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FHWA Home / OIPD / Accelerating Innovation / Every Day Counts / EDC News: August 12, 2021

EDC News

August 12, 2021

Innovation of the Month:
Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions

Last week, we introduced Targeted Pavement Overlay Solutions (TOPS) and described several benefits agencies can expect by using one or more of the 12 TOPS products. Over the next few weeks, we will provide case studies from State Departments of Transportation that have successfully implemented targeted overlays.
Highly modified asphalt (HiMA) mixtures, which have an increased structural contribution, potentially allowing for a reduction in pavement thickness without sacrificing performance, are having a big impact in Florida. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) began using HiMA six years ago to address severe rutting observed in high-stress locations, such as truck weigh stations, agricultural inspection stations, and high-volume intersections and interchanges.  Since then, the agency has placed more than 500,000 tons of HiMA mixtures on over 39 projects across the State and expanded use of HiMA to other types of applications.

Roadway with a HiMA overlay showing several large trucks exiting.
FDOT has monitored and evaluated the performance of HiMA overlays on this roadway since 2017. (Credit: Gary Fitts)

One of the first HiMA projects built by FDOT was on a pavement section on Interstate 10 between two large truck stops, where the combination of heavy axle loads and slow-moving traffic resulted in severe rutting, exceeding 2 inches in some areas. To address these failures, FDOT planned to reconstruct the highway section using a Portland cement concrete pavement. However, FDOT instead milled the section to a depth of 2.5 inches and replaced it with a dense-graded HiMA mixture. While this was meant as a stopgap measure, the pavement performed so well that it was left in place and reconstruction was cancelled. After six years of service, rutting and cracking remains minimal.

FDOT performed a preliminary analysis and concluded that HiMA projects only need to last 10 months longer than conventional asphalt projects to pay for the increase in cost. There is strong evidence from projects in Florida and other States to suggest that the HiMA binder will add significantly more years of life than that.

To learn more about Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions, contact Tim Aschenbrener (asphalt) and Sam Tyson (concrete), EDC-6 team co-leads or visit the team's EDC website. To stay connected with the TOPS team, join their mailing list to receive updates and new resources as they become available.

Strategic Workforce Development – “Plays” for a Successful Campaign

FHWA’s Strategic Workforce Development’s goal is to identify, train and place individuals into highway construction careers. A playbook to build tomorrow’s highway construction workforce was developed by FHWA and includes eight plays that provide helpful tips and guiding principles to develop a Highway Construction Workforce Partnership.

The second play is to “Organize Your Players for Success.” The most successful pilot working groups had diverse representation from public and private agencies such as the highway construction industry, the Federal government, State DOTs, tribal agencies, workforce development boards, other State and local government agencies, community colleges, local community groups, and more. Check out all eight plays and success stories at “Identify, Train, Place,” and stay tuned to EDC News for future stories on the other plays for a successful campaign!

To learn more about strategic workforce development, contact Karen Bobo, FHWA Center for Transportation Workforce Development or Joe Conway, FHWA Office of Innovative Program Delivery Center for Local Aid Support, or visit FHWA’s EDC website.

MDOT Dashboard Tracks Bridge Bundling Pilot Program

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has launched a new online dashboard that allows the public to see progress on bridge bundling projects. The tool coincides with a first of its kind pilot program for MDOT which bundles the replacement of 19 local agency-owned bridges into one $24 million contract. The dashboard provides project updates and shows percent completion, detour routes, and other information for each bridge project. 

Project bundling will streamline design and construction coordination and permitting, while rapidly improving bridge conditions on local routes around the State. Under the pilot program, crews will begin removing and replacing the bridge decks and supporting beams on three bridges in August, with completion set for no later than November. The remaining 16 bridges are scheduled to be built in 2022 and 2023.

For more information about FHWA’s project bundling initiative, contact Romeo Garcia or David Unkefer, Project Bundling EDC team co-leads.

Discover Home-Grown Innovations from Around the Country

Are you interested in homegrown innovations being used by your peers in other parts of the country? Check out the National STIC Network Showcase, a component of the EDC-6 Virtual Summit, which can be viewed throughout 2021.

Home Grown Innovations Logo

The showcase prominently features several innovations focused on pavements. Learn about the Ohio DOT's study on routes heavily traveled by Amish horse and buggies, which sought to improve performance and service life of partial depth repairs and led to a project to design and evaluate different safe, cost effective, and durable alternative horseshoes; Utah DOT's use of stone-matrix asphalt, which has been used on approximately 200 projects since 2003 with approximately 20 additional projects planned per year, Pennsylvania DOT’s pervious pavement, which provides a valuable stormwater management benefit and helps offset the costs of constructing and maintaining traditional Stormwater Control Measures, like retention basins, and Illinois DOT's hot asphalt adjustable screed, which has reduced time and manpower requirements by 25 percent.

Celebrate the ingenuity of your peers and read about these innovations—developed and deployed in-house at transportation agencies nationwide. Additionally, we invite you to watch the one-hour presentations on-demand that feature many of these and other innovations.

Screen capture of EDC Virtual Summit Lobby with graphical arrow pointing to the button that will access the National STIC Network Showcase. The arrow contains text stating: Access Home-Grown Innovations Here.

About EDC

Every Day Counts, a state-based initiative 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.

EDC News is published weekly by the FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation.

Recommended Citation:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration Every Day Counts: Innovation for a Nation on the Move
EDC News: August 12, 2021 Washington, DC:

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Jeffrey A. Zaharewicz
(202) 366-1325

Page last modified on August 16, 2021
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