- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-065
Date: July 2001
One-hundred and sixty-one lane miles of highway. More than three million cubic yards of concrete. Five miles of steel-reinforced concrete slurry tunnel walls. And that's just for starters. The Central Artery/Tunnel Project in Boston, Massachusetts, better known as the Big Dig, is one of the Nation's largest and most complex highway projects. The 14-year endeavor, scheduled for completion in 2004, will replace an existing 6-lane elevated viaduct structure with a 10-lane underground expressway. During the course of construction, the project has produced a number of firsts, from the largest application of slurry walls to the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world to the most extensive highway tunnel ventilation system ever constructed. A number of these technological advancements are now being highlighted in the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Innovations and Advancements Program, which consists of a series of instructional presentations that can be scheduled by highway agencies.
Hot Mix Asphalt Paving Handbook 2000, an update of the 1991 first edition of the Handbook, is now available from the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). The new edition has been expanded to cover recent research findings, including those resulting from the Strategic Highway Research Program; new paving equipment; the growth in pavement recycling; changes in quality control practices; and the introduction of new techniques from Europe and elsewhere.
The most up-to-date information on asphalt, concrete, and materials technology can be found on the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) new Office of Pavement Technology Web site (www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement). The site contains information on publications, conferences, training programs, expert contacts, and the latest FHWA pavement initiatives, as well as links to other useful Web sites. You can also find an extensive library of reference material.
Now in its second decade, the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program has encompassed the building and monitoring of nearly 2,300 pavement sections. The data collected has resulted in more than 40 research reports and a range of products that meet pavement technology needs. To better define the future development and delivery of LTPP products, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Transportation Research Board's Subcommittee on LTPP Product Development and Delivery have prepared a new LTPP Product Plan. FHWA's Office of Pavement Technology is responsible for managing this important phase of the LTTP program.
Bridge painting is one of the many roadway maintenance activities that can create traffic congestion and safety hazards. In an effort to minimize these delays and hazards, while also reducing costs and maintaining corrosion protection, some States have started testing a system known as rapid deployment for the painting of steel bridges. The main objectives of this progressive concept are to mobilize the necessary equipment, blast and paint the structure, and remove all of the equipment in a series of overnight work shifts, so that traffic can move freely during the day.
The recent introduction of a new American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) provisional standard on pavement cracking measurement has, for the first time, given States a shared system for measuring this type of pavement distress. "Twenty years ago, States started to routinely monitor pavement condition. However, as each State developed their own pavement management system, we wound up with 50 different ways to measure pavement distress," says Frank Botelho of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Complicating matters further, as pavement measurements became automated, manufacturers and vendors had to design and retest equipment separately for each State. This adds time to the process and increases the cost of doing business.