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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-022
Date: January/February 2006
From easing traffic congestion to improving safety and enhancing quality of life, major infrastructure projects bring numerous important benefits to cities and communities. They also present challenges to transportation agencies as they work to balance such project elements as budget, planning and design, right-of-way, construction management, environmental impacts, future operations and maintenance, and public relations. To minimize uncertainty and keep projects on track, on time, and within budget, an increasing number of States are using a risk management approach.
A new 3-day course available from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) National Highway Institute (NHI), Context Sensitive Solutions (Course No. FHWA-NHI-142050), highlights this collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to designing and constructing transportation projects that ensure safety and mobility while preserving scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources.
Pavement preservation is receiving a new level of emphasis in California with the formation of the Pavement Preservation Task Group (PPTG). Comprised of representatives from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), local government, industry, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the group's goal is to be proactive about promoting pavement preservation initiatives. "Pavement preservation is the most cost-effective approach," says Shakir Shatnawi of Caltrans and co-chair of the task group. "Prevention is like found money."
A new Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Web site dedicated to geotechnical engineering (www.fhwa.dot.gov/engineering/geotech/) brings together a range of resources in one convenient location. "The topic-based framework for the new Web site allows the user to easily search and locate FHWA technical and program solutions to geotechnical challenges engaging the transportation community," says Corey Bobba, Geotechnical Engineer in FHWA's Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division office.
The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) Customer Support Service Center has relocated from Oakridge, Tennessee, to FHWA's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Virginia. The service center was established in 1997 to provide a single point of contact for LTPP data and information requests. Services include distribution of LTPP data, software, and resource documents; guidance in selecting appropriate LTPP data; information on the database structure, tools, data collection methods, and data files; and customer follow-up support. Also available upon request is ancillary LTPP data that are not stored in the LTPP database. This includes information such as distress maps and photographs, drainage videos, raw profile data, falling weight deflectometer time-history data, and construction reports.
Presentations and summaries from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Unknown Foundations Summit, held November 15-16, 2005, in Denver, Colorado, are now available on CD. The summit featured state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice technologies for characterizing unknown bridge foundations, as well as strategies for managing these foundations and the associated risk. Case studies were also presented by various State departments of transportation and consultants. According to FHWA's National Bridge Inventory, more than 86,000 bridges nationwide have unknown foundation characteristics.
A 1-day workshop available from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Asset Management looks at how State and local governments can apply economic analysis to highway decisionmaking. The free workshop covers a range of economic subjects, including inflation, life-cycle cost analysis, benefit-cost analysis (BCA), traffic forecasting, and risk analysis. Among the highlights of the workshop is a demonstration of how economic analysis models can be used, including a new project-level BCA model being deployed by FHWA. The workshop does not require a background in economics. For more information on scheduling the workshop, contact your local FHWA division office or Eric Gabler at FHWA, 202-366-4036 (email: email@example.com).
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