May 2, 2014
Innovation of the Month: Implementing Quality Environmental Documentation
The Every Day Counts innovation of the month for May is implementing quality environmental documentation. Through this effort, the Federal Highway Administration is promoting recommendations to improve the quality of and streamline the National Environmental Policy Act documents developed for transportation construction projects.
Environmental documentation can delay project development when NEPA documents are hard for stakeholders to understand, are unnecessarily long, fail to meet legal requirements or omit important information.
By improving NEPA documents, project proponents can accelerate project delivery and achieve better environmental outcomes. Producing higher-quality, less-cumbersome documents increases efficiency and effectiveness by reducing the amount of work and resources required to develop the documents. It also makes them more accessible to the stakeholders who read them.
This recording of an FHWA implementing quality environmental documentation webinar outlines ways transportation agencies can improve their environmental documents for construction projects.
Colorado Launches Transportation Innovation Council
Representatives of the Colorado Department of Transportation, FHWA and other transportation stakeholders gathered April 23 for the kickoff meeting of the Colorado State Transportation Innovation Council. The purpose of the meeting was to engage stakeholders in formalizing the creationof the STIC. The group establisheda framework to draft acharter and set a meeting schedule to discuss opportunities to make innovations standard practice in the state.
Showcase Demonstrates Innovative Bridge Construction
An Every Day Counts showcase on geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system technology drew 100 people from across the country to Kay County, Oklahoma, on April 22. The Kaw Nation and Kay County are using GRS-IBS on four of the seven bridges they're replacing over Dry Creek in Blackwell. The showcase participants representing tribal nations, state and county governments, federal agencies and universities learned about GRS-IBS and the bridge project before visiting the work site to observe GRS-IBS construction. Kay County officials estimatedthat the GRS-IBS structurescould bebuilt several weeks faster and for $40,000 less than typical $100,000 sheet pile abutmentstructures.
Washington Road Repair Project to Use Design-Build
The design-build project delivery method will be used for permanent repairs on State Route 530 in North Snohomish County, Washington. A section of the road was damaged in a massive hill slide in March that blocked the road in both directions. The Washington State Department of Transportation issued a request for qualifications for the repair project on April 22. When the agency gets the go-ahead from first responders searching the slide area, it plans to evaluate the damage and develop a plan to clear and repair the highway. Updates are available on the SR 530 Slide web page.