May 3, 2018
Innovation of the Month:
Integrating National Environmental Policy Act and Permitting
The Every Day Counts (EDC) innovation of the month for May is integrating National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and permitting processes to allow concurrent, synchronized environmental and permitting reviews and accelerate transportation project delivery.
Integrating NEPA and permitting processes allows the various environmental reviews and permitting procedures required for Federal-Aid Highway Program projects to be performed at the same time rather than sequentially. This provides for more effective and efficient regulatory reviews, leading to projects with reduced impacts on the environment as well as time and money savings for the agencies involved.
During EDC round four, 15 States are developing implementation plans and learning more about integrating NEPA and permitting processes. Four States and Federal Lands Highway (FLH) are demonstrating and assessing tools to integrate NEPA and permitting. Fourteen States have made integrating NEPA and permitting processes on projects a standard practice.
View an Innovation Spotlight video on NEPA and permitting.
Contact Mike Ruth of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty for information and technical assistance.
National State Transportation Innovation Council Meeting Features Traffic Operations Technology
The spotlight presentation at the April National State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) meeting focused on a North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) pilot project on the use of fiber optic roadside monitoring to optimize traffic operations. The first of its type in North America, NDDOT’s distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) system allows for continuous acoustic measurements along the length of an optical fiber buried close to the road shoulder. The test system, located on Interstate 29 in Fargo, is capable of monitoring traffic speed, travel time, and volume in real time. For information on the DAS project, contact Ethan Akerly of NDDOT. View the meeting at the National STIC Meeting Recordings page.
See the Latest Issue of Innovator
Read the May/June issue of the Innovator electronic newsletter to learn how the Vermont Agency of Transportation developed a process for identifying potential corridors for road diet installation. Also, read about techniques the transportation community is using to capture the value of investment in innovation, as well as how active monitoring of signalized intersections helps agencies solve problems before they become complaints. Subscribe to the Innovator newsletter.
Read About EDC Innovations in Public Roads Magazine
“Turning Skeptics Into Adopters” in the spring issue of Public Roads discusses how EDC helped demonstrate the versatility of geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system technology and expand its use from a few projects to more than 200 bridges. “Improving Work Zone Operations” explains the role of smarter work zone technologies in improving safety and mobility on projects. “Driving Innovation Through State Councils” describes how the Texas State Transportation Innovation Council used an innovation pitch meeting to engage stakeholders. Sign up for the electronic version of Public Roads.