A-GaME’s Webinar Series: Ready When You Are & Geophysics Users Group Meetings

The FHWA is putting on its “A-GaME Summer Super Sessions Series” for 2022, specifically focused on improving geotechnical site characterization practices for construction decisions and constructability. Save the dates and forward to your peers, partners and construction and project managers! These sessions are free.

June 22 – Session 1: Step into the Contractor’s Boots. Hear directly from four contractors on the “asks,” risks and decisions they face when preparing bids and making decisions based on subsurface conditions that might or might not be well investigated, characterized or communicated.  Register here

July 20 – Session 2: Manage Risk: Reduce Geotechnical Uncertainties Before Construction. Dive into the types of problems we experience during construction as a result of geotechnical uncertainties, and explore A-GaME technologies and other effective solutions to minimize those geotechnical uncertainties through case histories, applications of appropriate site characterization techniques and discussion.  Registration links will be posted when available. 

­­­­­­August 17 – Session 3: Bridge the Gap: Communicating Subsurface Conditions for Construction. Geotechnical subsurface investigations are not just about design parameters. Geotechnical site characterization must also inform constructability decisions and provide contractors with the information needed to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Explore ways to improve our investigation processes, to effectively communicate site conditions to all stakeholders, and to establish a collective understanding of anticipated conditions and contingencies for bidding and construction decisions. Registration links will be posted when available. 

August 24 – Special Owner’s Only Forum: Making it Happen: Improving Site Characterization for Constructability and Construction Decisions. Intended for DOT Construction and Project Managers, Geotechnical Engineers and other owner representatives, this session will include large and small group discussions, and intra-agency collaboration to improve internal site characterization processes and procedures. Information about this session will be sent at a later date.


In recent years, the FHWA A-GaME webinar series has featured topics that highlight proven, effective exploration method and practices for enhanced, effective site characterization that reduce project risks, improve quality and accelerate project delivery.  Experts from the FHWA, state DOTs, industry and academia have covered everything from the nuts and bolts of A-GaME methods to visualization and design. 

If you missed the webinars live or want to review content, the archived webinars are now hosted on Deep Foundations Institute’s YouTube channel and available to watch on demand.

To stay in the know on A-GaME updates, FHWA invites you to Subscribe to A-GaME e-News!

For more information, contact Ben Rivers at Benjamin.Rivers@dot.gov.


Geophysics Users Group

The joint industry Geophysics Users Group was created in cooperation with FHWA, Geo-Institute, DOTs, DFI and TRB Committees AKG20 and AKG60 to address geophysics users’ needs. The group will be undertaking a launch project, DIGGS for Geophysics, that will contribute to the ASCE/DIGGS XML schema by incorporating geophysical data. The ambitious goal of the project is to develop a fully functional geophysical module in DIGGS in about one year.

If you are interested in geophysics, join the monthly virtual meetings on the second Tuesday of the month at 3:00 p.m. (ET). The meetings are held via Microsoft Teams, which will also be used to house information generated by the group. For more information visit the Geophysics Users Group Committee web page or contact Derrick Dasenbrock, FHWA Resource Center, at derrick.dasenbrock@dot.gov.

 

National STIC Network Meeting – June 2022 (Recording)

The National STIC Network Meeting was held on June 1,  2022. The activities and accomplishments of the New Jersey STIC were featured during this national event. The FHWA has posted a recording of the meeting for those who may have missed it, National STIC Network Meeting – June 1, 2022 (Recording).

The NJ STIC team’s presenters highlighted the NJ STIC Communications Plan, the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Program and its participation with the FHWA in piloting a “Let’s Go Workshop” – a team-building and strategy setting exercise for advancing the deployment of select innovations. The NJ STIC presentation can be found here.

 

 

National Operations Center Webinar to Feature NJDOT’s Commercial Vehicle Alerts Initiative

The National Operations Center for Excellence will hold a webinar featuring New Jersey and Colorado DOT initiatives to establish private sector partnerships that use crowdsourced data to deliver real-time information to commercial vehicles to improve the safety of all road users.  Transportation agencies can now deliver in-cab alerts about road conditions through connected truck service providers to help commercial vehicle drivers approach and react more quickly to roadway incidents, work zones, and adverse weather conditions. Follow this link to register for the Crowdsourced Data for Commercial Vehicles webinar.

At the 1st Quarter 2022 STIC meeting, attendees received a briefing about the Commercial Vehicle Alerts initiative being undertaken by NJDOT and its several partners to proactively deploy alerts to improve safety and traffic incident management. Sal Cowan, NJDOT Senior Director, Transportation Mobility, was joined by Amy Lopez, Director, Public Sector Services and Smart City Strategy for INRIX, and Marc Nichols, Director, Government & Industry Partnerships for Drivewyze.

