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FHWA Home / OIPD / Accelerating Innovation / State Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC) / STIC Excellence Award

STIC Excellence Award

FHWA and the AASHTO Innovation Initiative have partnered to promote innovations and to recognize excellence within a STIC. The STIC Excellence Award recognizes a STIC that has made significant impact toward fostering a strong culture for innovation. Nominations for the 2023 STIC Excellence Award will be received through June 30, 2023.

2022 STIC Excellence Award Recipients

  • The New Jersey State Transportation Innovation Council built a proactive communication strategy and strategically planned for organizational improvements to support institutionalizing innovations statewide. They developed a Communications Plan to identify strategies to share exemplary innovation technologies and disseminate lessons learns with the broader transportation community.  This has led to new member engagement, and a steady increase in attendance at their quarterly STIC Meetings . The New Jersey DOT created a full-time Innovation Coordinator position to build upon the culture of innovation and strategically plan an enterprise-level innovation program.  The New Jersey STIC created a new core innovation area related to Organizational Improvement and Support to implement Strategic Workforce Development, Virtual Public Involvement, and other innovations that do not fall into the typical discipline areas.
  • The Ohio Transportation Innovation Council diversified their STIC membership and develop a new process to evaluate innovations while also striving to save $100 million in operational costs over a four-year period to reinvest back into the state’s infrastructure.   The Ohio STIC expanded its membership to Rural Transportation Planning Organizations and higher education institutions while strengthening its ties with the DOT Lean Team and Research Programs.  This expanded membership brought more diverse viewpoints and developed a long-term collaborative approach to promote innovative ideas statewide.  The Ohio STIC developed a transparent process with standardized criteria to select STIC Incentive projects, which resulted in more project submittals.  They created a subcommittee that consisted of Ohio DOT, County Engineering Association of Ohio, an RTPO, and an MPO to better understand the impact that the projects could have statewide.  The Ohio DOT is also capturing cost savings through their internal processes, with over 2,000 suggestions received, 201 implemented and 271 under further analysis – the savings to date totals $72.2 million that can be invested into Ohio’s infrastructure.
  • The Idaho Transportation Innovation Council increased outreach, diversity, and real-world career opportunities with its ICONIC training program.  They supported the Idaho Career Opportunities – Next in Construction (ICONIC) training program.  This support allowed the program to triple in size and take a geographic approach.  With the training closer to home, more students could attend the five-week training while maintaining contact with their families.  Fifteen students graduated from the Idaho Falls class in 2022, 40% female and 60% minority.  Eleven (73%) were employed in the highway construction industry within 30 days of graduating.  The ICONIC training program expanded to include heavy equipment operating and concrete cement masonry as well as provided opportunities to network.   Incorporating classroom instruction and in field training prepared the students to partner with Idaho’s district staff to replace a sidewalk at a local rest area.  Inviting contractors to observe the students gave contractors piece of mind that they were hiring the right person.

2021 STIC Excellence Award Recipients

  • The Michigan STIC (MI-STIC) expanded its already diverse membership to include individuals from the State’s asphalt pavement, concrete, aggregates, and road preservation associations and the State House and Senate. They started a Transportation Highlights which is open to all stakeholders and allows participants to present and learn about accomplishments, new practices, and emerging topics in transportation. The Michigan Department of Transportation used virtual public involvement (VPI) to expand its reach to larger target audiences, increasing participation and transparency while decreasing costs from staff time and project delays. VPI tools have been employed on local pilot projects and are being incorporated into the State’s long-range plan. Additional innovations deployed include a Shoreline Flooding Barrier System that keeps roads open during cyclical flooding, the Emergency Integrated LanYard (EMILY) Inspection Device for detecting bridge scour, and a Local Agency Emergency Response Playbook. These are captured in an external facing Innovations Dashboard that highlights areas of research, new products, innovative contracts, digital data, and traffic flow and mobility advancements.
  • The North Carolina Transportation Innovation Council has diversified its approach and expanded its activities over the last few years, growing from a single committee focused on annual STIC projects and EDC updates to a major program centered on multiple innovation efforts between the agency and its partners. The STIC was rechartered in 2019 with an executive committee led by the State’s Secretary of Transportation. Supporting groups were formed focusing on three areas: internal innovation, academic partnerships, and industry partnerships. To enhance its academic partnerships, the Transportation Centers of Excellence program was launched in 2020. This University Consortium assists with understanding and embracing near- and medium-term technologies and evaluating novel solutions to mobility and congestion issues. The research partnership has also benefited from engaging three major Historically Black Universities as program members. To expand its use of knowledge management and innovation tracking tools, an effort named CLEAR (Communicate Lessons, Exchange Advice, Record) was launched. Originally conceived to track lessons learned on construction projects, CLEAR is now capturing innovative ideas, solutions, and challenges throughout NCDOT.

