August 20, 2015
Innovation of the Month: Smarter Work Zones
Project coordination involves smarter construction planning that minimizes the impact of work zones on road users and generates time and cost savings. An Every Day Counts smarter work zones strategy, project coordination is being used successfully in metropolitan areas and along interstate corridors across the country.
An example is the I-94 Corridor Operation Partnership the Michigan Department of Transportation set up to coordinate projects and minimize construction-related travel delays on the 275-mile interstate corridor across southern Michigan.
As a result of the partnership’s efforts, project scheduling improved, construction and design staff worked together to accelerate construction and minimize delays, and the agency scheduled more work during off-peak travel times.
For more examples of how cities and regions are collaborating on projects, see FHWA’s Work Zone Project Coordination page.
To learn about software that helps planners and engineers reduce work zone impacts, see WISE: Work Zone Impacts and Strategies Estimator, a second Strategic Highway Research Program product.
Iowa Wins Innovation Award
The Iowa Department of Transportation’s e-Construction program won a Best Use of Innovation award in this year’s midwest regional contest in the America’s Transportation Awards competition. The project saved time and taxpayer money by managing construction documents in the field electronically. Instead of requiring paperwork for each project, the new system allows for a streamlined and efficient form of document management.
eNEPA Training Comes to Indiana
The Indiana Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration held an eNEPA training session on August 18 for resource agencies involved in the I-69 project from Martinsville to Indianapolis. The purpose of the session was to familiarize the agencies with eNEPA, FHWA’s online tool that enables collaborative, concurrent and transparent interagency reviews of National Environmental Policy Act documents required for projects. eNEPA will also allow the Indiana DOT to share documents and track comments for the I-69 project document reviews.
Texas Introduces Local Agency Toolkit
The Texas Department of Transportation created an online toolkit to help local governments navigate the complexities of locally administered Federal-Aid projects. The toolkit includes three new resources on local transportation project development—a policy manual, a management guide and a best practices workbook. Each document has links to applicable federal and state laws and regulations, manuals, forms and other tools.
North Dakota Plans e-Construction Deployment
TLeaders from the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the North Dakota chapters of the Associated General Contractors and American Council of Engineering Companies met recently to discuss plans to advance e-Construction in the state. Texas Department of Transportation and FHWA representatives were on hand to talk about the benefits of paperless construction administration, how other states are using e-Construction and the availability of implementation tools. Next steps for North Dakota include drafting a vision statement, organizing a peer exchange and piloting e-Construction in 2016.
FHWA Updates AASHTO Group on EDC-3
FHWA staff provided an update on research to document the return on investment of using e-Construction at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Subcommittee on Construction meeting August 10 through 14 in Little Rock, Arkansas. FHWA staff also discussed case studies on using 3D engineered models in schedule, cost and post-construction applications and resources available for deploying EDC-3 innovations.