March 2, 2017
Innovation of the Month:
Road Weather Management—Weather-Savvy Roads
The Every Day Counts (EDC) innovation of the month for March is road weather management—weather-savvy roads, strategies that enable agencies to manage road systems and inform travelers ahead of and during adverse weather conditions.
Twenty-two percent of all vehicle crashes in the past decade were weather-related. On average, these crashes resulted in about 6,000 deaths and 445,000 injuries a year. About 25 percent of nonrecurring traffic delays are due to adverse weather, and weather-related delays add about $3.4 billion a year to freight costs.
In EDC round four (EDC-4), the Federal Highway Administration is encouraging deployment of two road weather management solutions:
- Pathfinder is a collaborative process involving the National Weather Service, transportation departments, and private sector weather service providers to disseminate clear, consistent road weather information.
- Integrating mobile observations involves collecting weather and road condition data with fleet vehicles to improve transportation system management during adverse weather.
View an EDC-4 webinar on weather-savvy roads.
Minnesota Demonstrates Process for Bridge Project
Using the construction manager/general contractor project delivery method enabled the Minnesota Department of Transportation to test a process it plans to use on the Smith Avenue High Bridge redecking project in St. Paul. A feature of the tied-arch bridge over the Mississippi River is post-tensioning tendon ties. The project team created a full-size model of one of the bundled tendons to test and validate the detensioning process to be used in the redecking and tendon bundle replacement. At a February 17 demonstration, the team completed a test of the process on the model, successfully showing how the tendon bundles can be detensioned safely.
Missouri Bridges Project Recognized for Engineering Excellence
A Missouri Department of Transportation design-build project won a 2017 Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Missouri. The Columbia I-70 Bridges project involved replacing six bridges with five new bridges. The project team used accelerated bridge construction techniques to build three of the bridges near I-70 before using slide-in bridge construction to install the structures in their permanent positions during weekend lane closures.
Washington Floating Bridge Wins Design-Build Award
The Washington State Department of Transportation’s State Route 520 floating bridge and landings project won the 2016 Excellence in Design Engineering Award from the Design-Build Institute of America. The project to design and build the world’s longest floating bridge is expected to be completed this year. The structure between Seattle and Medina provides a safer, more reliable link between the two economic hubs on either side of Lake Washington.