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FHWA Home / OIPD / Accelerating Innovation / Every Day Counts / EDC News: December 3, 2020

EDC News

December 3, 2020

EDC-6 Summit Preview:
Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions (TOPS)

The beginning of EDC-6 is just around the corner, and each week through the end of the year, we will give you a preview of the seven innovations being featured. This week, we will take a sneak-peak at targeted overlay pavement solutions (TOPS).

Approximately half of all infrastructure dollars are invested in pavements, and more than half of that investment is in overlays. By enhancing overlay performance, State and local highway agencies can maximize this investment and help ensure safer, longer-lasting roadways for the traveling public.

Installation of a fiber-reinforced concrete overlay.
Fiber-reinforced concrete overlay (Credit: Iowa Concrete Paving Association)

Many of the pavements in the Nation's highway system have reached or are approaching the end of their design life. These roadways still carry daily traffic that often far exceeds their initial design criteria. Overlays are now available for both asphalt and concrete pavements that enable agencies to provide long-life performance under a wide range of traffic, environmental, and existing pavement conditions.

Advances in overlays for both concrete and asphalt mean that any agency can potentially benefit from using a targeted overlay. Concrete overlays are now more effective because of performance-engineered mixtures, including thinner-bonded and unbonded overlays with fiber reinforcement, interlayer materials, and new design procedures that improve durability and performance. Asphalt overlay mixtures have also advanced significantly with the use of stone-matrix asphalt (SMA), polymer-modified asphalt (PMA), and other materials, designs, and agents that reduce rutting, increase cracking resistance or structural capacity, improve friction, and extend pavement life.

Thin asphalt overlay with quarter standing on its end showing depth of overlay. Installation crew is visible in background.
Thin asphalt overlay (Credit: National Asphalt Paving Association)

Timely and well-designed overlay applications are consistently cost-effective because less subsurface work is required. In urban areas, impacts to utilities and pedestrian facilities are minimized. Targeting overlay solutions to high-maintenance areas such as intersections, bus lanes, ramps, and curved alignments can pay immediate dividends in terms of reduced maintenance needs, fewer work zones, and improved safety.

To learn more about TOPS, contact Tim Aschenbrener or Sam Tyson, FHWA Office of Preconstruction, Construction, and Pavements, register for the EDC-6 virtual summit and attend the breakout session on Dec 9, or visit FHWA’s EDC website.

Crowdsourced Data Helps Tennessee Enhance Queue Detection

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), in conjunction with the University of Tennessee, used Waze speed, incidents, and jams data to enhance queue detection techniques that previously used roadway detector equipment. The addition of crowdsourced data greatly expanded TDOT's geographic coverage area of queue detection and response capabilities. Waze data improved both spatial and temporal reliability–on average, crowdsourced data enabled the back of queues to be identified 1.1 minutes faster than traditional intelligent transportation system detectors at fixed locations. Crowdsourced data was faster at detecting crashes and stopped vehicles.

To learn more about how crowdsourcing can help your agency improve traffic operations, contact James Colyar or Paul Jodoin with the FHWA Office of Operations.

Join Us for the EDC-6 Virtual Summit

Registration is open for the EDC-6 summit. This year’s event will be held virtually in three half-day sessions on December 8, 9, and 10.

The summit brings together transportation leaders and frontline professionals responsible for developing and delivering highway projects. We welcome participation from all of our partners–State transportation departments, local agencies, Federal land management agencies, tribes, and industry.

Graphic with text- "EDC Virtual Summit, December 8-10, 2020. Register Today."

Each day of the summit will open with a session featuring speakers including FHWA leadership and innovation champions from the public and private sectors.

The summit will also include an opportunity to learn about over 200 home grown innovations being developed and deployed across the country through the National STIC Network Showcase. These innovations will be organized into eight categories for ease of browsing and will give you an opportunity to connect directly with those deploying innovations and download reference documents to a virtual "briefcase" for future use.

To learn more about the featured innovations and other events that will take place during the summit, view the agenda here.

Did You Catch the New Innovator?

Innovator cover image- aerial photograph of flooded roadway with appearance of a river cutting through a wooded area.

The November/December issue of Innovator is now available, accessible from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone to optimize your reading experience!

In this issue:

Comments? Questions? We'd love your feedback! Drop us a line and let us know what you think.

Read past issues and sign up to receive Innovator by email here, or text "FHWA Innovation" to 468311 to get Innovator on your smartphone.

About EDC

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.

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Jeffrey A. Zaharewicz
(202) 366-1325

Page last modified on December 3, 2020
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000