February 6, 2015
Innovation Implementation: Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System
In 2015 and 2016, the Federal Highway Administration’s Every Day Counts initiative is promoting 11 innovations that can shorten the project delivery process, enhance safety, reduce congestion and improve environmental outcomes. For the rest of this year, EDC News will focus on a different EDC-3 innovation each month.
In February, the spotlight is on geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system technology.
GRS-IBS is a simple design using layers of geosynthetic reinforcement and compacted fill that can be built with readily available equipment and materials, cutting bridge construction time and cost.
GRS-IBS was also part of EDC-1 and EDC-2. During EDC-3, the focus is on helping state and local agencies develop standard plans, details and specifications for using GRS-IBS.
FHWA offers several free resources to help the highway community use GRS-IBS:
- A training video demonstrates GRS-IBS use, including current applications and history.
- Sample Guide Specifications for Construction of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System (FHWA-HRT-12-051) serves as a technical basis for developing standard specifications.
- Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System Interim Implementation Guide (FHWA-HRT-11-026) provides design and construction guidance.
Safety Summit Focuses on Incident Management
Better data collection is key to making the strategies introduced in the EDC-2 traffic incident management responder training effort part of the responder culture, according to FHWA Acting Administrator Gregory Nadeau. He delivered that message in a Fast Lane blog post as FHWA hosted the second Senior Executive Transportation and Public Safety Summit for the Institutionalization of Traffic Incident Management.
Leaders of groups representing transportation, fire, emergency medical services, law enforcement and towing responders attended the January event to share ideas for increased responder safety.
More than 5,000 people were trained to teach traffic incident management techniques to first responders in EDC-2 and more than 80,000 responders completed traffic incident management training. Safety summit participants discussed the next step: collecting and analyzing data on the way traffic incidents are handled. "We hope the data will show the benefits of TIM strategies and training, will guide future efforts and will encourage more stakeholders to join us in the battle to eliminate secondary collisions and the tragic loss of life," Nadeau said.
Virginia Diverging Diamond Interchange Wins Award
Virginia’s implementation of alternative interchange and intersection designs is a winner. The Zion Crossroads interchange at I-64 and Route 15 in Louisa County—the state’s first diverging diamond interchange—won a 2014-2015 Engineering Excellence Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Metropolitan Washington. The Virginia DOT continues to implement the diverging diamond interchange concept at other locations to enhance safety.