2020 STIC Excellence Award Recipients

  • The Arizona Council for Transportation Innovation (ACTI) uses a three-pronged approach of diverse membership, ongoing outreach, and a long-range perspective to advance innovation. ACTI leverages perspectives from public agencies and private organizations to better evaluate and capitalize on innovation opportunities. To plant the seeds for innovation, ACTI's outreach includes Innovation Exchange Days on Every Day Counts (EDC) innovations and transportation's future. The council brings together the right people, selects innovations that are a good fit for Arizona projects and communities, and provides training and funding. ACTI is reaping the fruits of its efforts with an AZ STEP website with an interactive countermeasure selection tool based, developing a Sun Cloud data portal to serve the transportation planning needs of Arizona's Sun Corridor, and Sun Corridor Value Impact Analysis project that combines two travel demand models of three metropolitan planning organizations to quantify the economic impact of transportation investments.
  • The Maryland Transportation Innovation Council established multi-stakeholder leadership to embrace innovation at a strategic level and create a culture of innovation. The Maryland STIC and Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI), a forum that fosters quality improvement in transportation, launched the MdQI Innovation Subcommittee to facilitate rapid implementation of technology and techniques in the public and private sectors. The culture of innovation has inspired innovative efforts at the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), such as Project Green Light in which employees proposed ideas in a friendly "pitch" environment and Operations Innovation Showcase to highlight innovations developed by staff throughout the State. The Maryland STIC has advanced 35 EDC initiatives to make innovation a permanent tool in the project delivery toolbox. The Maryland STIC credits having a MDOT employee dedicated to overseeing innovation deployment as a key factor in the STIC's success.

2019 STIC Excellence Award Recipients

  • The New Jersey STIC is developing a culture of innovation with broad stakeholder participation, shared metrics, and an engaged leadership. The STIC established processes to identify and move new technologies into practice, including an online portal to solicit potential ideas. The STIC also created three teams—Infrastructure Preservation, Safety, and Mobility and Operations—to champion innovations. A new web page features information on the STIC's innovation initiatives and a searchable innovation database. New Jersey's STIC is advancing unmanned aerial systems for bridge inspection and traffic incident monitoring, including developing guidance and specifications. To improve motorist and responder safety, the STIC is promoting the use of crowdsourcing applications to notify the public where NJDOT Safety Service Patrol vehicles are working on roadsides.
  • The Pennsylvania STIC fosters an innovative culture at all levels of government and throughout the private and nonprofit sectors to ensure smart investments in Pennsylvania's highway infrastructure. The Moving Forward strategic plan, unveiled in 2018, provided the framework to reorganize and rightsize the STIC organization. The STIC consolidated its Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) from 10 to four—Design, Construction and Materials, Maintenance, and Safety and Traffic Operations—to improve efficiency and enhance collaboration between groups on overlapping innovations. The streamlined structure also provides flexibility to engage a variety of subject matter experts to support a wider range of innovations. The STIC added Innovation Owners and Development Teams to expand participation opportunities, particularly for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation engineering district staff members responsible for deploying innovations. To enhance stakeholder communication, the STIC revamped its website, which features innovation deployment information and an interactive Year-End Report.
  • The Washington STIC is building a culture of innovation through collaboration to update the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Hydraulics Manual and to develop a programmatic biological assessment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). These efforts brought local, Federal, and private sector partners to the table to look at how to institutionalize innovations statewide. With STIC Incentive funds, WSDOT revised its Hydraulics Manual to incorporate two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic modeling, fish passage and stream restoration design guidance, and bridge scour methodology to assist State and local hydraulic and design engineers. When erosion occurred around the foundations of the U.S. 101-Elwha River Bridge, for example, WSDOT engineers used 2D modeling to develop scour repair and monitoring strategies until a new bridge is designed and built. WSDOT collaborated with USFWS on a programmatic biological assessment that allows local agencies to streamline Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations. This approach reduces the ESA consultation timeline on local agency projects from a year to a few months and is expected to be used on at least seven projects in the next year.

