InTrans / Jun 27, 2023

Aurora project on friction modeling earns AASHTO award

A recently completed project on roadway friction modeling funded by the Aurora Program earned an American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) High Value Research (HVR) Award.

The project, led by Gerry Wiener of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Laura Fay of the Western Transportation Institute, trained and improved computer models to predict where salt or other treatments should be applied during winter weather to make roads safer. The research project was selected for the supplemental award in AASHTO Region 3.

“It’s an honor to have this project selected by AASHTO,” Wiener said. “We believe this research is high-value in that it allows states to develop models to better estimate roadway friction at locations where measurements are not typically available, and we appreciate that AASHTO recognizes its value as well.”

Each year, the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee (RAC) asks states to identify and document recently completed high-value research projects and then publishes a compendium of the submitted projects. Per AASHTO, the resulting document provides substantial value to state DOTs, serves as a quick reference to these high-value projects, and helps eliminate or reduce duplication of research.

AASHTO’s RAC will recognize all 2023 winners during its summer meeting in July. Winners will also participate in a poster session dedicated to high-value research projects at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, DC in January 2024.

The Aurora Pooled Fund is led by the Iowa Department of Transportation and administered by the Center for Weather Impacts on Mobility and Safety at the Institute for Transportation.