RED Project Spotlight

Highlighting Innovative Research by ARTBA Research and Education Division Members

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Rutgers University Creates World’s First Full-Scale Accelerated Testing Facility for Bridges
The Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers University is unveiling the world’s first facility that will quantitatively measure the effects of environmental and traffic loading on full-scale bridge deck and superstructure systems in a greatly accelerated time frame: the Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing lab (the BEAST).

The project demonstrates Rutgers CAIT’s commitment to advancing good bridge repair by addressing what is one of the most critical infrastructure issues facing our country: nearly 24 percent of U.S. bridges are deemed either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient.

Relentlessly inflicting what amounts to 24/7 truck traffic with a 60,000-pound loading device and accelerated temperature fluctuations from 0 to 104 °F, the BEAST will fast forward aging as much as 30 times, allowing CAIT to simulate 15 years or more of wear and tear in just six months.

Data from BEAST testing will provide insight, help manage expectations, and give bridge owners empirical evidence to optimize decisions to maximize the life cycle of bridges throughout the country—sooner than ever thought possible.

For more information about this project, contact CAIT Director Ali Maher, Ph.D.:

UnknownUniversity of Nevada, Reno Develops New Signal Timing Tool to Save User Costs and the Environment
Researchers at the Center for Advanced Transportation Education and Research (CATER) at the University of Nevada, Reno, have developed an iOS-based mobile tool called SMRT, short for Signal Management and Retiming Tool, to help engineers retime traffic signals to ease driver frustration. This is the first mobile app that is easy to use for evaluating and diagnosing signal timing issues.

In a case study conducted in October 2014 for the California Department of Transportation, CATER helped retime a 1.7 mile segment of a signalized arterial using SMRT. The study revealed that the overall travel time savings per day is about 560 hours; fuel savings per day is about 600 gallons; the total annual savings in delay and fuel is then about $3.2 million; the average annual savings per traveler is about $170. This yields a benefit-cost ratio of about 130:1.

Additionally, there is an estimated annual reduction of about 22 tons of emissions, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, due to the improved signal coordination.

For more information about this project, contact CATER and SOLARIS Director Zong Tian, Ph.D.:

For more information on these and other projects, go to If you are working on an interesting project and would like to have your research highlighted, contact Lital Shair at

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