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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

Gregory G. Nadeau
Federal Highway Administration
December 10, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 237 (Thursday, December 10, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76732-76736]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-31112]


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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) to support the 
FHWA in the identification of proven, market-ready innovations for 
potential deployment through the fourth round of the Every Day Counts 
(EDC) initiative in 2017-2018.

DATES: Responses to this RFI should be submitted by January 31, 2016. 
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 Center for Accelerating 
Innovation at (202) 366-9105 or Julie.Zirlin@dot.gov. Additional 
information about the EDC initiative is available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Purpose of the Notice

    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 
planning,

[[Page 76733]]

design, construction, operations, and/or maintenance of the Nation's 
highway system. The FHWA requests information from all sources 
regarding innovations and processes that have the potential to 
transform the way the highway transportation community does business by 
shortening project delivery time, enhancing roadway safety, reducing 
traffic congestion, and/or improving environmental sustainability.

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 and processes. This RFI 
must not be construed as a commitment by the Federal Government to make 
an award, nor does the Federal 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 Federal Government to form a binding contract or issue 
a grant. Information obtained as a result of this RFI may be used by 
the Federal Government for program planning on a non-attribution basis. 
Respondents should not include any information that might be considered 
proprietary or confidential.

Background

    Since its formation, FHWA has been a leader in technology transfer 
and innovation deployment. In 2009, FHWA launched the EDC initiative in 
cooperation with State, local, and industry partners to speed up the 
delivery of highway projects and create a broad culture of innovation 
within the highway community. Proven innovations and enhanced business 
processes promoted through EDC facilitate greater efficiency at the 
State and local levels, saving time, money, and resources that can be 
used to deliver more projects.
    The EDC initiative is a State-based model to identify and rapidly 
deploy proven, yet underutilized innovations to shorten the project 
delivery process, enhance roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion, 
and improve environmental sustainability. Every 2 years, FHWA works 
with State transportation departments, local governments, tribes, 
private industry, and other stakeholders to identify a new set of 
innovative technologies and practices that merit widespread deployment.
    After selecting EDC innovations for the 2-year deployment cycle, 
transportation leaders from across the country gather at regional 
summits to discuss and identify opportunities for implementing the 
innovations that best fit the needs of their respective State highway 
program. The information gained through the summits is then shared with 
public and private transportation stakeholders through State 
Transportation Innovation Councils that select and spearhead deployment 
of the innovations within the State. The FHWA provides technical 
assistance and resources to help States implement their chosen 
innovations and also monitors the national state-of-the practice for 
each of the promoted EDC innovations.
    The EDC initiative has made a significant positive impact in 
accelerating the deployment of innovations and in building a culture of 
innovation within the highway community. Since EDC's inception, every 
State transportation agency has used 8 or more of the 32 innovations 
promoted through the initiative, and some have adopted over 20. Several 
of those innovations are now mainstream practices in many States, 
enhancing the highway system and benefiting travelers. By advancing 
21st century solutions, the highway community is making every day count 
to ensure our roads and bridges are built better, faster, and smarter.

EDC-3 Innovations

    The following innovations are being promoted in the third round of 
EDC (EDC-3) in 2015-2016:
     3D Engineered Models: Schedule, Cost and Post-
Construction;
     Data-Driven Safety Analysis;
     e-Construction;
     Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System;
     Improving Collaboration and Quality Environmental 
Documentation (eNEPA and IQED);
     Improving DOT and Railroad Coordination (SHRP2 R16);
     Locally Administered Federal-Aid Projects: Stakeholder 
Partnering;
     Regional Models of Cooperation;
     Road Diets (Roadway Reconfiguration);
     Smarter Work Zones; and
     Ultra-High Performance Concrete Connections for 
Prefabricated Bridge Elements.
    Information about these innovations as well as those promoted 
through EDC-1 (2011-2012) and EDC-2 (2013-2014) are available 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 proven, market-ready innovations and processes for 
potential widespread deployment through EDC-4 in 2017-2018 that address 
the criteria described below. In addition, FHWA seeks feedback on user 
experiences with specific, high-value innovations described below under 
the ``Innovations of Interest'' section and tentatively identified for 
accelerated deployment
    There is no limit to the number of innovations that may be 
suggested by an individual or entity. The FHWA is seeking suggestions 
of broad categories of innovations and respondents should not submit 
suggestions for unique, proprietary, or patented products.

