What is the LRRB?
Established in 1959 through state legislation, the Minnesota Local Road Research Board (LRRB) sponsors transportation research and related technology transfer activities to meet the informational needs of cities and counties.
According to Minnesota statutes, LRRB funding must support the following:
- Research that improves the design, construction, maintenance and environmental compatibility of state-aid highways, streets and appurtenances
- Construction of research elements and reconstruction or replacement of research elements that fail
- Programs for implementing and monitoring research results
The LRRB serves local road transportation practitioners through:
- Development of new initiatives
- Acquisition of and application of new knowledge
- Exploration and implementation of new technologies
How the LRRB Works
Transportation practitioners from local agencies submit ideas to the LRRB, which selects and approves proposals. The MnDOT Office of Research & Innovation provides administrative support and technical assistance. Researchers from MnDOT, universities and consulting firms conduct the research, and the LRRB monitors the progress.
Research sponsored by the LRRB helps to improve the quality of Minnesota’s transportation systems. The impact of this research multiplies as more and more engineers see potential applications through the technology transfer efforts of LRRB’s Research Implementation Committee.
Who Conducts Transportation Research in Minnesota?
Transportation research in Minnesota involves extensive and productive collaborations among federal and state agencies, local units of government, the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, other universities and private industry. These collaborations take place through a number of formal and informal partnerships. For example, the LRRB RIC, which includes county and city engineers, University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies staff and MnDOT research staff, may contract with a private engineering consultant to implement a research project. Researchers from MnDOT, universities and consulting firms conduct the research, and the LRRB monitors progress. MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation provides the necessary administrative support services to the LRRB and RIC.
Here are some of the impacts of LRRB research initiatives:
- Co-sponsorship of MnROAD, an innovative real-world pavement test facility that includes a low-volume track.
- More than 500 completed research projects, with the results of many projects such as recycled asphalt in mix, now used routinely.
- Funded research and implementation assistance for new spring-load restriction guidelines, which save an estimated $14 million annually in road repair costs.
- Demonstration grants for innovative city and county public works projects (Operational Research Program for Local Transportation Groups (OPERA) )
- Technology transfer through coordination and funding of education, training and library services.