U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-012
Date: November 2002
The Technology Implementation Group (TIG), whose mission is to champion the implementation of ready-to-use technologies, products, or processes resulting in economic or qualitative benefits, has selected three new technologies for accelerated deployment this year. These new high payoff, innovative technologies are the air void analyzer (AVA), the use of ground penetrating radar (GPR) for roads, and the use of global positioning systems (GPS) for surveying.
Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the TIG will in coming months approve plans to promote the new focus technologies among State highway agencies, local agencies, and industry partners. Technologies previously selected for deployment were prefabricated bridge elements, intelligent transportation system technologies for work zones, and accelerated construction methods.
The AVA can be used to measure the air content, specific surface, and spacing factor of fresh portland cement concrete. Because the new technology can be used on fresh concrete, it allows real-time evaluation, helping to improve quality control. The Kansas Department of Transportation has been using this technology since April 2001 and has developed a State specification that it uses routinely. Kansas will work with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to lead the TIG implementation effort. Implementation goals include developing a common standard test protocol, specification, and data collection form that all States could use and identifying training needs and available resources.
GPR can be employed to collect information about underlying highway pavement layers without incurring the time and labor costs and traffic delays that come with the traditional method of drilling through the pavement to take core samples. GPR systems, in contrast, collect pavement layer data quickly, unobtrusively, and inexpensively. The GPR technology is mounted on vehicles that can move at normal highway speeds, minimizing the exposure of highway workers to traffic and making the process nearly invisible to the traveling public. Information collected using GPR includes pavement layer thickness and identification of pavement areas where underlying layers are rapidly deteriorating. Texas, which has used GPR since 1993, is the lead State for this technology.
GPS technology, which utilizes a constellation of satellites that transmit signals continuously, can have numerous highway applications, such as surveying pavement condition and inventorying highway assets. It offers such benefits as increased accuracy and reductions in labor, time, and costs. Utah is serving as the lead State for the initiative aimed toward use of GPS in transportation surveying applications.
As Lead State teams and implementation plans are developed for each of the new TIG technologies, Focus will provide updates. For more information on TIG, visit the TIG Web site at www.aashtotig.org.