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Researchers Develop Improved Strategies for Reducing Dust & Cutting Maintenance Costs

Posted: Oct 1, 2019

In a multi-year study at the University of Wyoming, MPC researchers developed cost-effective maintenance strategies that will reduce maintenance costs and dust emissions from unpaved roads. Using field data and comprehensive analysis, researchers examined the effectiveness of various dust suppressants. This included monitoring dust suppressant application, surfacing aggregate type, traffic, weather, roadway performance, and fugitive dust emissions. The study will provide information to effectively use dust suppressants and federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. By reducing raveling, loose aggregate, dust and washboards, safety on unpaved road surfaces will be improved.

The large inventory of gravel roads in Wyoming mostly serve low-traffic volumes and connects rural areas. With the significant increase of oil and gas drilling operations in recent years, local authorities saw a substantial increase in traffic volumes, resulting in higher maintenance costs that are not affordable for local road agencies. This has led to higher demands from counties and local jurisdictions to apply for and receive CMAQ Program funds to apply chemical dust suppressant treatments on gravel roads.

Khaled Ksaibati, Ph.D.
University of Wyoming

Assessing the Cost-Effectiveness of Wyoming's CMAQ Unpaved Road Dust Suppression Program

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050