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Winter2015 Number 4

Approval of the Fixing Americas Surface Transportation Act

and its Implication to Puerto Rico and USVI

EcoEco-friendly pervious concrete pavement:

Concerted efforts in Puerto Rico
UAV Technologies and applications for Transportation
Will autonomous vehicles Provide Safer Road Soon?
Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing (BEAST)
Innovative Tools Regarding Transportation Systems Vulnerability
Associated Within Climatic Changes
Source: h



Puerto Rico LTAP



Vol. 29 No. 4, Winter 2015

Message from the Director

Eco-Friendly Pervious Concrete Pavement:
Concerted Eorts in Puerto Rico

Pages 8-15




Drones Applica.ons in Transporta.on


Bridge Evalua.on and Accelerated

Structural (BEAST)


Approval of the Fixing Americas Surface

Transporta.on (FAST) Act and its
Implica.on to Puerto Rico and USVI


Will Autonomous Vehicles Provide Safer

Roads Soon?

20-21 Tools Regarding Transporta.on

Systems Vulnerability Associated Within
Clima.c Changes


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Pages 18-19

UAV Technology for Transporta.on

Approval of the Fixing Americas Surface

Transporta%on Act

Pages 20-23

T2 News Brief



Know Your Trainer:

Dr. Luis D. Aponte-Bermdez


Innova%ve Tools Regarding Transporta%on

Systems Vulnerability Associated Within
Clima%c Changes

Decade of Ac.on for Road Safety:

Vol. 29 No. 4, Winter 2015

The Puerto Rico Transporta.on Technology Transfer Center is part of a network of 58 centers throughout the United
States that comprises of The Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and The Tribal Technical Assistance Program
(TTAP), which enable local governments,, and, to improve their roads and bridges by supplying them with a
variety of training programs, an informa.on clearinghouse, new and technology updates, personalized assistance,
and newsle


Message from the Director

elcome! Best regards to

all our readers in this fourth and last edition of the
Newsletter, El Puente for Winter 2015.
The feature article of this Winter Edition of the
Newsletter is dedicated to the Pervious Concrete
Pavement. The ar ticle Eco-Friendly Pervious Concrete
Pavement: Concerted Efforts in Puerto Rico coauthored by Dr. Sangchul Hwang, Environmental
Engineer, Eng. Victor Daz, Vice-president of Star
Ready Mix Inc. and the editor, provides an overview of
Pervious Concrete Pavement (PCP), its characteristics,
installation, benefits and potential applications in Puerto
Two articles associated with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAV), better known as drones, ar e included in this
edition. The first article explains the multirotor platform
configuration of the drones, samples of basic and
advanced applications, and several practical UAV
technologies. The second article shows representative
applications in the transportation area. Two graduate
research projects that are applying this technology are
described; the first is a study regarding the effectiveness
of Center-line Rumble Strips (CLRS) on highway PR114 within the municipalities of Hormigueros and San
Germn using the drone as a data collection method; and
the second research tests the functionality of drones as a
possible bridge inspection tool.
Also part of this edition is a new approach for testing and
monitoring of structural designs and their material
performance, known as Bridge Evaluation and
Accelerated Structured Testing (BEAST).
The latest update regarding the new federal legislation,
Fixing Americas Surface Transportation (FAST) Act,
signed December 4, 2015, is presented. The FAST Act,
under the Territorial and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Highway Program in Section 165 of Title 23, United

States Code, guarantees $158 million for the

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and $42 million for the
United States Territories, that includes USVI. This
budget represents an increase of 5% in funding for the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands
with respect to MAP-21.
A technical article on new technologies of Autonomous
Cars and how they can assist to pr ovide a safer
environment in our roadways by reducing the human
factors impact in fatal and serious crashes is also
A technical article dedicated to Climate Change presents
tools and resources developed by the FHWA to assist
transportation planners and designers in their obligation
to develop and manage transportation assets to better
withstand climate change.
In the T2 News Brief Section, the Center s staff proudly
announce the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the
Transportation Technology Transfer Center. Finally, in
the section, Know your Trainer, the Center is proud to
recognize Dr. Luis Aponte, UPRM Professor who with
his expertise in wind and structural engineering has
assisted in our training program.
I hope the selection of articles presented in this edition
will benefit my readers and other professionals in the
local transportation agencies in Puerto Rico and the US
Virgin Islands, in our interest to share innovative research
initiatives related to transportation, with emphasis on road
safety, workforce development, and management of the
built road infrastructure.
The electronic version of the newsletter is available in I also encourage you to contact us
if you want to submit an article or technical paper related
to transportation for future editions.

Ux}t Vvv| e




Eco-Friendly Pervious Concrete Pavement:

Concerted Efforts in Puerto Rico
By Victor Daz, Sangchul Hwang & Benjamn Colucci

very day the need to preserve our water resources becomes more important
because it will enable us to
overcome the threat of a
shortage of this vital resource caused by
climatological changes. Current water
management systems have not proven
to be efficient, causing the precious
liquid to be wasted or polluted.
Development of infrastructure should
evolve with a sustainable consciousness
cost effective system, minimizing the
effect of construction and development
on our natural resources.

Whenever there is a rain event, water

reaches flat surfaces such as pavements
and is channeled through drainage
systems which discharge runoff water
primarily into man made facilities such
as catch basin or other natural water
recipients. This process prevents
recharge of natural aquifers, promoting
contamination by washing off pollutants
from pavements and parking lots and
recirculating polluted water instead of
filtering it.
What is Pervious Concrete Pavement (PCP)?
Definition and Primary Characteristics
Pervious concrete pavement (PCP) is a highly porous type of concrete that allows the
passage of water from precipitation and other sources through the full depth thickness
of concrete pavement sections, thus reducing runoff, recharging groundwater levels,
and/or managing water for storage and recycling. The high porosity of the concrete is
obtained by a high content of openings interconnected by combining coarse aggregate,
cement, and water. At the beginning of the implementation of pervious concrete
technology, the use of sand or fine aggregates was not recommended, but in specific

applications, it may be used as long as it doesn't

compromise the permeability of the concrete. Pervious
concrete has an open graded mix, which leaves the
aggregate combination for the design open to achieve its
intended objective, has bigger aggregates that will produce
a rough finish, but optimum permeability and smaller
aggregate combinations that will provide great mechanical
strength and smooth finishes, but sacrifice permeability.
PCP is usually designed to have a void ratio of 1535%, a
permeability of 1.412.3 mm/s, and a typical compressive
strength ranging from 2.8 to 28 MPa (ACI, 2010). Size
distribution and maximum aggregate size will be specified
depending upon the surface finish required and
permeability needed for the application. For example, a
smaller coarse aggregate should be used for a pedestrian
area because it requires a smoother finish, and larger
aggregate sizes should be in parking areas or pavement
with traffic since they will require more permeability and
less smoothness.


