24th Annual NJDOT Research Showcase

The 24th Annual NJDOT Research Showcase provided an opportunity for the New Jersey transportation community to learn about the broad scope of academic research initiatives underway and share technology transfer activities being conducted by institutions of higher education partners and their associates. The annual event serves as a showcase to present the ongoing initiatives and benefits of the NJDOT Research program. This event was an in-person event with a livestreaming option with sessions held from 9:00am-2:45pm on October 26, 2022.

This year's Showcase theme, "Advancing Equity in Transportation" served as the organizing framework for the keynote speaker and panelists during the morning plenary session. Throughout the day the Research Showcase featured presentations on infrastructure, safety, mobility and equity topics being performed by research faculty, staff, and students and NJ agencies. Several awards were presented in recognition of research and implemented innovations.

The Research Showcase Program Agenda provides more information on the day's proceedings, including presented topics and speakers.  Recordings of the plenary and breakout sessions, and the presentations and posters shared during the event can be found below.


MORNING

Mike Russo, NJDOT Assistant Commissioner, Planning, Multimodal, and Grants Administration, welcomed attendees to the Research Showcase event.

Parth Oza, Assistant Commissioner, Capital Program Management, provided opening remarks focusing on ways that NJDOT has embedded equity in the project delivery process. Mr. Oza emphasized the importance of gathering input from communities affected by transportation projects throughout all project phases, using grant applications to address the impact of flooding on disadvantaged communities, and planning for the safety of all road users through the agency’s Complete Streets policy.

Valeriya Remezova, Deputy Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration's New Jersey Division congratulated NJDOT for receiving the FHWA and AASHTO Innovative Initiative 2022 STIC Innovation Excellence Award. She recognized NJDOT research initiatives with an equity focus and noted New Jersey’s Metropolitan Planning Organization initiatives that advance equity.

Keith Benjamin, Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs, Federal Highway Administration provided the keynote address. Mr. Benjamin discussed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the opportunities to use this funding to address equity in transportation planning, project development, and other activities. He noted that the funding allows for new ideas of transportation to become a reality, and looks forward to subsequent policy embedding these changes in people’s everyday transportation experience. He noted the program’s success will be measured by improvements such as people being able to cross the street safely, mitigation of unsafe corridors, availability of bus shelters, and repaving of dangerous streets. He offered several examples of local initiatives where collaboration among partner agencies and organizations and involvement of local residents in the process resulted in more equitable projects.

Mr. Benjamin responded to several questions in a Q&A session that followed his keynote remarks.

Plenary Session Recording

Morning Session Presentation

Keith Benjamin, FHWA Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs with Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Keith Benjamin, FHWA Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs with Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Keith Benjamin and the host moderator, David Maruca, discussed the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill, the USDOT Equity Action Plan, and the safety benefits of Complete Streets, among other topics in a lively Q&A session that followed Mr. Benjamin’s Keynote remarks. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Keith Benjamin and the host moderator, David Maruca, discussed the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill, the USDOT Equity Action Plan, and the safety benefits of Complete Streets, among other topics in a lively Q&A session that followed Mr. Benjamin’s Keynote remarks. Photo by Steve Goodman.

An interactive panel discussion, "Perspectives on Advancing Equity in Transportation," followed the keynote session with state, local and transportation management association (TMA) representatives who presented examples of the equity initiatives underway in their organization and reflected on some of the continuing challenges and opportunities for advancing equity in transportation in New Jersey. The panelists included:

  • Elkins Green, Director, Environmental Resources, New Jersey Department of Transportation. Green served as the Moderator for the session.
  • Veronica Murphy, Director’s Office, Division of Local Aid & Economic Development, New Jersey Department of Transportation. Ms. Murphy shared a short video of the organization of Local Aid & Economic Development and provided an overview of the role that her office plays in providing grant funding for transportation projects. Ms. Murphy noted that equity considerations are embedded in the distribution of funding and in the process of providing technical assistance to communities through the Local Aid Resource Center.
  • Krishna Murthy, President, EZ Ride described the mission and various activities of his TMA and focused on the organization’s EZ Ryde4Life program that assists older adults by coordinating with Lyft and Uber to provide rides. EZ Ride is trying to make the program more accessible to individuals who are paying directly for the program and have no sponsoring organization and described the affordability challenges for the users and operator.
  • Andrew Tunnard, Assistant Commissioner, Transportation Operations Systems & Support, New Jersey Department of Transportation. Mr. Tunnard spoke about the Trenton MOVES project, an autonomous vehicle system that is being planned to offer transit shuttle services for an urban core population in the City of Trenton that tends to have one or no cars and spends a high proportion of their income on transportation to reach regional employment and other opportunities.
  • Byron Nicholas, Supervising Transportation Planner, Hudson County Engineering described the County’s efforts to advance equity through project prioritization, public involvement, multimodal safety.

Participants responded to a series of questions posed by the moderator and by the audience members.

Panelists discussed equity initiatives underway in their organization and shared their views on the challenges and opportunities for advancing equity in transportation. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Panelists discussed equity initiatives underway in their organization and shared their views on the challenges and opportunities for advancing equity in transportation. Photo by Steve Goodman.

Perspectives on Advancing Equity in Transportation Panel Discussion Recording

The program continued as Amanda Gendek, Manager, NJDOT Bureau of Research, announced several awards given in recognition of research, innovation and implementation efforts.  Below is a listing of the award winners presented at this year's showcase:

  • 2022 Outstanding University Student in Transportation Research Award – Xiao Chen, Rutgers University (Innovative Pothole Repair Materials and Techniques)
  • 2022 Research Implementation Award – Anil Agrawal, City College of CUNY (NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey)
  • 2022 Best Poster Award – Ahmed Edrees, New Jersey Institute of Technology (Minimizing Total Cost of Work Zones on Two-Lane Roads with Managed Lanes)
  • 2022 NJDOT Build a Better Mousetrap Award (State Agency) – Gary Liedtka-Bizuga and Henry Jablonski, NJDOT, Sawcut Vertical Curb

The Sawcut Vertical Curb was recognized as an innovative response to a change in standards requiring existing curbing at guide rails to be reduced in height. The Sawcut Vertical Curb innovation saves time and money and increases safety and efficiency by obviating the need to pour new concrete curbing and allowing guide rail to remain in place during the process.  A short video about the Sawcut Vertical Curb innovation was presented when the BABM award was announced during the event.

Presentation of Awards

Accepting the Better Mousetrap Award, Gary Liedtka-Bizuga, Roadway Design Group 1, with Acting Assistant Commissioner Parth Oza, Bureau of Research Manager, Amanda Gendek, and Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo. Not shown here: Henry Jablonski, Region Central Construction. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Best Poster Award Recipient, Ahmed Edrees, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Minimizing Total Cost of Work Zones on Two-Lane Roads with Managed Lanes. Photo by Steve Goodman.
2022 Outstanding University Student in Transportation Research Award, Xiao Chen, Rutgers University, Innovative Pothole Repair Materials and Techniques. Photo by Steve Goodman.
2022 Outstanding University Student in Transportation Research Award, Xiao Chen, Rutgers University, Innovative Pothole Repair Materials and Techniques. Photo by Steve Goodman.
2022 NJDOT Research Implementation Award, Anil Agrawal, City College of CUNY, NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey. Photo by Steve Goodman.
2022 NJDOT Research Implementation Award, Anil Agrawal, City College of CUNY, NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey. Photo by Steve Goodman.

AFTERNOON 

In the afternoon, concurrent break-out sessions for research presentations focused on the topics of Equity & Mobility, Infrastructure, and Safety in Transportation, and for the presentation of posters from students and researchers at New Jersey’s colleges and universities describing their methods and findings on ongoing and recently completed research and responding to questions by attendees.

Equity & Mobility Session Recording

Infrastructure Session Recording

Safety in Transportation Session Recording

 


Equity and Mobility Presentations

Peter J. Jin, Rutgers University-CAIT, Real-Time Traffic Signal System Performance Measure Phase II  LINK

Zijia Zhong, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Assessing High-Resolution Connected Vehicle Data for TSM&O Applications  LINK

Hannah Younes, Rutgers University-VTC, Factors Influencing the Fatality of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Involved Crashes in New Jersey  LINK

 


Infrastructure Presentations

Seyed Masoud Shirkhorshidi, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Corrosion Performance of Ultra-High Performance Concrete in Uncracked and Cracked Beams  LINK

Rojyar Barhemat, Soroush Mahjoub, Victor C. Li and Yi Bao, Stevens Institute of Technology  LINK

Ashith Padinhar and Marath Purakkal, Rowan CREATES, Developing Electrically-Heated Flexible Pavement for Self-Deicing Application LINK

 


Safety Presentations

Branislav Dimitrijevic, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Development and Evaluation of a Pedestrian Crossing Alert System Using 2-Channel LiDAR Sensor LINK

Anahita Kakhani, Rowan University, Emerging Countermeasures for Pedestrian Safety: A Review of State of Art and Recent Advances  LINK

Sam Rosenthal, Rutgers University, Complete and Green Streets: Effective Public Engagement Practics and Resouces to Promote Safety and Advance Equity  LINK

 


