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Hugenschmidt J.,University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil | Kasa C.,VAP | Kato H.,West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd NEXCO WEST
Near Surface Geophysics | Year: 2013

Industrial railway tracks are important for the loading and unloading of goods and therefore for the railway system in general. Often, industrial tracks are embedded in concrete and/or asphalt to enable trucks and other traffic across rails. Thus, most of the construction is hidden from visual inspection. If repair work is planned or if damage occurs, details of the construction have to be known for the planning of repair work and for the evaluation of damages. This paper describes the characteristics of industrial railway tracks, frequent problems and the non-destructive testing on several real sites using GPR. Typical testing problems, most of them related to construction details, are described and the application of GPR for these problems is demonstrated using data from field measurements. Data from different types of equipment are compared and benefits and limits of the method are discussed. It is shown that GPR can provide information that is required to address problems that can be found frequently on industrial railway track sites. © 2013 European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers. Source


Hiasa S.,University of Central Florida | Hiasa S.,West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd NEXCO WEST | Noori M.,University of Central Florida | Kelly C.,University of Central Florida | Tatari O.,University of Central Florida
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2015

The Shin-Meishin Expressway is being constructed from Nagoya to Kobe in Japan, and the section from Takatsuki to Kobe is currently under construction as a viable alternative route as opposed to the Meishin Expressway. However, highway construction is usually considered destructive to the natural environment due to the deforestation required during construction, as well as subsequent increases in CO2 emissions upon completion of new highways as new traffic is brought to the area. By applying a system dynamics methodology with respect to the Meishin and Shin-Meishin Expressways, this study analyzes two major effects of new highway construction (CO2 absorption and CO2 emissions) as well as the potential influence of felling, replanting, and/or maintaining the surrounding forest area on the overall CO2 absorption capacity, net CO2 emissions, and total CO2 stock in the analyzed construction area. Regarding CO2 absorption, it was found that, if the portion of the forest felled during construction is very old, new highway construction can help to recover the lost CO2 absorption capacity by planting new trees along the highway, even if the area of planting is much smaller than the area of felling trees. As for CO2 emissions, it was found that mitigating traffic congestion and decreasing the required driving distance can reduce CO2 emissions from the highway(s) in question. Therefore, this study concludes that new highway construction does not always harm the environment regarding CO2 pollution, as the harmful impacts commonly associated with highway construction can be mitigated with other technological and/or ecological mitigation methods. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Sakamoto H.,West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd NEXCO WEST | Tada M.,Kinki University | Iida K.,Osaka University | Noma H.,Ritsumeikan University | And 4 more authors.
20th ITS World Congress Tokyo 2013 | Year: 2013

Although rapid aging of popularity causes serious traffic problem in Japan, only few studies have been conducted to investigate elderly drivers' behavior especially on expressway. Our statistical analysis of accident records on expressway in past five years showed that (1) toll barriers (TBs) are highly accident-prone (2) a typical pattern of elderlies' accidents is significantly different to that of non-elderlies' on TBs; while characteristic pattern of elderlies' accidents is "side-by-side collision caused by drivers' lack of scanning for checking safety of backside", that of non-elderlies' is "rear-end-collision caused by eye glance behavior while driving at TB gate". However, whereas accident records analysis gives us approximate information about elderlies' accidents, it gives us no detailed information about traffic environment or drivers' behavior. Therefore, in this study, to know detailed information about traffic environment on TBs, we analyzed 845 vehicle trajectories on an accident-prone TB using video-based approach and detected potentially dangerous spots where traffic conflicts frequently occur. Then, to know how elderly drivers behave at the detected spots, we performed an experiment in real traffic conditions using 40 subjects (26 elderlies and 14 non-elderlies). In our study, we let each subject drive the expressway including the TB and measured his driving behavior using multiple sensors (eye camera, video camera, etc.). After finished driving, to know how each subject perceived risk while driving, we interviewed each subject by showing videos of his own driving behavior recorded in the experiment. As a behavioral approach, we evaluated and scored each subject's safe driving skill for preventing accidents based on driving instructors' knowledge using measured sensor data. The result of driving behavior evaluation was that elderlies' safe driving skill score at the potentially dangerous spots on the TB is significantly lower than that of non-elderlies'. In addition, to know why elderlies' behave riskily on the TB, we analyzed subjects' interview data and evaluate each subject's risk perception ability (psychological approach). The evaluation result of risk perception ability shows that even at the potentially dangerous spots on the TB where traffic conflicts frequently occur, elderlies' could not perceive risk appropriately. Source


Hiasa S.,University of Central Florida | Hiasa S.,West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd NEXCO WEST | Birgul R.,University of Central Florida | Birgul R.,Mugla University | And 4 more authors.
Computing in Civil and Building Engineering - Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering | Year: 2014

The aging of highway infrastructure is a serious problem worldwide. As important constituents of this infrastructure, bridges have usually been inspected by visual inspection techniques and hammer sounding methods. In addition to these existing methods, different non-destructive evaluation technologies are also being developed and are expected to be utilized for effective management of highway structures. This study focuses on exploring and enhancing the usability of infrared thermography as a viable non-destructive evaluation technology. In this research, an experimental study was conducted to determine the most thriving time window to collect data from an object by using an infrared camera. The same setup was utilized to obtain data from existing structures. The results have shown that the night time was a better option to gather data from an object. It was also observed that infrared thermography could detect subsurface anomalies. © ASCE 2014. Source


Hiasa S.,University of Central Florida | Hiasa S.,West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd NEXCO WEST | Watase A.,West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd NEXCO WEST | Birgul R.,University of Central Florida | And 4 more authors.
Life-Cycle of Structural Systems: Design, Assessment, Maintenance and Management - Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Life-Cycle Civil Engineering, IALCCE 2014 | Year: 2015

The aging of road infrastructure is becoming a serious problem worldwide. Although the number of aged structures is increasing rapidly, inspection and maintenance for them cannot catch up with the speed due to the limited budget. Under these circumstances, infrared thermography method has been developed as one of non-destructive evaluation methods to implement inspections efficiently and effectively. This study is focusing on exploring enhancing the usability of infrared method as a viable non-destructive evaluation technology. In this research, infrared technology was applied to existing structures to prove the reliability and usability as a non-destructive inspection, and an experimental study was conducted to determine the most thriving time window to collect useful data from an object by using an infrared camera. Three infrared cameras with different specifications were also utilized both in a lab test and on an existing bridge. The results have shown that infrared thermography could detect subsurface anomalies in an existing bridge, and also indicated that night time was a better option to gather data from an object. The results of camera comparison showed the efficiency of the infrared thermography technique for bridge inspection although there were some discrepancies due to different camera types. © 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, London. Source

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