Requested Information

    Responses for each suggested innovation or process should provide 
the following information:
    1. Innovation category or name.
    2. Point(s) of contact, title and organization name (if 
applicable), email address, and telephone number.
    3. Brief description of the proven innovation or process.
    4. Brief description of how the innovation addresses the following 
areas:
     National Impact: How will it benefit the transportation 
system nationally?
     Game Changing: How is it transformative in saving time, 
money, or improving quality?
     Urgency and Scale: How will it shorten project delivery 
and positively impact the environment, safety, congestion, freight 
movement, construction techniques, contracting methods, project costs, 
maintenance, preservation, or emergency response?
    5. Example(s), including 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.
    6. List of any supporting specifications, guidelines, and/or 
procedures available to support technology transfer and national 
deployment.
    7. List of agencies or entities that are ``champions'' for or 
regularly use the innovation.

Innovations of Interest

    The FHWA seeks feedback on user experiences with the following 
high-value innovations described below that are tentatively identified 
for accelerated deployment:

1. Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Performance Management

    Insufficient TIM related data collection (e.g., time of lane 
closure,

[[Page 76734]]

time responders remain at the incident scene, and the number of 
secondary crashes) remains an issue in many States and metropolitan 
areas. Data that would provide valuable information for decisionmaking 
and measuring results both nationally and in local jurisdictions simply 
is not being collected in many areas. The inability to establish a 
systematic collection of performance metrics is a significant inhibitor 
to institutionalizing TIM.
    This innovation will help jurisdictions establish an integrated, 
multidisciplinary and ongoing TIM Performance Management program in 
order to institutionalize programs and measure results. There are tools 
to help collect and transmit performance data that can make the task 
immediate and less complicated. For example, smartphone technology and 
systems such as the Traffic and Criminal Software (TraCS), can make 
data collection easy to capture. The responder can use mobile computing 
devices loaded with Web-based, secure software like TraCS in the field 
to collect data. The use of these same technologies can provide other 
benefits such as instantaneous transmission, automated analysis, and 
sharing of real time information, including pictures and video, that 
will not only enhance mitigation of traffic incidents, but enhance 
traveler information.

2. Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measurement System

    The Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measurement System helps 
agencies monitor how effectively traffic signals are meeting mobility, 
safety, and reliability goals. The system extracts high resolution data 
from existing traffic signal system infrastructure and allows it to be 
packaged in a flexible format to depict measures of system health, 
performance and quality of service. The measures provide information to 
promote quick decisionmaking in support of operations and maintenance 
objectives. The information produced by the system supports the needs 
of agency professionals involved in the day-to-day management of signal 
systems, leadership, legislators, first responders, and other mobility 
partners. In addition, signal timing performance can be used to model 
or track how an asset degrades over time and to identify the 
maintenance needed to sustain good, basic service. This technology can 
assist virtually all agencies that design, manage, operate, or maintain 
traffic signals to improve safety and performance.

3. Road Weather Management--Weather Savvy Roads

    Adverse weather conditions can dramatically impact the safety and 
operation of our Nation's roads. Inclement weather can result in 
increased crash risk, weather-related hazards, travel time delay and 
unreliability, decreased capacity, disrupted access, and increased 
operating and maintenance costs. Advances in Road Weather Management 
can benefit transportation agencies in deciding how to respond.
    Several States have implemented Weather Responsive Traffic 
Management (WRTM) strategies. The WRTM includes a variety of advisory, 
control, and treatment strategies that incorporate traditional and 
advanced Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) data collection, 
processing, and decision-support tools to create actionable road 
weather information. These strategies can significantly improve an 
agency's ability to warn travelers of weather conditions and apply 
traffic control strategies to enhance safety, minimize delay, and 
maximize throughput.
    Further enhancing an agency's ability to respond, Integrated Mobile 
Observations (IMO) weather sensors placed on State fleets provide 
vehicle-based data for better weather impact predictions in real time. 
This data can be integrated and processed to inform decisions by 
traffic operators, maintenance managers, and travelers. Pathfinder 
documents the collaborative benefits of DOTs, the National Weather 
Service (NWS), and private service providers to develop consistent 
messages for the traveling public. Pathfinder considers the weather, 
road surface, average traffic volumes, and effectiveness of mitigation 
efforts. This enables the NWS and local operating agencies to 
coordinate their efforts, directing the most impactful and actionable 
messages to the traveling public in the context of the local 
transportation system.

