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

State Innovation Accomplishments

Federal Lands Highway
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Fiscal YearInnovationsProject
2022Electrification, peer exchangePeer Exchange and Industry Challenge on emerging mobility and electrification solutions by National Park Service and State of Michigan ($100,000)
2015Internally Cured ConcreteAdvancement of Internally Cured Concrete ($100,000)
5/1/2022 UAS When 9,500 linear feet of historic rock guard wall at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon had to be inventoried in 2020, the FHWA Western Federal Lands Highway Division (WFLHD) relied on UAS to document the boundaries of the stonework along East Rim Drive, a scenic highway on the lake's rim. The report would help with rehabilitation and rockfall mitigation at one of the park's most unique and beautiful historic features.

Choosing UAS over traditional methods, the agency avoided the human risk and costs involved with hanging a camera from a crane near the edge of the scenic overlook or hiring a helicopter to collect the images at a dangerously close proximity to the wall.

"UAS was really the clear winner in terms of efficiency, cost, and data quality," said Zekial Rios, land services manager at WFLHD.

Rios referenced the inventory previously done on the park's historic stone wall on West Rim Drive. It took about seven people to do the crane work and the entire summer.*

"With UAS, we did it with three people in about 3 weeks," Rios said.

Also, using UAS significantly reduced the noise disturbance for visitors and wildlife compared with using a helicopter to capture the data.

"If you're in one of the most scenic national parks in the country, and you're feeling the wind and looking at this deep blue water but you're hearing helicopters rolling overhead—that's really going to ruin somebody's experience," Rios said.

All-in-all, UAS helped WFLHD get "the best look at the walls since they were constructed in the 1940s," Rios said.

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7/1/2021 STIC FHWA’s Office of Federal Lands Highway is performing pavement structural evaluation using traffic speed deflectometers (TSD), which measure pavement response to wheel load at traffic speed using a set of trailer-mounted, velocity-sensing lasers. TSD-based structural condition data can be incorporated into pavement management systems at the network level. Compared to traditional methods that require lane closures, TSD provides faster, safer data collection and processing.

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11/01/16National Environmental Policy ActAt Federal Lands Highway, applying IQED principles on all projects helps keep environmental documentation brief while ensuring legal sufficiency. An environmental assessment document for a project to improve Raphune Hill Road and Route 381 in the U.S. Virgin Islands is 32 pages and incorporates visualizations to help tell the project story.

Read Innovator Issue 57
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EDC News
08/17/23 EPIC2Federal Lands Highway (FLH) has demonstrated this proven technology to be an effective tool to reduce shrinkage. Some of FLH’s successes with this technology are described in this tech brief, which evaluated ICC on three projects in Idaho and Georgia. After more than two- and a-half years in service, the featured bridge decks with ICC showed little, if any, cracking. In fact, during that survey, only 10 linear feet of shrinkage cracking was visible on approximately 43,000 square feet of bridge decking…

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4/8/21 STIC 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. Over 200 innovations, submitted by State DOTs, Local Agencies, and other STIC members, are grouped into eight topic area categories for easy navigation. This site features a convenient one-time registration that will allow you to continue accessing information throughout 2021.

The showcase prominently features several innovations focused on bridge preservation and repair. Learn about the El Paso County, CO, Adaptable Bridge Safety Platform, a unique alternative fall protection solution for bridge deck replacements in areas with unstable soils and limited scaffolding space, but that aren’t high enough to require worker catch systems; Indiana DOT's Bridge Deck Preservation using Epoxy Injections, which prevents fluid intrusion and slows down freeze/thaw deterioration; Minnesota DOT's Affordable Bridge Beam End Repair, which used concrete to reinforce beams in need of repair; and Federal Lands Highway's Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Deck Panels, which were used to rehabilitate the 532-foot Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park.

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.

