States Innovate

Arizona Leverages Incentives to Advance Hydraulic Modeling

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) set a goal to institutionalize the use of two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic modeling tools to design safer, more cost-effective, and more resilient structures on waterways. To meet their goal, ADOT developed standardized 2D modeling project assessment scoping language, bridge hydraulic guidance, and stormwater design guidance. ADOT has nine pilot projects involving 2D hydraulic modeling identified, underway, or completed. ADOT reports that over 2 years, it leveraged $100,000 in State Transportation Innovation Council Incentive funds to gain $400,000 in design engineering benefits on projects. This was achieved by including funds in project design budgets to use 2D hydraulic modeling instead of traditional one-dimensional methods.

e-Construction Keeps Projects Moving Forward

Transportation agency staffs across the country are working remotely, presenting a challenge to States trying to keep road construction projects on schedule. e-Construction tools and technologies have allowed the majority of States to continue work on project designs and bid packages and address contract modifications and requests for information in real time, keeping projects on track despite these challenges. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has required the use of connected tablets and laptops since 2017. These devices, along with e-Construction software, allow DelDOT to work nearly 100 percent remotely from the field, home, or wherever required with minimal need to go to an office. This is due, in part, to the department storing all construction project documents in a web-accessible format. DelDOT also uses electronic signatures for many documents, reducing the need to obtain signatures on paper.

Value Capture Helps Fund Colorado’s Largest Transportation Project

Joint development is a value capture technique that develops a transportation project and adjacent real estate or infrastructure along with a private developer. On these projects, the developer provides money for or implements public transportation improvements co-located with real estate development. In Denver, an agreement with a private developer is helping fund Colorado’s largest-ever transportation project. The Central 70 project will replace a 50-year-old, 2-mile viaduct with a lowered interstate section capped by a 4-acre park uniting the Swansea and Elyria neighborhoods. Plans include redesigned shoulders and interchanges to reduce crashes and improve safety while cutting travel time by up to one-half by 2035.

Wyoming Mobile App Pushes Crowdsourced Data to Public

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) developed a hands-free mobile application for reporting highway conditions. The app allows citizens and WYDOT staff to submit text and images, which are geolocated and sent to the traffic operations center for verification. Once submissions are verified, the system has a feature that allows the information to be automatically pushed back to app users as well as to the 511 traveler information website. This will help WYDOT identify appropriate resources and reduce response times and the potential for secondary crashes. WYDOT is also developing a prototype function to alert emergency managers in each county of relevant crowdsourced reports.