- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-07-015
Date: July 2007
When a gasoline tanker truck crashed and exploded into flames on the San Francisco Bay Area's most heavily traveled freeway interchange in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 29, 2007, the outlook seemed bleak for area residents and commuters. A portion of the I-80 eastbound to I-580 eastbound connector road collapsed onto the connector road between westbound I-80 and southbound I-880, closing two integral parts of the interchange known as "The Maze," which carried some 80,000 vehicles a day. The local media predicted months of gridlock, detours, and misery for drivers. Instead, in just over 1 week the roadway's damaged lower deck was reopened to traffic. And in less than a month, the upper deck was also back in business. How did the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and its contractors beat expectations and get traffic flowing again on this vital interchange? "The rapid repair was a combination of ingenuity, teamwork, and old-fashioned hard work," says Randell Iwasaki, Chief Deputy Director of Caltrans.
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) optimized its diamond grinding strategy and achieved a smoother ride on a highway construction project recently by using the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Pavement Profile Viewing and Analysis (ProVAL) software. ProVAL allows users to view and analyze pavement profiles collected by inertial pavement profile measurement equipment. It is currently the only software application that can read data from numerous inertial pavement profilers and standardize the data using a common format (see November 2006 Focus). ProVAL's data format was recently adopted as an ASTM International standard, "E 2560-07: Standard Specification for Data Format for Pavement Profile." The new standard will be included in the 2008 Annual Book of ASTM Standards.
Arizona, Georgia, Maine, Missouri, Oregon, and Virginia will each receive up to $1 million as recipients of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) 2007 Highways for LIFE (HfL) program grants. The awards are designed to help States incorporate technologies and approaches that will cut highway construction time while improving quality, safety, and durability. This year's grants will be announced in two phases, with the second round of projects expected to be awarded in August.
A wealth of publications available from the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) are featured in its latest Technical Publications Catalog (Publication No. FHWA-HRT-07-025). The third catalog to be issued by TFHRC covers publications released from October 2005 to September 2006, including fact sheets, flyers, product briefs, reports, summaries, and TechBriefs. Most products are immediately accessible online or can be obtained from theFederal Highway Administration R&T Product Distribution Center, HRTM-03 (email: email@example.com). Along with the previous versions released in 2003 and 2005, the catalog serves as a vital resource for all transportation practitioners, including engineers, transportation specialists, policymakers, and information specialists.
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