October 13, 2016
Innovation of the Month: Ultra-High Performance Concrete Connections
The durability of prefabricated bridge elements and how quickly they can be constructed depends on the connections between the components. Ultra-high performance concrete connections can provide simple, strong and durable connections for prefabricated bridge elements.
A project to renovate the historic Franklin Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the summer of 2016 showcased the benefits of UHPC. Accelerated bridge construction techniques—including UHPC connections between prefabricated deck panels—enabled crews to replace the bridge deck in just 17 weeks, greatly reducing the time needed for a road closure and the impact on travelers.
The Federal Highway Administration has encouraged the highway community to use UHPC connections on bridge projects since the third round of Every Day Counts began in 2015 and will continue the effort in EDC-4, starting in 2017.
Read the FHWA TechNote on Design and Construction of Field-Cast UHPC Connections for guidance on deploying UHPC connections.
Arizona Innovation Exchange Day Showcases Ideas
Thirteen innovators from around the state presented their ideas and shared lessons learned at the first Arizona Innovation Exchange Day on October 4 in Phoenix. More than 150 transportation professionals attended the event organized by the Arizona Council for Transportation Innovation, part of the State Transportation Innovation Council national network. Keynote presentations covered effective decision making and the changing transportation environment.
Performance Measures Topic of Florida Planning Meeting
The Florida Metropolitan Planning Partnership Statewide Meeting on September 27 and 28 in Orlando featured a performance measures workshop. Other agenda topics included complete streets, strategic intermodal system implementation and statewide long-range revenue forecasting. Representatives of the state’s 27 metropolitan planning organizations and the Metropolitan Planning Organization Advisory Council attended the annual event, an example of regional models of cooperation. The Florida Department of Transportation organized the meeting in cooperation with FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration.
Idaho Transportation Director Recognized for Innovation
The Route Fifty organization named Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness a 2016 Navigator Award finalist in the Agency and Department Leadership category. Ness is among state, county and municipal officials being honored for implementing innovative ideas to solve problems and improve public sector services. Since the Idaho Transportation Department Innovate program started in 2014, the agency has implemented more than 400 innovations, saving nearly 70,000 hours for workers and $2.1 million for taxpayers.
Officials Tour Maine-to-New Hampshire Bridge Project
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FHWA Administrator Gregory Nadeau joined Maine officials on October 3 to tour the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge project, being built with the construction manager/general contractor delivery method. The project, which is replacing a structure connecting Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, received U.S. DOT TIGER funds and an Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration grant. The group also visited the International Marine Terminal in Portland, Maine. The Maine Department of Transportation received a FASTLANE grant for physical improvements, equipment and technology investments at the port, as well as railroad track and crossing upgrades.
Ohio Hosts Multistate Traffic Incident Management Conference
A Traffic Incident Management Conference on September 29 in Perrysburg, Ohio, drew first responders from four states. The Ohio Department of Transportation hosted the conference and provided details on coordination, planning and traffic management during the Republican National Convention. Participants from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio discussed best practices and areas for increased collaboration on traffic incident management efforts to clear crashes safely and quickly.
I-41 Project in Wisconsin Nears Completion
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 5 in Green Bay to celebrate the substantial completion of the I-41 project and the opening of the I-41/I-43 system interchange to traffic. The project, one of the state’s largest highway construction projects ever, spans more than 30 miles in Brown and Winnebago Counties and includes the reconstruction or improvement of 16 interchanges and 40 roundabouts. Construction on the project started in 2009 and will be fully completed in June 2017.