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Every Day Counts Initiative; Request for Information

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Every Day Counts Initiative; Request for Information

Victor M. Mendez
Federal Highway Administration
January 8, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 5 (Wednesday, January 8, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1422-1425]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00079]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration


Every Day Counts Initiative; Request for Information

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice is a Request for Information (RFI) and comments 
will be used to help FHWA identify innovative, market-ready 
technologies that may be considered under the Every Day Counts (EDC) 
initiative.

DATES: Responses to this RFI should be submitted by February 15, 2014. 
The FHWA will consider late-filed responses to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Submit responses by electronic mail to 
everydaycounts@dot.gov or through https://www.fbo.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions about the program 
discussed herein, contact Julie Zirlin, FHWA Office of Accelerating 
Innovation (202) 366-9105, Julie.Zirlin@dot.gov. Additional information 
about the EDC initiative is at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose of the Notice

    The FHWA requests information from all sources regarding 
innovations that have the potential to transform the way we do business 
by shortening project delivery time, enhancing the safety of our 
roadways, and protecting the environment. The purpose of this RFI is to 
obtain information from State, local, and industry partners and the 
public regarding proven processes or technologies that have the 
potential to provide efficiencies in the transportation system. This 
RFI is issued under the FHWA Every Day Counts Initiative.

RFI Guidelines

    This is not a solicitation for proposals, applications, proposal 
abstracts, or quotations. The purpose of this RFI notice is to conduct 
market research to identify proven innovations. This RFI must not be 
construed as a commitment by the Government to make an award, nor does 
the Government intend to directly or indirectly pay for any information 
or responses submitted as a result of this RFI. Responses to this 
notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form 
a binding contract or issue a grant. Information obtained as a result 
of this RFI may be used by the Government for program planning on a 
non-attribution basis. Respondents should not include any information 
that might be considered proprietary or confidential.

Background

    The FHWA has long been a leader in innovation deployment. The FHWA 
Administrator Victor Mendez advocates deploying innovation to: (1) 
Shorten project delivery time, (2) accelerate the use of new 
technologies to make Government more efficient, and (3) construct 
highways faster, safer, and to a higher quality. To that end, in 2010, 
FHWA launched EDC--a broad initiative aimed at shortening project 
delivery and speeding the deployment of proven, underutilized 
technologies. The EDC initiative has had a significant impact on the 
transportation system.
    The FHWA believes that the EDC initiative is a foundational part of 
making innovation a cornerstone of our business and that we can 
identify rapidly deployable innovations to achieve the goal of better, 
faster, and smarter project delivery. Society and the highway industry 
face an unprecedented list of challenges. The public wants greater 
accountability in how its money is spent. Users and industry want to 
find ways to make roads safer. We want to preserve the environment for 
future generations.

EDC 1 and EDC 2 Technologies

    The EDC initiative focuses on two pillars for innovation:
     Accelerating Technology: Technologies and solutions to 
improve safety, reduce congestion, produce longer-lasting 
infrastructure, and keep America moving and competitive in the world 
market.
     Shortening Project Delivery: Innovative practices and 
methods that increase our ability to deliver timely transportation 
projects to the public.
    The EDC initiative is designed to focus on a finite set of 
innovations. Teams consisting of FHWA, State, local, and industry 
partners and State Transportation Innovation Councils work to deploy 
the innovations and develop performance measures to gauge their 
success. The following innovations were promoted in the first two 
rounds of EDC:


[[Page 1423]]


 3D Engineered Models for Construction
 Accelerated Bridge Construction
 Adaptive Signal Control Technology
 Alternative Technical Concepts
 Clarifying the Scope of Preliminary Design
 Construction Manager/General Contractor
 Design Build
 Enhanced Technical Assistance with ongoing Environmental 
Impact Statements (EISs)
 Flexibilities in Rights-of-Way (ROW)
 Flexibilities in Utility Accommodation and Relocation
 Geospatial Data Collection
 Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System
 High Friction Surface Treatments
 Implementing Quality Environmental Documentation
 Intelligent Compaction
 Intersection and Interchange Geometrics
 Legal Sufficiency Enhancements
 Locally Administered Federal-Aid Projects
 Planning and Environmental Linkages
 Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems
 Programmatic Agreements
 Safety EdgeSM
 SHRP2 Traffic Incident Management Responder Training
 Use of In-Lieu Fee and Mitigation Banking
 Warm Mix Asphalt

    Details of these innovations can be found at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/.

