May 24, 2018
Innovation of the Month:
Integrating National Environmental Policy Act and Permitting
One strategy agencies are using to integrate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and permitting processes is to develop agreements that streamline project reviews and reduce duplicative efforts.
The Georgia Department of Transportation, State Historic Preservation Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and Federal Highway Administration are drafting a programmatic agreement to streamline transportation project reviews under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The purpose of the agreement is to improve efficiency and consistency on reviews.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, FHWA, USACE, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed an agreement that simplifies the NEPA and Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 merger process. The agreement’s purpose is to secure a preliminary “least environmentally damaging practicable alternative” determination from USACE during the NEPA process so the permitting process can progress smoothly and with minimal delays.
For technical assistance on developing agreements, contact Mike Ruth of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty.
See the Environmental Review Toolkit for information and resources on NEPA and project development.
Join User’s Forum to Learn About Two-Dimensional Hydraulic Modeling
For an update on collaborative hydraulics: advancing to the next generation of engineering (CHANGE), register for the Two-Dimensional (2D) Hydraulic Modeling User’s Forum webinar on May 31 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. Organized to provide information and technical support on the use of 2D hydraulic modeling, the forum meets bimonthly for an hour to discuss best practices, tips, and training opportunities and get user feedback. The forum includes presentations from State transportation departments on their experiences on and the benefits of using CHANGE technology. More than 500 members participate in the live webinars or catch up on the information on recordings of past webinars. To join the forum, contact Scott Hogan of FHWA.
New Weather-Savvy Roads Publications Available
New FHWA publications help agencies implement road weather management–weather–savvy roads strategies. They include “Weather-Savvy Roads Benefits and Costs,” which outlines the benefits and costs agencies might expect from deploying Pathfinder and integrating mobile observations (IMO) solutions. For information, contact Paul Pisano or Ray Murphy of FHWA.
- “What is Pathfinder?” describes a collaborative strategy for transportation agencies, the National Weather Service, and weather service contractors to translate weather forecasts and road conditions into consistent transportation impact messages.
- “Colorado’s Pathfinder Process” case study explains how the Colorado Department of Transportation works with the weather forecasting community to provide travelers with consistent messages on travel conditions.
- “Wyoming Department of Transportation Total Solar Eclipse” case study focuses on Pathfinder being used as a communications tool to help coordinate responses during the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse.
- “What is IMO?” provides an overview of a strategy to use vehicle-based technologies to collect weather and road condition data to support maintenance and operations decision making.
- “Leveraging Multiple Communications Systems for Vehicle-Based Data Sharing: Nevada Department of Transportation Case Study” reviews a hybrid approach to using radio, cellular Wi-Fi, and dedicated short-range communications to transmit IMO data.
- “Using the National ITS Architecture for Implementing Weather-Savvy Roads: Integrating Mobile Observations” provides information on using intelligent transportation system tools to support the systems engineering process necessary for IMO projects.
- “Getting Data Into the Weather Data Environment” (WxDE) provides information to States implementing IMO strategies on sharing data with WxDE, a research project that collects transportation-related weather data.
Every Day Counts, a State-based program of the Federal Highway Administration’s Center for Accelerating Innovation, works with State, local, and private sector partners to encourage the adoption of proven technologies and innovations to shorten and enhance project delivery.