October 24, 2014
Innovation Implementation: Programmatic Agreements
Programmatic agreements establish streamlined processes for handing routine environmental requirements on highway projects, reducing review times and accelerating project delivery. They usually set procedures for compliance with federal laws, but they can also address tribal, state and local laws.
Many states are taking advantage of opportunities Every Day Counts is providing to explore the benefits of implementing programmatic agreements. Thirty-seven states now have at least two programmatic agreements in place.
- With a grant from the Federal Highway Administration's State Transportation Innovation Council Incentive program, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation is creating a state historic architectural and archeological resource database. This tool will help the agency process projects under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
- The Ohio Department of Transportation and FHWA have entered into a programmatic agreement for intelligent transportation systems engineering analysis. The agreement uses a risk-based approach to establish a streamlined process for the systems engineering analysis documentation required on projects.
- The Nebraska Department of Roads has nine programmatic agreements in place to address environmental compliance. These agreements have helped streamline 712 projects since 2010.
Oklahoma Demonstrates 3-D Laser Imaging
Participants from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the contracting and pavement industries attended an October 10 demonstration of a 3-D laser imaging technology system and automated distress analyzer for gathering pavement data. The technology uses green lasers to take photos of the pavement surface every second from a vehicle moving at 60 miles per hour. The images are combined and presented in a high-resolution 3-D visualization that represents pavement condition. The resulting data can be used to determine the potential for hydroplaning and to evaluate the effectiveness of high-friction surface treatments.
Solar-Powered Lights Brighten Washington Pass
Solar-powered LED lights are illuminating dangerous stretches of I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. Washington State Department of Transportation crews spent the summer installing 3,600 LED lights on the interstate after receiving a Highways for LIFE grant from FHWA. The lights address driver safety and improve visibility in travel lanes during severe weather and snowstorms. The agency is testing a couple of versions of the lights to find the most durable and effective ones. This pilot project is the first to use solar-powered LED lane markers on a large scale in the state.
Illinois Dedicates CREATE Project
An October 23 dedication ceremony was set for the Englewood Flyover in Chicago, Illinois. The $142 million project, a component of the Chicago Region Environment and Transportation Efficiency Program, will carry the north-south Metra Rock Island rail line over the east-west Amtrak/Norfolk Southern line. The CREATE Program is a partnership involving FHWA, the Illinois and Chicago Departments of Transportation and the Association of American Railroads to cooperate on regional projects to improve the rail and roadway transportation network.
FHWA Shares EDC Information
FHWA staff continued to spread the word in October on Every Day Counts innovations and their benefits to transportation stakeholders and their customers. Arizona Division Administrator Karla Petty spoke about leveraging resources through collaboration and innovation at a meeting of the Phoenix Section of the American Society of Highway Engineers. And Jeff Shaw of the FHWA Office of Safety discussed alternative intersection design and data-driven safety analysis at the annual Illinois Traffic Engineering and Safety Conference at the University of Illinois.