For more information about the Commercial Vehicle Alerts initiative, their presentation is here and a summary of the NJ STIC meeting that includes a recording of their featured presentation is here.

UHPC Bridge Preservation and Repair – NJ Efforts Highlighted

FHWA promotes UHPC for Bridge Preservation & Repair through its Every Day Counts (EDC-6) innovations. The FHWA's EDC Newsletter of April 28, 2022 featured Rutgers University's state-of-the-art Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing (BEAST) center.  FHWA has sponsored the use of the BEAST to evaluate emerging bridge preservation technologies including UHPC.  Below is a reprint of the newsletter article that recognizes these efforts as its Innovation of the Month for UHPC Bridge Preservation and Repair.

BEAST® Facility (Credit: Rutgers University)

Wouldn’t it be great to quickly test the performance of a UHPC bridge deck overlay? It can be challenging to test and evaluate the long-term performance of new bridge preservation innovations because it would normally take years of monitoring the in-service behavior of such a technology on actual bridge structures to make an adequate assessment. Alternatively, Rutgers University’s state-of-the-art Bridge Evaluation and Accelerated Structural Testing (BEAST®) center provides a new opportunity to evaluate emerging preservation technologies. Built in 2015, the BEAST facility aims to develop high-quality data of bridge deterioration and to expand our knowledge of bridge performance through full-scale accelerated testing. The facility is capable of enclosing a 50-foot long bridge within an environmental chamber and subjecting the bridge to realistic rolling wheel loads, freeze-thaw cycles, and even the application of deicing chemicals. As a result, this facility can impose 10 to 20 years of ageing in less than 12 months.

FHWA is sponsoring the first project to utilize the BEAST® facility, and seeks to establish the long-term performance of bare reinforced concrete bridge decks and overlay systems among other variables. A two lane, 50 foot simply-supported bridge built with steel girders was constructed and began accelerated testing in 2019. To date, it’s been subjected to over 2-million passes of rolling load, 85 freeze-thaw cycles, and over 3000 gallons of salt brine. As a result, deck deterioration has reached a point where, in practice, an overlay would commonly be installed for rehabilitation and preservation purposes.

Rolling-Load Assembly in BEAST® Lab (left); Bridge Specimen in BEAST® Lab (right) (Credit: Rutgers University)

UHPC is one of the overlay systems that will be installed on this bridge specimen for evaluation. The UHPC overlay will be installed using materials and construction practices that are commonly deployed in the field. Once installed, accelerated testing will resume for at least 12 months, or until significant deterioration is again observed. Data will be collected, which will help establish quantitative measure of the overlays’ ability to perform long-term and under realistic conditions. Data already shows that UHPC is long-lasting and resilient, but at the end of this research, researchers will be able to say with greater confidence how long UHPC overlays may last in service.

For more information on UHPC for Bridge Preservation & Repair, contact Zach Haber, FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, or Justin Ocel, FHWA Resource Center.

Image of an intersection at night, a long exposure has made the cars driving by appear as lines of light

Adventures in Crowdsourcing Webinar Series 

Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations is one of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Every Day Counts (EDC) initiatives for the 2021-2022 round. The program is looking for innovative solutions to integrating low-cost data, such as information from smartphones or connected vehicles, into transportation systems management and operations (TSMO). To support this effort, FHWA is offering “Adventures in Crowdsourcing”, a series of virtual events with industry leaders sharing their knowledge and solutions.  More information on this EDC-6 Initiative, including case studies is available here.  

This webinar series restarts in May 2022 with several monthly webinars listed below. Click on the links below to learn more about each forthcoming event and to register.

Visit the Adventures in Crowdsourcing webinar page to view past webinars, or click on one of the links below to view a specific webinar.

FHWA contacts for Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations are James Colyar (james.colyar@dot.gov), Greg Jones (GregM.Jones@dot.gov), and Ralph Volpe (Ralph.Volpe@dot.gov).  

FHWA Issued its EDC-6 Progress Report #2

FHWA’s latest report tracks progress on advancing innovations by the state DOTs during round 6 of the EDC program.

The Every Day Counts Round 6 Progress Report #2 is now available here.

Every Day Counts (EDC) is the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) program to advance a culture of innovation in the transportation community in partnership with public and private stakeholders. Through this State-based effort, FHWA coordinates rapid deployment of proven strategies and technologies to shorten the project delivery process, enhance roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion, and integrate automation.