2022 Poster Presentations

Decision Aided Cost and Construction Time Estimates for the Gateway Tunnel Project - Ehsan Mehryaar, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Recommendations for Improving NJDOT Specifications for Cold In-Place Recycling - Ahmed Saidi, Rowan University

Minimizing Total Cost of Work Zones on Two-Lane Roads with Managed Lanes - Ahmed Edrees, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Simulating Corrosion Induced Damage in Recycled Aggregate Concrete Systems - Jin Fan, New Jersey Institute of Technology

A Review on Seat Belt Compliance of Drivers and Front Passengers: Data Collection, Analysis, and Countermeasures - Omar Al-Sheikh, Rowan University

Feasiblity Study of Shared Mobility Programs as a First/Last-Mile Solution in Underserved Communities: A Case Study in Camden City, NJ - Ruqaya Alfaris, Rowan University

Zero-Emission Bus Fleet: A Review of State Practices, Recent Developments, and Future Directions - Zahra Vafakhah, Rowan University

How Distraction Triggers Speeding: An Observational Case Study in New Jersey - Ahmed Sajid Hasan, Rowan University

Use of 100% RAP for Repair Purposes - Dr. Faisal Kabir, Rowan University

Three-Dimensional Finite Element Modeling of Cold In-Place Recycled Asphalt Sections in Accelerated Pavement Testing - Chenchen Huang, Cheng Zhu, Yusuf Mehta & Daniel Offenbacker, Rowan University

Assessment of the Impact of Binder Grade on the Laboratory Performance of Fiber-Reinforced Asphalt Mixtures - Ali Reza Khan, Ayman Ali, Yusuf Mehta, Rowan University

A Framework for Proactive Safety Evaluation of Intersection Using Surrogate Safety Measures and Non-Compliance Behavior - Deep Patel, Rowan University

 


Michael Russo
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Michael Russo
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The Research Showcase was organized by the NJDOT Bureau of Research in partnership with the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) and the Rutgers Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center. The 24th Annual NJDOT Research Showcase was co-sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.

Build a Better Mousetrap 2020 Award Winner Announced

Employees often create innovative solutions to everyday problems or develop alternative ways of doing things in their workplace to improve safety and efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the quality of transportation. The NJ Build a Better Mousetrap (BABM) Competition seeks entries from employees of local and state public agencies who have created and successfully implemented innovative solutions. This annual competition uses cost, savings/benefits to the community, ingenuity and/or innovation, transferability to others and likelihood of implementation, and effectiveness as the criteria to judge all the entries.

Scott Ainsley and Mark Crago of NJDOT’s Operations and Training Unit were the winners of the 2020 BABM Competition for the design and development of their Anti-Jackknife Device under the Maintenance Tools and Methods category. This early warning device is designed to prevent damage to trucks and trailers while new employees are maneuvering these vehicles during training for their Commercial Driving License tests. The device, costing $165, saves 17 hours of repair labor, amounting to $2,100 with each incident. The device also increases efficiency in new employee training. The video shows the mechanism of the Anti-Jackknife device developed.

This year's winners were announced at the 22nd NJDOT Research Showcase held as a virtual event in October 2020. The annual event serves as a showcase to spotlight research, innovations and the benefits of the NJDOT Research program.

This year’s BABM competition attracted other notable submissions from NJDOT employees that highlight team and individual examples of ingenuity in advancing innovative solutions, including:

NJDOT Bridge Navigator – This bridge navigation app improves efficiency by assisting inspectors, resident engineers, and maintenance personnel navigate to bridges and fuel stations around the State.  The Bridge Navigator website is hosted on GitHub pages which are free and open source. (Submitted by: Asim Zaman; Transportation Operations Systems and Support, Asset Management Category)

NJDOT Bridge Navigator app. Screenshot of bridge at New Dover Rd (CR650)/NJ 27, Woodbridge Township, NJ,

NJDOT Bridge Navigator app. Screenshot of Fuel Station Finder.

M.R.T. Grass Diverter

M.R.T. Grass Diverter – This modification to a mower discharge chute improves safety by redirecting grass and debris away from traffic and reduces costs of potential litigation (Submitted by: James Nunn, Crew 333, Maintenance Tools and Methods Category)

Traffic Signal Explorer - This comprehensive Traffic Signal Assets database improves efficiency and reduces costs by providing readily-accessible information on the 2,800 State-managed traffic signals, traffic signal flashers, and sign-based traffic control devices (Submitted by: Brendan Rahl, NJDOT Bureau of Traffic Engineering, Asset Management Category)

Traffic Signal Explorer

Traffic Signal Explorer. Several screenshots from the database.

Further information on the 2021 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition will be posted soon. See Build a Better Mousetrap Competition for more information about the 2020 competition.