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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-19-001    Date:  Autumn 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-19-001
Issue No: Vol. 82 No. 3
Date: Autumn 2018


Innovation Corner

by Thomas Harman

Introducing the EDC-5 Innovations

Enhancing safety on rural roads, bundling projects to reduce construction backlogs, and capturing the value of infrastructure investment to fund more projects are among the innovations in round five of Every Day Counts (EDC-5). Stakeholders suggested more than 160 innovations and collaborated with the Federal Highway Administration to evaluate and select 10 innovations that will be promoted and deployed in 2019 and 2020.

The EDC program facilitates the deployment of technologies and processes that enhance safety, speed up project delivery, reduce congestion, and improve environmental sustainability. Every 2 years, the Federal Highway Administration works with key stakeholder groups to identify a new set of innovations that merit accelerated deployment.

“The EDC-5 innovations support [the Department’s] priorities to enhance safety, improve infrastructure, deploy innovation, and serve the Nation efficiently and effectively,” says FHWA Acting Administrator Brandye Hendrickson. “We look forward to building on the success of past EDC cycles to expand adoption of proven innovations that save lives, money, and time.”

The EDC-5 Roster

Advanced Geotechnical Exploration Methods. This initiative promotes advanced methods that can improve the characterization of a site’s subsurface conditions, reducing design costs while minimizing delays and cost escalations during construction.

Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing to the Next Generation of Engineering (CHANGE). Compared to traditional techniques, advanced hydraulic modeling tools provide a more comprehensive understanding of the complex flow patterns at river crossings, enabling agencies to design safer, more cost-effective, and more resilient structures on waterways. The graphical results from these tools facilitate more effective communication and collaboration throughout the design and evaluation process.

Reducing Rural Roadway Departures. This initiative provides tools to help agencies systemically reduce the number and severity of roadway departures on rural road networks. The proven countermeasures address head-on, rollover, and fixed-object crashes, the most harmful eventsfor nearly 90 percent of fatalities caused by rural roadwaydepartures.

Project Bundling. States have increasing numbers of highways and bridges that need attention, many on local systems. By awarding a single contract for several preservation, rehabilitation, or replacement projects, agencies can streamline design and construction, reduce costs, and ease project backlogs.

Logo. The Every Day Counts logo with the tag line “On-Ramp to Innovation.”Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP). Pedestrians account for 16 percent of roadway fatalities, and the vast majority of these occur at midblock and intersection crossing locations. The STEP initiative advances cost-effective countermeasures with known safety benefits at uncontrolled and signalized crossing locations.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). By collecting high-quality data automatically or remotely, UAS can provide safety, productivity, and cost improvements in transportation applications. This initiative helps transportation agencies harness UAS technology for use in inspection, construction, and operations.

Use of Crowdsourcing to Advance Operations. Using crowdsourced data can help agencies increase their situational awareness of real-time traffic conditions. This initiative promotes crowdsourced data as a real-time data source, outside the boundaries of fixed sensors and cameras, to enhance transportation system management and operations.

Value Capture: Capitalizing on the Value Created by Transportation. Public investment in transportation assets that improve access and increase opportunity can benefit adjacent property owners through greater land value and other economic impacts. This innovation showcases strategies for the public sector to share in a portion of this increased land value to build, maintain, or reinvest in the transportation system.

Virtual Public Involvement. This initiative promotes methods for enhancing public input during transportation planning and project development using virtual public involvement techniques, such as telephone town halls, online meetings, and street teams using virtual tools such as tablets. Strong public involvement can accelerate project development by identifying issues early in the process.

Weather-Responsive Management Strategies. Building on EDC-4 strategies, this initiative helps agencies use traffic management and traveler information systems to reduce delays and crashes resulting from adverse weather. It also promotes the use of road weather data to deploy anti-icing strategies that reduce chloride use, decreasing costs and environmental impacts.

Round Five Kickoff

“An EDC-5 focus will be to engage local agencies in innovation implementation,” says Tony Furst, FHWA’s chief innovation officer and head of the Office of Innovative Program Delivery.

This fall, FHWA is hosting five innovation summits to enable more than 1,200 transportation leaders to review the EDC-5 innovations and identify those that fit the needs of their transportation programs. FHWA will establish a technical team for each innovation to support agencies’ implementation efforts.

For more information, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts.

Thomas Harman is the director of FHWA’s Center for Accelerating Innovation.