FHWA Sends $4.4 Million to Six States for Innovative Road, Bridge Projects

AASHTO Journal, 3 April 2015

The Federal Highway Administration is sending $4.4 million in demonstration project grants under its Accelerated Innovation Deployment program to six states – Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia.

The agency said those grants “will be used to fund innovative road and bridge work that will lead to better, safer road infrastructure efforts nationwide.”

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said those awards “encourage communities to use new technology and new ways to envision solutions to our transportation problems.”

Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau said states that receive the grants “are building better bridges and safer roads that can cut congestion today and ensure more up-to-date infrastructure tomorrow. Our job is to continue getting states the funding they need to deliver innovation in every project, every day.”

That FHWA program was launched in February 2014, and has provided more than $20 million in 29 projects to help federal, state, local and tribal agencies increase their use of innovations. The program will ultimately invest $30 million that was provided for it under the MAP-21 law in 2012.

From the latest group of awards, the Kansas Department of Transportation will use a $1 million grant on a technology project that integrates roadway data collection with a geospatial data system.

Minnesota’s DOT will apply a $1 million grant to innovation pavement compaction and infrared technology in 10 projects to apply long-life asphalt pavement to improve quality and cut life-cycle costs.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation and Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission will apply $981,780 in grant funds to deploy Bluetooth monitoring devices on up to five transportation corridors. That project is designed to improve traffic monitoring in “high-volume roadway corridors where safety, commuter congestion and construction activity are paramount issues,” the FHWA said.

South Carolina’s DOT received $787,104 to invest in structural health monitoring technology to augment visual inspections of selected bridges, and determine if such technology can be used statewide.

The North Carolina DOT was awarded $400,000 to help pay for a bridge replacement project in Anson County using Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System technology, which can minimize traffic congestion during construction.

In Virginia, the state DOT and Town of Vienna received $211,200 to construct the state’s first “mini-roundabout,” which the FHWA said is expected to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists, reduce congestion and increase capacity at an existing intersection without acquiring more right-of-way.

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