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05/21/20Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP)When thinking of pedestrian safety, your mind may immediately go to a busy intersection or midblock crossing in a city near you, but the need for pedestrian safety extends far beyond the city limits. In 2019 a steady increase of visitors to national parks and other Federal Lands resulted in an increased risk of pedestrian-vehicle crashes.

To address this issue, the FHWA FLH Safety Team and Federal Land Management Agency (FLMA) safety specialists collaborated to develop an action plan to guide decisions for enhancing visitor and pedestrian safety. Representatives from the National Park Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and US Fish and Wildlife Service, worked with the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program to review existing policies and identify preliminary strategies to improve pedestrian safety.

The approved plan calls for FLMAs to collect and map pedestrian crashes to identify high crash locations and conduct systemic crash analyses to prioritize locations for safety countermeasures based on factors other than historic crash data. These and other strategies such as pedestrian safety training will be incorporated into long-range transportation plans and projects designed and constructed by FLH, FLMA, and other partner agencies to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities on Federal Lands.

Read EDC News 05-21-2020
11/29/18Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing to the Next Generation of Engineering (CHANGE)Federal Lands Highway (FLH), which uses 2D hydraulic modeling for all new analyses in river and coastal environments, is applying the technology on several bridge projects for the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and county agencies. FLH is using 2D modeling on projects involving single- and multiple-span bridges, bank stabilization, floodplain analysis, and multiple stream confluences.

Read EDC News 11-29-2018
05/31/18Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing to the Next Generation of Engineering (CHANGE)A 2015 storm caused severe damage throughout Death Valley National Park in California, including washing out an 8-mile road segment that provides access to a prominent tourist attraction. To determine the best approach to reconstructing the damaged road, Federal Lands Highway (FLH) used two-dimensional (2D) hydraulic modeling, a strategy promoted in the EDC-4 initiative on collaborative hydraulics: advancing to the next generation of engineering (CHANGE). Applying 2D modeling enabled the FLH team to develop a cost-effective design to increase the sustainability of the road by realigning it away from the flood channel and redirecting the channel where necessary to provide water to a wetlands area.

Read EDC News 5-31-2018
05/17/18Integrating NEPA and PermittingFederal Lands Highway (FLH) is coordinating with regulators on a proposed project to rehabilitate approximately 12 miles of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Point Reyes National Seashore in California. The purpose of the project is to enhance safety, decrease flood risk, and reducing ongoing maintenance requirements while minimizing environmental impacts.

Read EDC News 5-17-2018
11/02/17State Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC)Federal Lands Highway discussed an Accelerating Market Readiness project to develop the Mobile Solution for Assessment and Reporting, a software tool to accelerate disaster information collection that was used after recent storms and fires.

Read EDC News 11-2-2017
10/12/17Pavement Preservation, Improving Collaboration and Quality Environmental Documentation, Safety EdgeCentral Federal Lands Highway Division (CFL) finished work on a 23.4-mile pavement preservation project in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The project involved applying a microseal—a thin, durable coating that helps prevent future cracking—to the surface of the main road and parking areas. The treatment is expected to extend the life of the road, which provides access to numerous recreational areas throughout the park. For information, contact James Kerrigan of CFL.

A transportation improvement project in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Clark County, NV, includes road rehabilitation, two bridges, and parking area expansions. Using the concept of improving collaboration and quality environmental documentation, BLM, CFL, and environmental consultants collaborated on a streamlined review process in the design, National Environmental Protection Act, and permitting portions of the project. The conservation area’s core values, including protecting natural resources while providing an excellent visitor experience, were preserved while maintaining an accelerated project delivery schedule. The Safety Edge paving technique was used on 13 miles of roads to bevel the pavement edge to reduce roadway departure crashes.

