June 20, 2014
Innovation of the Month: High-Friction Surface Treatments
Transportation agencies across the country are using high-friction surface treatments to enhance safety at problem spots on roadways.
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, for example, has chosen 22 high-crash locations to apply the safety countermeasure. They include horizontal curves and intersections where the increase in pavement friction from the treatments will enhance vehicle braking. A research project will track the effectiveness of installing the treatments.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation recently completed its first high-friction surface treatment project, using the technology to enhance safety on a loop ramp in Honolulu. The treatment was placed manually, and the work was completed over a weekend.
The Missouri Department of Transportation applied a high-friction surface treatment in May to a section of the eastbound lanes of I-44 in Phelps County to provide traction for motorists in rain, ice and snow. Part of the project funding came from the Federal Highway Administration's Highways for LIFE initiative.
Colorado Event Focuses on I-25 Incident Management
The Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol held a June 11 training session in Longmont on the North I-25 Traffic Incident Management Plan, which covers 69 miles of I-25 from Denver to the Wyoming border.
Representatives of state and local agencies and the Wyoming Department of Transportation and State Patrol attended.
The training module was developed after a 50-vehicle pileup occurred on the interstate during a 2013 snowstorm.
Illinois Goes Online With First Responder Training
The Illinois Department of Transportation now offers an online version of the state's traffic incident management training program. The online course is offered for all disciplines involved in incident management and provides emergency responders with information to improve safety at incident scenes. The incident management training program combines the new online course and a multiagency in-class session. The online training features 11 modules of 15 to 30 minutes each narrated by experts. The in-class session runs a half day.
Massachusetts Workshop Features GRS-IBS
About 80 people from transportation agencies and industry signed up for a June 19 workshop on using geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge systems organized by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and FHWA. The workshop featured the state's first GRS-IBS project on Route 7A over Housatonic Railroad in Sheffield. Two additional GRS-IBS projects are in the works in Massachusetts.
Michigan Holds First Train-the-Trainer Session
Michigan hosted it first traffic incident management train-the-trainer session in Lansing in May. About 75 representatives of law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and towing organizations and the Michigan Department of Transportation attended the two-day session. Additional sessions are planned for September in Detroit and October at the Statewide Firefighters Conference in Traverse City.
Ohio Launches Local Advisory Group
The Ohio Local Public Agency Advisory Group is up and running. The group brings together local, state and federal stakeholders to discuss policies and procedures related to the Ohio Department of Transportation's local-let program. The group's purpose is to strengthen relationships among stakeholders and improve performance on locally administered projects through information sharing, streamlining efforts and training. Twenty-four representatives of cities, counties, metropolitan planning organizations, contractors, Ohio DOT and FHWA participated in the June 3 inaugural meeting.
Rhode Island Plans Second Intelligent Compaction Project
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is advertising its second paving contract using intelligent compaction. The resurfacing project covers sections of I-95 in Warwick, Cranston and Providence. The work involves micromilling bituminous pavement, cleaning and sweeping pavement, placing asphalt emulsion tack coat and friction course and installing pavement markings. The state's first paving project with intelligent compaction is now in construction.
Washington Hosts Local Public Agency Peer Exchange
The Washington State Department of Transportation and FHWA hosted a June 11 peer exchange on local agency programs with eight state DOTs. The DOTs were particularly interested in the Washington State DOT's local public agency certification program. Utah representatives traveled to Washington for discussions with Washington State staff, while seven DOTsÃ¢â‚¬”Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and WisconsinÃ¢â‚¬”participated in the peer exchange by video conference. They learned about Washington State's administration of the local Federal-Aid program and identified enhancements for their local agency programs.