November 12, 2015
Innovation of the Month: Regional Models of Cooperation
Planning in jurisdictional silos can interfere with coordination of regional transportation solutions, which can lead to project delays, traffic congestion and reduced freight reliability.
Through Every Day Counts, the Federal Highway Administration is encouraging transportation stakeholders to take advantage of the benefits of using regional models of cooperation:
- Better decision making. Regional models of cooperation provide a framework and process for developing agreements across agency boundaries that improve communication and produce mutual benefits.
- Better communities. Using regional planning can spur economic development through faster project construction, improved freight movement and reduced traffic congestion, improving community quality of life.
Participate in the bimonthly webinar series on regional models of cooperation in transportation planning to learn about successful collaborative planning on topics such as regional transit and congestion management. Register for the safety planning webinar on December 10, 2015, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET.
Minnesota Plans First Mini-Roundabouts on State Highway
The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of St. James received an $864,000 FHWA Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration Program grant to construct two mini-roundabouts that will be the first on the state highway system, the first for the City of St. James, and the first in a constrained urban setting. The mini-roundabouts are part of an urban reconstruction project on State Highway 4 and will replace signals at both intersections.
Tennessee Showcases Accelerated Bridge Construction
FHWA and the Tennessee Department of Transportation hosted a showcase of TDOT’s Fast Fix 8 accelerated bridge construction project in downtown Nashville from October 23 to 25. TDOT shared their experiences in delivering this construction manager/general contractor project, and attendees witnessed the demolition, site preparation, superstructure placements and closure pours of the I-40 Westbound bridge over Charlotte Avenue. This time-lapse video shows the weekend construction, which was completed well before the 6:00 a.m. Monday deadline.
e-Construction Peer Exchange Report Shares Implementation Experience
A new report summarizes a FHWA sponsored peer exchange on e-Construction hosted by the Florida Department of Transportation for the Massachusetts DOT. During the September exchange, participants discussed implementation of paperless construction administration practices, including documentation through collaboration sites and the use of digital signatures. Participants also visited two Florida DOT project sites to view demonstrations of e-Construction field devices.
Idaho Benefits from Innovation Initiative
The Idaho Transportation Department's new approach to encouraging innovation in the workplace has resulted in a marked acceleration in the number of new ideas generated and submitted. So far, 114 ideas for improvement have been implemented statewide, saving taxpayers more than $700,000. This ITD video details the initiative and showcases a few of the best ideas from the program, including a slide-in bridge project.
FHWA and North Carolina Host Smarter Work Zones Peer Exchange
FHWA’s Office of Operations and the North Carolina Department of Transportation partnered in hosting a South Region Peer Exchange Workshop in Raleigh on November 5 and 6. Work zone practitioners from federal and state transportation agencies, academia, and the private sector shared information about their efforts to develop and implement smarter work zone strategies such as queue and speed management. A West Region Peer Exchange is scheduled for November 17 and 18 in Colorado.
Roundtable Showcases Regional Models of Cooperation
The ninth Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtable, held October 29 in Wilmington, Delaware, included metropolitan planning organizations and regional commissions from the District of Columbia and six mid-Atlantic states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. The meeting, which fosters regional models of cooperation on transportation issues, included a presentation by the FHWA Delaware Division Administrator on Every Day Counts as well as the FHWA and Federal Transit Administration Planning Emphasis Areas.
Massachusetts Mega-Project Reaches Milestone
The I-95 Whittier Bridge over the Merrimack River in Massachusetts reached a major milestone on November 4 when northbound traffic was shifted onto a newly constructed span. A new southbound structure will be completed by early fall 2017. The White House selected the $292 million design-build project as one of 14 around the country to be expedited through a streamlined permitting and environmental review process.