Mississippi Department of Transportation’s use of two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic modeling enhances bridge engineering, increases the safety of road users and infrastructure personnel and opens the door for future infrastructure innovations.
During the height of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, MDOT halted its requirement for paper delivery tickets and encouraged contractors to use e-ticketing systems as opposed to paper tickets. What started off as a temporary safety measure to ensure the health and safety of MDOT personnel has transformed into a more widespread use of the innovative technology.
MDOT Utilizes 2D Modeling for Complex Bridge Hydraulics
In 2021, The Mississippi Department of Transportation began utilizing two-dimensional (2D) modeling for most of their complex bridge hydraulics in order to inform, verify and refine structural designs. This modeling, presented through a visual graphic, shows the flow of the body of water next to the bridge. Through this technology, engineers can determine how water will move around bridge foundations and peers. Furthermore, it gives the agency insight into how to design for scour, the soil erosion around a bridge foundation, and predict the bridge’s potential environmental impact.
The state of Mississippi is composed of a variety of terrains. From the Gulf Coast to the rolling foothills of the North, site conditions vary dramatically depending on the location. MDOT stated that 2D hydraulics modeling provided better representation of the physics of flow, more realistic hydraulic results compared to one-dimensional practices and is a better option to model the site conditions of bridges throughout the state and region.
2D analysis provides higher precision which in turn informs a better hydraulic bridge design, greater spatial resolution for analysis and results, and a more precise identification of problem areas and detailed assessments.
MDOT has used 2D modeling to account for greater change and complexity in a local floodplain, an area of land adjacent to a river or stream. Results from the entire project area have been made available and can be easily displayed in an “at-a-glance” visual format.
To learn more about MDOT’s use of 2D modeling, click here.
E-Ticketing: From a Safety Measure to an Innovative Tool
The COVID-19 pandemic presented MDOT with the opportunity to not only ensure the safety of its workers through social distancing and decreased skin-to-skin contact, but it also jumpstarted the agency’s use of e-Ticketing. E-Ticketing is a market-ready technological innovation that allows suppliers to record and transfer information, in real time, as materials are being transported from plant to site.
In the COVID-19 Pandemic Ticket Policy, MDOT urged contractors and suppliers using e-Ticketing systems to suspend delivering paper tickets as soon as their system is approved by the agency and MDOT inspectors are trained on the new technology.
As a result of this policy, contractors were expected to provide cellular-enabled devices for the inspectors to authenticate each load, make the necessary comments and then electronically sign the tickets. At the end of each workday, contractors were to deliver an electronic copy of the tickets containing the inspectors’ notes and signature.
Despite the agency’s push towards e-Ticketing, they did, however, allow suppliers to use other methods to record information. The agency instructed contractors and suppliers not using an e-Ticketing system to take a photo of each ticket and transmit it to a cellular device. “The contractor must provide a cellular device (tablet or smartphone) for the inspector to verify each load upon arrival at the jobsite”, said MDOT.
Initially implemented to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, e-Ticketing is now a more readily used innovation across MDOT.
SOURCES: FWHA, MDOT, APA