March 20, 2015
Innovation Implementation: Stakeholder Partnering
Stakeholder partnering can improve the collaborative relationships among those involved in delivering locally administered Federal-Aid Highway Program projects. The Federal Highway Administration is encouraging the formation of stakeholder partnerships through the Every Day Counts initiative.
One of the country’s newer partnerships is the Arizona Local Public Agency Stakeholder Council. The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Local Public Agency Section launched the group in 2013.
The council includes representatives from local agencies, government councils, metropolitan planning organizations, the Arizona DOT and FHWA. Its quarterly meetings provide a venue for local agencies to discuss questions, concerns and ideas on implementing Federal-Aid projects in their jurisdictions and cooperatively work toward solutions. Discussion topics include environmental issues, right-of-way processes and consultant procurement.
Council meetings have an informal structure to facilitate an open flow of communication and use a set of ground rules designed to encourage participation and cooperation.
Members take information covered at meetings back to the organizations they represent and communicate it through their networks. They, in turn, bring the feedback and ideas they receive back to the council.
A case study on Arizona’s Local Public Agency Stakeholder Council highlights the group’s stakeholder partnering efforts.
California to Build GRS-IBS
The Tahoe Transportation District, California Department of Transportation and Federal Lands Highway have agreed to use a geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system for the Meeks Bay shared-use path project along the shore of Lake Tahoe. The proposed path, funded through the Federal Lands Access Program, will extend the west shore trail system that runs from Sugar Pine Point State Park to Dollar Hill in Tahoe City and the resort area of Squaw Valley. This will be the first GRS-IBS constructed in a California DOT right-of-way.
Florida Seeks Road Diet Opportunities
Instead of widening roads, the Florida Department of Transportation is looking for ways to enable people to share roads safely whether they are walking, biking or driving. The agency says projects like the $2.3 billion I-4 Ultimate improvement project is the last of its kind for the Orlando area because there is no more room for widening. Instead, the Florida DOT is considering opportunities to incorporate road diets and complete streets into transportation plans to enhance safety, encourage exercise and lessen pollution.
Indiana Begins Design-Build Project
The Indiana Department of Transportation has started construction on the first of 10 contracts of a $400 million multiyear interstate expansion program called 2020 Major Moves. The first contract calls for a $36 million design-build project to add a lane in each direction to about 6 miles of I-65 south of Indianapolis. The agency expects to award the remaining design-build contracts by July 2015.
Maryland Conference Covers Work Zone Safety
The EDC-3 smarter work zone effort was on the agenda at the Work Zone Safety Conference held in Baltimore, Maryland, by the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse and FHWA. The conference also covered work zone management, worker safety and the FHWA Work Zone Safety Grants Program. FHWA held a work zone stakeholder meeting at the conference so representatives of about 35 state highway departments could discuss work zone safety and mobility processes and future research needs.
Massachusetts STIC Meets at Innovation Conference
The Massachusetts State Transportation Innovation Council conducted its quarterly meeting at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s annual Innovation and Tech Transfer Exchange Conference. The March 11 and 12 conference in Worcester drew about 600 people interested in the latest innovations in construction, safety, maintenance, operations, planning, design and materials.
Oklahoma Hosts 3D Workshop
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation hosted a 3D engineered models for construction workshop and peer exchange March 11 and 12 in Oklahoma City. More than 45 construction professionals participated in the event, which focused on surveying methods and digital data collection, applications of 3D models during design and the use of 3D models for construction engineering and quality assurance. Peer exchange topics included transportation department implementation experiences and contractor uses of 3D model data.
Virginia Concrete Conference Explores Innovation
The Virginia Concrete Conference highlighted projects in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia that used accelerated project delivery methods, including EDC innovations, to expedite construction and achieve results with limited budgets. Speakers also discussed innovations in high-performance concrete and concrete pavements. About 450 people attended the March 5 and 6 event in Richmond sponsored by the concrete industry, the Virginia Department of Transportation and FHWA.
Diverging Diamond Interchange Proposed in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Transportation briefed the Stafford County Infrastructure Committee on the diverging diamond interchange concept at a March meeting. The innovative design is proposed for the Route 630 and I-95 interchange reconstruction, a design-build project in Stafford aimed at addressing growing traffic in the area. A diverging diamond interchange could save about $20 million in right-of-way costs compared to the alternative design.
West Virginia Responders Learn Incident Management
FHWA presenters offered second Strategic Highway Research Program sessions on traffic incident management techniques at the Emergency Services Conference in Pipestem, West Virginia. Sixty-five first responders attended the sessions to learn about best practices for clearing highway incidents safely and quickly. Sixteen fire departments signed up at FHWA’s conference exhibit to request traffic incident management training in their communities.
FHWA Releases Interactive Highway Safety Design Model Update
FHWA released version 10.1.0 of the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model, a suite of software analysis tools for evaluating safety and operational effects of geometric design decisions. The model supports the EDC-3 data-driven safety analysis effort and contains enhancements to the freeway ramps and interchanges crash prediction method. The software is available for free download at the Interactive Highway Safety Design Model download website.