August 1, 2014
Innovation of the Month: Significant Impacts of Every Day Counts
Through the Federal Highway Administration's Every Day Counts initiative, many highway agencies have adopted innovations that enhance safety, both for motorists and crews in work zones and for drivers traveling the state's roadways.
High-friction surface treatment technology, for example, is applied to pavements to provide more surface friction at critical locations, such as sharp horizontal curves, steep hills and intersections. It helps motorists maintain control, cutting the number of crashes that cause injuries and fatalities.
When the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet applied high-friction surface treatment on a U.S. 25 intersection approach in Knox County, crashes declined from an average of 11 to five a year. When it used the technology on a Kentucky Route 22 curve in Oldham County, crashes dropped from an average of 18 a year to just two. Applications at 25 other sites yielded 69 percent crash reductions after a year.
Other states are also getting good results from trial projects. In the three to five years after they installed high-friction surface treatments, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported a 100 percent crash reduction and the South Carolina Department of Transportation experienced a 57 percent drop in incidents.
SPMTs Accelerate Connecticut Bridge Project
The Connecticut Department of Transportation used accelerated bridge construction to minimize traffic impacts when it replaced the I-84 bridges over Marion Avenue in Southington. Set for completion in July, the $6 million project was finished ahead of schedule in June. Crews moved the new superstructures built near the existing bridges into place during a weekend road closure. They used self-propelled modular transporters, computer-controlled vehicles that can carry large structures and position them precisely.
"This project not only demonstrates the unprecedented investments we are making to improve and modernize our transportation infrastructure, but also the steps we are taking to ensure these kinds of projects are completed ahead of schedule and with as little interruption as possible to area residents and travelers," said Governor Dannel Malloy. "By employing ABC principles, CTDOT took a creative approach to virtually eliminate what would have been many months or even years of traffic disruptions and congestion on I-84 and the local roads surrounding the project."
Ohio Tries Safety Edge in Work Zones
The Ohio Department of Transportation will use the Safety Edge in a new way: to cut crashes in interstate work zones. The agency has required the paving technique on resurfacing projects on undivided highways since 2012.
It's now looking to reduce roadway departure crashes on interstate reconstruction projects by adding a Safety Edge when an intermediate asphalt course will be exposed to traffic. The Safety Edge will be used first on an on I-71 project in Morrow County.
The project is in its second season, so crash and safety hardware replacement cost data will be compared to first-season data to gauge the technique's effectiveness.
Work Starts on Washington Landslide Repairs
Active construction has begun to permanently repair a section of State Route 530 in North Snohomish County, Washington, damaged in a March landslide. Crews are building the roadway embankment on the east section of the design-build project. The east section will be built next to the existing road. It will stand about five feet above the current road for flood protection reasons. The project is scheduled to be finished by early October.
Check Out New STIC Web Page
The FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation's new State Transportation Innovation Council web page explains how STICs are creating a state-based network to deploy innovation across the country. The page includes links to resources for STICS, including the STIC Incentive and Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration programs, a sample STIC charter, a list of STIC Incentive-funded projects and an interactive map with STIC contacts in each state.