March 27, 2015
Innovation Implementation: Stakeholder Partnering
Through Every Day Counts, the Federal Highway Administration is encouraging states to join their colleagues across the country who have formed stakeholder partnering groups to improve and streamline the delivery of local transportation projects.
An example is the Virginia Department of Transportation’s stakeholder partnering effort, which spans more than a decade and includes several groups associated with local programs. One is the Urban Construction Initiative Group, which formed when a state code change in 2003 allowed some municipalities to manage their construction programs. It now includes 14 localities.
Besides giving members a voice in the state’s local assistance program, the UCI Group has come up with several streamlining solutions, including a certification program, a project development review time line and changes in the Virginia DOT’s sole source and proprietary projects process.
A case study on Virginia’s stakeholder partnering groups explains how the groups enhance local project delivery.
A recording of the stakeholder partnering session at the Every Day Counts 2014 summits-to be posted soon on the EDC stakeholder partnering Web page-provides more examples of how states are using partnerships.
FHWA Encourages Work Zone Awareness
"Expect the Unexpected" is this year’s theme for National Work Zone Awareness Week, which wraps up today. FHWA Deputy Administrator Gregory Nadeau joined state and federal officials at an Arlington, Virginia, kickoff event to urge motorists to stay alert when driving near highway workers. While there, he spoke with families affected by work zone crashes, which killed 579 people in 2013. Among the FHWA efforts to make work zones safer is the EDC smarter work zones strategy to create efficient work zones through road project coordination and technology applications such as queue and speed management.
Delaware’s FirstMap Supports Data Sharing
The state of Delaware has completed a geospatial data collaboration-related project called FirstMap, an online geographic information system tool. It consists of a database and infrastructure to support geospatial and image services. It’s designed to support the GIS needs of Delaware’s state agencies, counties, municipalities, universities and the public. The Delaware Department of Transportation was a key partner in creating FirstMap, which is maintained by the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.
Indiana Focuses on Roadway Departure Crashes
The Indiana Department of Transportation is working to reduce roadway departure crashes, which cause more than half the state’s traffic fatalities. The agency recently hosted the National Highway Institute’s Combating Roadway Departure course (FHWA-NHI-380117). In addition, agency design, pavement, materials and safety engineers met with FHWA experts to review technical aspects of implementing high-friction surface treatments, a roadway departure countermeasure the Indiana DOT has committed to pursuing.
e-Construction Topic of Ohio Conference
A key topic at this year’s Conaway Construction Conference, organized by the Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio Contractors Association, was e-Construction, the electronic management of construction documents from bid submittal through final invoicing. Other topics included project delivery methods and specifications. More than 700 participants from public agencies and the private sector attended the March 17 and 18 event in Columbus.
Ohio Taps Federal-Aid Essentials for Training
When the Ohio Local Technical Assistance Program needed to develop a program to train local agencies on administering Federal-Aid Highway Program projects, it turned to Federal-Aid Essentials-a library of short videos on Federal-Aid topics-for some of the course content. The LTAP included 23 of the videos totaling about two hours in its Local-Let Training Program. The videos make up about 25 percent of the course content, representing a significant savings in production costs and effort. A video case study explains how the course was developed.
Ohio Wet Pavement Safety Program Produces Results
Under the Ohio DOT’s wet pavement safety program, 84 interstate ramps with high wet-weather crash rates have been milled and treated with surface overlays to increase traction during rainy conditions. High-friction surface treatments are among the safety countermeasures used in the program. Before the program began eight years ago, more than 2,700 crashes a year occurred at ramps under wet conditions. By 2013, that number had dropped to just over 1,800.
Oklahoma STIC Recognizes Founders
At its first meeting of 2015, the Oklahoma State Transportation Innovation Council presented Legacy Awards to its founding members for their efforts to champion innovation from 2011 to 2015. Among the EDC innovations the Oklahoma STIC has supported are the use of high-friction surface treatments on local roads, environmental streamlining through expanded use of programmatic agreements, use of the Safety Edge and warm-mix asphalt in paving operations, use of in-lieu fees and mitigation banking for endangered species approaches, 3D engineered models for construction, first responder training, intelligent compaction, implementing quality environmental documentation and identifying and managing utility conflicts.
Oregon Holds e-Construction Exchange
The Oregon Department of Transportation is pursuing a paperless approach to construction contract administration under the EDC-3 e-Construction initiative. To help with the transition, the agency invited Michigan Department of Transportation representatives to a March 11 and 12 peer exchange to discuss e-Construction. The Michigan DOT staff offered advice on system and information requirements, workflow processes and staffing needs. The Oregon DOT plans to use e-Construction on two pilot projects in 2015 and expand the program statewide in 2016.
Innovative Culture Urged in Rhode Island
FHWA representatives challenged members of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers to create a culture of innovation among the state’s civil engineers. They spoke at the chapter’s March 19 meeting. FHWA staff also discussed EDC-3 innovations, particularly those the Rhode Island Department of Transportation plans to deploy. One effort is transitioning to 3D engineered modeling.
University Conference Features Transportation Initiatives
The Every Day Counts initiative and State Transportation Innovation Council network were among the topics Michael Trentacoste, FHWA associate administrator of the Office of Research, Development and Technology, discussed in his keynote speech at the University Transportation Center Conference for the Southeastern Region. His talk at the March 26 event in Birmingham, Alabama, also covered the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Beyond Traffic 30-year framework and Grow America proposal. The annual conference draws transportation professionals to learn about activities at universities and enhance collaboration among the region’s academic community and private and public sectors.