What if we transform areas developed as pavements and flooring and we enable our slabs to
percolate and recharge the natural groundwater? What if we can change the whole objectives of our development to contribute and protect our natural resources? This can be
achieved by using Pervious Concrete.

PCP Installation
It consists of discharging the truck, raking the concrete to
the required level, and to strike off with a roller screed or
any type of rolling equipment that will compact the
material as it passes. After compaction, a cross roll should
pass perpendicular to the pavement for the final finishing.
Immediately after installation, the slab or concrete
pavement surface must be covered for 7 to 10 days to allow
proper curing.
Benefits of Pervious Concrete
Improvement in Runoff Management
Impervious pavement surfaces do not allow stormwater to
pass through them. Therefore, the surfaces must be sloped
to allow for proper drainage into facilities or separate
discharge containers also known as detention and retention
Pervious concrete forms a rigid pavement surface, while
allowing the passage of stormwater directly through the
pavement. By allowing rainfall to pass through the
pavement system and into the soil below, the entire
pavement area can be used as a detention system, which
could reduce or eliminate the need for separate drainage Environmental Benefits
The use of pervious concrete is recognized as a Best
By design, the owner eliminates or significantly reduces the Management Practice by the United States Environmental
cost of conventional underground stormwater systems, Protection Agency (US-EPA) to provide pollution control
drainage structures, and the cost of land associated with and manage stormwater. According to US-EPA,
conventional retention ponds. As stormwater percolates and stormwater runoff is defined as the water generated by rain
recharges the groundwater, the system will filter and clean precipitation or melting snow that doesnt percolate
the stormwater by a process of filtration and microbial through impervious surfaces and accumulates debris,
conversion of hydrocarbons, thus reducing the sediments, chemical compounds and other pollutants,
environmental impact of the development. This system will affecting the water quality of watersheds where runoff is
bring the site closer to a pre-development condition, more discharged. The quantity and type of contaminants found in
so than any other commonly used stormwater management. runoff greatly depended on the land use, rainfall intensity,
and previous dry days, among others. Some of the
contaminants associated with urban development are


sediments, heavy metals, nutrients, and bacteria

(Schoonover and Lockaby, 2006). Other researchers have
also reported concentrations of suspended solids,
phosphorous, nitrogen, copper lead, and zinc in asphalt
driveways runoff (Gilbert and Clausen, 2006). These
contaminants represent a great danger to the human and
environmental health. For example, even though nutrients
such as nitrogen and phosphorous are necessary for plant
growth, high concentrations of these nutrients into water

LEED and NRMCA Certification

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
is a point rating system devised by the United States Green
Building Council that evaluates the environmental
performance of buildings. The system is credit based,
allowing projects to earn points for environmentally
friendly strategies employed during the design and
construction process. Pervious concrete generates more
credits than the use of conventional concrete or other
common materials, these credits include:
SS Credit 6.1: Stormwater Design - Quantity Control
SS Credit 6.2: Stormwater Design - Quality Control
SS Credit 7.1: Heat Island Effect - Non Roof
WE Credit 1: Water Efficient Landscaping
WE Credit 3: Water Use Reduction
MR Credit 4: Recycled Content

MR Credit 5: Regional Materials

These benefits are the most important among others, such
as, reducing Urban Heat Island effect, allowing the trees
greatly induce eutrophication causing water quality with roots under the pavement to receive water and air, and
deterioration (i.e., harmful algal bloom).
recharging the groundwater.
Pervious concrete has shown reduction of fecal coliforms Certification
and phosphorus in water. For examples, Jo et al. (2015)
documented removal of fecal coliform and phosphorus by The design, production, and installation of pervious
54100 and 2585%, respectively, depending on the concrete is different from conventional concrete. Therefore
contact time (0.58 h), and by pervious geopolymer to ensure the quality and functionality of the system, it is
concrete. Vzquez-Rivera et al. (2015) reported an recommended that National Ready Mixed Concrete
enhanced phosphorus removal with the first-order removal Association (NRMCA) Pervious Concrete Certified
constant at 0.031 h-1 and the Freundlich isotherm constant personnel from both the Ready Mix Concrete Producer and
at 2.48 mg1-1/n kg-1 L1/n by pervious concrete.
Contractor be at the site at all times.
Highway Safety Benefits: Reduction of Hydroplaning The certifications are based on the different and special
techniques applied to the production and installation
process of the materials that are essential for the success
In terms of safety for road users, pervious concrete and performance of the pervious concrete system.
pavement are cost effective in reducing splash and spray
and hydroplaning potential, primarily in rural highways. In Pervious Concrete in Puerto Rico
terms of hydroplaning, this phenomenon is caused when a
film of water is present at the pavement surface and a The use of the material and the need for its benefits are
complete loss of traction occurs between vehicle tires and emerging on the Island and has made designers and
pavement surface (http:// architects more interested in specifying pervious concrete
in their projects.
pavement/concrete/pubs/ In order to make the use of pervious concrete possible for
projects, Star Ready Mix, a specialty concrete producer,
been researching pervious concrete applications, its
and installation processes for more than four years.
positioned Star Ready Mix on the forefront of the
expected when a film of
water of 1/10 inch deep is concrete industry, since it is the only NRMCA Pervious
present over a longitudinal Concrete Certified Producer and Installer on the Island.
distance of at least 30 feet Star Ready Mix is currently managing the construction
and vehicles running phase of the Yunques Palmer Portal project, which
speeds are 45 mph and includes the reconstruction of the entrance of the Yunque
Rainforest. The project specifies pervious concrete with an
Source: Glennon, J.C.
ASTM Size #8, which is the maximum aggregate size for


vehicular intersections, and Size #89 for sidewalks and

residential entrances. This project, among other urban
development projects, will be starting next year and is
considered as a new ecologically conscience movement
and Low Impact Development.
On the campus of the University of Puerto Rico at
Mayagez, the field implementation of pervious concrete
(Approx. 500 ft2) is currently in progress in collaboration
with several industries and organizations, including the
Star Ready Mix. The UPRM Pervious Concrete Area 1
(PCA1) is the first pervious concrete pavement in Puerto
Rico used for transportation infrastructure applications
(i.e., bicycle parking). The site consists of a 12-in.
aggregate storage layer below a 6-in. pervious concrete
slab optimized for compressive strength and permeability.
The aggregate storage layer can retain approximately 3inch precipitation thereby reducing flash flooding in the
downstream area.
ACI, American Concrete Institute Committee 522. Report
on Pervious Concrete. 1st ed., ACI 522R-10. American
Concrete Institute, Michigan; 2010.
Gilbert J.K., Clausen J.C. (2006) Stormwater runoff
quality and quantity from asphalt, paver and crushed stone
driveways in Connecticut, Water Research, 40: pp 826832.

