The FHWA 2-D Hydraulic Modeling User’s Forum webinar series periodically holds webinar events and conveys information about FHWA Resource Center opportunities, training opportunities, current software versions, FEMA guidance and other available resources. The use of 2-D Hydraulic Modeling tools is promoted through the Every Day Counts Round 4 and 5 innovation Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing to the Next Generation of Engineering (CHANGE).
Please refer to the links below if you are looking for previous meetings, training materials, and free software and tutorials:
A list of all previous 2D Hydraulic Modeling User’s Forum Meetings and links to the recordings is included below. Meetings prior to March 2022 were held with Adobe Connect, and meetings after March 2022 in Zoom.
Web Links to web meeting recordings after March 2022 (Zoom)
A list of all previous 2D Hydraulic Modeling User’s Forum Meetings and links to the recordings is included below. Meetings prior to March 2022 were held with Adobe Connect, and meetings after March 2022 in Zoom.
Web Links to web meeting recording links after March 2022 (Zoom)
July 15, 2015 – SRH-2D Model Development August 26, 2015 – Managing information in SMS and reviewing results for adequacy April 27, 2016 – Mesh Development and Review February 2, 2017 – Evaluating bridge scour with 2D model results April 19, 2017 – SRH-2D Boundary Conditions June 21, 2017 – Developing Terrain Data August 31, 2017 – Back to the Basics for mesh development October 18. 2017 – Potential mesh stability issues and solutions January 25, 2018 – CDOTs 2D modeling experience March 1, 2018 – Nevada DOT terrain mapping with UAVs May 31, 2018 – Bridge and Culvert Best Modeling Practices August 20, 2018 – Minnesota Data Collection and Model Calibration November 14,2018 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review January 17, 2019 – New features in the SMS SRH2D interface March 14, 2019 – SRH-2D Model Development Overview June 18, 2019 – Importing and Compiling Terrain Data August 8, 2019 – Presenting and Exporting Results November 14,2019 – 2D Hydraulic Modeling Reference Document Overview February 20, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – Terrain Data April 4, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – 2D Mesh May 13, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – 2D Boundary Conditions and Materials July 16, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – Hydraulic Structures December 1, 2020 – What’s new in SMS 13.1 and SRH-2D 3.3 March 2, 2021 -2D Hydraulic Model Review – Model Controls and Results (3D Bridges) June 17, 2021 – Understanding the Importance of Hydraulic Controls/Mesh Resolution January 13, 2022 – FEMA Flood Mapping Using 2D Modeling
Strategic Workforce Development, an innovative initiative of the Every Day Counts Program, suggests the importance of fostering an environment and partnerships favorable to training programs, pre-apprenticeship programs, and support for women and minorities in the construction workforce, among other strategies. NJDOT’s Youth Corps Urban Gateway Enhancement Program promotes workforce development by supporting transportation-related community projects that engage youth and young adults in underserved communities. NJDOT partners with local government agencies, not-for-profits, community-based organizations and other entities with established youth programs to provide summer employment, as well as training and other supportive services, to the program participants working to improve gateway areas at state highways.
We interviewed Chrystal Section, Supervisor of the Non-Discrimination Programs Unit in the NJDOT’s Division of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action. The unit includes Title VI, Environmental Justice, Americans with Disabilities Act, Limited English Proficiency, and two special programs: the Youth Corps Urban Gateway Enhancement program and the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI).
Q. The Youth Corps Urban Gateway Enhancement Program has been operating since 1998. What prompted the start of the program?
Members of the Division of Civil Rights attended an AASHTO subcommittee conference on the program. Our division became very interested seeing that it would be beneficial to our youth and young adults in underserved communities. At the time, Civil Rights worked with NJDOT’s Adopt a Highway program to develop the Urban Gateway Enhancement Program.
Q. Is the NJDOT program affiliated with the NJ Department of Labor’s Youth Corps Program in New Jersey?
No. We do not work directly with the NJ Department of Labor Urban Youth Corps program. NJDOT implements the Urban Gateway Enhancement Program with the support of federal funding.
Q. What is your role with the program?
I am the project manager, and I work with the supervisors at the various agencies that are participating. I am responsible for outreach, the website presence including grant cycle announcement and application availability statewide, review of applications, award announcement letters, the kick-off meeting with all the funded organizations, ensuring recipients provide close-out documents for reimbursement, and providing the final project report to FHWA.
Q. How much funding is available to each applicant?
Up to $32,000 is available to each applicant organization. At least 50 percent of the budget must be dedicated to the youth participants in earnings, training and supportive services. Teams are formed with approximately 6 to 10 youths. The funding also pays for the local supervisor, and equipment and supplies as needed.
Some of the applications request less than the grant cap, especially if the organization has participated previously and has purchased costly equipment already.
Q. What might be a typical hourly wage or stipend?
Participants are paid minimum wage, $15/hour, although some of the participating organizations have stipends, so they would pay them based on the stipend. The youths and young adults are not paid less than minimum wage. The participants work four to six hours per day for up to six to eight weeks during the summer.
Q. How do you get the word out about the program?
Our outreach includes sending letters to previous participants and mayors in underserved communities, and we send out a blast on all NJDOT social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and post the notice on the NJDOT website on the Civil Rights and Clean Up NJ webpages.
