Frozen Road Operation Improvements

Available Documents
Quarterly Report September 2006
Quarterly Report December 2006
Quarterly Report March 2007
Quarterly Report September 2007
Quarterly Report December 2007
Quarterly Report March 2008
Quarterly Report June 2008
Quarterly Report September 2008
Quarterly Report December 2008
Quarterly Report March 2009
Final Report

Primary Investigator
Peter Bosscher
Civil and Environmental Engineering
2218 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Project Objective
The work proposed herein will be to make improvements to the existing software with special emphasis to improving the:

  1. Weather model
  2. Soil temperature model
  3. Material behavior (modulus) model
  4. Prediction/damage algorithm.

Project Abstract
A research study in 1996-1997, sponsored by WisDOT, was undertaken by the PI of this proposal to develop a computer model to correlate climate and pavement data for the year in progress in order to project when to impose and lift weight restrictions. Our research team collected field data relating to weather and road stiffness over two winter-spring periods, which enabled the development of a six-phase computer model integrating weather conditions, heat transfer, roadway stiffness, stress-strain effects, and estimates of pavement damage load (EDL) for a given road 30, 60, 90, or 120 days into the future based on user-supplied average daily temperatures experienced in the year to date.
WisDOT’s Bureau of Highway Operations, (BOH) used this software, known as UWFROST, during the ’98-’99 and ’99-’00 winter seasons and found the software’s fall freezing and spring thawing projections to be quite accurate for normal winters.

Since this study was conducted, additional data has been collected using frost tubes to declare the roads frozen and then unfrozen. Changes in Wisconsin climate have also been noted which will affect the model. More data has been collected at the national level, which relates pavement material moduli to temperature. All of which needs to be integrated into an updated version of the model.

Task Descriptions

  1. Bring together both ground truth (frost tubes) and program predictions to confirm proper calculations/parameter calibrations.
  2. Substantially improve the temperature/modulus (material) behavior
  3. Do a sensitivity analysis to make sure the most important parameters are modeled and the least important are dropped.
  4. Intermediate data output will be written into the UWFROST so that an understanding of the results coming out and going into each of the separate models/algorithms can be seen.

Project Information

  • Milestones, Dates: 6 months, August 2006 to January 2007; Extended to December 31, 2007
  • Budget: $36,833
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: 07-04