April 21, 2016
Innovation of the Month: Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System
Geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system (GRS-IBS) technology has been used successfully on a variety of crossing types and roadway geometries with different kinds of superstructures, facings, fill materials and geosynthetics. Both transportation agency staff and contractors are designing and building GRS-IBS structures.
Among the GRS-IBS projects that have received Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration program funds is the White Swan Bridge replacement near Santa Fe, New Mexico. An Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo road crew replaced the span over a drainage basin. Benefits of using GRS-IBS instead of conventional technology included shorter construction time—two versus four-and-a-half months—and lower project cost—less than half.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation received a national Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies this week for its first GRS-IBS project, replacement of the Ashley Falls Road Bridge over the Housatonic Railroad in Sheffield. Using GRS-IBS on the $1.1 million project saved 49 percent of the estimated cost of the original design using conventional construction.
Colorado Learns About e-Construction
A recent peer exchange allowed Colorado Department of Transportation participants to learn about the e-Construction experiences of their Missouri DOT colleagues. At the April 5-6 meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, participants discussed implementing paperless construction administration practices, including documentation through collaboration sites and the use of digital signatures and mobile devices. The Missouri DOT shared their progress on several important issues and challenges, potential solutions, and e-Construction practices that have proven beneficial to their department and contractors.
Ohio Promotes Smarter Work Zones
The Ohio Department of Transportation and the FHWA Ohio Division presented a session on smarter work zones at the American Society of Highway Engineers Central Ohio Section Spring Seminar. The presentation, which included an overview of the Every Day Counts initiative, promoted both the project coordination and technology application strategies of the smarter work zones innovation. It also included a discussion of FHWA’s Work Zone Intelligent Transportation Systems Implementation Guide and other resources available for learning how to implement these strategies.
Tennessee Hosts Advanced TIM Training Course
The Tennessee Department of Transportation hosted a first-of-its-kind advanced traffic incident management pilot training course at the TIM Training Facility in Nashville, Tennessee, in March. This advance course resulted from a July 2015 workshop that reviewed the existing material for SHRP2 TIM responder training and train-the-trainer courses and provided input on future curricula, specifically on using live demonstrations and real-life facilities. This work is supported by State Transportation Innovation Council incentive funds and funds from the new National Operations Center of Excellence.