Researchers at the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation continue to conduct important work and take on new challenges in transportation during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Here is some of what we have been working on, highlighted by recent media coverage and virtual events.

NJ Transit awarded an initial construction contract to replace the Raritan River Bridge damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Photo ©NJ Transit Twitter.

Research in Action

Earlier this September, NJ Transit celebrated the groundbreaking of the $595 million Raritan River Bridge replacement project. This marks the beginning of construction to replace the existing swing-span bridge that was damaged during Superstorm Sandy. Read more about the groundbreaking here.

A study led by Research Assistant Professor at CAIT, Dr. Yun Bai, alongside industry partner Econsult Solutions, Inc., helped to provide an analysis of the economic impacts associated with the project. Based on the study, the one-time project investment was found to have an estimated economic impact of approximately $1 billion and will support 5,740 jobs.

“Major construction projects like these provide not only resilience and safety benefits, but economic benefits too,” she said. “This research analyzed the potential effect of the upfront construction and ongoing operations of the new infrastructure on the state’s economy, to provide NJ Transit with another tool when analyzing this project.”

Upcoming 5G wireless networks that will provide faster cell phone service may lead to inaccurate weather forecasts, according to a Rutgers study on a controversial issue that has created anxiety among meteorologists.

“Our study – the first of its kind that quantifies the effect of 5G on weather prediction error – suggests that there is an impact on the accuracy of weather forecasts,” said senior author Narayan B. Mandayam, a Distinguished Professor at the Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB), who also chairs the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

The peer-reviewed study was published this month at the 2020 IEEE 5G World Forum, sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. CAIT-affiliated researcher Dr. Roger Wang, who is also a member of the Center’s Infrastructure Resilience Program, was a part of the study team. Read more media coverage here.

The Daily Targum also reported on Rutgers and CAIT researchers who have created a miniature device for measuring trace levels of toxic lead in sediments at the bottom of harbors, rivers and other waterways within minutes. This project was done in collaboration with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Rutgers’ Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT). It was funded by CAIT, the USDOT-University Transportation Research Center–Region II. Learn more here.

Virtual Events

On September 23rd, UTC partners at Farmingdale State College hosted an event on mobilizing safe and sustainable transportation. The webinar covered a variety of topics including research on Parking Stall Demand Reduction and Transit-Oriented Development and a Keynote from CAIT-affiliated researcher Dr. Clifton Lacy on the COVID-19 Pandemic and public transit.

The presentation was a part of a larger series of events for Long Island Mobility Week late this September. Read more about the event here.