- 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-02-015
Date: October 2002
To speed up the reconstruction of the collapsed Interstate 40 bridge in eastern Oklahoma this past summer (see August 2002 Focus), one of the technologies that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and contractor Gilbert Central Corporation relied upon was the concrete maturity meter. The maturity meter system consisted of sacrificial sensors placed in the concrete to measure temperature and calculate maturity, as well as handheld readers to download data from the sensors. The sensors effectively predicted the in-place concrete strength gain, which allowed the contractor to make decisions on concrete form removal, thereby accelerating the construction schedule.
Think of it as highway design with a twist. For States practicing context sensitive design (CSD), the goals of ensuring safety and mobility when designing and building a road are enhanced by the aim to preserve environmental, community, scenic, and historic resources. Key to the context sensitive design approach is early and continuing stakeholder involvement.
Technologies and techniques for designing highways that cross or encroach on rivers is the subject of a new National Highway Institute (NHI) course, "River Engineering for Highway Encroachments" (No. 135010).
Nearly 30 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) are recycled into hot-mix asphalt pavements each year, saving taxpayers more than $300 million annually. The Louisiana Transportation Research Center recently experimented with an alternative use for RAP that holds the promise of pushing those numbers even higher.
From facilitating the design process for new and rehabilitated pavements to teaching pavement analysis and design, the many resources of the Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) database were put to valuable use by participants in the Third International Contest on LTPP Data Analysis. Cosponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the contest was designed to encourage the use of the LTPP database for research, class projects, and Master's and Doctoral theses.
Since 1968, hundreds of outstanding examples of highways, bridges, pedestrian facilities, roadside facilities, and other facets of roadway design have been showcased in what was first known as "The Highway and its Environment" competition and is now the "Excellence in Highway Design" awards program. The 2002 honorees described here range from spectacular forest highways to historical bridges to modern intelligent transportation systems. These creative and diverse efforts demonstrate how cities, States, and counties are designing roadways that are not only safe and efficient but enhance the environment around them, often standing as impressive works of art on their own.