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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-06-005    Date:  July/August 2006
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-005
Issue No: Vol. 70 No. 1
Date: July/August 2006


Along The Road

Along the Road is the place to look for information about current and upcoming activities, developments, trends, and items of general interest to the highway community. This information comes from U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) sources unless otherwise indicated. Your suggestions and input are welcome. Let's meet along the road.

Management and Administration

FHWA's Highways for LIFE Program Gains Momentum

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Highways for LIFE (HfL) program -- where LIFE stands for Long-lasting, Innovative, and Fast construction of Efficient and safe highways and bridges -- is gaining momentum with highway agencies, stakeholders, and others throughout the transportation industry. The program's goals are to improve safety during and after construction, reduce congestion caused by construction, and improve the quality of the highway infrastructure. Specifically, HfL focuses on accelerating the adoption of innovations in the highway community.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) funds the HfL initiative with $15 million in fiscal year 2006, and then $20 million in successive years through 2009. The program includes funding for qualified, State-submitted projects that employ innovations to build safer, longer lasting highways and bridges faster and with less congestion during construction.

To educate and train the workforce responsible for using these innovations, HfL involves technology transfer and partnerships in both the public and private sectors. Therefore, FHWA is working with stakeholders to gather input on the next steps in implementation. The board of directors for the American Concrete Pavement Association, for example, recently endorsed the program.

For more information, visit the "Highways for LIFE" Web site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/hfl/.

Louisiana Receives Additional $53 Million to Repair Hurricane-Damaged Railroad Signals and Highways

Louisiana is receiving an additional $53 million in Federal funds to help restore railroad signals, clear roads, and continue repairs to hurricane-damaged highways and bridges, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said. USDOT now has made more than $1 billion available to Louisiana with this latest round of support.

The funding reimburses the State for repairing railroad signals in Orleans, Jefferson, and Plaquemines Parishes and additional expenses from clearing downed trees, sand, and other debris from highways after the storm. The State used the funding to reopen the I-10 Twin Spans Bridge and repair or replace traffic signals, highway signs, guardrails, and washed out pavement and highway shoulders.

"We will work with Louisiana until the job is done," said Mineta. "Louisianans know they will get the support and resources they need from Washington to continue repairing roads and reopening businesses." The funding is part of an emergency highway aid package for Gulf Coast States requested by President George W. Bush and approved by the U.S. Congress in late 2005.

In addition to providing Federal dollars, Mineta said USDOT has made it easier for Louisiana to use those funds by cutting red tape and giving State officials the flexibility to begin repairs as quickly as possible. As a result, two lanes on the Twin Spans Bridge reopened in mid-October only 47 days after its destruction by Katrina. All four lanes were restored in early January, 9 days ahead of schedule.

Public Information and Information Exchange

AASHTO Sponsors National History Day 2006-2007 For Interstate 50thAnniversary

As part of the "Celebrate the Interstate" 50th anniversary campaign, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is sponsoring National History Day 2006-2007. The year-long national educational event reaches more than 700,000 students and 40,000 educators in grades 6 through 12 in 47 States.

The 26-year-old program engages students in historical research, analyzing primary sources and competing through documentaries, performances, displays, and papers. The theme for the coming year is "Triumph and Tragedy in History."

AASHTO's entry in the 2006-2007 competition is being developed by researchers at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, KS. Abilene is the birthplace of Eisenhower and will be a stop during AASHTO's "Celebrate the Interstate" cross-country convoy from June 21-23, 2006.

The convoy departs San Francisco, CA -- the terminus of the original 1919 convoy -- on June 16 and arrives at the zero milestone marker on the Ellipse in Washington, DC, on June 29, which is the date President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, creating the interstate system.

To learn more about AASHTO's plans for the 50th anniversary of the interstate system, visit www.interstate50th.org or the National History Day's Web site at www.nhd.org.

TRB Debuts Searchable Publications Database

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently unveiled its "TRB Publications Index," a searchable, bibliographic database containing more than 30,000 records of papers, articles, and reports published by TRB, the Highway Research Board, the Strategic Highway Research Program, and the Marine Board.