2018 STIC Excellence Award Recipients

  • The Colorado STIC conducted activities to enable local agencies to put innovation into practice, including a Local Innovation Implementation Summit organized by the Colorado Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP). After surveying agencies to determine the top five EDC innovations to feature at the summit, the LTAP delivered sessions on safe transportation for every pedestrian, road diets, data-driven safety analysis, pavement preservation, and road weather management. The summit also promoted an equipment loan program for local agencies to support innovation deployment.
  • The Delaware STIC and Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) collaborated on an Innovation Fair to showcase nearly 40 innovations agency staff implemented to improve safety and efficiency, cut costs, and save time. DelDOT, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the Government Information Center partnered with Open Data Delaware and TechImpact on the 2018 Open Data Challenge. Through the challenge, teams used transportation, environmental, and recreational datasets to develop apps, including one to make transportation more accessible for persons with disabilities.
  • Since being chartered in 2016, the Texas STIC has engaged a wide range of stakeholders in a large urban and rural State. Using a website, videos, and factsheets to share the STIC’s mission and goals has attracted a diverse network of innovators from local agencies, academia, industry associations, and metropolitan planning organizations. STIC meetings–held in person and by webcast to overcome geographical challenges–typically draw about 70 participants. The STIC chose to implement is a proactive signal control system which has reduced traffic queue lengths by 60 percent and wait times by as much as 50 percent where it was installed. Texas DOT is now implementing this system at 30 intersections in the Houston area.

2017 STIC Excellence Award Recipients

  • The Pennsylvania STIC enhanced dialogue between State and local leaders and promoted state-of-the-art safety practices and resources. The STIC and local governments collaborated on a Salt and Snow Management Course that trained 600 participants on innovative winter maintenance techniques, demonstrated the effectiveness of high-friction surface treatment in high-crash locations, and reached out to 445 local public agencies to understand their top transportation issues.
  • The Wisconsin STIC created a multitiered structure that enabled the State to deploy more than 40 Every Day Counts innovations, seven second Strategic Highway Research Program solutions, and many other innovations. Local Innovation Teams include practitioners who apply innovations on projects and propose ideas. The multidisciplinary Innovation Review Committee collaborates on innovations and identifies paths for rapid deployment.

2016 STIC Excellence Award Recipients

  • The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet created a senior management position to spearhead integration and standardization of innovative processes throughout the state. Use of high-friction surface treatments and the Safety EdgeSM contributed to an 85 percent drop in roadway crashes. An accelerated bridge construction policy encourages continuous innovation on bridge projects.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Transportation formed a READi Committee—for review, evaluate, accelerate and deploy innovation—as a central point for reviewing innovations for deployment. The agency holds an annual Innovation and Tech Transfer Exchange to share the newest ideas in transportation technology. Massachusetts used accelerated bridge construction to replace 14 bridges on I–93 over 10 weekends.
  • The Vermont STIC Executive Council meets monthly to discuss new ideas and technology advances and how they can be used to meet today's challenges. The Vermont STIC holds an annual meeting to brainstorm innovative ideas with participants from industry, municipalities and associations. The Vermont Agency of Transportation established a Performance, Innovation and Excellence Section to lead innovation efforts.
Page last modified on May 5, 2023
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