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Washington State University National Center for Transportation Infrastructure Durability & Life-Extension (TriDurLE)


Evaluating Sidewalk Infrastructure Durability and Life Extension


Wesley Marshall, PI, University of Colorado, Denver
Arunprakash Karkunanithi, Co-PI, University of Colorado, Denver


Addressing two of TriDueLE’s primary themes – Management and Monitoring – this project advances the literature and state-of-the-art for asset management of sidewalk infrastructure, a historically under-researched topic.

Via strong agency and non-profit collaborations, we seek to leverage advances in technology and increasing access to high-resolution remote sensing and spatial data to develop methods for inventorying sidewalk characteristics and static barriers across an entire major city, as depicted in the graphic to the right (Figure 1). Thus far, such work has only been done for relatively small areas but not yet at the city scale. In-kind data from an on-demand mobility analytics platform will then be harnessed to develop a data-driven methodology to prioritize sidewalk infrastructure investments. We will rely on the trip data to find locations with high levels of short trips being made by automobile and combine that with crash data, socio-demographic data, socio-economic data, and land use data (such as schools) to overlay on top of our sidewalk infrastructure analysis. The project team will then conduct a life cycle assessment, coupled within a systems dynamics modeling framework, of sidewalk infrastructure to better understand, for example, the benefit of routine, preventative maintenance as compared to current practice. The result of this project will help transition the transportation community towards a state-of-the-art approach to the management and monitoring of sidewalk infrastructure.

Concurrently, we will equip students – drawn from an urban university and transportation-graduate program with a proven track record of success in educating women and underrepresented minorities – with the applied knowledge and higher-order thinking skills needed to become the next generation of transportation leaders. Research findings and methodologies will be broadly disseminated across traditional academic outlets as well as to our collaborators and in venues more likely to be frequented by practitioners and/or municipal agency staff.

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Associate Professor
Department of Civil Engineering
University of Colorado Denver


Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
University of Colorado, Denver