Available online at http://pubsindex.trb.org, the database offers search results that users can download or e-mail. The publication records, dating from 1923 to the present, provide links to the full text documents. The Web site's querying function offers both simple and advanced searching capabilities, enabling visitors to search by author, title, series, conference, abstract, index terms, and date.

For more information or to locate TRB publications, visit http://pubsindex.trb.org.

Online Game Enables Users to Spend State's Transportation Dollars

A new online game developed by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) challenges Missourians to allocate their State's transportation funding to improve and maintain the State's roads and bridges. The game also covers other modes of transportation -- aviation, waterways, public transportation, and rails -- and poses questions about freight, safety, technology, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

"One of the biggest challenges we face is how to pay for all the transportation services and improvements Missourians tell us they want," says Pete Rahn, MoDOT director. "How we invest our transportation dollars says a lot about our priorities and has a major impact on the State's economic engine. We've developed this online challenge to see how [residents] would fund the priorities."

The game summarizes players' results and compares them to others throughout the State. It also shows MoDOT's current funding strategy.

The game is part of MoDOT's Missouri Advance Planning initiative, which is a long-range planning effort based on public participation. The initiative includes a statewide dialogue about Missouri's transportation system and how it can best fulfill the public's expectations.


Lindley Named Associate Administrator

On April 30, 2006, Jeffrey A. Lindley assumed the position of FHWA Associate Administrator for Safety.

Lindley brings a wealth of headquarters and field experience to this critical leadership position. He currently serves as director of the Office of Transportation Management in the Office of Operations, a senior executive service position he has held since 2000. He also has served in other key leadership positions, including 3 years as FHWA's California division administrator.

Lindley joined FHWA in 1985 as a highway research engineer. From there he moved into leadership positions in the areas of traffic management and intelligent transportation systems. Prior to joining FHWA, Lindley held transportation engineering positions in the private sector and with the U.S. Air Force.

Bosch Honored as FHWA 2005 Engineer of the Year

FHWA named Harold Bosch the 2005 Engineer of the Year in recognition of his efforts to pioneer significant research to improve the aerodynamics of long-span bridges, a topic holding much significance both nationally and internationally.

As director of the FHWA Research, Development, and Technology Aerodynamics Laboratory, Bosch keeps the laboratory at the forefront of experimental capabilities that are essential to understanding the interaction between the wind and long-span bridges. He pioneered much of the work in the long-term wind monitoring of bridges and in efforts to improve the analysis of wind models used for long-span bridges.

Bosch is internationally recognized in wind engineering and an expert in the aerodynamic response of highway structures. As one of only a handful of experts in the aerodynamics of long-span bridges, he is frequently called upon for advice in the design of long-span bridges.

Harold Bosh, shown here at his computer, received FHWA's Engineer of the Year award for 2005.
Harold Bosh, shown here at his computer, received FHWA's Engineer of the Year award for 2005.

Bosch began his career with FHWA in 1970 as an engineer in training. He is a member of numerous professional and technical engineering organizations, including the American and International Associations for Wind Engineers.

FHWA's Carol Tan Receives Top Award for Dissertation

Carol Tan, leader of FHWA's Safety Management Team in the Office of Safety Research & Development, recently earned the Council of University Transportation Centers' Milton Pikarsky Award for an Outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation in Science and Technology for 2005. The award is given annually to four graduate students in the transportation field for the best Ph.D. dissertations and M.S. theses.

Tan's dissertation, An Investigation of Comfortable Lateral Acceleration on Horizontal Curves, examines whether vehicle passengers in today's passenger cars are comfortable while negotiating curves at roadway design speeds. Many motorists today drive curves at speeds higher than the road's design speed. In addition, the demographics of the driving population and the design of passenger cars have changed significantly over the past 50 years. Tan's goals were to study how these changes affect the safety and comfort of vehicle occupants when they are riding through curves.

In her dissertation, Tan suggests that researchers examine the implications of changing design standards so that only 50 percent of car drivers can comfortably exceed the design speed of curves.

For more information, contact Carol Tan at 202-493-3315 or carol.tan@fhwa.dot.gov.



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