February 21, 2019
Innovation of the Month:
Weather-Responsive Management Strategies
Among the agencies using weather-responsive management strategies to improve traffic operations and maintenance is the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), an early adopter of integrating mobile observations (IMO) technology to collect data using fleet vehicles.
MDOT's Weather-Responsive Traveler Information System (Wx-TINFO) brings together environmental and weather-related data from fixed and IMO sources. The data are used for motorist advisories on roadside dynamic message signs and the Mi Drive traveler information website, which includes features such as images from snowplow cameras so travelers can track where plows are working.
By offering travelers timely information, Wx-TINFO increases awareness of the safest trip alternatives and helps motorists make better decisions during inclement weather. The system also alerts maintenance staff to locations that need winter maintenance because of unsafe pavement and roadway conditions.
Read a report on MDOT's Wx-TINFO system.
See the IMO toolkit.
Contact Roemer Alfelor of the Federal Highway Administration Office of Operations for information and technical assistance.
Georgia Develops Section 106 Programmatic Agreement to Streamline Project Reviews
Georgia agencies finalized a programmatic agreement (PA) to streamline project reviews under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The PA is expected to improve efficiency by providing a more predictable, transparent review process on projects that affect cultural and historic resources. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) collaborated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia State Historic Preservation Office, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and Federal Highway Administration to develop the PA. As part of the effort, GDOT drafted a Cultural Resources Manual to provide guidance on implementing the PA and held a workshop for agencies and tribes to review the new Section 106 coordination process. For information, contact Mike Ruth of the FHWA Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty.
Tennessee Adapts Analytics Model to Improve Incident Response
The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is adapting a predictive analytics model to enhance its HELP program, which operates service patrols to respond to urban freeway incidents. HELP is part of TDOT's traffic incident management program to clear incidents safely and quickly. The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security developed the original analytics model, which predicts the likelihood of incidents occurring in an area at a given time. TDOT will use the model at its traffic management centers to guide deployment of HELP trucks, improve incident response, and enhance safety. TDOT used State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive funds to begin the systems engineering development process, including producing a concept of operations and outlining systems requirements, before handoff to Vanderbilt University to continue design and implementation of the model. For information, contact Brad Freeze of TDOT.
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.