July 9, 2015
Innovation Implementation: Improving DOT and Railroad Coordination
A record number of trains are on the rails, creating challenges for highway agencies building projects near railroad rights-of-way.
Through Every Day Counts, the Federal Highway Administration is promoting the use of innovative techniques developed through the second Strategic Highway Research Program that streamline processes, coordination and partnering between agencies and railroads. The EDC effort on improving DOT and railroad coordination offers several benefits:
- Improved communication—A suite of tools helps highway agencies and railroads identify and work through or avoid sources of conflict.
- Expedited project delivery—Memorandums of understanding developed for project and program needs expedite delivery.
- Reduced project costs—Fewer delays waiting for reviews and agreements equals fewer increases in project costs.
View Railroad-DOT Mitigation Strategies, a webinar on the SHRP 2 R16 project and the tools available to help agencies and railroads work together on projects.
FHWA Divisions Partner with States to Pilot e-Construction
FHWA division offices in Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Texas, and Utah are collaborating with their respective state DOTs on an FHWA e-Construction pilot. This partnership with lead e-Construction states will help identify technologies that could benefit FHWA's business during construction.
The objective of the pilot is to identify division office workflows and procedures that e-Construction technology and processes will enhance, accelerate or where they will decrease costs. Once completed, the pilot study will provide a recommendation on if and how FHWA should consider an agency-wide adoption of e-Construction for division offices.
Delaware Legislature Grants Authority for D-B and CM/GC Projects
Delaware's State Legislature voted in June to grant the Department of Transportation full legal authority to use design-build as a project delivery method and for limited use of the construction manager/general contractor method on six projects. DelDOT previously had limited authority for D-B, and CM/GC was not permitted. This progress follows a February 2015 CM/GC workshop attended by a state legislature representative, DelDOT staff, consultants and contractors, with presenters from Colorado, Maryland, and Utah.
New Mexico Breaks Ground on First Diverging Diamond Interchange
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez joined a ground breaking ceremony hosted by the state's DOT on June 29, 2015, to initiate construction of a diverging diamond interchange at Cerrillos Road and Interstate 25 in Santa Fe.
This DDI is the first of its kind in New Mexico. NMDOT chose to implement the DDI to improve safety, reduce congestion and allow for cost savings with future growth.Kickoff shovel for the diverging diamond interchange. Credit: FHWA
Pennsylvania STIC Provides Local Training on Alternative for Storm Drainage
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, under the auspices of their State Transportation Innovation Council, is using innovation to meet challenges, expand public outreach, conduct technical training and collaborate across agency lines. PennDOT conducted training for local governments on the benefits of grass swales as an alternative to traditional drainage for storm water in urban settings. The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors administered the sessions in different locales across the state.
Indiana Advances High-Friction Surface Treatments
The Indiana Department of Transportation is selecting 30-50 curves for high-friction surface treatments in 2017. The state's FHWA division worked with DOT to show the safety improvements and cost-effectiveness these treatments offer.
New Jersey Trained on Road Diets
A road diet workshop in Trenton, New Jersey, enabled more than 80 staff members from the New Jersey Department of Transportation and several metropolitan planning organizations to learn how roadway reconfiguration can enhance safety, mobility and livability in a community. FHWA tailored the workshop, which took place on June 24-25, to focus on strategies to reduce pedestrian and intersection crashes. A highlight of the event was a group exercise that allowed teams to critique a real-world candidate for a road diet project.
Texas Conference Features Road Diets
The annual conference of the American Public Works Association Texas Chapter featured an overview presentation on road diets and their benefits. More than 400 public works professionals from around the state attended the event in Austin on June 24-26. The conference included educational opportunities such as roundtable discussions, mobile workshops and sessions on enhancing public works services.
Read Peer Exchange Report on Certification Programs
Local Agency Certification Peer Exchange recaps a 2014 event the Oregon Department of Transportation hosted on the processes, challenges and successes of its certification program for locally administered Federal-Aid projects. The FHWA report highlights key information and documents questions and answers from the peer exchange with Colorado Department of Transportation staff.
See the Latest Innovator
Read the new issue of Innovator to find out how New Mexico and other states used State Transportation Innovation Council incentive funds on activities to standardize innovations. Also, read about the latest round of Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration awards highway agencies will use to deploy proven technologies and practices to save time, money and lives.