The Progress Report summarizes the December 2021 status of deployment for the 7 innovations in the sixth round of EDC. The report is intended to be a resource for transportation stakeholders as they develop their deployment plans and to encourage innovation in managing highway project delivery to better serve the Nation.

More information on the EDC-6 Round Innovations, including the initial Baseline Report and Progress Reports can be found here.

Recently Issued TRB Publications and ASTM Standards

The NJDOT Research Library maintains a “Did You Know” page to share basic facts about the research library, transportation research resources, and newly issued publications.

The TRB Publications, January-February 2022 list includes recently published research in operations and traffic management, data information and technology, bridges and structures, pavements, bicycling and pedestrians, safety and human factors, and construction, among others.  The breadth of transportation research is on full display.  Recent papers cover such topics as unmanned aerials systems and bridge inspections; optimization modules for planning and programming of bridges; and safety and signal prioritization studies involving automated and connected vehicles; among other topics in this 125+ publication list.

One paper that caught our eye, "Enhanced Spatial–Temporal Map-Based Video Analytic Platform and Its Local- Versus Cloud-Based Deployment with Regional 511 Camera Network", explores the cloud- versus server-based deployment scenarios of an enhanced computer vision platform for potential deployment on low-resolution 511 traffic video streams.  The model evaluation described in the paper used videos from multiple cameras from the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s 511 traffic video surveillance system.

The ASTM Standards, September to December, 2021 list includes recently proposed and revised ASTM standards. The ASTM Book of Standards is available through the ASTM COMPASS Portal for NJDOT employees.

Please contact the NJDOT research librarian, Tammy Yeadon, MSLIS, at (609) 963-1898, or email at library@dot.nj.gov or Tammy_CNSLT.Yeadon@dot.nj.gov  for assistance on how to retrieve these or other publications.

TRB Publications (January-February, 2022)

The following is a list of research published by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) between January 1, 2022 and February 28, 2022. Current articles from the TRB may be accessed here. 









Calibration of Dynamic Volume-Delay Functions: A Rolling Horizon-Based Parsimonious Modeling Perspective

Methodology to Quantify Statewide Evacuations

Developing Signal Warrants for Restricted Crossing U-Turn Intersections

Modeling Departure Time Choice of Car Commuters in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Identifying Wrong-Way Driving Incidents from Regular Traffic Videos Using Unsupervised Trajectory-based Method

Does Displaying Safety Messages on Dynamic Message Signs have Measurable Impacts on Crash Risk?

Simulation-Based Dynamic Traffic Assignment with Continuously Distributed Value of Time for Heterogeneous Users

Improving Stratification Procedures and Accuracy of Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) Estimates for Non-Federal Aid-System (NFAS) Roads

Conditional Transit Signal Priority for Connected Transit Vehicles

Use of Real-Time Traffic and Signal Timing Data in Modeling Occupant Injury Severity at Signalized Intersections

Coordinated Perimeter Flow and Variable Speed Limit Control for Mixed Freeway and Urban Networks

Capacity Gains of Splitting Cross-Traffic into Multiple Sub-Streams

Calibrating Wiedemann-99 Model Parameters to Trajectory Data of Mixed Vehicular Traffic

Recurrent Neural Network for Estimating Speed Using Probe Vehicle Data in an Urban Area

Effects of Traffic Control Devices on Rural Curve Lateral Position

Developing a Google Earth-Based Method to Measure Sight Distance for U-Turns at Unsignalized Intersections on Multilane Divided Highways

Ramp Metering with Microscopic Gap Detection Algorithm Design and Empirical Acceleration Verification

Development of Joint Stated-Preference-off-Revealed-Preference Model for Shanghai Commute Mode Choices in Response to Parking Fee Management

Parameter Sensitivity Analysis of a Cooperative Dynamic Bus Lane System With Connected Vehicles

Quantitative Multi-Criteria Decision Support Approach for Prioritizing Grade Crossings to Address the Problem of Blocked Crossings






Image reads: work zones 

 

 

 

Engaging Youth in Transportation Planning – NJ MPO Efforts Featured

FHWA promotes virtual public involvement and innovative public engagement strategies through its Every Day Counts (EDC-6) innovations. The FHWA's EDC Newsletter of March 3, 2022 featured the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority's creative efforts to engage youth in the transportation planning process in the development of the MPO's Long Range Plan that were conducted in partnership with the Rutgers University's Public Engagement and Outreach Team (POET).  Below is a reprint of the newsletter article that recognizes these efforts as its Virtual Public Involvement (VPI) Innovation of the Month.