4. Strategic Use of Freeway Shoulders for Part-Time Travel

    Part-time shoulder use is a relatively low-cost congestion 
management strategy whereby either the left or the right shoulder of a 
freeway is open to travel on a daily or repeated (e.g., peak period) 
basis. Part-time shoulder use can be a cost-effective solution to 
improve freeway operations and safety by smoothing traffic flow and 
providing additional capacity when it is needed most, while preserving 
shoulders as refuge areas for the majority of the day. In some cases, 
shoulder use applications may serve as an interim solution to relieve 
congestion bottlenecks while agencies further evaluate, plan, and 
acquire the necessary resources for adding general use travel lanes. 
Various shoulder use deployment options are available, including 
restricting shoulder use to authorized transit buses or allowing use by 
all vehicles either during fixed time periods or in a flexible manner 
to accommodate planned or unplanned events that trigger heavy 
congestion.
    Part-time shoulder use supports Performance-Based Practical Design, 
an approach currently being advanced by many States. It preserves and 
maximizes existing capacity, is low cost relative to freeway widening, 
and can be implemented quickly with fewer environmental impacts than 
traditional capacity expansion. When combined with technology 
applications such as variable speed limits or lane control signals, 
part-time shoulder use can be further operated to enhance corridor 
mobility and safety.

5. Safety Improvements at Uncontrolled Crossing Locations

    Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHB) and medians/pedestrian crossing 
islands are evidence-based treatments that can improve pedestrian 
safety at uncontrolled crossing locations (i.e., no traffic signal or 
stop sign). The PHB is a great intermediate option between the 
operational requirements and effects of a rectangular rapid flash 
beacon and a full pedestrian signal because it provides a positive stop 
control in areas without the high pedestrian traffic volumes that 
typically warrant the installation of a signal. The beacon head is 
``dark'' until a pedestrian wants to cross the street and pushes an 
easy to reach button that activates the beacon. In addition, 
alternating red signal heads allow drivers to proceed once the 
pedestrian has cleared their side of the travel lane, thus improving 
vehicular traffic flow. There are other treatments that can improve 
pedestrian safety at uncontrolled locations. For example, medians and 
pedestrian crossing islands allow pedestrians a safe place to stop at 
the mid-point of the roadway before crossing the remaining distance. 
These treatments also enhance the visibility of pedestrian crossings, 
can reduce the speed of approaching vehicles, and can be used for 
vehicle access management (i.e., allowing only right-in/right-out 
turning movements).

6. Creating Safe Bicycle Networks

    Interest in bicycling as a mode of transportation is growing across 
the

[[Page 76735]]

country. Unfortunately, recent years have evidenced an increase in the 
number of bicyclist fatalities. There is significant interest across 
the country in reversing this safety concern by promoting the 
development of safe and comfortable bike transportation networks that 
allow people of all ages and abilities to safely and conveniently get 
where they want to go. There are numerous resources that support 
different aspects of bike network creation from planning to design, 
construction, and maintenance. These resources create a menu of options 
that States and communities can use to create safe and comfortable bike 
networks in all land use settings. Selection of appropriate bike 
facilities hinges on local context and constraints, and this menu-based 
approach allows communities to create bike networks that meet their 
unique needs.

7. Mainstreaming Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Collection

    This innovation brings bicycle and pedestrian planning to the same 
level of comprehensive attention and understanding as is available for 
motorized modes. Bicycle and pedestrian planners use data, including 
bicycle and pedestrian counts, to evaluate and prioritize investments 
as part of a performance-based framework that supports network 
outcomes. The net effect is to make investments in bicycling and 
walking more cost-effective and beneficial to the public as interest in 
these modes is increasing.
    The FHWA is extending its Traffic Monitoring Analysis System to 
receive bicycle and pedestrian data submissions from jurisdictions with 
count programs. This database is of great importance in observing 
trends in bicycling and walking, in facilitating further research on 
factors related to demand for bicycle and pedestrian travel, and in 
evaluating safety risk exposure of bicyclists and pedestrians.

