By: Eli Freund, Editorial Communications Manager, UConn School of Engineering
In a coalition of schools led by the University of Maine, the University of Connecticut School of Engineering will be a participant in the Region 1 University Transportation Center: Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center (TIDC), funded by a five-year $14.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
According to a release from the University of Maine, the TIDC will aim to help save taxpayer dollars by extending the life of our transportation assets, including bridges, roads and rail, and in addition to partnering with UConn, the Maine-led TIDC will also partner with the University of Rhode Island, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of Vermont, and Western New England University.
Additional partners include representatives from the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT), Vermont Agency of Transportation, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT), Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Transportation and Development Institute.
Working with state DOTs, the new TIDC will seek to identify new materials and technologies that maximize the impact of transportation infrastructure investments. The center will work along four pathways: 1. develop improved road and bridge monitoring and assessment tools; 2. develop better ways to strengthen existing bridges to extend their life; 3. use new materials and systems to build longer-lasting new bridges and accelerate construction; and 4. use new connectivity tools to enhance asset and performance management while promoting workforce development, the release said.
TIDC will harness the experience of 28 faculty researchers, including a team of five engineering faculty members from UConn, led by Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Professor Ramesh B. Malla, and will train 280 student researchers from all New England states. It will focus on real infrastructure needs identified by DOT partners, and prioritize extending the life of existing transportation assets to ensure cost-effectiveness.
For more information on the center, click here to read the release from the University of Maine.