Jo M., Soto L., Arocho M., St John J., Hwang S. (2015)

Optimum mix design of fly ash geopolymer paste and its
use in pervious concrete for removal of fecal coliforms
and phosphorus in water, Construction & Building
Materials, 93: pp 1097-1104.
Schoonover J.E,, Lockaby B.G. (2006). Land cover
impacts on stream nutrients and feacal coliform in the
lower Piedmont of West Georgia, Journal of Hydrology,
331: pp 371-382.
Vzquez-Rivera N., Soto-Prez L., St John J., Molina-Bas
O., Hwang S. (2015) Optimization of pervious concrete
containing fly ash and iron oxide nanoparticles and its
application for phosphorus removal, Construction &
Building Materials, 93: pp 22-28.


UAV Technology for Transportation

By Sergio Montaez

Sergio Montaez
President, MicroCopter Pro

ramatic innovations in the small Unmanned Aerial

Vehicles (UAV) have occurred in the last two to five
years. Studies on transportation applications reveal the
potential uses for this aerial platform and its benefits for
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). The availability to
incorporate intelligent sensors, real time communications with
ground systems, and specialized software development has
furthered the development of smarter and more sophisticated

The two mayor UAV platforms are Multirotor and Airplane

configurations. Although each has its own benefits in regards
to user friendliness, market adaptation and operational
flexibilities, the platform explained in detail is the Multirotor.
It should be noted that flight time durations make Airplane
UAV configurations a more efficient choice due to its energy
UAVs can have specific applications in the transportation
sector. In order to explain the UAV technology components,
the applications are categorized into basic or advanced.
Inspection and Real Time Reconnaissance are basic
applications, whereas Photogrammetry, Natural Resource
Management, and Autonomous Flight Operations are
advanced applications.
All of these applications can be performed with readily
available and relatively inexpensive consumer grade UAVs.

Practical UAV technologies to consider before

purchasing are: assisted flight, 3-axis stabilization
visual sensor systems, real time data transmission,
intelligent flight modes, and software application.
Assisted flight technologies consist of features such
as Auto Takeoff, Flight Attitude Stabilization
Algorithm, Auto-Home Return, and Fail Safe. The
Auto Takeoff feature sets the UAV at a specified
height to hover in
place until the pilot
is ready to fly it.
The Flight Attitude
Algorithm allows
one to move the
UAV in reference to
the horizontal plane UAV Movement in the Horizontal
by maintaining an
Plane with A<tude Mode
altitude and a limit
for the pitch angle of the craft. The Auto-Home
Return function returns and lands the UAV to a
preset location that is usually the take-off point. Fail
Safe returns the UAV to a preset location if the
battery is below a predetermined parameter or there
is a loss of connection with the remote controller
The UVA uses a 3axis
visual sensor system
(gimbal) to stabilize
the camera while it is
in movement. This
allows data collection
3 Axis Stabiliza%on System
with minimal distortion
caused by the UAV movement in any direction.
Real time data transmission transmits via a smart
phone or tablet App, and if connected to an external
monitor by HDMI. Some transmissions may transmit
up to 2km away in 720 High Definition. Once the
UAV possesses an assisted flight, gimbal, and real
time data transmission technology, your organization
should be ready to explore some Basic UAV
applications. Examples of Basic UAV applications


for ITS include, but are not limited to, construction

infrastructure inspections, inspections of inaccessible
areas, monitoring of forest fires, disaster areas,
accidents, and use in search and rescue.

Real Time HD Video Transmission

Technologies for Intelligent Flight Modes are Follow

Me, Point of Interest, and Ground Station: the UAV
will follow you at a specified distance and height;
after selecting a point, the distance, and the height, the
UAV will orbit the preselected point at the specified
distance and orientation; setting waypoints preflight
for your UAV to follow them.

Ground Sta%on Waypoint Selec%on

for Autonomous Flights

Software applications assist the user to optimize the

integrated technologies and data collection results.
With the addition of these intelligent flight modes and
software applications, the UAV can then perform
advanced applications that require additional software
processing. Examples of Advanced UAV Application
for the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
include but are not limited to surveying and mapping,



Smartphone App for Photogrammetry Flight Paths

facilitates the users ability to make well-informed

decisions. This significant information, needed to
make well-informed decisions, will be at the reach of
current transportation systems management. The
sooner your organization involves itself in the aerial
revolution, the sooner it will have an innovative edge
to create the human resources and knowledge base to
confront the problems of the future. The expected
advances in sensors, autonomous flight, and software
for enhanced application is not that far away. The
accessibility and capabilities of the sUAV requires
your assistance and attention.
For additional information regarding UAV
Applications, please refer to the following webpages:

Small UAV Mapping vs. Commercial Satellite. Culebra, PR

topographic mapping, environmental impact,

monitoring soil erosion, creating 3D models, crime/
accident scene recreation, simulations, GIS
applications, and extraction management.
The time to invest in small-UAVs is now. The
commercial UAV industry has reached an
acknowledgeable maturity point that allows
transportation innovation to areas that require
attention, and a well-defined implementation plan
within a short timeframe. As part of the
transportation sector, the National Airspace System
has regulations for the visual line of sight, the
airport proximity, the restricted airspace, and the
flight altitude standards to ensure protection in the
incorporating UAV technologies will have to be
carefully integrated and respected.
In all, the UAV will have more frequent
applications because of its adaptability, cost
efficiency, quality, and low learning curve that it
brings to the transportation industry. The UAV
combined with traditional software and the ability to
store results in large databases for GIS applications,



Drones Applications in Transportation

The integration of
UAVs in
agencies can facilitate
the maintenance,
traf%ic management
and monitoring.

he Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known

as drones, are a cost effective and easy to maneuver type
of aircraft capable of autonomous flight or remote controlled
operation. The UAVs have been in continuous advancement
because of the increased demand and wide variety of
applications, especially in the area of transportation. Some
applications include, but are not limited to, the transport of
goods, traffic management, maintenance and monitoring, and
recording data.