Invitation for Comment

    The FHWA invites all sources to respond to this RFI. The FHWA seeks 
suggestions on innovative, market-ready technologies that meet the 
criteria described below and may be considered for EDC3. In addition, 
FHWA seeks comments on user experiences with ten specific high-value 
innovations that may be considered for accelerated deployment under 
EDC3. These innovations are described below under ``Innovations of 
Interest.''
    Respondents should not submit unique, proprietary, or patented 
products. The FHWA will only review suggestions of broad categories of 
innovations.
    Responses should provide the following information for each 
innovation and should not exceed 10 pages for each innovation. There is 
no limit to the number of innovations that may be recommended.
    1. Organization name.
    2. Point(s) of contact, email address, and telephone number.
    3. Brief description of a proven process or innovation and how it 
meets the following four criteria:
     National Impact: Potential to benefit the transportation 
system nationally.
     Readiness: Whether the innovation is ready to be deployed 
nationally.
     ``Game Changing'': How the innovation is transformative in 
saving time, money or quality.
     Urgency and Scale: Potential to shorten project delivery 
and positively impact the environment, safety, congestion, freight 
movement, construction techniques, contracting methods, project costs, 
maintenance, preservation, or emergency response.
    4. Location and date when the innovation was successfully applied 
in a transportation application and a description of the quantifiable 
performance benefits of the innovation in those applications.
    5. List of supporting specifications, guidelines, and/or procedures 
are available to support successful national deployment.
    6. List of agencies that are the champions of this innovation.

Innovations of Interest

1. Accelerated Deployment of Traffic Incident Management Performance 
Measurement Data Collection Using Available Low-Cost, Web-Based 
Technology

    While the Fiscal Year 2013 Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Self-
Assessment (SA) effort reflected a positive overall jump in the 
national SA score, the TIM SA report pointed to a problem that has the 
potential to impact further advances in this national indicator and 
threaten individual TIM program institutionalization efforts. The 
scores on Performance Management--especially collection time of lane 
closure, time responders remain at the incident scene, and the number 
of secondary crashes--have declined. The TIM program professionals and 
associations identify the inability to establish a systematic 
collection of performance metrics to be a significant inhibitor to the 
ability to institutionalize TIM. There is a need to help jurisdictions 
establish an integrated, multidisciplinary and ongoing TIM Performance 
Management program in order to institutionalize programs and measure 
results.
    Many TIM partners may not realize that the tools to help collect 
and transmit performance data exist and make the task immediate and 
uncomplicated. For example, smartphone technology and systems such as 
the Traffic and Criminal Software (TraCS), funded by DOT and maintained 
by the Iowa DOT, make data collection easy to capture. Mobile computing 
devices, like tablets and smartphones, loaded with Web-based, secure 
software like TraCS can also be used in the field and make data 
collection easy for the responder with instantaneous transmission and 
automated analysis.