8. Integrating NEPA and the Permitting Processes

    Transportation projects require multiple Federal permits, 
approvals, and reviews, including consideration under the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to ensure that they are developed 
utilizing a safe and responsible approach and impacts to the 
environment and communities are sequentially avoided, minimized, and 
mitigated. The NEPA process is a framework for meeting environmental 
requirements, such as those under the Endangered Species Act, the 
General Bridge Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the 
Clean Water Act. Synchronizing NEPA and other environmental and 
regulatory reviews helps to advance transportation projects. The 
recently released 2015 Red Book provides best practices, tools, and 
strategies for synchronization. The Red Book provides a 
``how[hyphen]to'' on environmental review integration for practitioners 
at Federal agencies that conduct environmental reviews or manage permit 
applications, and for Federal, State, and local agencies that fund or 
develop transportation projects. It leverages proven techniques and 
lessons learned that can support more efficient and concurrent review 
processes.

9. Construction Partnering

    There are new opportunities for construction partnering with 
increased use of information technology such as 3D modeling and e-
Construction. Construction partnering is a project management process 
where State agencies, contractors, and other stakeholders create a team 
relationship of mutual trust. Together, they promote recognition and 
achievement of mutual and beneficial goals, communicate openly, and 
resolve problems. The result is successful completion of a quality 
project that is built on time, within budget, with safety as the number 
one priority--and is profitable to the contractors.
    As new technologies and methods have emerged, State agencies and 
contractors now look to the digital jobsite as a means to improve 
efficiency and project performance while reducing construction waste in 
the delivery of projects. Enhanced communication, coordination and 
collaboration among stakeholders are vital to delivery of digital 
projects today. As a result, project success greatly relies on creating 
an environment where construction partnering is accepted as a better 
way of doing business.

10. GeoTechTools: Improved Decision Making in Project Delivery (SHRP2 
R02)

    A significant portion of all construction claims are related to 
geotechnical issues. Project constraints such as construction schedule, 
right-of-way or environmental concerns, and conditions such as soft or 
unsuitable ground can result in higher project costs and project 
delivery delays. Proactive and better informed decisionmaking regarding 
geotechnical solutions can assist agencies in addressing issues that 
pose a risk for claims or change orders in construction and delays in 
project delivery.
    The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) R02 project 
developed GeoTechTools, which contains a technology selection system to 
aid project managers, planners, resident engineers, consultants, and 
contractors in identifying potential solutions to project delivery 
issues. A vast amount of critically important information on 
geotechnical solutions has been collected, synthesized, integrated, and 
organized into the Web-based GeoTechTools product. Users save 
considerable time and effort on researching applicability of a 
solution, design guidance, specifications, quality assurance 
requirements, and cost estimating resources. The consistent and 
comprehensive tools provided in the GeoTechTools product allow any user 
to better identify and mitigate risk, leading to better informed 
decisions in all phases of project delivery.

11. Enhanced Geotechnical Characterization for Rapid Project Delivery

    The uncertainty of ground conditions at a project site is reduced 
by performing geotechnical characterization of the site. An inaccurate 
understanding of ground conditions may lead to wastefully conservative 
design, time consuming redesign, construction claims, change orders, or 
cost and schedule overruns. The importance and value of using reliable 
in situ test methods and reducing subsurface condition uncertainty for 
construction is captured in NCHRP Synthesis Report 484 (2015). The 
value of site characterization for design is demonstrated in new 
reliability-based design methods such as AASHTO Load Resistance Factor 
Design (LRFD) Bridge Design Specifications (2014). A suite of proven 
subsurface investigation methods is available to establish a new game-
changing standard of practice consistent with the revisions being made 
to the AASHTO Manual on Subsurface Investigation and the FHWA 
Geotechnical Engineering Circular #5: Geotechnical Site 
Characterization. This effort will focus on implementing the mainstream 
practice of targeted technologies for more reliable and cost-effective 
subsurface investigation programs for rapid project delivery with less 
risk of contract delay and escalation.
    Collectively, the technologies represent seven of the most 
transformative and complimentary advancements within subsurface 
investigation practice. Their implementation nationally will reduce 
project delivery costs and risks and improve long-term performance.

