U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Message from Co-Chairs
Innovations in Practice
Milestones in Brief
STIC Goes Green
FHWA Every Day Counts
Quick STIC Facts
2014 Dates to Remember
We are proud to present you with the 2013 State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) End-of-Year Accomplishments summary. This newsletter details our accomplishments, initiatives moving forward, available resources and milestones achieved in 2013.
We both want to thank all of you for your leadership and participation in the STIC. Each one of you is instrumental in the successful inception, development and progress of PA STIC. We’ve received national attention because of your efforts and hard work.
Over the past two years, we have forged an environment of innovation, imagination and ingenuity through our partnership and collaboration. We’ve proven that we care about our state and the citizens we serve by pursuing innovations and proven techniques that will deliver a modern and high-quality transportation system. In addition, you have looked for additional ways to collaborate to enhance our citizens’ lifestyles, promote safety and protect the environment.
We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the efforts and enthusiasm presented thus far only demonstrate the commitment we have to continue our progress as we look for ways to improve our business, our products and our delivery.
We commend you on your hard work, dedication and commitment to innovation!
Secretary of Transportation
FHWA Division Administrator
In the past year and a half, Pennsylvania’s State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) has moved forward initiatives that are, and will be, making a difference to transportation employees, contractors, and the public. In all, and to date, approximately 50 initiatives are either in the deployment phase or in the works with their respective Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). This newsletter reports on many of them. The following initiatives continue to move forward:
The seeds of innovation have been planted in Pennsylvania, and innovative technologies that save money, improve traffic safety, and reduce congestion and traffic headaches are making their way onto our roadways.
Here are three such initiatives promoted by the STIC.
Geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) is an old concept that has been modernized with today’s technology. It uses alternating layers of geotextile and compacted stone to create bridge superstructure units, which are combined with beams and a deck to create an integrated bridge system (IBS). GRS-IBS allows bridges to be built more quickly (doesn’t require intricate construction concepts), at a lower cost (from 25 to 60 percent less than conventional construction methods), and in an environmentally friendly manner.
This technology is a great solution to address structurally deficient bridges on low-volume roadways or over low-velocity streams. PennDOT encourages the use of GRS-IBS technology and has included it in Pub 447, New Products for Low-Volume Roads, among the innovative products that local governments may use on their roadways.
GRS-IBS bridges have been built in several communities across the state, including Huston and Sandy townships in Clearfield County and North Hopewell Township in York County
Safety Edge is the addition of a wedgeshaped attachment to paving equipment so that the edge of the roadway is paved to create a 30-degree angle rather than a hazardous vertical drop-off. Roadway departures account for 53 percent of fatal crashes, and this seemingly small change done while paving can reduce crashes to save lives and prevent serious injuries.
By angling the edge of the pavement, Safety Edge makes it easier for vehicles that drift off the road to return to the roadway smoothly. It also creates a more durable edge that is less prone to deterioration. It involves minimal time and cost to implement during paving projects. The commercially available shoe attaches to existing equipment in mere minutes.
Safety Edge has been incorporated into at least 48 roadway paving projects during the 2013 construction season.
This new technology allows hot-mix asphalt producers to mix pavement materials 30 to 120 degrees F lower than traditional heating practices. With less energy needed to heat the asphalt, warm-mix asphalt ultimately leads to a 20 percent decrease in fuel consumption. In addition, the more durable asphalt lessens premature damages and aging, thereby providing a longer pavement lifespan.
The benefits of warm-mix asphalt include reduced paving costs, extended paving season in cooler weather, improved asphalt compaction, and improved working conditions due to less exposure to fuel emissions, fumes, and odors. The paved road is also ready for traffic quicker.
PennDOT has incorporated the use of this technology in Pub 408, Construction Specifications, and it’s quickly becoming the asphalt production of choice. More than 30 percent of all asphalt placed by PennDOT in 2012 and 2013 was warm mix. PennDOT has also turned its attention to educating local governments and municipal partners about the benefits of this technology and encouraging its use during the paving of local roads.
Intelligent Compaction – Pilot advertised in July. Strike-off letter on pre-bid design files completed.
Geosynthetic Reinforced Soils Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) – Specifications contained in Pub 447. Three bridges constructed: two in District 2-0, one in District 8-0 (all local bridges). 2014 promises 12 additional bridges. Promotional materials created: video, banner, and tech sheet.
Locally Administered Projects – Local Project Delivery manual developed. Regional construction inspection open-end agreement executed and ready for use.
High-Friction Surfaces – 50 locations selected. PennDOT Lab is working to identify available new products and materials for use of high-friction surface treatments. User Guide and Standard Special Provision in progress.
Quality Environmental Documents – Training on purpose and need developed as well as other courses, which will be offered to planning partners in 2014.
DarWIN-ME Pavement Design – Implementation plan developed. Local data to be implemented into model in 2014.
Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam – Draft guidelines and user specifications developed.
Highway Safety Manual Integration – Safety Performance Factors developed for inclusion into SafetyAnalyst (SA) software.
Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety – Five police departments trained on the integration of location-based crime and traffic crash data to determine most effective methods for deploying law enforcement and other resources.
PA Safety Symposium – Session presented at 2013 Transportation Engineering and Safety Conference in December to promote most effective ways to improve safety.
Intersection and Interchange Geometrics – Roundabout appendix to PennDOT DM-1X completed. Candidate locations for roundabouts being identified.
Accelerated Bridge Construction – Precast bridge standards developed for issue. Three bridges with prefabricated bridge element systems to be constructed in 2014.