2. Road Project Coordination To Reduce Impacts and Costs

    Some States, cities, and regions recognized benefits from 
coordinating projects between transportation agencies, utilities, and 
other agencies that need to do construction in the public ROW. These 
benefits include cost savings, earlier identification of project 
impacts, greater ability to reduce and manage traffic disruptions from 
road work, better quality road surfaces, and reduced exposure for 
workers. Better coordination of projects can be a ``win-win'' for 
public agencies, road users, and citizens by reducing the need for 
additional work zones. For example:
     San Francisco, California, reduced street cuts by 27 
percent by coordinating ROW projects.
     Oregon corridor-level transportation management plans 
ensure that at least one major north-south corridor and one major east-
west corridor are left unrestricted for freight and passenger travel at 
all times.
     Covington, Kentucky, reduced traffic disruptions and saved 
nearly $18,000 over several months by coordinating planned paving with 
water main replacement.
    Project coordination can be accomplished using different methods 
and scopes. Coordination may be done within a single urban area, across 
a corridor, for a whole State, or across a region that includes 
neighboring States. Using a combination of methods is the most 
effective way to get the best results. Coordination methods include:
     Collaboration--Establishing a formal organization that 
spearheads coordination across a geographic area and having 
coordination meetings to discuss the next season's projects or upcoming 
lane closures.
     Policy--Creating incentives or disincentives, such as 
penalties for working without a permit, higher permitting fees, and 
strict restoration requirements for disturbing recently repaved or 
reconstructed streets.
     Technology--Using software, such as online project mapping 
tools, to organize and share data entered by multiple agencies so that 
schedules can be coordinated.

[[Page 1424]]

     Performance management--Jointly establishing performance 
goals for a corridor and working together to monitor and meet them.
    One key new tool that will enhance the ability to coordinate 
projects is the Workzone Impact and Strategy Estimator software, a 
product of Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) project R11. 
The tool will help reduce disruption to the transportation network by 
assisting agencies sequencing and phasing of road projects both during 
the programming of projects and later during more detailed project 
planning and design.

3. Traffic Signal Automated Performance Measures

    Poor traffic signal performance contributes to 5-10 percent of all 
traffic delay on the National Highway System (NHS), which contains a 
fraction of the estimated 311,000 traffic signals in the U.S., valued 
at $82.7 billion. Best practices for traffic signal operation suggest 
retiming signals every 3-5 years with ongoing performance monitoring. 
Several surveys identify phone calls or ``complaints'' as the primary 
performance measure for traffic signal operations and maintenance. The 
2012 Traffic Signal Report Card assigned a grade of ``F'' nationally to 
agency monitoring and performance measurement practices. The lack of 
performance measurement adversely effects safety and wastes the time 
and money of both operating agencies and the traveling public by 
reducing quality and efficiency.
    Traffic Signal Automated Performance Measures allow agencies to 
maximize the effectiveness of signal systems and improve the management 
of traffic signal assets by proactively monitoring performance and 
making low cost modifications to the detection, communications, and 
control systems of intersections.
    Monitoring and evaluation of traffic signal systems is critical to 
improving safety and efficiency. The measures that are currently 
available enable the effectiveness of signal progression along a given 
corridor to be monitored using six metrics: Delay, Speed, Approach 
Volumes, the Purdue Phase Termination Chart, Split Monitor, and Turning 
Movement Volume Counts. Other measures will be incorporated in the near 
future.
    Adaptive Signal Control Technology (ASCT), included in EDC1, 
provided the ability to monitor and improve traffic signal performance. 
Implementing performance measurement before installing ASCT reduces the 
risks and improves the likelihood of successful implementation. But 
Traffic Signal Automated Performance Measures would be applicable to 
all signalized intersections, not just the most challenging locations 
that are difficult to operate with traditional approaches, where ASCT 
is typically implemented.

4. Intelligent Transportation Systems for Work Zones

    Travel through and around work zones can be frustrating and 
hazardous to the traveling public and highway workers. Unexpected 
congestion can have serious consequences for road users. Delays can 
significantly affect freight shipments and other types of travel. 
Serious crashes happen at congested approaches to work zones, often 
resulting in catastrophic loss of life. There have been several recent 
catastrophic crashes involving commercial vehicles where the commercial 
vehicle operator did not react soon enough and rear ended stopped 
vehicles at the end of a queue caused by a work zone, or conversely, 
where passenger vehicles rear ended a stopped commercial vehicle.
    Several Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) have been 
developed in the last few years to address safety and mobility issues 
that often occur in work zones. Systems are available to do the 
following: determine travel time through the work zone and advise the 
public of travel conditions in real time; alert vehicles to a slow 
moving or stopped queue of vehicles so they can be prepared to stop 
safely (especially beneficial for commercial motor vehicles); adjust 
speed limits or merging in response to current traffic conditions; and 
provide early detection of incidents, reducing the likelihood of 
secondary crashes.
    Several deployments of the various systems demonstrate that they 
provide both safety and operational benefits. The technologies have 
advanced to a point where they are accurate and the results are 
dependable. Options are available that allow systems to be scaled to 
the project and to make use of permanent ITS when available.