[[Page 76736]]

12. Advanced Hydraulic 3D Modeling

    Rivers, streams, and coastal waterbodies exhibit complex hydraulic 
characteristics that affect bridge and culvert design and operation, 
scour formation, stream stability, and overall infrastructure 
resiliency. Advanced Hydraulic 3D Modeling tools simulate hydrologic, 
hydraulic, and scour conditions at any aspect of transportation 
systems. These tools significantly increase the detail and accuracy of 
hydraulic related project planning, permitting, design, and simulation 
activities. Designers can use the tools to more accurately apply the 
safest and most cost effective transportation design to accommodate the 
hydraulic conditions of the structure. Use of this technology can also 
reduce costs of materials and quantities during a project's 
construction and operation.

13. Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Applications for Condition 
Assessment of Bridges, Pavements, and Tunnels

    The management of our Nation's highway infrastructure assets 
including bridges, pavements, and tunnels presents ongoing planning, 
operational, preservation, and economic challenges for Federal, State, 
tribal, and local transportation agencies. Data-driven condition 
information is an important part of managing and maintaining these 
assets in a state of good repair. Advancements in NDE applications over 
the last decade from hand-held tools to automated platforms can provide 
owners with more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective approaches to 
complement current inspection and evaluation practices.
    Each NDE technology detects a specific type of defect. The defects 
identified range from those found at an early stage to the on-set of 
deterioration, providing infrastructure owners with information to 
develop cost-effective preservation and maintenance strategies. This 
can result in lower life-cycle structure costs, which are a savings for 
the owner and the user.

14. Surface Treatments for Extended Life

    The condition of pavements and bridges across the country vary 
considerably, with many State DOTs struggling to maintain current 
service levels. A balanced approach that takes into consideration 
timing, desired level of service, and available funding is paramount to 
keeping our Nation's infrastructure in a ``state of good repair.'' 
There are several surface treatments for pavements and bridges that can 
be used to reach this goal.
Pavements
    Whether a highway pavement is constructed using concrete or 
asphalt, the structure will deteriorate over time. Many factors affect 
the performance of these pavements including loads (traffic), climatic 
conditions, and material quality. There are surface treatments 
available that extend the overall service life of both pavement types. 
The use of the right pavement surface treatments at the right time can 
improve the condition level and extend the performance of the pavement 
structure. For example, by maintaining and improving smoothness and 
ride at an acceptable level of service, a pavement structure can save 
the tax payers money and time and enhance safety.
Bridges
    The decks or slabs of bridges are vulnerable to the effects of 
mechanical wear from traffic, and environmental conditions such as 
rain, snow and ice. Consequently, decks and slabs require more 
maintenance and repair than any other component of the bridge. The most 
common bridge deck and slab material is concrete and its main cause of 
deterioration is corrosion of the reinforcing steel. Surface treatments 
such as deck washing, using crack sealers, fillers, waterproofing 
membranes and overlays can protect and enhance service life of bridge 
decks.

15. The Maintenance Innovation Toolbox (MIT)

    The MIT includes the following three highway maintenance items that 
have been proven and tested in the hands of highway maintenance workers 
to save time and money, while enhancing safety and operations 
efficiencies:
    Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) or Job Order 
Contracting--This is a unique indefinite quantity type of contract that 
enables facility owners to accomplish a large number of repairs and 
maintenance with a single, competitive bid contract. After the ID/IQ is 
established, this contracting method saves time in the procurement 
process when an immediate need is identified.
    Strobe Lights for Increased Visibility of Snow Plow Operations--
With the increased use of wing plows and tow plows, it is even more 
important to ensure that plowing operations are being seen by 
motorists. With the installation of different color strobe lights 
(e.g., green, amber, blue, etc.), trailing and passing vehicles can 
more distinctly see the plowing operations that extend beyond the truck 
body, enhancing safety for both motorists and plow operators.
    Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and Telematics for Maintenance 
Forces--The use of AVL on highway maintenance vehicles enables 
equipment managers to know where the highway equipment fleet is located 
for deployment where and when needed. By coupling AVL with Telematics 
to report engine and drivetrain diagnostics, an equipment fleet manager 
has the optimum combination of tools to efficiently and effectively 
manage the maintenance force.

    Issued on: December 4, 2015.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
FHWA Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-31112 Filed 12-9-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P

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