U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Date: February 1999
For more than 20 years, electroslag welding has been banned from use on primary structural tension members (such as heavy flanges and cover plates) on bridges built with Federal-aid highway funds. The moratorium issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in 1977 was prompted by the discovery of a large crack in an electroslag weld on an Interstate highway bridge near Pittsburgh. The moratorium effectively eliminated the use of electroslag welding on all U.S. bridges. Conventional processes, like submerged arc welding and shielded metal arc welding, have been used instead.
Francis B. Francois, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the driving force behind the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), retired on January 29. From the moment SHRP was first envisioned and at every milestone throughout its research and implementation phases, Frank was there. To many people, Frank was SHRP.
The recent International Conference on Corrosion and Rehabilitation of Reinforced Concrete Structures, held in December in Orlando, Florida, drew 400 participants to discuss such technologies as cathodic protection, electrochemical chloride extraction, and high-performance concrete. Copies of the conference proceedings are available on CD-ROM. To obtain a copy, contact Doris Hooks at Visions USA, 800-780-8872, x. 246 (fax: 404-880-0404; email: email@example.com), or Donald Jackson at FHWA, 202-366-6770 (fax: 202-366-7909; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Find out the latest on the activities of the seven Lead States teams by visiting their new Web site (leadstates.tamu.edu). The Web site features information on research projects, field trials, upcoming events, and publications for each of the Lead States teams.
With the introduction of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) new LTPPBind software, selecting the correct performance graded (PG) binder to use when implementing the Superpave mix design system has just become much easier. The PG binder system classifies binders based on their suitability for a range of pavement temperatures. The LTPPBind software is a tool for pavement engineers to use in selecting the most appropriate PG binder grade for a specific location, based on climatic data.
How would a Federal Government that used plain language operate? The answer, of course, is "better!"
The innovative winter maintenance techniques evaluated and enhanced under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) are making their way into the university classroom and making progress toward becoming part of the standard curriculum for the next generation of civil engineers. The University of Iowa now offers a semester-long course that incorporates the SHRP techniques.
Among the many significant steps taken under last year's Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) was the expansion of the University Transportation Center (UTC) program. TEA-21 established 13 new UTCs, and reauthorized 14 existing UTCs and 6 centers that were formerly known as University Research Institutes. For the highway community, these 33 centers will serve as valuable sources of innovative research and technology transfer programs.