The transport of products and goods via UAVs is being tested

for commercial objectives. This transport is possible because
of the GPS-Navigation System and autonomous flight features.
The purpose is to automate processes for higher efficiency and
therefore, lower costs to ensure customer satisfaction. It is
becoming very popular and competitive as is the case of DHL
Express, Amazon, and Google, which are testing the UAVs
with the purpose of delivering goods.
The integration of UAVs in transportation agencies can
facilitate the maintenance, traffic management, and
monitoring. The UAVs can be used for road pavement
monitoring, traffic information acquisition, intersection traffic
conflict and queue length observation, and accident black spot
observation. Other applications include driving violations
detection, bridge condition assessment, ramp traffic
observation, vehicle following, road planning and design, and
work zone traffic surveillance. By integrating the UAV
technology, the transportation agencies will lower costs and
increase workers safety by reducing their risks, especially in
work zones along roadways, bridges, or confined spaces.



An example application of UAVs is the research

being led by the University of Leeds in the United
Kingdom (U.K). It explores
the possibility to use the
drones to fix potholes in
roadways. The Engineering
Research Council granted the
University the amount of $6.5
million to lead this national infrastructure research
project. A drone that can inspect roads and repair
potholes autonomously with the vision of creating
self-repairing cities is the main objective. This will
benefit the city of Leeds, U.K. by diminishing the
use of large construction vehicles and disruptions
caused by work zones.
The Michigan Tech Research Institute in
conjunction with the US
Department of Transportation
(DOT) conducted a research on
the uses of Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles to mapping the
condition of unpaved roads to understanding traffic
jams and evaluating the conditions inside culverts.
The drones can detect potholes and their depths,
the degree of crown (curve) in a roadway, identify
rutting conditions in a roadway, wash-boarding,
drainage, and evaluate density and severity of road
and bridge problems.
Drone Application of the Puerto Ricos
Transportation Technology Transfer Center
A research study completed in 2015 by the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
showed that 54 percent of the 32,719 motor vehicle
traffic crash fatalities reported in 2013 occurred on
the rural road network in the United States and
Puerto Rico. Within the rural network, the twolane, two-way rural roads have been shown to have
the highest incidence of fatal and injury crashes.
The focus of this research is to study the
effectiveness of centerline rumble strips (CLRS) on
highway PR-114, a rural two-way two-lane road
located between km 7.6 and 14.6 within the
municipalities of Hormigueros and San Germn.

This highway is the first to

be treated with this safety
countermeasure in Puerto
considered to be an
effective and low-cost
countermeasure used to
reduce the number and
vehicle ROR fatal and
Yanira Rivera, Masters
injury crashes. Head-on Transportation
crashes are defined as
crashes where the front of a vehicle hits the front of
the other vehicle traveling in the opposite direction.
An opposite-direction sideswipe crash occurs when
two vehicles traveling opposite directions scrape one
another. In 2013, the installation of CLRS was
completed on highway PR-114 to address the high
incidence of roadway departure crashes. This is the
first time that this corrective safety measure is
implemented in Puerto Rico. The findings of this
research will assist transportation officials determine
the countermeasures potential for further
implementation in future projects along the Puerto
Rico highway network.
The drone will be utilized to accomplish several of
the studies proposed as part of the project. The
studies include an observational study and a lateral
displacement study. First, aerial photos and video of
the segment of PR-114 treated with CLRS will be
obtained to document the characteristics of the
roadway, the traffic, vehicle mix, driver behavior,
and roadside conditions. Then, video will be taken
in predetermined locations to observe the placement
of vehicles in respect to the center of the lane within
a road with and without the CLRS treatment. This
will help determine if the presence of CLRS affect
the drivers placement of their vehicles. In addition
to recording in a treated and untreated site, the drone
recording is proposed to take place before and after
roadside vegetation maintenance to account for the
high vegetation that is present in the PR-114



Aerial Observational Study Methodology

Lateral Displacement Study Methodology

Study Methodology
The methodologies for both the aerial observational
study and the lateral displacement study and are
depicted in the above figures. Both methodologies
require the familiarization with the setup and
operation of the drone. The drone that will be used
in this case will be the Phantom 3 Professional Series
by DJI. The operation is studies through tutorials
and practice runs on campus grounds. Once that is
accomplished, a site visit is needed to plan the best
flight path and/ or locations to record that are free of
obstructions that can damage the drone or obstruct
the video. Then, video is taken on a clear, low wind
day, and a day of the week with representative
vehicular traffic. In other words, the recording will
take place on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and/ or
Thursday, and during a week with no holidays since
the traffic patterns during such occasions will differ
from the regular work week traffic. The recording of
the video has to be properly planned due to the
drones 15 to 20 minute flight time limit per battery.
In the case of the lateral displacement study, two
options are proposed: to measure the placement of
the vehicle in respect to the center of the lane as
depicted in figure at the right or to measure lateral
displacement in respect to the roads centerline, as

shown in the figure in the next page. The chosen

option will then be performed along the treatment
site and the untreated site for comparison. The video
of the cars passing over the markings will then be
recorded, and then reviewed. The observations will
then be recorded, analyzed, and reported.

Plan View of Option 1 for Pavement Marking for Lateral

Displacement Measurement


required to inspect and evaluate steel, wood, and

concrete bridges (FHWA, 2012). All inspections
must comply with the National Bridge Inspection
Standards (NBIS) and the Manual for Bridge
Evaluation of the American Association of State
Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).


Plan View of Op%on 2 for Pavement Marking for Lateral

Displacement Measurement

Drone Application at University of Puerto Rico,

Mayagez Campus
According to the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA), each bridge in service within the United
States and its territories needs a quality control
inspection (Agdas et al. 2015). In Puerto Rico, the
Highways and Transportation Authority (HTA),
part of the Department of Transportation and Public
Works (DTPW), manages the inspection program.
Engineers and HTA qualified personnel use the
Bridge Inspectors Reference Manual (BIRM)
which describes the procedures and techniques

Josie Bianchi, PhD Candidate and 2015

Doctoral Recipient of the Dwight David
Eisenhower Transportation
Fellowship Program

