About the research
Snow and ice removal operations in winter road maintenance are essential for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) as well as counties and cities in Iowa to ensure the safety, mobility, and efficiency of their transportation infrastructure systems. As an innovative snow and ice removal alternative, the researchers at Iowa State University (ISU) have developed (1) new mix design and production methods of heated concrete (dubbed electrically conductive concrete [ECON], hereafter) and (2) new structural and system design approaches for a heated pavement system (HPS) using the new ECON developed. Based on successful real-world implementation of ECON HPS recently demonstrated by the ISU research team for airport pavement and roadway construction projects, the City of Iowa City has expressed strong interest to the Iowa DOT and ISU research team in implementing ECON HPS for their new bus stop stations as well as the bus stop loading area under an upcoming pedestrian crossing and bus stop enhancement project at Muscatine Avenue in the City of Iowa City. This research is proposed in response to such keen interest by the City of Iowa City. A set of proposed research tasks (to implement ECON HPS for the bus stop station application) include the development of ECON mix design and ECON HPS system design options for construction, comprehensive performance monitoring and evaluation, as well as economic analysis of the constructed full-scale ECON HPS at least over two consecutive winter cycles, and a survey and interview on the implementation of heated pavements for winter maintenance and management practices. The primary outcome of this research will be the draft of a technical guide/specification (comparable with the current Iowa DOT specifications and Iowa Statewide Urban Design and Specifications [SUDAS]) that Iowa DOT and Iowa’s counties and cities could use for future ECON HPS implementation projects under their public works departments for enhancing sustainable and resilient winter maintenance and management practices.