June 11, 2015
Innovation Implementation: e-Construction
The Every Day Counts e-Construction effort encourages the construction community to replace cumbersome and costly paper with readily available technologies to improve construction document management.
Many transportation departments are exploring aspects of e-Construction, while others are mainstreaming e-Construction practices. They're finding it offers several benefits:
- It saves money by decreasing paper use, printing and document storage needs, allowing those funds to be allocated elsewhere.
- It saves time by decreasing communication delays and transmittal time.
- It improves communication by allowing faster approvals, increased accuracy and better document tracking, all while enhancing transparency and virtually eliminating disputes over document submittal.
- It enables construction inspectors to spend more time at the actual work site instead of handling documentation tasks away from the site.
The Federal Highway Administration offers technical support and training, including peer exchanges so agencies can learn from the experience of states already using e-Construction. For information, contact Bryan Cawley, head of the EDC e-Construction Innovation Deployment Team.
FHWA Awards Grants for Bridge Innovation
FHWA's Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration program has awarded grants that the New Hampshire and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation will use to deploy innovation on bridge projects. The New Hampshire DOT will use a $355,000 grant to create smart infrastructure in the form of self-diagnosing, self-reporting bridge monitoring technology at Portsmouth's Memorial Bridge. The Wisconsin DOT will use a $676,000 grant to replace two Dodge County bridges with geosynthetic-reinforced soil-integrated bridge systems.
Delaware Learns About Diverging Diamond Interchanges
A peer exchange enabled Delaware Department of Transportation professionals to learn about designing and installing diverging diamond interchanges from their Missouri Department of Transportation counterparts. The peer exchange included visits to diverging diamond interchanges in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, and discussions on lessons learned. The Delaware DOT plans to advertise a diverging diamond interchange project this summer and is considering the design for several other locations.
Road Diets Topic of Kentucky Safety Meeting
Members of the American Traffic Safety Services Association Kentucky Chapter learned about road diets at their June meeting in Frankfort. They had several questions for FHWA staff on the operational and safety effects of road diets, which reconfigure a roadway cross-section to accommodate road users such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Meeting participants also discussed other safety-related innovations, such as smarter work zone strategies and national traffic incident management responder training.
Colorado Creates SWIFT Programmatic Approach
The Colorado DOT, FHWA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have created a programmatic approach called Statewide Impact Findings Tables, or SWIFT, for informal Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultations. This option allows for standardized impact assessments and mitigation for 92 common Colorado DOT construction activities for all threatened or endangered species in the state as well as candidates for future listings. SWIFT will serve as a tool to expedite project delivery by providing project teams with consistent impact determinations for similar work and predictable conservation measures.
First Regional Winners Announced in America's Transportation Awards Contest
Two New Jersey Department of Transportation projects are the first regional winners in the 2015 America's Transportation Awards competition. The announcement was made at the 2015 Northeast Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials annual meeting. The projects won in the Best Use of Innovation and the Quality of Life/Economic Development categories.
New Jersey DOT's $3.4 million Route 46 over Musconetcong River project won for Best Use of Innovation. The project replaced a 90-year-old bridge using an accelerated bridge construction method with pre-fabricated pieces to significantly reduce construction time and traffic disruption. (New Jersey DOT)
See Innovative Project Results
Highways for LIFE demonstration project reports show how highway agencies tried proven but not widely used innovations to boost safety and quality while speeding construction and minimizing impact on travelers. FHWA has added new reports to its online collection of documents summarizing construction details, performance metrics and lessons learned on projects featuring innovations such as accelerated bridge construction, precast concrete pavement systems and new contracting methods. FHWA has also published reports on recent Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration program projects in Michigan and South Dakota.