May 28, 2015
Innovation Implementation: Improving Collaboration and Quality Environmental Documentation
Transportation departments across the country are applying the core principles of implementing quality environmental documentation: tell the story, keep the document brief and ensure legal sufficiency.
IQED is part of the Every Day Counts effort to improve collaboration and quality environmental documentation, along with the Federal Highway Administration's eNEPA online collaboration tool.
The Montana Department of Transportation, for example, used IQED principles to develop the final environmental impact statement and record of decision for the Billings Bypass project. Using IQED made the environmental impact statement more understandable to the public when it was used in outreach efforts.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation modified the environmental assessment format for the project to replace the PFC Abraham G. Sams Memorial Bridge in Clay County, cutting document development time by two months and producing a piece that's easier to read.
The Virginia Department of Transportation used IQED on the I-64 Peninsula study environmental impact statement. A reader-friendly document with high-quality graphics, it combined the “Affected Environment” and “Environmental Consequences” chapters to aid readability and incorporated technical material by reference.
For best practices on developing NEPA documents, see the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' Preparing High-Quality NEPA Documents for Transportation Projects.
Tribal Nation Builds GRS-IBS
The Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico has trained staff in using geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system technology to reconstruct small structures in its inventory. Ohkay Owingeh workers are replacing a 60-foot span with GRS-IBS using an Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration grant and Tribal Transportation Program funds. To prepare for the project, Ohkay Owingeh staff immersed themselves in FHWA GRS-IBS guidance and attended a 2014 showcase in Blackwell, Oklahoma, at which the Kaw Nation and Kay County demonstrated GRS-IBS construction.
The Ohkay Owingeh workers are replacing a 60-foot span using GRS-IBS.
Tribal Peer Exchange Focuses on CM/GC
The Gila River Indian Community shared its experience using the construction manager/general contractor project delivery method and accelerated bridge construction with peers during FHWA's May 14 Southwest Tribal Transportation Workshop. The Gila River Department of Transportation used slide-in bridge construction on a project earlier this year to replace the Sacaton Bridge over the Gila River in Arizona, a first on tribal land. Workshop participants heard about the key role the construction manager played in the design of a cost-effective bridge slide that other tribal communities can replicate across the country.
STIC Funds Help Maine Innovate on Bridges
The Maine State Transportation Innovation Council received STIC Incentive funding for a project to accelerate the adoption of prefabricated full-depth precast concrete deck panels with ultra high-performance concrete connections. The Maine Department of Transportation will use the funds to develop design guidance, standard details and specifications for using the technology on bridge projects. The Maine STIC is working on three more applications for 2015 STIC Incentive funds.
View Certification Programs Video
Watch FHWA's new video on certification programs, which help state highway agencies confirm that local agencies have the ability to manage all or part of the process of delivering local projects under the Federal-Aid Highway Program. FHWA encourages certification programs as a way for state agencies to use limited resources effectively while assuring compliance with project delivery requirements. The video is the latest addition to Federal-Aid Essentials, an online library of informational videos for local public agencies.