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Highways for LIFE

ArrowDriving Innovation

Publication No. FHWA-IF-06-045

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Photograph of a man in a hard hat making notations on a map Photograph of a concrete bridge being assembled Photograph of a concrete paving operation Photograph of a man in a hard hat smiling Photograph of a highway bridge being updated Photograph of a cloverleaf junction where two highways meet

Building America's Highways Safer, Faster, Better

Once the envy of the world, much of our National Highway System is now well beyond its designed capacity and life span. America's highway community - transportation agencies, contractors, manufacturers, engineers, and representatives of the driving public - are working together to develop innovative solutions: new technologies, processes, and other creative approaches to designing and building highways and bridges that improve our infrastructure, while expediting the construction process.

Highways for LIFE is improving the way the highway community works

  • Accelerating technology transfer and adoption.
    It can take years or even decades for conventional approaches to technology transfer to bring innovations into widespread use. Highways for LIFE will help the process work better and faster.
  • A platform for collaboration and information sharing.
    Through workshops, seminars, and communications tools, Highways for LIFE will help the highway community share knowledge and information more effectively.
  • Taking it to the streets.
    Highways for LIFE will sponsor field visits for highway professionals to observe successful projects around the country firsthand.
  • Partnering with industry.
    Working with highway and non-highway industry, Highways for LIFE will help adapt advances in construction technologies for highway use and will be a catalyst in innovation.
  • Funding demonstration projects in each state.
    To help state agencies gain experience with innovative design and construction technologies, Highways for LIFE is committed to funding at least one qualified project in each state. However, Highways for LIFE funds can also be combined with other federal dollars to yield full funding for larger projects as well.

Many states have made successful use of innovations. Several are leading the way:

  • When Indiana DOT faced critical repairs to Interstates 70 and 65 in the heart of Indianapolis, it launched a massive project dubbed "Hyperfix". With contractor incentives and an aggressive plan for complete road closures, the $25 million project was completed in just 52 days, versus an expected two years using traditional methods.
  • Meanwhile, after a series of serious crashes along I-75, the Florida DOT funded a project to widen the Panasoffkee Creek Bridge in Sumter County. Using a design-build process, the agency minimized lane closures, adhered to an aggressive schedule and completed the project in less than half the projected time - with a cost savings of 42 percent.
  • Almost 50 years old and heavily traveled by trucks from Pacific ports, California's Interstate 710 had one of the highest concentrations of deteriorated pavements in the state. An innovative traffic management plan and public information campaign helped Caltrans complete critical resurfacing in a series of eight weekend closures.

Join the movement to bring new life to America's highways. Visit us online at to learn more. Network with others in the highway community and become part of the driving force supporting Highways for LIFE.

More Information



Scott Wolf
Center for Accelerating Innovation

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Updated: 04/04/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration