The University of Toledo University Transportation Center

UTUTC-IU-14: Transportation Informatics: An Image Analysis System for Managing Transportation Facilities (Phase II of "A Novel Image Database System for Maintenance of Transportation Facility")

Focus Area: Infrastructure Utilization


Principal Investigator:

Eddie Y. Chou, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Director of Infrastructure Systems Research Laboratory
Department of Civil Engineering
College of Engineering
The University of Toledo
MS 307
2801 W. Bancroft
Toledo, OH 43606
Phone: (419) 530-8123
Fax: (419) 530-8116

Project Dates: 07/01/2009 to 06/30/2010; no-cost extension to 12/31/2011

Project Year: Year 4

UT-UTC Designation: UTUTC-IU-14



Maintaining and managing the vast and aging transportation infrastructures with limited resources is a very challenging task for nearly all transportation agencies. The proposed project is a continuation (Phase II) of a proof of concept demonstration project (UTUTC-IU-5) jointly funded by UT-UTC and MIOH-UTC with the objective to assist transportation agencies efficiently record, monitor and evaluate the conditions of transportation infrastructure assets so as to more effectively managing the needs for maintenance or rehabilitation with minimum total costs and least interruptions of service to the public.

During Phase I of this project, the researchers designed the framework of a prototype system to systematically and automatically extract features from digital images of transportation infrastructure, specifically, surface condition information from available roadway images. The focus was on acquiring roadway images, processing and transforming the images for analysis, and extracting visible cracking from the processed roadway images. The project outline was presented during a U.S. DOT site visit at MIOH-UTC and was well received by the visiting U.S. DOT officials. A new algorithm was subsequently developed and implemented to rebuild the crack pattern after noise reduction. The preliminary results have been summarized in a paper to be presented at an upcoming IEEE conference to be held in Winsor, Canada.

The proposed Phase II would build upon the success of Phase I to complete the prototype system. The proposed tasks include: 1) quantify the cracking, 2) verify the accuracy of automatic condition evaluation by comparing the results with manual inspection, and 3) complete the prototype implementation so that the results can be demonstrated. Currently, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is embarking on an initiative to looking into the possibility of using digital imaging technologies to assist with infrastructure management. In particular, ODOT’s District 2 is leading a demonstration project to survey some Northwest Ohio highways with digital imaging technologies. Funding of the proposed Phase II is crucial in allowing UT researchers to demonstrate the viability of the technologies and to respond to major research funding opportunities existing at the State and Federal levels.


UT-UTC Grant
Match Amount
Total Budget

$ 32,301 
$ 32,312
$ 64,613
Final Report
 Final Report  PDF Symbol
Last Updated: 6/9/16