Because engaging youth in the transportation planning process is notoriously difficult, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) used a broad range of engagement tools when developing its long-range transportation plan, Plan 2050. They held focus groups with traditionally underserved demographic groups, created a young adult advisory group, and held online meetings to engage broad audiences. NJTPA also held an innovative online contest for children ages 5 - 15, the OnAir Future of Transportation contest, which allowed children to be creative, while also participating in the planning process.

The NJTPA promoted the contest through its email and social media channels. It also partnered with the Rutgers University Public Outreach and Engagement Team to promote the contest with community-based organizations, elementary and middle school teachers, community websites that promote children’s activities, and programs for youth with disabilities.

 

Left: One of the winning submissions from the OnAir Future of Transportation contest. Right: OnAir Future of Transportation honorable mention winner. (Credit: NJTPA)

Participants submitted drawings, animated videos, poems, short stories, and more, describing their visions for transportation in 2050. Responses were collected via email, physical mail, and voicemail. Entries were divided by age groups, with winners selected in each group.

Contest submissions included some highly futuristic visions of flying cars, hover chairs, and teleportation, which the NJTPA considered to be a bit out of reach for its 2050 planning timeframe. However, several themes emerged in the contest submissions that mirrored public input from adults. Contest submissions showed that kids have a desire for faster, more reliable transportation options that are comfortable and convenient, and a future that uses technology to make life easier, safer, more equitable, sustainable, and fun.

Recommendations for autonomous vehicles, micromobility, and sustainability were incorporated into Plan 2050 based on the adults’ and children’s input. The On Air Future of Transportation contest raised awareness of the NJTPA and their work, especially to parents, teachers, and other adults involved in outreach, and provides an innovative example of using virtual public involvement (VPI) techniques to engage a difficult-to-reach segment of the population.

To learn more about VPI and other innovative examples of its use, please contact Lana Lau, FHWA Office of Project Development & Environmental Review, or Jill Stark, FHWA Office of Planning, Stewardship & Oversight.

 

 

 

New Jersey STIC Incentive Project Grant Funding Available

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) offers technical assistance and funds—up to $100,000 per year to each STIC—to support the costs of standardizing innovative practices in a state transportation agency or other public sector STIC stakeholder.

NJDOT is the primary recipient of the STIC Incentive Funding Grant. Other public sector STIC stakeholders such as MPOs, local governments or tribal governments are eligible to receive STIC Incentive funding as sub-recipients to the NJDOT.

Proposed project ideas for funding are prioritized by the NJ STIC for each federal fiscal year. Selected projects are then submitted to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for approval.

Purpose

To be eligible, a project or activity must have a statewide impact in fostering a culture for innovation or in making an innovation a standard practice and must align with FHWA’s Technology Innovation Deployment Program (TIDP) goals.

STIC Incentive Funding may be used to: conduct internal assessments; build capacity; develop guidance, standards, and specifications; implement system process changes; organize peer exchanges; offset implementation costs; or conduct other activities the STIC identifies to address TIDP goals and to foster a culture of innovation or to make an innovation a standard practice in New Jersey.

The proposed project or activity must be started as soon as practical (preferably within 6 months of award, but no later than 1 year) after notification of approval for STIC Incentive funding and funds must be expended within 2 years.

Past and Recent Projects

NJ STIC Incentive Funds have been used to hold safety-related peer exchanges with local governments, integrate mobile devices into construction-related inspections, test crowdsourcing equipment to improve safety of service patrols, and launch the NJDOT Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Program, among other projects

More recently, funded projects have sought to advance implementation of the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Strategic Plan through additional training and equipment, develop and implement a NJ STIC Communications Plan, develop a training for local agencies to use Bluebeam to advance e-Construction, and to establish a pilot study for enhanced crowdsourcing for operations.

How to Apply

The solicitation of STIC Incentive projects opens at the beginning of the Federal fiscal year (October 1st) and closes at the end of the Federal fiscal year (September 30th).  All proposals should be submitted for review by March 30th. If funding is available, proposals may be considered after this date.

More information on allowable activities, incentive funding proposal requirements, and a list of past projects that have received funding in New Jersey can be found here:  https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/new-jersey-stic-requests/.

If you have questions about your project’s eligibility for the STIC Incentive Program, email us: Bureau.Research@dot.nj.gov or call us: 609-963-2242.

The STIC Incentive Funding Grant was used to develop and implement the NJ STIC Communications Plan. 

The STIC Incentive Funding Grant was used to purchase equipment and implement training for the UAS Program at NJDOT.