Each bridge inspection begins with a visual

inspection, in this order, of the pavement, superstructure, and the Sub-structure (Herrera, 1996).
Through visual inspection, deficiencies such as
corrosion, cracks, material and connection
displacements, deformation, section loss, and
delamination are found. This evaluation uses
different truck types according to the type of bridge
access which can interfere with traffic flow.
Depending on the type of bridge, it is necessary to
use safety belts and ladders to inspect the different
elements under bridges, which compromises an
inspectors safety. In addition, inspection in
confined spaces poses a danger to an inspectors
safety due to: lack of oxygen, possible presence of
toxic gases, and lack of lighting, among others.
Moreover, visual inspections are based on the
judgment and experience of the inspector which
permits the possibility of incorrect assessments.
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), has
the potential to reduce security problems in the
visual inspection process of transportation structures
-such as bridges- in a safe and cost-effective manner
(Khan et al. 2015). Drones can access the different
elements of the bridges including inaccessible and
complex infrastructure without the need to close
traffic lanes or use of specialized equipment.
Recently this year, the Department of Civil
Engineering and Land Surveying at the University
of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez conducted a research via
the IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and
Research Traineeship) program to test the
functionality of drones as a possible bridge
inspection tool. A DJI Phantom 3 Professional
drone with 4K video technology was used to
visually inspect three bridges located on PR-52 in
Ponce, Puerto Rico.

During the inspection, only two people were

necessary; one for calibrating the drone and one
for driving the drone. Since the drones move freely
and continuously through space, the inspection
time to photograph and record was less than 30
minutes for each bridge. The drone assisted
inspection, facilitates the inspection of large
inaccessible structures while increasing inspector
efficiency and productivity. Afterwards, the
collected images and videos are evaluated via a
Viola-Jones type algorithm for pattern recognition
in Matlab. The program facilitates bridge
deficiency identification such as concrete cracking
or concrete pieces falling.



For additional information regarding this article,

please refer to the following websites:
Agdas D. et al. (2015). Comparison of Visual
Inspection and Structural-Health Monitoring As
Bridge Condition Assessment Methods. Journal of
Performance of Constructed Facilities, ASCE, ISSN

Josie Bianchi using the drone to inspect the underside of

the bridge

In all, the use of drones for the inspection of

transportation infrastructure such as bridges,
represents a safe and cost-effective alternative to
the current processes used for visual bridge
inspection. The bridge owners or inspection
managers now have an accessible, easy to use, and
low maintenance tool to facilitate the process of
infrastructure inspections.

FHWA (2012). Bridge Inspectors Reference Manual

(BIRM). Federal Highway Administration, National
Highway Institute (HNHI-10), Arlington, Virginia
22201. FHWA NHI 12-049.
Herrera J. (1996). Puentes. Universidad Catlica de
Colombia. ISBN 958-95345-03.



Source: 2015 Drew Noel Photography/Rutgers CAIT

The BEAST is the

worlds %irst facility
able to measure
the environmental
and heavy traf%ic
load effects.

Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated

Structural Testing (BEAST)

he average age of the 610,700 bridges in the United States, is

42 years; nearly 24 percent is deemed functionally obsolete or
structurally deficient. Rebuilding these 63,300-plus bridges is
economically impractical. Current methods for understanding and
evaluating the performance of structural designs and their material
performance require sensors, implemented for 5 to 15 years for
significant quantitative data.
Dr. Franklin Moon, a bridge expert and associate professor at Drexel
University, explains that bridge owners are increasingly frustrated
by the slow process towards more durable bridges. For example,
consider the observation by a State DOT of a real-time in service

Source: NJ Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski addresses the crowd at the BEAST

dedication on October 14, 2014. A. Thomas/Rutgers CAIT



performance of a deck overlay and they discover it

really out-performs conventional approaches. By the
time its superior performance becomes clear,
perhaps decades later, the company that produced
the overlay may be out of business or they may have
changed the mix.
A new approach for testing and monitoring
performance is needed. Luckily, Ali Maher, director
of Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and
Transportation (CAIT) in Piscataway, New Jersey,
directed the design and development of a lab, named
the Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural
Testing (BEAST), with the hired aid of Applied
Research Associates (ARA), and collaboration of
the New Jersey Department of Transportation
(NJDOT), Rutgers School of Engineering, and
Rutgers University Facilities and Capital Planning
to answer this necessity. The idea for the lab arose
by CAITs involvement as principal investigator of
the FHWA Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP)
Program. As PI on LTBP, we interacted with state
DOTS, bridge experts, and researchers across the
country, Ali Maher said. It became very apparent
to him that we need a way to quantify the complex
phenomena involved in the deterioration process far

faster than gathering field data over a number of

decades, which is how its been done to date.
The BEAST is the worlds first facility able to measure
the environmental and heavy traffic load effects which
occur on full-scale bridge decks and superstructure
systems. Dr. Moon stated that it also shrinks the
feedback loop of data because the BEAST can
simulate the wear and tear that a highway bridge can
tolerate during 10 to 15 years of actual usage.

BEAST Test Capabilities of Bridge Systems,

Components, and Materials:
Alternative decking systems
Prestressing & post-tensioning
Coatings & sealants
Superstructure frames
Deck drainage
Safety devices

Any concrete bridge deck mix design, corrosion inhibitors, supplemental

cementing materials, and additives
Open, filled partially, filled, or unfilled grid decks such as exothermic
bridge deck systems: orthotropic or other metal deck systems:
prefabricated deck systems: precast slabs: etc.
Steel, epoxy coated, galvanized, stainless steel, steel clad, glass and
carbon fiber polymer, etc.
Bar, wire, strands, couplers, anchorages, ducts, and other components
Latex-modified concrete, joint sealants, epoxy waterproofing, seal
coating, etc.
Structural steel, reinforced concrete, precast concrete, prestressed
concrete, and timber
Bearing pads, reinforced elastomeric bearing assemblies, high-load
multi rotational bearing assemblies, and others
Performed joint filler, elastomeric joint assemblies, strip seal expansion
dams, modular bridge joint systems, longitudinal joints, shear locks, and
Scuppers, inlets, downspouts, grates, and other drainage
Stripping paint, pavement reflectors, auditory/tactile safety devices (e.g.
Botts dots, rumble strips). ITS sensors and devices, traffic cams,
signage materials, and more.

