Purdue University Graduate School
Dissertation final version_Xiaoqiang Hu.pdf (5.47 MB)

New Approaches to Improving Highway Design, Safety, and Visual Presentation

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posted on 2023-11-30, 15:54 authored by Xiaoqiang HuXiaoqiang Hu

Accurate traffic information plays a crucial role in developing appropriate pavement designs. However, the existing traffic design input module often falls short in accurately describing the real traffic conditions on Indiana highways. Furthermore, a range of issues related to vehicle classification, transit bus traffic characterization, semi-truck platooning, pavement friction assessment, and highway model representation have been identified. This study aims to improve the design, safety, and visual presentation of highways in Indiana. In the realm of design, real-world traffic data will be collected and processed, while a traffic database of urban buses will be established. Both an axle-based digital classification method and a model-based image classification method will be introduced to categorize unclassified vehicles. The updated vehicle class distributions and axle load distributions will serve as pivotal traffic inputs for pavement design. Regarding safety considerations, a model for two-semi-truck platooning will be developed to determine safe and optimal headways. Characteristics pertinent to semi-truck platoons will be outlined and discussed. Additionally, a series of laboratory and field tests will be conducted to assess the frictional properties and performance of aggregates and colored pavements, thereby refining roadway safety measures. In the realm of visual presentation, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) framework will be applied to convert, enrich, and extend a highway model. A BIM-centered repository will be created, amalgamating a wealth of information encompassing traffic specifics and project particulars into an integrated visual platform. Moreover, Open BIM processes will be implemented, streamlining the exchange of highway data and ensuring seamless compatibility of models. The results of this study can offer valuable insights to drive improvements in highway design, safety, and visual presentation throughout Indiana.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Construction Management Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Yi Jiang

Additional Committee Member 2

Bryan J. Hubbard

Additional Committee Member 3

Chengcheng Tao

Additional Committee Member 4

Emad Elwakil

Additional Committee Member 5

Jiansong Zhang