December 24, 2014
Innovation Implementation: Locally Administered Federal-Aid Projects
Through Every Day Counts, several state transportation agencies have adopted consultant services flexibilities to improve the process of delivering local projects under the Federal-Aid Highway Program.
Consultant services flexibilities can take a variety of forms, including procurement policy and procedures flexibilities, contracting options and local program management. Twenty-two states have completed demonstrations of one or more components of consultant services flexibilities, and 17 have made them a standard practice.
One example is the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which has a statewide on-call contract for consultant services that local agencies can use on projects. Another is the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which uses consultants for local program management and maintains a roster of prequalified firms.
The Federal Highway Administration's Consultant Services website includes regulations, policies and guidance on using consultant services.
Innovation Session Setfor Transportation Research Board Meeting
"Leadership in Innovation," a Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting session organized by FHWA, will feature a dialogue on meeting transportation challenges through proactive leadership in innovation. The session, moderated by FHWA Executive Director Jeffrey Paniati, will be January 12 from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Invited speakers include Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski, California Department of Transportation Director Malcolm Dougherty, Parsons Brinckerhoff Senior Vice President John Porcari and Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau.
Secretary Foxx Awards Grants to Speed Innovation
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced $5.37 million in FHWA grants to accelerate deployment of innovative road and bridge work. The funds will be used to offset the cost of pioneering transportation project delivery in Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Utah. The funds come from the Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration program, which will ultimately invest $30 million in incentive funding for agencies to hasten innovation deployment. "We are building projects faster and at less cost to taxpayers, without compromising safety, because of the investments being made through this program," Foxx said.
Fast Lane Blog Features Road Diets
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx discussed the road diet, an innovation on the third-round roster of Every Day Counts, in a recent Fast Lane blog post. "A typical road diet takes a segment of four-lane undivided roadway and reconfigures it into three lanes with two through lanes and a center two-way left turn lane," Foxx said. "Often, a road diet creates space for bicycle lanes. The newly configured stretch improves safety by including a protected left-turn lane for motorists, reducing crossing distance for pedestrians, and lowering travel speeds with very little increase in travel times."