July 18, 2014
Innovation of the Month: Significant Impacts of Every Day Counts
Since its 2009 launch, the Every Day Counts initiative has achieved success in two areas: accelerating innovation deployment to deliver better transportation projects faster and creating a foundation for a highway community culture committed to innovation.
Every state transportation department has used one or more of the innovations the Federal Highway Administration has promoted under Every Day Counts.
To shorten project delivery, for example, many states have tried accelerated bridge construction, technologies that speed up construction, reduce traffic delays and road closures, and often lower costs.
- The Rhode Island Department of Transportation replaced the Frenchtown Brook Bridge using a prefabricated superstructure, substructure and foundation systems. This approach increased safety and quality, got the job done during a 33-day road closure instead of the six months required for traditional construction, and saved road users about $2 million.
- The Washington State Department of Transportation replaced the I-5 Skagit River Bridge in three months after it was struck by a truck. Traffic moved on temporary bridges while the new bridge was built next to the original alignment. Over one night, the temporary bridges were removed and the new one was slid into place.
States have also trimmed project delivery times with programmatic agreements, which streamline the process for handling routine environmental requirements on many projects. Thirty-seven states now have at least two programmatic agreements in place. That includes Oregon's Endangered Species Act agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service, which cuts biological assessment review time from 170 to 30 days.
Peer Exchange Explores Diverging Diamond Interchanges
The Michigan Department of Transportation used State Transportation Innovation Council incentives from FHWA to participate in a June diverging diamond interchange peer exchange.
Missouri Department of Transportation staff discussed best practices and conducted a field tour of two interchanges for staff from the Michigan DOT, city of Auburn Hills, Kent County Road Commission and FHWA.
The Michigan DOT is planning the state's first two DDIs, one at I-75/University Drive in Auburn Hills and one at I-96/Cascade Road in Kent County. Michigan will use Missouri's DDI guidance as a basis for developing its own design standards.
Oregon Plans Local Programs Peer Exchange
The Oregon Department of Transportation and FHWA plan to host a local programs peer exchange on July 23 and 24. The event will focus on sharing Oregon Local Program delivery practices, particularly the state's phased certification program for local agencies, with the Colorado Department of Transportation and FHWA staff engaged in delivering locally administered Federal-Aid programs. Oregon's certified and non-certified agencies will be on hand to discuss their experiences with the certification program.
Rhode Island Hosts High-Friction Surface Treatment Showcase
A July 14 and 15 showcase highlighted the Rhode Island Department of Transportation's first high-friction surface treatment installation contract. Seven locations were chosen for inclusion in the contract on the basis of crash data and geometrics. The locations include curves and intersection approaches on secondary roads where wet weather-related and roadway departure crashes are prevalent. The showcase featured product and delivery discussions and site visits to observe installation of the innovative treatments. Local, state and federal transportation professionals from New England and New York signed up for the event.