August 22, 2014
Innovation Implementation: Get Ready for EDC-3
Every two years, the Federal Highway Administration rolls out a new set of innovative technologies and practices under its Every Day Counts initiative. FHWA will introduce the third round of EDC innovations next week and help the highway community deploy them over the next two years.
When FHWA sent out a call early this year, transportation stakeholders in public agencies and the private sector responded with more than 100 ideas on cutting-edge technologies and processes they thought deserved consideration for EDC-3. FHWA used four criteria to evaluate the contributions:
- Their national impact, or potential to benefit the nation's transportation system
- Their readiness for national deployment
- Their transformative, game-changing potential for saving time and money or boosting quality
- Their urgency and scale potential to shorten project delivery and have a positive effect on the environment, safety, congestion, freight movement, construction techniques, contracting methods, project costs, maintenance, preservation or emergency response
Transportation stakeholders will learn about the EDC-3 innovations at a series of fall summits around the country. The summits, planned for October through December, will give participants the opportunity to explore the technologies and practices in detail so they and their colleagues can make informed decisions about which to implement in their states.
Secretary Foxx Awards Grants to Accelerate Innovative Projects
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced more than $4 million in grants from FHWA's Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration program. The funds will offset the cost of innovation use on six projects in Alabama, Iowa, Oklahoma, Vermont and Washington. "These innovative investments will give drivers time back with their families instead of sitting in snarled traffic caused by longer than necessary road and bridge repairs and replacement," said Foxx.
The AID Demonstration program will ultimately invest $30 million in incentive funding for federal, state, local and tribal government agencies to hasten their use of innovation. "The agencies receiving these funds are pioneering new techniques in road- and bridge-building," said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. "We're proud to be a partner in this effort by making available the financial resources needed for higher quality and more durable roads and bridges."
Arizona Hosts Roundabout Training
The Arizona Department of Transportation recently hosted an advanced-level roundabout training session sponsored by FHWA in Phoenix. Roundabouts are a proven safety countermeasure being promoted and encouraged as an alternative intersection design in Arizona. The training session reviewed real-world case studies and examples in Arizona, including existing roundabout projects, a peer review of roundabout projects under design and consideration of roundabouts as an alternative treatment for planned intersection improvement projects. It also covered best practices that will help state DOT staff develop in-house roundabout designs and conduct more focused reviews of roundabout projects.
Virginia Project Uses GRS-IBS
Crews are using geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system technology to rebuild the Towlston Road Bridge over Rocky Run in Great Falls, Virginia, while Fairfax County schools are on summer break. The project is using GRS-IBS to reduce the impact of construction on drivers and complete the bridge before school bus traffic starts in the fall. The Virginia Department of Transportation received an Innovative Bridge Research and Development Program grant from FHWA for the project, the state's first using GRS-IBS. A Virginia DOT Web page has more details on the project.
FHWA Publishes Intersection and Interchange Guides
FHWA has produced four new informational guides on intersection and interchange geometrics. One is on the diverging diamond interchange concept and the other three are on intersection designs: the displaced left turn, the median U-turn and the restricted crossing U-turn. The guides build on FHWA's 2010 Alternative Intersections/Interchanges: Informational Report, with updated details on research, evaluation and experience from the past few years. The guides are being introduced through webinars, one last week and one on August 27, and will be posted on FHWA's Web site soon.