Dust Measurement to Determine Effectiveness of Rural Dust Strategies

Dust produced from unpaved roads in rural Alaska is impacting the quality of life in many villages in Alaska and other cold regions. Not only does dust emanating from unpaved roads cause respiratory ailments but also impacts subsistence food storage and sources as well as safety as dust impacts visibility on village streets. Loss of fine particles also greatly impacts the quality of road surfaces creating increased maintenance costs. Replacing the fines content in unpaved road surfaces is costly owing to the lack of suitable material and equipment in many villages. The expectation for many communities is that paving their roads will solve their problems. In some cases this may be possible. In many rural environments, however, lack of suitable material or cost prohibitive sources, unsuitable foundation materials, or inability to maintain the improved roads preclude pavement as an option. A suitable option for many rural villages may be dust control palliatives and institutional controls. However, there is little consensus on how to measure the effectiveness, economics, and environmental impacts of dust control approaches that are compatible with the subsistence lifestyle common in remote rural communities in Alaska and other cold regions. The objective of this proposed project is to support the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF) in their evaluation of different dust control methods by developing a roadmap identifying critical dust control research needs for Alaska and by developing a method to measure the effectiveness of dust control strategies by measuring dust produced from lengths of roadways that have been treated with palliatives and from roadways where institutional controls have been attempted such as speed limits. This project has three main tasks: (1) development of a dust control research roadmap that strategically identifies and prioritizes critical dust control research needs in Alaska and other rural cold regions, (2) development of instrumentation and methodology to monitor the production of dust from road surfaces, and (3) testing the methodology by supporting the AKDOT&PF with their field tests of different dust control measures in the test village and other locations around the state such as village airports. Dust is impacting the quality of life in the villages throughout Alaska and other cold regions. In addition, loss of fine aggregate from unpaved roads greatly increases the cost to maintain the road surface. Decreasing the amount of fines that are lost from road surfaces will result in the following benefits to the State of Alaska: (1) improve the quality of life in rural villages, and (2) decrease maintenance costs on unpaved roads.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $189966.00
  • Contract Numbers:


    107019 / G00003238

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Alaska University Transportation Center

    University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    P.O. Box 755900
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99775-5900
  • Project Managers:

    Connor, Billy

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Alaska, Fairbanks

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    P.O. Box 755900
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99775-5900
  • Principal Investigators:

    Barnes, Dave

  • Start Date: 20070803
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20121231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 13641

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01466364
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Alaska University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0011, 107019 / G00003238
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:15PM