April 14, 2016
Innovation of the Month: Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System
Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) technology can help meet the country’s demand for small, single-span bridges by delivering low-cost, durable structures that can be built with readily available equipment and materials.
Part of the Federal Highway Administration’s Every Day Counts initiative, GRS-IBS offers several benefits:
- A GRS-IBS project can be built in weeks instead of months, saving time and cutting work zone congestion.
- GRS-IBS bridges can cost 25 to 60 percent less than bridges built with conventional materials.
- They use a simple design that can be adapted to suit environmental or other needs.
- The technology integrates the roadway approach to the bridge, eliminating the bump drivers commonly feel between the road and bridge.
Read the Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System Interim Implementation Guide for guidance on designing GRS-IBS structures.
FHWA Encourages Work Zone Awareness
“Don’t Be THAT Driver” is this year’s theme for National Work Zone Awareness Week, reinforcing the message that motorists should stay alert around work zones. A national kickoff event was held Tuesday at the I-75 widening project near Toledo, Ohio. Wednesday was “Go Orange Day,” when highway community stakeholders wore orange in support of work zone safety. Among the FHWA efforts to make work zones safer is the EDC smarter work zones strategy to create efficient work zones through project coordination and technology applications.
Arizona Moves to Online Project Documents
The Arizona Department of Transportation is moving forward on its e-Construction implementation effort. Potential bidders may now obtain project-related documents online rather than drive to the Arizona DOT and pay for copies, an improvement that saves time and money for the agency and contractors. The new system went live in February. In addition to plan documents, the site allows contractors to receive automatic notifications of project changes.
Maine Offers Intersection Workshop
Participants from the Maine Department of Transportation and private industry learned about using intersection and interchange geometrics to enhance safety and reduce congestion at a March 31 workshop. FHWA staff led the workshop, which focused on diverging diamond interchanges and roundabouts. The Maine DOT plans to begin designing a diverging diamond interchange project on I-95 near Bangor in May.
Michigan Workshop Features e-Construction
The Michigan Department of Transportation presented a workshop on e-Construction as a transformational technology on March 30 and 31 in Dearborn. More than 120 people attended sessions presented by speakers from seven state transportation departments, industry and FHWA on transforming business practices with e-Construction. The workshop goal was to demonstrate how agencies can increase opportunities for positive results when implementing e-Construction.
Oklahoma Towing Companies Discuss Incident Management
Oklahoma’s wrecker service industry is championing traffic incident management responder training on safe, quick clearance of roadway incidents. FHWA staff attended the 2016 Oklahoma Wrecker Service Forum on April 5 in Shawnee to learn about incident management issues affecting the industry. For example, proving vehicle ownership is an administrative burden public sector emergency responders may not be aware of when working with the wrecker industry. Towing firms are also affected by changes in state and federal laws covering the industry.
Virginia Innovation Council Reviews e-Construction System
Virginia’s State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) discussed innovation deployment projects at its March 25 meeting. One is a Virginia Department of Transportation effort to create an electronic project document management system that uses e-Construction tools to manage contract documents, records and processes. The STIC also discussed proposed connected vehicle test sites in Northern Virginia and on the Virginia Smart Road at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
Washington Opens World’s Longest Floating Bridge
FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau joined local, state, tribal and business leaders for a grand opening ceremony April 2 on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s State Route 520 floating bridge. The 7,700-foot-long bridge—the world’s longest floating bridge—was built with the design-build project delivery method. The new bridge replaces one that opened in 1963 with a safer structure that offers more roadway and transit capacity.
Western States Participate in Road Diet Exchange
State and local stakeholders from Arizona, California, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington participated in the Western Region Road Diet Peer Exchange on April 12-13. The peer exchange provided attendees with an opportunity to discuss road diet policies, benefits, guidance and challenges. Each of these states is working toward making road diets a standard practice to improve safety and relieve congestion.
Watch Data-Driven Safety Analysis Video
A new FHWA video provides an overview of data-driven safety analysis, which enables safety professionals to better target highway safety investments and reduce the number of severe crashes. The video highlights state and local agencies that have successfully applied data-driven safety analysis methods at the programmatic and project levels.