News Article

Itasca Part of Transportation Research Award Winning Team

The University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) has awarded its 2018 Research Partnership Award to a team that has studied "Geogrid-Reinforced Aggregate-Base Pavement Design." The research effort extends from the early 2000s to the present. The award recognizes research projects within the CTS program that result in significant impacts on transportation, and rewards teams of individuals who draw on the strengths of their diverse partnerships to achieve those results.

The research enables improved design procedures and modified construction specifications that better utilize geogrid reinforcement by understanding its contribution to the roadway and the potential need for less aggregate. This can reduce construction costs and time throughout Minnesota while improving road quality and longevity.

The team members accepting the award are shown in the photograph above. From left-to-right in the front row are Andry Ranaivoson, Kimberly Hill, and Satish Gupta (University of Minnesota), David Potyondy (Itasca Consulting Group), and Jim Howley (Tensar International). From left-to-right along the second row are Rich Sanders (Polk County Engineer, Minnesota Local Road Research Board representative), and John Seikmeier and Bruce Tanquist (Minnesota Department of Transportation). Other participating organizations include Braun Intertec and Ingios.

David Potyondy of Itasca Consulting Group was instrumental in the development of the Pavement-Design Package, a robust PFC3D-based tool set that supports the creation and triaxial testing of a synthetic unsaturated granular material containing geogrids. The package utilizes the Hill Contact Model.

The Pavement-Design Package is provided in the form of a consistent set of FISH functions that operate within PFC3D 5.0. The Pavement-Design Package is freely available to download and use. To do so, please visit

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