5. E-NEPA

    From EDC to the recent Presidential Memorandum Speeding 
Infrastructure Development through more Efficient and Effective 
Permitting and Environmental Review to the Moving Ahead for Progress in 
the 21st Century Act, shortening the time for the National 
Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) project approval has been a 
consistent focus of FHWA. Interagency collaboration is a critical part 
of this process and a necessity for timely environmental reviews and 
approval of surface transportation projects. By improving the ability 
for concurrent agency reviews during the environmental review process, 
issues can be more quickly and clearly raised and dealt with in real 
time and in a transparent manner, building trust and consensus amongst 
the different parties. By enabling multiple agencies to interact and 
collaborate on an ongoing basis, especially with agreed-upon review 
timeframes, the product and outcome of NEPA review processes can be 
improved and delivered in a shorter time period, significantly 
accelerating project delivery.
    The e-NEPA, a real-time electronic collaboration tool, provides an 
online workspace and collaboration forum for EIS and environmental 
assessment projects. It will reduce administrative workloads required 
to collaborate, maintain records, and create an administrative record. 
In addition, e-NEPA will allow State DOTs to share documents, track 
comments, schedule tasks with participating agencies and perform 
concurrent reviews for their EIS and EA projects.

6. Strategies for Improving DOT and Railroad Coordination (SHRP2 R16)

    Each year construction of hundreds of public agency highway 
projects cross over, under, or parallel to railroad ROWs, requiring 
extended coordination between these public agencies and railroads. 
Although most go smoothly, delays in development or construction do 
occur. Railroads must carefully evaluate public transportation agency 
projects in terms of safety, engineering, and operational impacts both 
during construction and for decades later. For public agencies, delays 
while waiting on railroad reviews and agreements can increase project 
costs and extend renewal needs for users.
    The collection of model agreements, sample contracts, training 
materials, and standardized best practices developed through SHRP2 will 
allow public agencies and railroads to identify and circumvent sources 
of conflict. The tools reflect research that takes into account the 
perspectives, processes, budgets and funding, and acknowledged best 
practices of both railroads and public agencies. The report, Strategies 
for Improving the Project Agreement Process Between Highway Agencies 
and Railroads, outlines recommended practices and offers eight 
different model documents to expedite negotiations.
    With railroad volumes projected to continue to grow, pressures for 
more project coordination activity will

[[Page 1425]]

continue to increase. Cementing mutual understanding and streamlining 
the process involved will save money and time for both railroads and 
public agencies. In turn, road users will see the positive results of 
more rapid highway renewal on facilities and budget. The model 
agreements also lay out standardized construction and operational 
needs, thereby enhancing safety for workers and reducing delays for 
users.

7. Electronic Project Document Management Tools (e-construction)

    The administration of a project through the design and construction 
process requires significant communications and documentation of 
events. This has traditionally required writing and mailing letters 
through a Post Office or an internal mail system, keeping project 
journals, maintaining large file cabinets and file rooms, using 
physical signatures on paper, and taking notes at in-person meetings. 
With the advent of enhanced electronic project management tools, 
different modes of meeting, communicating, and assuring a secure 
version approval process, we are now accelerating the decisionmaking 
process. Some additional benefits noted by State DOTs using this 
technology are improved communications and partnering, decreased cost 
of printing and mailing services, opportunity to perform parallel work 
activities.

