Vilnius Gediminas Technical UniversityRiga Technical UniversityTallinn University of TechnologyBaltic Road Association

 

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ISSN 1822-427X print
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Transport and Road Research Institute

 

 

State Enterprise Transport and Road Research Institute under the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania was established on 2 December 1993. The Institute analyses possibilities for rational use of funds allocated for the construction, repair and maintenance of roads; prepares investment projects and feasibility studies for the Cohesion and Structural Funds; performs monitoring of project implementation stages to ensure they are in compliance with the European Union requirements.

Certificate No. 0474 issued by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania gives the right to the Institute to design and investigate various transport and communication structures of special importance, including roads of national significance, bridges, viaducts, railway and road tunnels, culverts, wharfs, transport terminals, sea and river quays, railways, arterial city streets and their intersections. Certificate No. 1510042652 testifies the compliance of the Institute’s quality management system with the Standard LST EN ISO 9001: 2001 (EN ISO 9001 : 2000).

Roads shall ensure safe and convenient driving conditions. For this purpose the specialists of the Institute carry out comprehensive investigations of road conditions. In recent years simple investigation devices have been replaced with modern equipment, and the measurements of road pavement indices correspond to international standards.

After the Transport and Road Research Institute acquired the Falling Weight Deflectometer DYNATEST FWD 8000 (Fig. 1), the moduli of elasticity of structural pavement layers have been identified by non-destructive measurements.

For the measurements of road and street pavement quality the Institute uses modern Skid Resistance Tester SRT-3 (Fig. 2) and Laser Profilometer 5051 RSP DYNATEST for measuring pavement roughness.

In 2006 the specialists of the Institute started working with the Mobile Road Survey Laboratory RST 28 (Fig. 3) manufactured by the Swedish company Ramboll. This system enables integrated measurements of road geometrical indices and pavement surface defects: pavement texture, cross falls and gradients, radii of horizontal curves, linear distance from the road beginning and GPS coordinates, roughness, cracks, ruts and other defects. Data on pavement roughness is used to determine the International Roughness Index IRI.

Based on laser technology, progressive mechanical and optical solutions, the system gives a detailed view of road pavement surface. Data management is not complicated; objective and reliable information on pavement surface condition and driving comfort is obtained.

All measuring devices are mounted on the front bar of a measuring vehicle, digital video cameras for capturing pavement defects – in the rear part of the vehicle.

Data on pavement cracks is recorded by video cameras. The recorded images are automatically analyzed, giving information on various crack properties. Pavement cracks are represented in graphical maps, spreadsheets or easily understandable grid form. Measurements are taken within the width of a traffic lane, when travelling at a speed of 90 km/h, under various illumination conditions. Results of crack measurements is an excellent source of information about pavement condition.

One of the advantages of the Mobile Road Survey Laboratory is a possibility to identify pavement texture of existing roads and streets as well as all surface defects. Another advantage is a possibility to measure road parameters before pavement reconstruction and to obtain reliable and latest data.

The measuring results are used to determine the residual pavement life, to make the list of road sections to be repaired, to select the most suitable repair works, to estimate investment demand in order to achieve a certain level of pavement quality, to control pavement condition or to define the quality of maintenance works.

For surveying road traffic flows the automated counters-classifiers are used with the help of which the specialists of the Institute determine traffic volume, classify traffic composition according to different vehicle classes, measure vehicle speed.

Road pavement indices, qualitative parameters and any other required information is collected and saved in the Lithuanian Road Information System. The collected data are used for justification of road maintenance costs, preparation of investment projects, evaluation of road network condition and selection of road construction and repair technologies.

A large attention is paid to road traffic safety: our safety specialists identify general statistical indices of traffic accidents, black spots and other high-accident locations, carry out the analysis of accident causes at the locations of highest accident concentration, give proposals on how to reduce the number of accidents on Lithuanian roads and streets, analyzes the effect of traffic safety improvement measures.

Bridge specialists solve tasks related to strength, rigidity and reliability of road structures. They design bridges, viaducts, tunnels and culverts, carry out their major inspections, identify degradation extent, loadcarrying capacity and residual life of road structures.

Static and dynamic testing of bridges is carried out by the mobile Bridge Test Laboratory (System 6149) (Fig. 4). Until now the impact of dynamic loads on our bridges was only seldom investigated, using one or another old-time vibrograph. Measuring devices and software of the Bridge Test Laboratory are convenient to use, reliable and effective tools for monitoring technical condition of bridges. They are essential for identifying the indices of rigidity and dynamics in new and old bridges, their changes in a course of time due to the increased traffic volume, loads, speed of trains, also after reconstruction or strengthening of a bridge, transportation of heavy-weight cargo, etc.

The main index of bridge dynamics is the frequencies of self oscillations, describing the degree of bridge sensitivity to dynamic impacts. Earlier the results of bridge tests showed the frequency of only the lowest, i.e. the first, form of oscillations. Today, thanks to the new laboratory, we are able to identify also the frequency of the second form of self oscillations. This is especially important for railway bridges, since the second form of oscillations can also cause a resonance situation.

Environmental specialists of the Institute carry out environmental impact assessment of the planned transport infrastructure objects, environmental quality monitoring within the impact zone of the newly built and existing roads.

With an increasing competition on the market, high efficiency of Transport and Road Research Institute is the essential condition for successful activities. The standards of ISO series as well as good management practice of the Institute determine not a momentary result but a continuous assurance of quality, stability, efficiency and productivity of works.

 

Dr Giedrius Šiaudinis,
Director of Transport and Road Research Institute,
I. Kanto str. 25, P.O.Box 2082, 44009 Kaunas,
Lithuania
Tel.: + 370 37 226638, Fax.: + 370 37 205619
E-mail: tkti@tkti.lt, www.tkti.lt
 

Falling Weight Deflectometer DYNATEST FWD 8000

Skid Resistance Tester SRT-3

Mobile Road Survey Laboratory RST 28

Bridge Test Laboratory (System 6149)

 

 

 

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