3D Modeling for Construction – Pilot Automated Machine Guidance (AMG) project led in District 9-0. Strike-off letter on 3D design issued.
The Public Outreach Technical Advisory Group (TAG) has been hard at work promoting the PA STIC, including the accomplishments of the individual TAGs.
Over the past year and a half, STIC and TAG members have educated audiences at more than a dozen conferences and exhibits across the state about the purpose of STIC and the various initiatives being explored.
The Public Outreach TAG has also developed multiple resources for use at various events.
Let’s keep the momentum going! If you know of an opportunity to communicate STIC initiatives and successes, please let us know. Contact PennDOT Information Specialist Jamie Legenos at email@example.com or Carol Kilko, chair of the Public Outreach TAG, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information and publications promoting STIC are available online at modernDOT.pa.gov (select ”State Transportation Innovation Council“).
Did you realize the STIC has accepted at least three initiatives that can be considered “green”? Take a look.
Recycled Asphalt Shingles. This innovation offers a means to reduce waste in landfills. Although there are several hurdles yet to overcome, it’s not too far out of reach or too far in the future when we can consider asphalt shingles as one type of roadway material.
Pervious Concrete. This innovation does raise some concerns about its application on roads, but perhaps it can be used for auxiliary or pseudoroads and other types of transportation options, such as trails and parking lots.
Warm-Mix Asphalt. This material is produced at a lower temperature, thus using less energy and providing environmental benefits.
The STIC has the following resources available to promote successful transportation initiatives:
* To be completed by the end of 2013
The FHWA launched Every Day Counts 2 (EDC2) in our region of the country in October 2012. Since that time, PennDOT has decided to implement many of the EDC innovations that have been shared by FHWA, and the TAGs have received these “special” STIC initiatives to add to their tasks.
For the most part, PennDOT personnel are heavily involved with the EDC2 initiatives, but there is occasion when industry expertise is also sought. So if you haven’t heard or been involved with Every Day Counts yet, just wait.
The Pennsylvania Division of FHWA extends its gratitude to all who participated in a TAG meeting where an EDC2 initiative was discussed or participated in the EDC2 virtual forums and vetting process this past spring.
Pennsylvania ranks near the top among states that have deployed Every Day Counts initiatives.
More information about Every Day Counts can be found at www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/.
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
This infamous Wayne Gretzky quote helped to lead him to hockey stardom. It’s also the mantra behind what has affectionately become known as the “Puck Award” from the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC). In the fall of 2012, the Pennsylvania Division Office of FHWA was awarded the puck by Greg Nadeau, deputy administrator of FHWA, for the division office’s proactive leadership in organizing a highly functioning State Transportation Innovation Council.
In turn, the FHWA, as a co-chair of the Pa. STIC, began to present the award to recognize deserving Technical Advisory Groups (TAG) at each quarterly STIC meeting over the last year. The Puck Award is given to a TAG or individual who has exemplified the energy and stewardship of driving innovation to a new level. The following TAGs were the recipients of the award in 2013:
Each of the awardees had a record number of nominations for innovative technology, ripe for deployment in Pennsylvania. These TAGs are well organized, meet regularly, and have robust discussion among peers to vet and determine which innovative practices or products should be deployed. They are the reason the STIC has more than 50 nominations to date. Thanks to everyone involved. Keep up the good work!
The STIC is a forum that gives other state agencies, beyond PennDOT, the opportunity to participate in meetings and glean advantages that could benefit their own agencies.
Through the actions of the STIC, several partners have been introduced or given support to pursue initiatives that may not be entirely surface transportation centric.
Here are some examples:
Pervious Concrete. After listening to a presentation to the STIC in June, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is interested in piloting this innovation on trailheads.
Way-Finding Signs. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is interested in using this innovation for water craft (kayaks and canoes).
Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety. This initiative involves local police departments and PennDOT bringing together different data sources for the common good.
* * *
These are just three examples of ways that STIC initiatives are cutting across agency lines to encourage interagency collaboration and help to ensure that Pennsylvania’s tax dollars are spent wisely.
|5||STIC meetings held in 2012-2013|
|10||Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs)|
|60+||TAG meetings held in 2012-2013|
|30||agencies and organizations represented on STIC and TAGs|
|50||initiatives generated to date|
|35||initiatives presented to STIC|
|20||“white papers” developed|
|23||deployment plans developed|
|STIC Initiatives 2012-2013|
|Technical Advisory Group (TAG)||# of initiatives vetted|
|Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)||13|
|Note: For an update on the Public Outreach TAG.|
March 18 - Pa. State Association of Township Supervisors, Enola, Pa.
June 16 - Location to be determined
September 25 - Location to be determined
December 15 - Location to be determined
SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
DIVISION ADMINISTRATOR, FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
AMERICAN CONCRETE PAVEMENT ASSOCIATION
PENNSYLVANIA PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY
AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION
PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
PENNSYLVANIA CHAMBER OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HIGHWAY ENGINEERS
PENNSYLVANIA ASPHALT PAVEMENT ASSOCIATION
ASSOCIATED PENNSYLVANIA CONTRACTORS
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF ENGINEERING COMPANIES
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
PENNSYLVANIA HISTORICAL MUSEUM COMMISSION
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
PENNSYLVANIA MOTOR TRUCK ASSOCIATION
PENNSYLVANIA STATE ASSOCIATION OF TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS
PENNSYLVANIA FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
SOUTHERN ALLEGHENIES PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONALS
PENNSYLVANIA AGGREGATES AND CONCRETE ASSOCIATION
DELAWARE VALLEY REGIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION
WOMEN IN TRANSPORTATION SEMINAR