activity that has to be conducted in a timely manner to maintain the serviceability and extend the longevity of these vital links in our transportation infrastructure. Currently, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCOOT) specifies the use of ready-mix concrete (plant-produced) for bridge-deck patching. Alternative rapid set patching materials that are amenable to on-site batching and mixing with excellent bond characteristics and accelerated cure rates are desirable.  The objectives of the research are to: (1) develop of a curated set of alternate repair materials; (2) develop a process of rapid investigation techniques through non-destructive testing to identify the cause and extent of deterioration in the bridge deck; and (3) develop guidelines, based on the above, to appropriately select suitable repair methods and materials.
754Optimization of Cement Modified Recycled Base (CMRB) Mixture Design
Dr. Prasad Rangaraju, Clemson University, July 1, 2020 – December 31, 2022
Objective: CMRB has been a successful reconstruction strategy for the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), however, minimal changes have occurred to optimize the design and testing parameters or move towards performance specifications.  SCDOT leads the nation in the use of reclamation and is in a unique position to lead the industry in improving the process.  The current design practices focus on compressive strength and the current field practices focus on depth of treatment, moisture, and compaction, which may not be the most effective factors for assessment of durability and long term performance.  The objective of this research is to review the current practices used by SCDOT in reclamation treatments and determine procedures to update that will optimize the planning, sampling, design, and testing of reclamation treatments. Variables that will be studied include chemical stabilization using cement, lime-cement blends, and lime kiln dust (LKD) in both traditional and synthetic reclamation.
753Create a Standardized Scope of Services Template
Dr. Dennis Bausman, Clemson University, August 10, 2020 – August 9, 2022
Objective: Preparing a draft Scope of Services (SOS) is one of the initial steps that the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) makes for projects that require consultant procurement. Depending on contract type, the scoping phase generally takes between four and 12 months. This timeline hampers SCDOT’s ability to meet stated goals within the Strategic Plan Strategy to “Increase SCDOT’s reliability of delivering projects on-time and on-budget” for projects requiring a consultant. SCDOT seeks to streamline the consultant scoping process by:  (1) reduce the scoping phase to less than 50 days by creating standardized SOS templates utilizing SCDOT-developed tasks commonly included in a SOS for various project types; (2) strategically engaging other DOT’s and the FHWA to identify enhancements to standard SOS templates; and (3) identifying methods to store, access, and update the newly created templates.
752Safe and Cost-Effective Reduction of Load Postings for South Carolina Bridges
Dr. Paul Ziehl, The University of South Carolina,  April 14, 2020 – April 13, 2023
Objective: A portion of South Carolina’s transportation infrastructure contains an aging bridge inventory with bridges that were designed for lower traffic loads (i.e., H-10 and H-15 load designs). For many of these bridges, it is difficult to assess the capacity of substructure elements, and rehabilitation methods are needed to address damage to caps and superstructure elements. Currently, an estimated 300 bridges in the state have load postings due to these structural and design considerations. To address this need, this research strives to: (1) identify and classify common load rating issues associated with families of bridges; and (2) address these issues through improved and more appropriate load rating analysis procedures and/or cost-effective rehabilitation strategies.
751SC StreamStats Phase II: Additional Tools and Layers for Enhanced Workflow and Efficiency
Jimmy Clark, U.S. Geological Survey, July 1, 2020 – March 31, 2024
Objective: The objective of Phase II of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) StreamStats is to develop and incorporate additional tools and functionality into the current (2019) application.  Added functionality could include a storm runoff model using the South Carolina synthetic hydrograph method, hydrographs for gaging statistics, flow-regulation information, and multipoint delineation for basins.  Additional data layers can be developed for such things as rainfall distribution, hydrologic regions, and hydrologic soil groups as well as an update with the National Land Cover Database 2016 data for basin characteristics.  Furthermore, methods for automating lidar updates can be implemented to process and deliver the latest data into StreamStats in a more cost-effective manner.  Many of the functions will provide tools for the South Carolina Department of Transportation and other engineers and water-resource planners which are outside of the scope of the National StreamStats application.
