December 7, 2017
Innovation of the Month:
Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing to the Next Generation of Engineering
The Every Day Counts (EDC) innovation of the month for December is Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing to the Next Generation of Engineering (CHANGE), a new generation of hydraulic modeling tools.
The tools and techniques the Federal Highway Administration is promoting through the CHANGE initiative can help engineers design and build safer, more resilient transportation infrastructure and deliver projects involving waterways more efficiently.
The one-dimensional (1D) modeling techniques used for hydraulic design for the past 60 years apply assumptions that can lead to overly conservative or inaccurate results. Next-generation hydraulic engineering tools—particularly 2D modeling and 3D graphical visualization features—allow users to create better representations of the interactions among waterways, the transportation infrastructure, and the surrounding environment.
Twenty-eight States, Washington, DC, Federal Lands Highway, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are demonstrating and assessing hydraulic engineering tools in EDC-4. Another 15 States plan to institutionalize hydraulic tools.
View an Innovation Spotlight video on CHANGE.
Contact Scott Hogan of the FHWA Resource Center for information, technical assistance, and training on collaborative hydraulics.
Award-Winning Safety Projects Highlight EDC Innovations
EDC innovations are featured in several projects recognized in the 2017 National Roadway Safety Awards competition, sponsored by FHWA and the Roadway Safety Foundation:
- Roadway departure crashes accounted for 38 percent of Delaware’s fatal crashes, with half of these occurring along horizontal curves. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) implemented high-friction surface treatments (HFST) through the State’s Systemic Safety Improvement Program. Studies show that crashes dropped an average of 56 percent at the more than 20 locations where HFST was installed. Contact Adam Weiser of DelDOT for information.
- After a spike in vehicles striking fire trucks at crash scenes in Grand Rapids, MI, a multiagency traffic incident management team developed strategies for shielding and clearing crash scenes. They include the Nation’s first crash attenuator truck used by a fire department and expedited dispatch of tow trucks. The result was a 31 percent decrease in tow truck response time, a 45 percent drop in secondary crashes, and zero vehicles hitting on-scene fire trucks in the last 2 years. Contact Suzette Peplinski of the Michigan Department of Transportation for information.
- When crashes at a congested northern Virginia intersection rose to nine per year, with nearly half involving injury, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) sought a faster solution than constructing a traditional roundabout. With community support, VDOT installed an “instant roundabout” in less than a week using off-the-shelf markings, tubular markers, and plastic curb sections. The solution reduced injury crashes by 89 percent and cost 95 percent less than a traditional roundabout. Contact Ivan Horodyskyj of VDOT for information.
See the Noteworthy Practices Guide for details on the award-winning projects.
Send Us Your Every Day Counts Stories
This is your opportunity to share your firsthand experiences using Every Day Counts (EDC) innovations with your fellow EDC News readers. We’re looking for one-paragraph stories that describe a challenge your agency faced, how you implemented an EDC innovation to address the challenge, and the resulting outcomes, such as positive impacts in safety, mobility, and quality and savings in time, money, and lives. Send your story to email@example.com. Include a link to a web page or other background information and a point of contact. Stories featuring innovations from any EDC round are welcome! Contact Jeff Zaharewicz with questions.