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The mission of the INDOT Research program is to conduct, oversee and partner in cost-effective transportation research and development that benefits our customers. Research & Development is responsible for the delivery of service in the following four areas:
1. Research, Development & Technology Transfer (RD&T)
2. Specialized Testing
3. Forensic Investigations
4. Technical Training
To help fulfill this responsibility, the research program reaches, in coordination with the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP), into Indiana's universities and associations, and Indiana industry and national affiliations for expertise and technical assistance in solving INDOT's transportation challenges.
Research, Development & Technology Transfer (RD&T)
Research and Development conducts research and oversees the INDOT/JTRP initiative. Research projects are primarily aligned with strategic goals of safety, cost savings, mobility/reduced congestion, quality, and time savings. The research program utilizes direct contact with INDOT relationship and focus group to identify priority research needs. Research and Development promotes and assists implementation of viable research findings and reports on INDOT's return on investment through research program. Research and Development also tracks performance measure metrics to evaluate program effectiveness and conducts periodic Peer Reviews of the program to identify strengths and opportunities to enhance the program’s effectiveness. Marketing and communicating research results.
Specialized Testing provides services in a variety of areas related to pavements and structures for data driven decision making and to minimize risks. These tests assist the department in warranty contract compliance, , pavement designs, safety of Indiana roadways, site conditions, etc. Testing programs include:
Forensic investigations relate to investigations of pavement and bridges. The major emphases are issues related to structure and materials performance of pavements and bridges including premature deterioration; substandard materials; construction issues; investigation of pavement conditions for overweight loading; new technologies, materials and processes; development and evaluation of policies and specifications; etc.
Technical training and support is provided in the areas of applied statistics, asset management and pavement engineering. Additionally, this section organizes training with various organizations including American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA), National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the National Highway Institute (NHI).
On January 1, 2009, INDOT formally adopted the new pavement design known as the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG). Research & Development provided input parameters and is training INDOT staff on the design and use of the software. Additionally, Research & Development provides trouble shooting and supports for the pavement design software. Due to this initiative, an estimated $10 million per year is being saved through better pavement designs.