Source: Adapted from



Testing occurs within an environmental chamber that

encloses the bridge test section, limited to 50 x 28
span, and a loading device. The device simulates
traffic loading cycles with 20 to 60 Kips at 20mph, 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, which is 48,000 cycles per
day, and similar to the force exerted by a dump truck
rolling over the deck. While the deck is being loaded,
temperature fluctuations from 0 to 104 F and salt
brine applications of a 1 to 15 % soluble solution are
used to promote cyclical freeze-thaw conditions and de
-icing. This environmental cycling emulates the
seasonal changes of 15 years in six months. Hence,
the BEAST eliminates the need to gather data on
bridges in use for decades because it provides similar

structural and material performance information in a

much shorter time span than current methods.
For the average citizen, this means that their tax
dollars will be spent wisely and efficiently by
consciously selecting new and rehabilitation
infrastructure designs which reduce life-cycle costs
and lengthen a bridge or decks service life.
For additional information regarding the BEAST,
please access to


Approval of the Fixing Americas Surface Transportation

(FAST) Act and its Implications to Puerto Rico and USVI

he transportation infrastructure in the United States requires

maintenance or rehabilitation. However, there is not sufficient
and consistent funding for these operations. The solution is a long
term surface transportation bill that not only provides sufficient funds in
proportion to the Nations needs, but also includes policy
During the fiscal year of 2015, different surface transportation acts, the
DRIVE Act and the STRR Act, have been developed by the Senate or
the House. The latest Act, Fixing Americas Surface Transportation
(FAST), was formed and approved by a bipartisan committee and
signed into law by President Obama on December 4, 2015.

The FAST Act is a multi-year highway and transit

investment law. The law approximately provides $233
billion for highways, $49 billion for transit projects, and
$10 billion for federal passenger rail, whose funding
resources are guaranteed for five fiscal years. The law at
the end of its maturity, will raise highway investment by
~15% and transit spending will grow by ~18%. Funding of
$70 billion will be primarily sourced from the Federal
Reserve Bank surplus. The American Society of Civil
Engineers, in a vote, is not pleased with this outcome
because the law does not provide a sustainable source of
revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, which is projected to
fall short $24 billion in the fiscal year of 2021. President
Obamas response was, "As we applaud the kind of
bipartisan compromise that was reached last night, we
should also recognize that we still have work to do."
Aside from disagreements, the FAST Act is a significant
step forward for citizens and transportation officials,
because it provides funds which promote consistent project
continuations and investments of highways, roads, and
infrastructure which has not occurred in recent years.
The law also provides several programs and reforms from
MAP-21 which will help states and localities effectively
plan and deliver projects. For example, the Surface
Transportation Program adds $116 billion for countyowned highway bridges. It also sub-allocates up to 55% by
FY 2020 - or roughly $28 billion - of the Surface
Transportation Program to local areas and local
governments. Regarding public transportation, it increases
funding for the Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Grant
Program for bus and facility investments, and streamlining
project delivery. The program allows states to substitute
their own environmental laws and regulations for the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and requires
an assessment of previous efforts and recommendations to
accelerate project delivery process. Lastly, the Act
establishes a National Surface Transportation and
Innovative Finance Bureau which combines at least six
different offices to help states, local governments, and the
private sector with project delivery.
Puerto Rico & USVI Impact
Under the Territorial and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Highway Program in Section 165 of Title 23, United States
Code, the FAST Act, guarantees $158 million for the
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and $42 million for the
United States Territories (Guam, Northern Marianas, US
Virgin Islands and American Samoa) for each of the fiscal
years from 2016 through 2020. This amount has an
additional $8 and $2 million, respectively, from previous
fiscal years: it is for roadway safety in infrastructure and in



rural roads. This increase in funds for U.S. Territories and

the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is 5%, however, the
general increase in funds for the 50 States is 15%. An
example of this is the State of South Dakota, whose
funding was $272 million and will increase 15% to $312
million in 2020, as stated by John Thune, Commerce
Committee Chairman.
Current projects in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
include Transportation Investment Generating Economic
Recovery (TIGER) Grant Projects which include
improvements to the highways PR-2/PR-20 and PR-23/PR
-165, in Guaynabo. These projects meet one of the EDC II
initiatives which involves replacing parallel road bridges
No. 1121 and No. 1122 using a Geosynthetic Reinforced
Soil-Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) at PR-2 km
200.5. Other projects include safety and/or major road
improvements in Cabo Rojo, Utuado, Carolina, and

Final configuration of the Caparra Interchange System at

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

The Act also facilitates planned projects for future fiscal

years. For example, $15 million is needed for preventive
maintenance costs for the Urban Train (Tren Urbano) for
2015 through 2017. Funds will also be provided for the
replacement of thirty twelve-year old trolleys in San Juan
in 2016. Major developments in Coamo will occur such as
the widening of roads ($480,000), a lane for a bicycle trail,
and pedestrian improvements ($250,000), which are
funded by the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP),
which will be continued to be funded under the FAST Act.
In addition, $8 million will be invested per year from MP30 (code for source of funds) Islandwide for pavement
rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads. Another $10
million will be invested in roadsides, traffic signals,
pavement marking, and geometric safety improvements
Islandwide (23CFR 924).
For the latest information about the FAST law :


Provide Safer
Roads Soon?

Source: h

Human related
factors contributed
to 93% of all
crashes in the
United States.

otor vehicles, human factors (drivers and pedestrians) and

the environment are the principal contributory factors in
fatal and serious crashes on roads and streets worldwide.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) reports, human related factors contributed to 93% of all
crashes in the United States. This alarming statistic has accelerated
in-vehicles technologies research that assist drivers with their
performance. These technologies had a significant impact on the
reduction of drivers error and efficiency in traffic and provided
the transition towards autonomous vehicles. The NHTSA define
autonomous vehicles as those in which operation of the vehicle
occurs without direct driver input to control the steering,
acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not
expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating.
Sources: h


Autonomous Vehicles Components of Renault Prototype

The principal components of autonomous

vehicles are the Global Positioning System
(GPS), pattern recognition sensors, and software.
The GPS allow the vehicle to know the location
in which it is moving in real time, while the
pattern recognition sensors calculate the position
and the size of objects within the surroundings,
meanwhile the software processes all of this
information and generates a virtual representation
of the world as the vehicle navigates to its


autonomous vehicles will also depend on real time data

updates for every streetlight, stop signs, crosswalks,
lane markings, among other road components that are
part of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
(MUTCD). However, manufacturers have not released
information regarding the implementation aspects of
the latter, since they are still in the plan development
process. On the other hand, the USDOT Secretary,
Anthony Foxx has expressed that the federal agency
has begun their research in autonomous vehicles to
anticipate what policies will be needed when they are
availed in the marked.

