March 21, 2014
Innovation of the Month: Intelligent Compaction
As the Federal Highway Administration encourages highway agencies to try intelligent compaction through the Every Day Counts initiative, many states are incorporating some form of the technology into their road-building specifications and practices.
More than 18 states have developed or are developing intelligent compaction specifications. Several states have planned intelligent compaction field projects for 2014, including Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina and Washington. In 2013, intelligent compaction open houses took place in California, Maine, Ohio and Tennessee so transportation professionals from around the country could observe the technology in action.
More than 100 people attended a Tennessee Department of Transportation event in Lincoln County, which featured a workshop and construction site visit. They learned about the benefits of intelligent compaction and the experience of construction contractors using the technology. The video below provides an overview of the Tennessee DOT’s deployment efforts on intelligent compaction.
Colorado Starts Twin Tunnels Westbound Project
The Colorado Department of Transportation ispreparingfor the traffic switch on the I-70 Twin Tunnels Westboundproject in Clear Creek County. On April 1, the agency will move I-70 eastbound traffic to the County Road 314 detour and I-70 westbound traffic to the eastbound tunnel. Preparatory work includes paving the median crossovers and relocating ITS components. This $55 million construction manager/general contractor project involves widening the existing westbound bore to about 53 feet to accommodate a third lane on westbound I-70 when the highway is eventually widened. The westbound tunnel is scheduled to open in December 2014.
Illinois Hosts Intersection and Interchange Workshops
About 60 Illinois Department of Transportation and FHWA staff turned out for two workshops on intersection and interchange geometrics. Held March 4 in Collinsville and March 5 in Springfield, the workshops covered applicability criteria, safety performance, basic design considerations, access management and pedestrian accommodation of roundabouts, U-turn intersections, displaced left turn intersections and diverging diamond interchanges. Several diverging diamond interchange, displaced left turn intersection and U-turn intersection projects are under construction or in the planning or design phases in Illinois. Two more workshops are planned for the Chicago area for participants from the city and surrounding counties.
Oklahoma Event Focuses on Intelligent Compaction
FHWA teamed with the Oklahoma Asphalt Pavement Association and Local Technical Assistance Program to offer a workshop on intelligent compaction. The February 25 event in Choctaw provided an overview of intelligent compaction technologies, including capabilities, benefits and available tools. The pavement group discussed other states’ specifications and experiences implementing intelligent compaction. The University of Oklahoma demonstrated intelligent compaction equipment for the 175 attendees.
Bridge Showcases Upcoming in Oklahoma
Two showcases of accelerated bridge technologies are planned for April in Oklahoma. One will demonstrate slide-in bridge construction on a Highways for LIFE-funded project on State Highway 51 over Cottonwood Creek near Mannford. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is building the new bridge next to the existing one on temporary supports and will slide it into place around April 10 to 12. Showcase registration details will be available soon. Another showcase, set for April 22, will demonstrate how the Kaw Nation and Kay County are using geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system technology to replace four bridges over Dry Creek in Blackwell.