750Risk-Based Inspection Program
Dr. Hubo Cai, Purdue University,  December 19, 2019 – October 17, 2022
Objective: The objective of this proposed research is to develop a risk-based inspection program to aid in efficient allocation of available inspection resources (e.g., in house, On-Call). Reducing inspectors on all construction activities carries risks, such as safety concerns, functional failures, oversights, and reduced performance life. Therefore, construction inspection activities should be prioritized and available inspection resources should be allocated to activities that carry more risk. The overall inspections should be reduced using this strategy and provide a cost savings to the Department.
749Estimating AADT on Non-Coverage Roads
Dr. Nathan Huynh, University of South Carolina,  April 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021
Objective: The goal of this project is to develop models for SCDOT to predict AADT at non-coverage count locations.  Currently, there are thousands of such locations on SCDOT-maintained roads and counts at these locations are preformed , at most, every ten years.  The models to be developed in this project will provide SCDOT with more accurate AADT estimates at non-coverage count locations.
747Evaluating the Construction Cost and Schedule Impacts of SCDOT’s Traffic Control Restrictions
Dr. Kalyan Piratla, Clemson University, January 15, 2020 – October 15, 2021
Objective: The overarching goal of this project is to provide technical guidance ot SCDOT in effectively specifying lane closure restrictions on their construction projects.  Effective specification of lane closure restrictions needs to be based on a thorough understanding of the trade-offs between the total project cost, schedule, and user costs.  The following objectives are identified:  (1) synthesize current state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice in evaluating the impacts of traffic control measures on construction cost, schedule, and user costs; (2) develop and demonstrate an approach for estimating construction cost, schedule, and user cost implications for a specified lane-closure restriction strategy; (3) evaluate the impact of current and previous lane-closure restriction policies on project cost and schedule objectives for different types of SCDOT projects; and (4) develop a user-friendly computational tool that will assist SCDOT’s construction engineers in quickly evaluating the construction cost, schedule, and user cost implications of various lane closure restriction considerations based on a given set of project characteristics.
746SC Flood Inundation Mapping
Ms. Maria Lamm, SC Department of Natural Resources, April 6, 2020 – June 6, 2021
Objective: The overarching objective of this project is to apply an innovative solution to utilize the HEC-RAS 2-Dimensional Rain-On-Grid modeling software to provide real-time inundation maps for South Carolina and SCDOT by leveraging existing data from two of the HUC 8 watershed basins in SC. This modeling software has been previously tested in real-time during a real-word disaster scenario that impacted sizable portions of the coastal region of SC. This research will develop methods that will incorporate a more comprehensive approach over a much larger footprint than what is being attempted by other entities to predict which bridges and roads will be inundated and need closure to ensure public safety during large-scale flood events. The inundation maps will be accessible via a password-protected website administered by SCDNR. In addition, the model will be able to be used as a planning tool for resiliency analysis for existing structures and future projects.
745Update to SCENARIO_PC
Dr. Ronald Andrus, Clemson University, March 1, 2019 – March 3, 2024
Objective: SCENARIO_PC (2006) is used to develop SCDOT current acceleration design response spectra and to develop time histories for use in site-specific response analysis. The objective of this research is to update this program to use Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) models which include models developed by the USGS for the Eastern United States. This research will add capabilities for users to incorporate existing databases for factual time histories and will address existing program issues.
744SCDOT Preconstruction Program Management Manual & Updated  Project Development Process
Dr. Dennis Bausman, Clemson University, March 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021
Objective: The objective of this research is to improve project delivery by streamlining activities, promoting consistent action, and maximizing the efficiency of SCDOT staff.  Further, the project will strive to update and standardize the project development process to assist in the identification of critical tasks, provide clear identification of the initiation responsibilities, and establish detailed expectations for tasks.
743Pavement Performance Curves – Modeling Pavement Deterioration for SCDOT
Dr. Nathan Huynh, The University of South Carolina, March 1, 2019 – February 28, 2022
Objective: The objective of this research is to identify changes in service life resulting from time, vehicular, and environmental wear on asphalt and concrete pavements.  The goal of this project is to provide updated performance curves to model future conditions by studying new construction, existing pavements, and treatment types currently employed by SCDOT for preservation and/or rehabilitation.
742Automatic Extraction of Vehicle, Motorcycle, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Traffic from Video Data
Dr. Nathan Huynh, The University of South Carolina, January 15, 2019 – December 31, 2021
Objective: The objective of this research is to develop image processing algorithms to automatically extract vehicle counts and classifications, as well as counts of motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians from real-time and offline videos. An easy-to-use graphical user interface will enable SCDOT staff to obtain multimodal traffic data accurately, safely, and cost-effectively to use for HPMS reporting and prioritize infrastructure design improvements and investments.
741Improving SCDOT Project Delivery Through Identifying Potentially Suitable Locations for Mitigation and Standardizing Section 401/404 Permit Application Process
Dr. Nathan Huynh, The University of South Carolina, September 01, 2018 – August 31, 2021
Objective: The objective of this research is to decrease the unknown risk in the Department’s Section 404 permitting process by standardizing permit application submittals using a web-based, interactive online tool/program. Additionally, this research will develop methods to identify potential mitigation areas/sites within watersheds and/or to assess and/or grade proposed mitigation sites. The SCDOT expects that findings from this project will improve accountability for risk, and cost allocation for both scheduling and budgeting projects.
740Design-Build Project Selection and Effectiveness Evaluation
Dr. Keith Molenaar, University of Colorado, Boulder, March 20, 2018 – December 31, 2020
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of SCDOT’s current design-build program, review current project selection processes, identify best practices, identify cost estimating procedures, and develop future effectiveness measuring processes.
733Updating Techniques for Estimating Magnitude and Frequency of Floods for Rural Basins in the Southeastern United States
Toby Feaster, U.S. Geological Survey, August 25, 2017 – March 31, 2022
Objective: The objectives of this research project are to: (1) update magnitude and frequency of peak flows for rural, unregulated USGS stations in South Carolina where adequate data are available; (2) when appropriate and based on reviews of the data, update magnitude and frequency of peak flows at regulated USGS gages in South Carolina; (3) in coordination with the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center NC and GA offices and the USGS Office of Surface Water, update the regional generalized skew coefficient for NC, SC, and GA; 4) in coordination with the USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center NC and GA offices, update the regional rural flood-frequency equations for the 50-, 20-, 10-, 4-, 2-, 1-, 0.5-, and 0.2-percent chance exceedance flows; (5) update the StreamStats application to include the new gage flood-frequency estimates and the new regional regression equations; and (6) develop procedures for updating the flood-frequency estimates for stations on an annual basis with the results being provided through the StreamStats application.
732Calibration of the AASHTO Pavement Design Guide to SC Conditions – Phase II
Dr. Sarah Gassman, University of South Carolina, January 6, 2017 – July 5, 2021
Objective: The overarching goal of this multi-phase research effort is to reduce design bias and increase precision of the model predictions used in MEPDG with full consideration of South Carolina local conditions. The objective of Phase II will be to build upon the studies in Phase I to obtain local calibration factors and improve distress predictions by collecting new data of high priority.
725Evaluation of Open Graded Friction Courses: Construction, Maintenance, and Performance, Phase II
Dr. Brad Putman, Clemson University, November 18, 2015 – June 30, 2021
Objective: The main objective of this study is to determine how to improve the longterm durability and performance of open graded friction course (OGFC) mixtures in South Carolina. The results of this project will enhance the understanding of the factors associated with OGFC long-term durability, thus increasing the likelihood of designing and constructing longer lasting OGFC layers on South Carolina roadways that are safer and have lower life-cycle costs.