- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-063
Date: April/May 2001
Triangular silt barriers, geotextile filter bags, and concrete blocks are just some of the products and ideas State highway agencies are using to better control soil erosion and sedimentation resulting from highway construction projects. The roadbuilding process often disturbs soil, which is then vulnerable to being washed downstream when it rains, causing a build-up of soil and other matter in waterways that is known as sedimentation. Excessive sedimentation can destroy fish habitat; clog streams, storm drains, and culverts; and pollute waterways, among other problems.
The National Partnership for Highway Quality (NPHQ), formerly known as the National Quality Initiative, has taken its mission of continuous quality improvement online. The new NPHQ Web site features information on the NPHQ National Achievement Awards, State quality successes, and links to other related sites. You can visit the site at http://nphq.org.
PaveSpec 3.0, your ticket to improved pavement quality, is now available online. The software program is designed to aid State and local highway agencies in developing performance-related specifications and predicting the performance and life-cycle costs of constructed Portland cement concrete pavement. PaveSpec can also simulate the risks and consequences of achieving different levels of quality for a project. The program can be downloaded at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/infrastructure/pavements/pccp/pavespec/. For more information or to obtain a copy on CD, contact Peter Kopac at FHWA, 202-493-3151 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ensuring safety and mobility are of primary importance when designing and building a road. Today for a growing number of highway agencies, preserving environmental, community, scenic, and historic resources at the same time is another goal that's getting top billing.
When the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) launched its Statewide program encouraging the use of recycled materials in 1994, in response to a legislative mandate, "no one really anticipated the great potential recycled materials held for road construction," says Rebecca Davio of the Texas DOT. Seven years later, the agency is spending $200 million a year on recycled products and has kept nearly 2.6 million tons of waste products out of landfills since the progra began.