May 25, 2017
Innovation of the Month:
Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian
Many communities and States are already benefiting from the proven countermeasures in the safe transportation for every pedestrian (STEP) program the Federal Highway Administration is promoting in Every Day Counts round four (EDC-4).
Safety studies conducted in Tucson, AZ, where more than 100 pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHBs) are in use, show that the technique reduced crashes by as much as 70 percent at some locations. In Austin, TX, where about 39 PHBs are in operation, residents can request installation at additional sites.
Using road diets to enhance safety is now a standard practice in 21 States and Washington, DC. The Iowa Department of Transportation screened the statewide road network for potential road diet sites and issued a report that identifies more than 200 four-lane segments that could benefit from reconfiguration to three lanes. The report serves as a reference to help agency staff consider reconfiguration as an alternative when planning projects on the identified routes.
View an EDC-4 Innovation Spotlight video on the five STEP countermeasures: road diets, PHBs, pedestrian refuge islands, raised crosswalks, and crosswalk visibility enhancements.
Florida Opens Nation's Largest Diverging Diamond Interchange
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) opened the nation’s largest diverging diamond interchange (DDI) to drivers over the weekend at I-75 and University Parkway in Sarasota. Benefits of the DDI project, which is finishing ahead of schedule, include improved traffic operations and safety for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The project also added new bridges, auxiliary lanes, noise barrier walls, lighting, traffic signals, sidewalks, bike lanes, and pedestrian walkways. An FDOT video provides an overview of the new DDI.
Accelerated Bridge Construction Project Underway in Ohio
Work is progressing on an accelerated bridge construction project in Muskingum County, OH, to replace a structure with a fabricated steel bridge system. Muskingum County installed modular superstructure steel tub girders and steel sandwich plate decking on deep foundation abutments. On May 16, crews used a crane to lift and set two 12-by-54-foot modular segments in less than half an hour. Additional work includes bolting the modular sections, placing approach slabs, and applying a wearing surface to the deck. The project received Accelerated Innovation Deployment Demonstration funds.
Rain Tests Innovative Bridge Technology in West Virginia
A Summers County, WV, bridge built with geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) abutments was put to the test recently when rain caused Bluestone Lake to rise 42 feet above the normal level. As a result, the deck of the Bull Falls Bridge was submerged in 8 to 10 feet of water for nearly a week. Afterward, West Virginia Department of Highways inspectors found that the GRS abutments and approaches remained sound. The agency used GRS technology to accelerate construction when it built the bridge in 2013.