December 5, 2014
Innovation Implementation: National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training
The national traffic incident management responder training program has gained widespread acceptance in the United States with the help of the Every Day Counts initiative and the Strategic Highway Research Program 2.
The program educates first responders on best practices for handling highway incidents in a way that minimizes traffic congestion and enhances safety for motorists and responders. Nearly every state has conducted or plans to conduct training sessions for first responders.
- The Ohio Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, has trained more than 10,000 first responders in incident management techniques.
- In Illinois, the incident management training program combines an online course and a multiagency in-class session. The online training features 11 modules of 15 to 30 minutes each narrated by experts. The in-class session runs a half day.
- The Tennessee Department of Transportation and Safety and Homeland Security Department opened the country's first training site for emergency responders that can simulate actual roadway and crash conditions.
Tennessee Traffic incident Management Training Facility. Credit: Tennessee DOT See Video >>
Arizona Continues Innovation Exchange Campaign
The Arizona Council for Transportation Innovation held the fifth and final gathering in its 2014 series of innovation exchanges on November 18. Industry speakers discussed practical tools to analyze and manage schedule-driven design-build projects and technology to find water for transportation projects. A discussion on exchange ideas for 2015 followed the presentations. The council will use that feedback and results from a survey of this year's exchange participants to prepare a 2015 program that continues to spread innovative ideas throughout Arizona.
Colorado Environmental Assessment Format Cuts Document Size
The Colorado Department of Transportation has completed the pilot phase on a new environmental assessment template, part of its effort to pursue implementation of quality environmental documentation. Intended for use on environmental assessments that analyze only one build alternative, the template is designed to reduce the size of documents. The agency piloted the new format on three projects to develop environmental assessments that averaged 57 pages, compared to an average of 162 pages for traditional environmental assessments done in the past four years.
Nebraska Advances Traffic Incident Management Training
Nebraska has made significant progress in training first responders on traffic incident management techniques that protect motorists and responders and reduce impact on traffic flow. By the end of November, 1,335 responders from 195 agencies had been trained in 40 classes. Nine more classes are scheduled for December. Conducting the training for their colleagues are responders who participated in Nebraska's two train-the-trainer courses. A third train-the-trainer course is planned at the Nebraska State Fire School in May 2015.
Rhode Island Launches 3-D Implementation
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation held a December 2 kick-off session for its effort to implement 3-D modeling throughout its practices. This and future sessions will enable the agency to assess current practices and plan for integrating enhanced electronic practices. It intends to use 3-D as a standard practice in system planning, project development, design, construction and all aspects of life-cycle asset management. It's now piloting 3-D on a highway project and an intermodal project to build early capacity in its highway and transit business lines.
Texas Uses Bridge Slide on Intersection Project
The Texas Department of Transportation used slide-in bridge construction on its Fredericksburg Road Bridge project in San Antonio. The project converts an at-grade intersection to a grade-separated intersection to improve access to a medical center for emergency vehicles and cut congestion. The bridge was slid in two sections with a system of Teflon-coated pads, stainless steel plates, dish soap and hydraulic jacks. The contract allowed the contractor 14 days to complete the bridge and reopen the roadway, but the bridge was open to traffic in eight days.
Road Diet Guide Available
The Federal Highway Administration's new Road Diet Informational Guide leads readers through a decision-making process to determine if roadway reconfiguration is a good choice for a corridor. A road diet converts a four-lane undivided road segment to a three-lane segment with two through lanes and a center two-way left-turn lane. It improves safety by including a protected lane for midblock left-turning motorists, reducing crossing distances for pedestrians and lowering travel speeds. The guide includes safety, operational and quality-of-life considerations from research and practice.