FHWA awards new technology funding to nine states for innovative highway projects

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The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced US$8.4m of funding for nine state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) to be used on innovative highway projects.

The new FHWA funding is for Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration awards to the state DOTs in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Utah. Projects will soon be under way in each state to improve safety and operational efficiency of roads and bridges using cutting-edge pavement materials, engineering techniques, and connected-vehicle technology.

With this award, since the launch of the AID Demonstration program in 2014, FHWA officials have awarded more than US$60m to help federal, state, local and tribal government agencies use innovative traffic, safety and construction practices. The AID Demonstration program works closely with FHWA’s On-Ramp to Innovation Every Day Counts (EDC) program to encourage the delivery of innovation in transportation projects.

The latest AID grant recipients and projects are:

• Arizona DOT – The agency will advance the use of data collection for transportation operations of several communities along the state’s ‘Sun Corridor’, a region stretching from Phoenix to the state’s borders with Mexico and New Mexico, to improve transportation investments and streamline the federally required environmental reviews they require;

• Florida DOT – Using state-of-the-art connected vehicle technology, FDOT will improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians near the University of Florida and throughout the City of Gainesville by improving access to real-time traffic information to them and enhancing the city’s existing ‘SmartTraffic’ system;

• Iowa DOT – The agency will implement ‘bridge bundling’, an innovative contracting method, to quickly and cost-effectively replace several deficient bridges throughout the state;

• Minnesota DOT – A scheme to improve roadway safety by creating a signalized ‘restricted crossing U-turn’ (RCUT) intersection on Trunk Highway 65;

• Oklahoma DOT – Project in Elk City (Beckham County) to build the state’s first ‘diverging diamond interchange’, which have shown to be safer than traditional four-leaf clover or other standard interchanges in many other states;

• Utah DOT – Expanding the state’s use of 3D modeling, e-construction, and other state-of-the-art techniques that improve accuracy and cost-effectiveness of project planning and preliminary engineering;

• Illinois DOT – Williamson County will use warm mix asphalt – an early EDC innovation that has many benefits including a reduction in paving costs and improving working conditions by reducing exposure to fuel emissions, fumes, and odors – for the Saraville Road resurfacing project;

• New Hampshire DOT – The Town of East Kingston will use long-lasting Ultra-High-Performance Concrete and prefabricated bridge elements in the rehabilitation of a bridge;

• New Hampshire DOT – The City of Dover will improve roadway safety, and reduce traffic interruptions caused by poor or outdated signal timing, with automated traffic signal performance systems;

• New Jersey DOT – A ‘weather-savvy roads’ pilot program to improve roadway safety and operational efficiency by delivering real-time information about changing weather conditions from road maintenance vehicles to existing data sensors throughout the state.

“These states are leading the way in implementing innovative solutions to improve safety and mobility on America’s roadways,” said FHWA’s deputy administrator, Brandye L Hendrickson. “Their creative approaches to delivering better quality and more cost-effective solutions in roadbuilding and operations are sure to inspire other states in using such methods.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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