Measuring the Effectiveness of Rural Dust Control Strategies

Abstract and project information last updated: 1 March 2011. Project updates are dated below.

AUTC
Project
Number
107019
Principal
Investigator
David L. Barnes (UAF)
dlbarnes@alaska.edu
Funding
Agency

US Department of Transportation (RITA)

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

Project
Budget
380000
Start
Date
3 August 2007
Estimated
End Date
31 August 2011

Abstract

Dusty, unpaved roads and airports affect the quality of life for many villages in cold regions; in Alaska alone, roughly 60% of the roads are unpaved. Of the 4.2 million miles of road in the nation, 1.7 million are unpaved, so the rest of the U.S. faces dust problems too. Dust reduces visibility on the road. Dust can cause respiratory ailments, and it can affect the harvesting of berries and other plants for people who live off the land. In addition, loss of fine material reduces road surface quality, increasing maintenance costs as well as wear and tear on vehicles. Everybody acknowledges the problem, but finding a solution is a contentious matter. Simply paving is often unworkable; costs are high, local materials are often unsuitable, and long-term maintenance may be unavailable. Possibilities for dust control abound, but which will fit best with a subsistence lifestyle, and what can the state’s thinly stretched budget afford? This project is developing a dust control research map that prioritizes critical areas. It is designing instrumentation and methodology to accurately monitor road dust production. These tools will be used to support ADOT&PF in field testing various dust control measures in several locations. So far, researchers for this project have qualitatively assessed dust control performance on unpaved runways, tested new instrumentation, and measured palliative performance with these prototype instruments at one rural road site.

Final Report

Thesis: Rural Dust/ DUSTM Performance/Palliative Applications
27 Mar 2013

Evaluating Dust Palliative Performance and Longevity Using the UAF-DUSTM
Travis Eckhoff
EckhoffT-Thesis-Final-Submission.pdf