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Research In Progress


Southern Plains Transportation Center (SPTC)

The SPTC is a transportation research consortium including the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Langston University, University of Arkansas, Louisiana Tech University, University of New Mexico, University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech University.

The SPTC focus objective is to improve the "State of Good Repair," with an emphasis on research to mitigate the impact of weather extremes on transportation and freight infrastructure.


Optimal Use of Falling Weight Deflectometer and Ground Penetrating Radar - NM12SP-01 Profile Sheet

The purpose of this research is to determine the benefits of non-destructive pavement testing technology, such as Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), for pavement design, maintenance and management, to perform a needs assessment and market survey of available GPR technology, and to purchase appropriate GPR equipment in accordance with recommendations from the Technical Panel.


A Maintenance Paradigm Shift: Development of a River Restoration Plan to Reduce Post-Flood Maintenance Costs and to Stabilize the River at the US 180 Bridge, Mile Marker M 85.5 - Gila, NM - NM14ENV-01 

The research will examine maintenance techniques for post-flood rivers and streams, perform hydrologic surveys and develop a river restoration plan.


Developing Statewide Standard Practices for The Use of Asphalt Millings for Maintenance Projects in New Mexico - NM12SP-03  Profile Sheet

This project will develop a statewide standard practice for the use of asphalt millings to provide a tool for NMDOT’s six Districts to identify and prioritize candidate highway maintenance projects and make recommendations for various treatments utilizing asphalt millings.

Material Science

Evaluation of Plus Grades of Performance Graded (PG) Asphalt Binder - NM14MSC-01

The project will provide a detailed evaluation of Plus Grades of Performance Graded Binders (PG+) to validate use of PG+ binders in New Mexico projects.

Evaluating Rutting and Stripping Potentials of Selected HMA Mixes using Hamburg Wheel Tracking Device, Develop Mix Selection Guidelines and Specifications Phase II - NM14MSC-02

This project will help determine the HWTD passing and failure criteria for a specific mix, PG, additive, and aggregate type. It will also determine whether a HWTD test set-up can be developed that is readily applicable for routine HMA mix screening/acceptance and/or M-E design.

Advanced Statewide Calibration of the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) for New Mexico DOT - NM13MSC-02  Profile Sheet  |  Interim Report  |  Interim Multimedia Presentation

The research objective is to further refine MEPDG fatigue predictions based on actual mechanical testing of pavement-related materials and field performance at specific construction projects.

Development of a Subgrade Stabilization Protocol for Design and Construction Control - NM13MSC-03  Profile Sheet

Development of a Subgrade Stabilization Protocol for Design and Construction ControlThe purpose of this research is to develop a subgrade stabilization protocol for design and construction.  The protocol will enable geotechnical, pavement, materials, design, and construction engineers and project managers to apply the most cost-effective solutions for the various subgrade conditions encountered on projects.

Mechanical and Rheological RAP Characterization of NMDOT Mixes - NM12MSC-01  Profile Sheet

This project will determine the effects of RAP in HMA mixtures, compare the performance of existing projects with RAP to projects with no RAP, reevaluate NMDOT's maximum percent of RAP, and determine the effects of RAP on MEPDG implementation.

Enhanced Statewide and Independent Assurance Testing for Dynamic Modulus of NMDOT Superpave Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Mixes for the Implementation of the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) - NM12SP-02  Profile Sheet  | Interim Report  |  Interim Presentation

This project will enhance and supplement statewide materials’ modulus data from aggregate and asphalt binder sources statewide for NMDOT designers’ immediate use and MEPDG implementation.   

Laboratory Dynamic Modulus of Asphalt Mixes and Resilient Modulus of Soils throughout New Mexico for the Implementation of Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) - NM11MSC-01  Profile Sheet

This project is expected to result in a proposal to determine the dynamic modulus of Department ashalt mixes and the resilient modulus of typical soils in New Mexico. 

Study and Evaluation of Materials Response in Hot Mix Asphalt Based on Field Instrumentation Phase II - NM11MSC-03

The research serves to collect and analyze time series of sensor stress-strain, traffic, materials, weather and performance data for long enough to be useful for calibration and validation of the AASHTOWare pavement ME design software input models and distress models. This research will examine patterns or clear trends in the data that help identify significant changes in properties/characteristics of inputs and performances that occurs in the field pavements under local traffic and climate.

Feasibility Analysis of Ultra High Performance Concrete for Prestressed Concrete Bridge Applications - NM09MSC-01
Accolades: AASHTO's 2012 Sweet Sixteen High Value Research Projects  |  Sweet Sixteen Poster Session
Final Report  |  Implementation Plan  |  Multimedia Presentation

Project Profile Sheet

An evaluation of benefits needs to be performed to determine if UHPC is appropriate for New Mexico.

Pooled Fund Study

Continued Advancements in Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) for Foundations, Substructures and Other Geotechnical Features - NM11TPF-01
TPF Website - Project Detail

The project objectives are to: 1) Revise and update comprehensive bridge design examples to reflect the most recent changes to Sections 3, 10 and 11 of the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Standards; 2) Redevelop instructor led and web-based training for transportation engineers responsible for substructure and foundation design of bridges; 3) Identify research needs for continued advancement, and improved reliability and cost effectiveness of LRFD design methodologies for substructures and foundations.



Special Projects

Development of a Bridge Information System – Phase II - NM13SP-01  Profile Sheet

Report 1: NBIS Metrics  |  Report 2: Public Private Partnership  |  Report 3: Fracture Critical  |  Report 4: Condition Indicators

The objective of this project is to produce a fully functional bridge information system (BIS) that meets the needs of customers based on a prototype application developed by the Department’s Research Bureau.


Load Rating Bridges with No As-Built Plans or Non-Engineered Bridges - NM13STR-01  Profile Sheet

The objective of this research is to develop cost-effective methods to determine bridge load ratings & posting loads using primarily field methods, and to use these methods to perform load rating on a selected group of bridges.

Determining Effectiveness of Non-Destructive Testing Methods to Characterize Unknown Bridge Foundations - NM13STR-02  Profile Sheet

The purpose of this research is to determine if a full-waveform based non-destructive testing (NDT) method is an effective method to determine the subsurface bridge foundation characteristics for which the information is unavailable or limited.  If not; determine which NDT methods may be enhanced for effective use by the NMDOT.

Technology Transfer

Safe Passage: Upgrade Wildlife Detection and Motorist Warning System, NM 333 MM 3.9, Tijeras Canyon - NM14TT-02

The research project has two objectives. The first is to sponsor training for NMDOT and NM Fish and Game staff on the latest developments in wildlife crossings. The second objective is to identify, deploy, and test an effective wildlife detection and motorist warning system.