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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / March 2009

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-09-011
Date: March 2009

Accelerating Innovation Implementation

A new monthly Web conference series sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Highways for LIFE (HfL) program and the National Highway Institute (NHI) brings you up-to-the-minute information on today's highway technology advances. Topics featured in the free NHI Innovations series to date include Road Safety Audits, Performance Contracting for Construction, Self-Consolidating Concrete, Roundabouts, and Bridge Inspection. Upcoming Web conferences include one on FHWA's Connections Manual for Prefabricated Bridges (April 8, 2009).

The Web conference series was designed to complement FHWA's new NHI training course, Leap Not Creep: Accelerating Innovation Implementation (see sidebar). "The Webinar series will complement the training course by continuing to encourage decision makers and practitioners to apply, understand, and deploy innovative solutions," says Mary Huie of FHWA. "The Webinars have been very successful so far, drawing more than 150 participants for each session." Participants have included representatives from State and local transportation agencies, consulting firms, academia, and FHWA field offices.

Photo. The Michigan Department of Transportation performs asphalt paving on a two-lane road on M-115 in Clare County, Michigan. A paver with an operator is visible in the foreground, with traffic in the background traveling in the other lane.
The Michigan Department of Transportation used performance contracting to rehabilitate 8.8 km (5.5 mi) of roadway on M-115.

The Roundabouts Web conference on February 4, 2009, attracted more than 500 participants. "Everyone at our site enjoyed the Webinar and would like to use it as an educational tool for some of our police officers and elected officials," noted participant Jeff Wilke, Senior Staff Engineer for the City of Lee's Summit, Missouri.

Photo. A road safety audit is conducted on US 4 in Quechee, VT. A car is partly visible rounding the corner on the roadway. Four participants in the audit are standing on the side of the roadway.
A road safety audit is conducted on US 4 in Quechee, VT.

To register for upcoming Web conferences or to download presentations and audio files from previous conferences, visit www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/about/innovationseries.aspx. To sign up for the NHI Innovations mailing list and receive information about future sessions, send an email to NHImarketing@fhwa.dot.gov. For more information on the NHI Innovations series, contact Mary Huie at FHWA, 202-366-3039 (email: mary.huie@fhwa.dot.gov).

Leap Not Creep

Take a leap forward in technology innovation. A new NHI course, Leap Not Creep: Accelerating Innovation Implementation (Course No. FHWA-NHI-134073), is designed to provide transportation department employees with the necessary tools to successfully implement innovations and mainstream those innovations into their agency's standard practice.

Developed by FHWA's Highways for LIFE program, the 2.5-day course will highlight:

  • Successful implementation strategies.
  • Components of an implementation plan.
  • Avenues for identifying innovations.
  • Resources for locating the necessary funding.
  • Techniques for successfully marketing an innovation.
  • Strategies for handling implementation challenges.

The course is designed for highway community representatives who may be involved in implementing an innovation, including project managers, engineers, transportation specialists, analysts, senior managers, and marketing and communications specialists. "This training is intended to address the wide-ranging needs of a diverse audience," says Kathleen Bergeron of FHWA.

The course features 12 hours of instructor-led training and 3 hours of online training. The course fee is $300 per participant, with a minimum of 15 attendees and a maximum of 30. While the course has no prerequisites, participants should be able to identify an innovation that they would like to implement at their agency, identify initial research that has been done to measure implementation feasibility, and identify basic transportation needs in their State.

For more information or to schedule the course, visit www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov. For more information on the course content, contact Kathleen Bergeron at FHWA, 202-366-5508 (email: kathleen.bergeron@fhwa.dot.gov).

The mid-section of the precast concrete superstructure for a bridge on M-115 is placed. Three workers are visible.
As part of Michigan's performance contracting project, the superstructure was replaced on two bridges.

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Updated: 06/27/2017
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