Read EDC News 10-12-2017
09/07/17Construction Manager/ General Contractor, Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System, Prefabricated Bridge Elements and SystemsFederal Lands Highway (FLH) used construction manager/general contractor delivery on a project to repair stone retaining walls on a historic section of Blue Ridge Parkway in Alleghany County, NC, allowing the contractor to provide input on innovative approaches. The resulting project combined existing stone with geosynthetic reinforced soil construction to maintain the visual and historic character of the walls while enhancing safety. FLH used prefabricated bridge elements and systems on a pedestrian bridge at Wolf Trap National Park in Vienna, VA, to minimize work over a busy toll road and improve safety. Each of the three prefabricated steel truss spans with fiberglass-reinforced polymer deck panels was erected in one night.

Read EDC News 9-7-2017
03/10/16Design-BuildFederal Lands Highway awarded its second design-build contract for a project to design and reconstruct Goose Lake Road in Adams County, Idaho. Part of the Federal Lands Access Program, the project will reconstruct a route connecting State Highway 55 with recreational areas in the Payette National Forest. The project will widen the shoulders and make other safety improvements on the mountainous two-lane road, which has the highest crash rate in the Payette National Forest.

Read EDC News 3-10-2016
07/02/15Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil - Integrated Bridge SystemFHWA organized a site visit to the Dennehotso Bridge replacement, a geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system project Federal Lands Highway is administering for the Navajo Department of Transportation in Arizona. The visit enabled Arizona Department of Transportation and Apache County staff to get a firsthand look at the innovative technique crews are using on the project, which involves placing seven precast concrete girders on GRS abutments. The Arizona DOT and Apache County are considering GRS-IBS use on future projects.

Read EDC News 7-2-2015
03/13/15e-ConstructionFHWA’s Western Federal Lands Highway Division recently held its second training session for contractors on the e-Construction tool known as EEBACS, or Engineer Estimating, Bidding, Award, Construction System. Eleven people representing eight contracting firms attended the event. The contractors learned that EEBACS can help them process estimates in a timely manner while tracking their production rates and submitting their daily records to the project engineer.

Read EDC News 3-13-2015
02/20/15Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil - Integrated Bridge System, Intersection and Interchange GeometricsThe project delivery team for the proposed $60 million in Federal Lands Access Program projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin in California and Nevada plans to use a number of innovative tools, including GRS-IBS structures, roundabouts, precast structural elements and innovative contracting. The team also explored 5D project management in a January workshop, part of the Strategic Highway Research Program 2 Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects (R10). About 40 people from local, state and federal agencies in both states attended the two-day FHWA workshop. Using 5D engineered models on projects enables stakeholders to model costs and cash flows for each construction phase.

Read EDC News 2-20-2015
09/26/14Design-BuildFHWA’s Western Federal Lands Highway Division cut the ribbon September 12 on the $41.6 million Deweyville-to-Neck Lake portion of the North Prince of Wales Road design-build project in Alaska. Also on hand were representatives of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Forest Service and Prince of Wales Island communities. The project purpose was to transform a one-lane logging road into a two-lane paved roadway, build two bridges and install large culvert pipes to enable fish to migrate upstream.

Read EDC News 9-26-2014
01/24/14Construction Manager/ General ContractorFHWA’s Western Federal Lands Highway Division has issued a construction manager/general contractor solicitation for a contractor to design and build a new Manning Crevice Bridge near Riggins, Idaho. The bridge–a single-tower asymmetric suspension bridge–will replace the historic bridge crossing at Manning Crevice on the Salmon River. The bridge is on Salmon River Road, which provides the only year-round access to nearly 3 million acres of forest land to residences, resorts, commercial rafting ventures and recreational users.

Read EDC News 1-24-2014
01/24/14Construction Manager/ General Contractor, Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge Systems, Intersection and Interchange GeometricsFHWA’s Central Federal Lands Highway Division signed an agreement with the Tahoe Transportation District and six other agencies to deliver the Fanny Bridge community revitalization project in Tahoe City, Calif. The project will use the construction manager/general contractor delivery method, geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge system technology and roundabouts. The agreement allocates $25.5 million in Federal Lands Access Program funds for construction in 2016.