8. Geotechnical Solutions for Soil Improvement, Rapid Embankment 
Construction and Stabilization of the Pavement Working Platform (SHRP2 
R02)

    The Geotechnical Solutions are a Technology Catalog with detailed 
information on 46 geoconstruction and ground improvement techniques. In 
addition, the product contains a Technology Selection system to aid in 
identifying potential technologies for ground modification based on 
user-defined project conditions. The geotechnical solutions are on a 
Web site developed as part of the research under the SHRP2 R02 project. 
The scope was aimed at identifying design and construction solutions 
for risk elements that may be encountered in project delivery related 
to: (a) Construction of new embankments and roadways over unstable 
soils, (b) widening and expansion of existing roadways and embankments 
and (c) stabilization of geotechnical pavement components and of 
working platforms. The R02 research team is deploying the product 
world-wide by promoting it to subject matter experts. Deployment 
efforts have been targeted at experienced users of the geotechnologies. 
While the technologies are mature, the Web sites' technology selection 
system and technology catalog provide a significant resource for 
critically important information that assists in the design and 
construction of ground improvement techniques.

9. Ultra High Performance Concrete for Advanced Connection Technology 
for Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems

    Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) has proven to be a 
technology that can facilitate simplified, effective-use prefabricated 
bridge elements and systems (PBES). The proliferation of PBES concepts 
over the past 4 years has led to recognition among owners and 
specifiers that robust connection systems are a key part of any 
successful bridge construction project. The UHPC is a steel fiber 
reinforced cementitious composite possessing exceptionally high 
mechanical strengths and durability properties. Field casting of UHPC 
into the interstitial spaces between prefabricate components engages a 
strong connection concept, freeing the owner from concerns regarding 
the short- and long-term performance of the connection. Research and 
development on this topic over the past 5 years addressed specific 
connection concepts that are most relevant to the highway bridge 
community.

10. Road Diet (Roadway Configuration)

    The classic roadway reconfiguration, commonly referred to as a 
``road diet,'' involves converting an undivided four-lane roadway into 
three lanes, made up of two through lanes and a center two-way left-
turn lane. The reduction of lanes allows the roadway to be reallocated 
for other uses such as bike lanes, pedestrian crossing islands and 
parking. Road diets have multiple safety and operational benefits for 
drivers as well as nonmotorists. Midblock locations can benefit from 
road diets because they tend to experience higher travel speeds, 
contributing to increased injury and fatality rates. More than 80 
percent of pedestrians hit by vehicles traveling at 40 mph or faster 
die, while less than 10 percent die when hit by a vehicle traveling 20 
mph or less. When appropriately applied, road diets generated benefits 
to users of all modes of transportation, including bicyclists, 
pedestrians and motorists. The resulting benefits include reduced 
vehicle speeds, improved mobility and access, reduced collisions and 
injuries and improved livability and quality of life. When modified 
from four travel lanes to two travel lanes with a two-way left-turn 
lane, roadways experienced a 29 percent reduction in all roadway 
crashes. The benefits to pedestrians include reduced crossing distance 
and fewer midblock crossing locations, which account for more than 70 
percent of pedestrian fatalities.
    Road diets can be low cost if planned in conjunction with 
reconstruction or simple overlay projects, since a road diet mostly 
consists of restriping. The reduction of lanes allows the roadway to be 
reallocated for other uses such as bike lanes, pedestrian crossing 
islands, and parking. Road diets have multiple safety and operational 
benefits for vehicles as well as pedestrians, such as:
     Decreasing vehicle travel lanes for pedestrians to cross, 
therefore, reducing the multiple-threat crash for pedestrians (when one 
vehicle stops for a pedestrian in a travel lane on a multilane road, 
but the motorist in the next lane does not, resulting in a crash),
     Providing room for a pedestrian crossing island,
     Improving safety for bicyclists when bike lanes are added 
(such lanes also create a buffer space between pedestrians and 
vehicles),
     Providing the opportunity for on-street parking (also a 
buffer between pedestrians and vehicles),
     Reducing rear-end and side-swipe crashes, and
     Improving speed limit compliance and decreasing crash 
severity when crashes do occur.

    Issued on: December 27, 2013.
Victor M. Mendez,
FHWA Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-00079 Filed 1-7-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-22-P



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