January 9, 2015
Innovation Implementation: New Year, New Innovations
The innovations the Federal Highway Administration is encouraging the transportation community to adopt in round three of the Every Day Counts initiative were culled from suggestions offered by stakeholders around the country.
FHWA evaluated the ideas on their urgency, scale of benefits, market readiness and national impact and sought input from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and industry groups before selecting 11 innovations to promote in 2015 and 2016. The theme for EDC-3 is "efficiency through technology and collaboration."
Seven EDC-3 innovations focus on shortening project development and delivery:
- Regional models of cooperation help state agencies and regional groups coordinate transportation planning across jurisdictional boundaries to cut project delivery times and traffic congestion.
- Improving collaboration and quality environmental documentation (eNEPA and IQED) uses tools to enable collaborative, concurrent and timely agency reviews of environmental documents, saving time and money and improving the quality of National Environmental Policy Act documents.
- Agencies can expand their use of 3D engineered models by adding schedule and cost information to 3D models and using data to optimize roadway inventory and asset management processes.
- An electronic project document management system—or e-Construction—replaces paper with technology tools to improve workflow and save time and money. It's also an AASHTO Innovation Initiative focus technology.
- Geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge systems, which use layers of compacted granular fill and sheets of geotextile reinforcement to provide support for a bridge, are cost-effective and easy to build.
- Stakeholder partnering committees bring local, state and federal agency representatives together to streamline processes for administering local projects under the Federal-Aid Highway Program.
- Improving transportation department and railroad coordination, also a Strategic Highway Research Program 2 product, offers tools to help agencies and railroads streamline development of highway projects involving railroad rights-of-way.
In the coming months, EDC News will take a closer look at each EDC-3 innovation and FHWA resources available to help agencies implement them.
Pennsylvania Builds First Double Roundabout
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to use an unusual dual roundabout solution when it reconstructs two intersections close to each other in an area of Washington County undergoing commercial and residential growth. The new design reduces the number of turning conflicts between Routes 519 and 1055, which decreases the potential for crashes. Not only does the design enhance safety, but it also has the smallest impact on environmental and cultural resources of all the alternatives studied. The design also benefits the community by reducing property impacts on nearby residents and business owners. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2015.
Learn About EDC-3 Innovations
Stop by FHWA's Every Day Counts exhibit at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting—January 11 to 15 in Washington, D.C.—to see how innovation is helping the transportation community build highways better, faster and more safely. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and offer information on the innovative technologies and practices FHWA is promoting through EDC-3. Also make plans to attend FHWA's "Leadership in Innovation" session from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. on January 12. Speakers will discuss meeting transportation challenges through proactive leadership in innovation.