Pennsylvania wins national award for transportation innovation excellence

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Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) secretary Leslie S Richards has announced that the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (PA STIC) has won a national 2017 STIC Excellence Award for its ongoing efforts to train local governments on innovative and efficient ways to improve their local road networks.

Sponsored in partnership between the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Innovation Initiative and the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Center of Accelerating Innovation, this annual award recognizes STICs that have made a significant impact toward fostering a strong culture of innovation.

FHWA first introduced the STIC concept to state transportation departments and industry partners in 2010 to establish a process in which ideas, innovative techniques and processes can be evaluated and implemented quickly and proficiently.

The PA STIC received the award for its engagement of local governments to identify, pilot and promote innovations that have the potential to improve efficiency and safety while reducing environmental impacts. Examples include:

• A collaboration with local governments to develop and administer a Salt and Snow Management Course, which trained over 600 participants on innovative winter maintenance techniques;

• Demonstrations for local governments on the effectiveness of new and innovative road technologies and products;

• An outreach campaign to better understand the top transportation issues facing local governments and effective communication methods for engaging with their representatives;

• Hosting a Local Government Safety Seminar to provide officials and transportation planners with the tools to identify high-crash corridors and intersections, and target effective safety countermeasures.

The PA STIC is a cross-section of various stakeholders, state and federal agencies, local governments, research organizations and industry partners that work together to forge an environment of innovation, imagination and ingenuity to pursue specific initiatives and their rapid implementation to deliver a modern and high-quality transportation system.

Through this collaborative effort, the PA STIC has helped PennDOT advance several successful innovations, such as Adaptive Signal Control Technology, High-Friction Surface Treatment (HFST), Accelerated Bridge Construction methods, Ultra-High Performance Concrete, and Warm Mix Asphalt.

“With our local governments responsible for more than 78,000 miles of roadway and 6,400 structures, maintaining this vast and aging collection of assets requires both innovation and collaboration,” said Richards, who is also co-chair of PA STIC.

“I applaud this group for its continued local government outreach efforts, and share this award with everyone in our organization who works to keep PennDOT’s culture of innovation moving forward.”

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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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