Read EDC News 1-24-2014
06/07/13Construction Manager/ General ContractorNational Park Service staff took part in a May 30 webinar on the construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) project delivery method. FHWA’s Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division offered the event. FHWA has started two CM/GC contracts on National Park Service land along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one to fix retaining walls and the other to replace a bridge at Fort Pulaski National Military Park in Georgia. The webinar’s purpose was to educate the National Park Service on how CM/GC contracting works, how it compares to other contracting types, the types of project it’s best for, and what to expect during the contracting process.

Read EDC News 6-7-2013
05/16/13Construction Manager/ General ContractorThe Federal Highway Administration’s Central Federal Lands Highway Division is using the Construction Manager/General Contractor method to accelerate delivery of the Fond du Lac Reservation Road project west of Duluth, Minn. A major road for the reservation, it’s also a significant route for emergency vehicles and school buses. It has been closed since a June 2012 storm washed out the roadway, drainage structure and embankment. Central Federal Lands is using CM/GC to get the road finished and reopened in 2013 before winter weather starts.

Read EDC News 5-16-2013
2019CHANGEThe Central Federal Lands Highway Division hydraulics team completed several complex hydraulics projects using 2D hydraulic modeling to quantify and visualize flow patterns, which led to more informed discussions with the project team during project development. Following a significant flash flood in Death Valley National Park, 2D modeling enabled the hydraulics team to evaluate complex flow patterns and the project team to identify critical roadway sections that required realignment or additional hydraulic structures to protect the roadway from future flood events. FLH expects the result to be a more sustainable roadway.

Read the EDC-4 Final Report
20173D Engineered ModelsFLH is deploying 3D engineered models to more effectively connect a project’s design and construction phases. FLH is using 3D engineered models in the design of 123 of the projects in its multiyear active projects program. Thirty-three projects incorporating 3D engineered models have advanced to the construction stage.

Read the EDC-3 Final Report
2017Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil - Integrated Bridge SystemFLH, a leader in deploying GRS-IBS technology, has designed and built bridges using the technology in many States. In several cases, FLH was the first to use the technology in a State. Transportation stakeholders were interested in trying the technology, but wanted to see a GRS-IBS structure under construction first. When FLH built four bridges on Sand Creek Road in the Black Hills National Forest in Wyoming, it held a project showcase that enabled transportation professionals from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Federal agencies to observe GRS-IBS construction in action.

Read the EDC-3 Final Report
2017Improving Collaboration and Quality Environmental DocumentationFLH applies IQED principles on projects to keep environmental documentation brief while ensuring legal sufficiency. Its environmental assessment for a project to improve Raphune Hill Road and Route 381 in the U.S. Virgin Islands is 32 pages and incorporates visualizations to help tell the project story. FLH is using a new checklist for categorical exclusions–actions that do not involve significant environmental impacts– to streamline the review and approval process while meeting the expectations of project partners.

FLH identified projects in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia and Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail in California to pilot the use of eNEPA and is looking for additional projects on which to deploy the tool. It is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to integrate eNEPA into their agency processes.

Read the EDC-3 Final Report
2017Ultra-High Performance Concrete ConnectionsFLH finalized its UHPC specification, which includes construction criteria for cement, aggregate, curing, admixtures, and steel fibers. FLH will use the specification on three upcoming projects. FLH plans to use UHPC closure pours on precast deck panels on the Arlington Memorial Bridge project in Washington, DC, in 2017. Use of UHPC for deck panel closure pours is also planned for two Yellowstone National Park projects, the Yellowstone River Bridge in 2021 and the Lewis River Bridge in 2022.

Read the EDC-3 Final Report
2015High Friction Surface TreatmentFederal Lands Highway has developed a decision support tool for selecting HFST projects. Full use of the tool will be possible when federal land management agencies have national crash databases in place with automated analysis capabilities to identify sites conducive to HFST.

Read the EDC-2 Final Report
Page last modified on July 21, 2023
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