Also, transportation experts have expressed their

concern: how smoothly will the transition periods
from conventional vehicles to autonomous
vehicles or if there will ever be such a thing. The
average age of current vehicles in the United
States is the 11.4 years. It will be a long period of
time in which autonomous vehicles will share the
road with conventional vehicles. Let alone some
people will always have the desire to continue
driving conventional vehicles. On the other hand,

Source: h

"Connected, automated vehicles that can sense the

environment around them and communicate with
other vehicles and with infrastructure have the
potential to revolutionize road safety and save
thousands of lives," expressed the Secretary of
the United States Department of Transportation
(USDOT) Anthony Foxx at his visit to the Delphi
Lab in Silicon Valley in May of this year.
While there are a vast number of crashes due to
human factors, there are crashes that are the
consequences of other than vehicular factors, such
as roadway factors, or environmental factors.
Even though there is only a small percentage of
crashes that are the result of a vehicular failure,
autonomous cars are not different. Motor vehicles
are a compound of a wide variety of parts, and if
any of this is defective, their failure can be the
cause of a serious crash. On the other hand, some
of these vehicular failures could be completely
eradicated since some of them are only there as an
aid to drivers. On the contrary it is expected that
as the technology in autonomous vehicles
improve, the vehicle will be able to operate and
prevent roadway and environmental factors.


Google Driverless Car Prototype

One of the developing leaders in manufacturing

autonomous cars, peculiarly is not part of the autoindustry. The Google Driverless Car prototype in its
test phase, has already driven more than 1 million
miles in the United States, encountered 200,000 stop
signs, 600,000 traffic lights, and seen 180 million
vehicles. Recently, Google has appointed Eng. John
Krafcik, former auto industry executive as its first CEO
for it driverless cars division. Krafcik has expressed
that "Self-driving cars could save thousands of lives,
give people greater mobility & free us from things we
find frustrating about driving today."
Google as well as other manufacturers such as
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Tesla, Nissan, among others,
have stated that autonomous vehicles are constantly
improving in regards to adapting to different scenarios
that drivers encounter on roads, as well as how it will
behave while sharing the road with other means of
transportation. Autonomous vehicles are expected to
be ready and on the road by 2020-2025, and are
expected to provide safer roads as soon as they become
part of transportation systems and when their
manufacturers produce them in such a manner that they
can encounter everyday scenarios and perform at the
same level or better than the average driver.




Innovative Tools Regarding Transportation Systems

Vulnerability Associated Within Climatic Changes
combined with a
more ef%icient use
of land, are key
concepts for
greenhouse gas
emissions related
to transportation.

ransportation systems are vulnerable to various adversities,

such as population growth, and climate change, which are
sometimes beyond human control. On the other hand, one may
anticipate these possible changes and assess the reality of these future
problems to protect existing infrastructure. The adaptability of a
system to changes decrease its vulnerability and increases its
resistance to the possibility of future disasters.

The General Adaption

The United States Department of Transportation

(USDOT) introduced tools and resources to help
States to be prepared, and to have an itinerary to
develop and manage transportation assets for better
resistance to climate change. These tools, developed
by the USDOT, form part of an integrated system
within the Climate Action Plan. The structure of the
general adaptation process, which defines the scope
and the quantities of the integrated vulnerability of
these applications in the decision making process, is
shown in the past figure. The tools under the process
Generate a PDF Report of Sensitivities
by Asset Type or Climate Stressor



can be evaluated by classifying climate change as

different levels of tides, winds, floods, rising
temperatures, forest fires, dust storms, changes of
freezing and thawing, winter storms, among others.
It also provides information for each asset and
climate change as a qualitative relationship between
these, as a list of indicators that have been
associated with increased sensitivity to climate
changes in the past or as a list that might be
associated with future changes, among others.

Generate a PDF report of sensitivity information for the asset type(s) and climate stressor(s) of

Navigate the Sensitivity Matrix using the individual tabs in the Excel file. Each tab contains inNavigate Sensitivity Matrix Tab by Tab formation
about how a given asset type is sensitive to each climate stressor.
Asset Type and Characteristics
Airports and Heliports
Ports and Waterways
Oil and Gas Pipelines

Asset subtype descriptions and expected lifetimes of subtypes

All sensitivity information for bridges
All sensitivity information for roads and highways
All sensitivity information for rail
All sensitivity information for airports and heliports
All sensitivity information for ports and waterways
All sensitivity information for oil and gas pipelines
Complete information on all references cited.


Useful images, maps, and other graphics about various asset types and climate stressors that are
referenced in the matrix

Transportation Climate Change Sensitivity Matrix Tool

of adaptation of systems section are: Transportation

Climate Change Sensitivity Matrix, Vulnerability
Assessment Scoring Tool, and CMIP Climate Data
Processing Tool.
The Transportation Climate Change Sensitivity
Matrix is a tool that allows transportation planners
to perceive the vulnerability of a transportation
system. This tool identifies sensitivity as essential to
assess vulnerability and risk, and defines sensitivity
as the degree to which assets or systems respond to
climate change. Captivity modes covered in this
matrix are the railroads systems, ports and
waterways, airports and heliports, oil and gas
pipelines, bridges, roads and highways, as shown in
the table of contents of the climate change sensitivity
matrix, as shown in the table above. These modes

Vulnerability scoring Assessment Tool (VAST)

provides a framework to guide the vulnerability of
assets based on indicators. This framework provides
a value for each asset, according to user, which
involves collecting information on the projected
climate change and on indicators and considers the
characteristics of the assets that make them
vulnerable to climate be defined. The vulnerability
score or value to each asset considered three main
components: exposure, sensitivity, and adaptability;
whose values are on a scale from 1 to 4, with 4
representing the highest vulnerability value. An
indicator is a characteristic of an asset that suggests
if the asset is more vulnerable to a change or a
stressor, so the user collects information for each
indicator and as a result of these comparisons, a
classification is used for each component.



related to mitigation strategies exist and are organized

into the following four major groups: promote
efficient systems and operations, reduce travel
patterns, introduce low-carbon fuels, and increase fuel
efficiency. The largest reductions will result from
changes in vehicle technology and fuel.
Transportation alternatives, combined with a more
efficient use of land, are key concepts for reducing
Example of Classification of Components and
Indicators (Done for each Active)
greenhouse gas emissions related to transportation.
The mitigation plan includes three additional tools
The third tool is CMIP Climate Data Processing Tool that are the following:
which processes the results
of climate models using the
database, World Climate
(CMIP), compiled by climate
planners. This application
works specifically with
information from US Bureau
of Reclamation's downscaled
Hydrology and Climate
Projections (DHCP) website.
The user should only request
the location information for
the CMIP database, then the
information will be sent by
email within an hour. After
requesting and saving the
information as the program
requires, the user must
answer questions in the
Home section to process the
results, as shown in the
figure of the right.
As part of the Climate
Adaptation Plan, other tools

CIMP Climate Data Processing Tool

Carbon Infrastructure Estimator. This tool

facilitates the estimation of life cycle
energies, gas emissions in construction, and
maintenance aspects of transportation
Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy
Analysis Tool. Analyzes gas emission
strategies for use in the transportation
planning process along with a determined
plan of action for climate change in the
Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Action Tool
and Workshop Materials. It is a tool that is
used as a resource to employ the best
practices of agencies on PEVs and to know
how to determine a pattern that will
contribute to goals.
These tools have been developed by the
Department of Transportation of the United
States and most are founded from
programming in Excel. One may access
these tools via the official website of the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
along with user guides for each. These
tools provide sensitivity reports by assets
and provide changes exhibited among other
characteristics that may influence the
efficiency and conditions of the evaluated
transportation system.
For more information regarding these tools
please access:



News Brief
30th Anniversary
Transportation Technology Transfer Center

t is with great pride that we inform you that our

beloved Transportation Technology Transfer
Center celebrates its 30th anniversary this upcoming year,
2016. The Center was established in April 1, 1986 to
promote research and development in transportation in both
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
Islands. The Center is one of 58 centers that are part of the
Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) implemented
around the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its
main objective is to provide technical assistance to the state
government for road and bridge improvements in their
The Center has operated successfully and continuously for
the past 29 years by working on various initiatives that has
furthered the development of professionals from
transportation and related fields by keeping them updated
with the latest technologies and initiatives in the field.
Throughout these three decades, the Center had a broad
portfolio of instructors to whom we give our deepest
gratitude. Is fact, much of the success of the seminar
program is due to the work of our qualified instructors who
provide both practical and technical seminars in their
respective areas of expertise. Other initiatives the T2 Center
promotes are prestigious scholarships, such as the Dwight
David Eisenhower Fellowship and the Abertis Chair. The
Center has also worked on the professional development
initiatives with the Professional Development Programs
UPR / MIT / Urban Train, and UPR / PUPR / ATI, and other
road safety initiatives such as the global campaign of the
Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
Watch out for future issues in which a thorough review of
the Centers achievements during the last three decades and
the upcoming activities to commemorate our 30th
anniversary will be highlighted.



Know Your Trainer: Dr. Luis D. Aponte-Bermdez

r. Luis D. Aponte-Bermdez was born in
Bayamn, Puerto Rico and grew up in Toa
Baja, Puerto Rico. Dr. Aponte has a Ph.D.
and Master of Engineering (M.E.) in Civil
Engineering from the Department of Civil and
Coastal Engineering of the University of Florida
(UF) with an emphasis in Structures and Wind
Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
degree in Civil Engineering from the University of
Puerto Rico at Mayagez Campus (UPRM).

After completing his B.S. in June 2000, Dr. Aponte

worked at Delon Hampton and Associates,
Chartered in Silver Spring, M.D. as a Bridge
Engineer. After that, he moved to Gainesville, FL
where he was awarded his M.E. and Ph.D. in May
2004 and August 2006, respectively. Dr. Apontes
research work at UF specialized in experimental
field work to characterize the wind field and wind
pressure in family residential homes along the east
coast of the US during land-falling hurricanes.
Dr. Aponte desire to specialize in Natural Hazard
Mitigation in the Civil Engineering field began
from his childhood experience in the aftermath of
Hurricane Hugo (1989) and Hurricane Georges
(1998); these two events and his passion for
Structures craft his role in the profession as a Wind
Currently, Dr. Aponte is a Professor at the
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying at
UPRM. He has taught several undergraduate and

graduate courses in the area of Structural Engineering

such as Structural Dynamics and Wind Engineering.
Dr. Apontes research work at UPRM has contributed
to the development of a hurricane harden wind
mesonet, and the implementation of a high-resolution
numerical weather prediction model for Puerto Rico
and the US Virgin Islands as part of the Caribbean
Regional Observing System (CariCOOS), which is
financially supported by NOAA IOOS program.
Dr. Aponte also serves as a faculty advisor to the
Institute of Civil Engineers of the College of
Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR),
Student Chapter (IIC-UPR).
His experience as a consultant include structural
design, expert witness testimony in lawsuits for
insurance companies and private clients, court
appearances, characterization of extreme wind loading
in low-rise buildings and other structures in coastal
During October and November of 2015, Dr. Aponte
presented the seminar entitled Introduction to Wind
Load Calculation for Road Utilities, as his first
collaboration with the Transportation Technology
Transfer Center.
In this edition of the Newsletter, El Puente, the
recognized the extraordinary work Dr. Luis D. Aponte
-Bermdez has done, and welcome him into the
family of the instructors of our Center.


Together we can save millions of lives!

I, ___________________________, pledge to do my part to help save lives on the road.

I pledge to:
____ 1. Not text while driving.
____ 2. Obey the traffic laws applicable to drivers.
____ 3. Comply with the speed limits.
____ 4. Pass the key if I am under the influence of alcohol.
____ 5. Have no distractions while driving a motor vehicle.
____ 6. Share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
____ 7. Always buckle my safety belt.
____ 8. Require my vehicle occupants to always buckle the safety belt.
____ 9. Always buckle my children with a safety belt.
____ 10. Use the protective safety devices while on a motorcycle,
bicycle or motor vehicle.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Fundacin Lus A. Seeriz

Trac Safety Commission

Administra%on of Automobile Accident Compensa%on


PRLTAP Center Sta


University of Puerto Rico at Mayagu ez
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Call Box 9000, Mayagu ez, PR 00681

787.834.6385 PHONE
787.265.5695 FAX

Director & Editor

Benjamn Colucci Ros

Editor Assistants
Wilfredo R. Cordero Cruz
Yanira Rivera MaMas
Wilmari ValenMn Medina Sta
Jesenia Carrero Lorenzo
Irmal Franco Ramrez
Adlin M. Santos Vlez
Grisel Villarubia Echevarra

Student Sta
Jonathan Ambrose Torres
Karla E. Matos Velzquez
Anne Mndez Ramrez
Mara Torres Rodrguez
Maribel Turner Ros

El Puente Newsle
Vol.29, No. 4, Winter 2015

EL PUENTE is published by the Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer

Center located at the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying

The opinions, ndings or recommendaons expressed in this newsleer are those of the Center Director and Editors and do not necessarily reect the views of the
Federal Highway Administraon, the Puerto Rico Department of Transportaon and Publics Works, the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportaon Authority, or the U.S
Virgin Islands Department of Public Works.