Q. How are participating organizations chosen?
We accept applications from any entity that fits the criteria set forth in the application. When I first started with the program, I worked primarily with Urban Enterprise Zones but the program has spread through word of mouth. We continue to focus on underserved communities. The applicants must have established youth programs. The goal of NJDOT’s program is to benefit youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 25 who are economically or socially disadvantaged and who have experienced barriers to employment (e.g., the lack of a high school diploma, homelessness, teen parenting, being physically or mentally challenged, or an ex-offender). These program participants receive training while receiving a paycheck. Depending on the project, they will have an opportunity to learn the basics of urban forestry, landscaping, fabrication and installation of streetscape and pedestrian enhancements, horticulture, construction inspection and materials testing.
Applicants have included cities, youth corps, churches, school districts, and other not-for-profit community-based organizations. Each community organization provides the program’s structure and supervision and also provides life skills, and safety and technical skills training. For examples of grantees and projects, please see Table 1.
As previously noted, some former funding recipients apply in subsequent years, often to continue maintenance on the original project site.
Q. Can you describe the process once you have received the applications?
We receive 14 applications on average each year, and we can usually fund up to 12. A team of 11 NJDOT subject matter experts (SMEs) serve on the application scoring team. These individuals are from several areas including Civil Rights, Local Aid & Economic Development, Community Outreach, Landscape, Project Management, Statewide Planning, Capital Planning and Management, and Operations. Representatives from these departments volunteer their time to review and individually score the applications and then we discuss the scoring and make the awardee selections.
In their applications, the organizations can list up to three site locations and specify the type of projects they will be working on at each location. The projects must be located at gateways to state roadways and be sited on land owned by the State, as NJDOT does not have jurisdiction over county and municipal roadways. Clean-up, maintenance, on-going maintenance from previous projects, anti-graffiti initiatives, planting flowers and trees, and other landscaping are typical projects.
Scoring of the applications takes into consideration whether the project is feasible and provides meaningful and productive work for the participants. Skills training, including work skills, life skills, and safety skills training should be included. Ensuring a safe environment, including providing COVID 19 personal protective equipment and protocols during the pandemic, is also a consideration. Scorers also look for local support for the projects.
Q. Once projects are awarded, what’s next? Does the program leverage the expertise or capabilities of NJDOT employees? How do NJDOT employees get involved in teaching or mentoring in the program?
When we have our kick-off meeting there are representatives from NJDOT Operations and Landscape present to answer any questions. As the project moves forward, we provide technical support as needed, either by meeting with the teams at the project site or answering questions by phone.
Members of the committee visit the project sites during the summer to provide feedback on the great work participants are doing, and to answer questions they may have
Q. What are the benefits of the program?
There are numerous benefits to both NJDOT and the program participants. NJDOT benefits from the opportunity to partner with non-profit agencies and community-based organizations and local governments. The program also provides a prospective employee pool for the Department. The participants benefit from learning about transportation and jobs that are available in the field, and in some cases from the mentorship by NJDOT employees. The participants also gain a sense of ownership of the sites, of pride in their accomplishments and their community. They learn new skills, including life skills, while earning a pay check. This work experience, and employment services offered through the organization, can help them when applying for jobs in the future. The community benefits from an improvement project that beautifies gateway areas so they are inviting to residents and visitors, and from having citizens who are engaged and better equipped to find a job.
Q. What are challenges of the program?
There are three main challenges: continued maintenance of the project sites, obtaining increased funding for the program, and closing out projects in a timely manner at the end of the year.
Ensuring that maintenance is continued for these projects depends on the participating community organizations, as maintenance is not a grant requirement although highly desired. Many recipients have strong relationships with the municipal Department of Public Works (DPW), which may accept responsibility for continued maintenance of the project sites. Others apply for additional funding to maintain the sites.
We would also welcome increased funding that would enable us to support more projects and open the program up to more organizations in the state.
Regarding program close-out requirements, this program is a reimbursement program. At the end of the project, the organizations have to submit payment vouchers and receipts. Delays in the process are common due to the other priorities of the organizations, but NJDOT’s ability to secure new funding from FHWA depends on the successful close-out of the year’s projects. Sometimes, we have to skip a year of the program due to late reporting. For example, we awarded grants in 2021 but skipped the 2022 cycle.
Q. Are there any program changes being discussed?
I have been managing the program independently for the past two years, but I now have two new staff members who are excited about the program. Now that they have joined me, I will have capacity to reach out and see what other states are doing with similar programs to gather lessons learned.
Q. Is there a workforce development component to the program? Are program participants encouraged to apply to NJDOT for employment in Operations or other divisions, bureaus or units?
Our goal is to not limit our investment in these individuals to only summer employment, but to also open the door to employment at NJDOT. In January 2022, we invited our partner organizations to a meeting to make them aware of the Highway Operations Technician (HOT) positions available in Operations. We worked with Human Resources and the Manager of Operations to discuss the way the HOT program works, and the application process at NJDOT. Although there were no promises made for hiring, the organizations could make their youth and young adult program participants aware of these existing job opportunities. NJDOT considers this outreach a continuing investment in the on-the-job training. We hope to hold other meetings in the future when these or similar positions are available – positions that require the skills these individuals have developed through the program. We are looking at this initiative as a component of our workforce development program.
Q. Do you have an example of what you would consider a successful project?
I will give you the example of a Trenton-based program operated by Isles, a non-profit organization, which has been a funding recipient for several years. Their work has focused on a variety of beautification and land management tasks, including installation of a TRENTON sign at Barlow Circle, and improvements at plaza gateways, at the Motor Vehicle Commission building, and at ARTWORKS.
When our team of committee members went out to meet with the program participants who worked on this project, these young people were a little resistant to engage with us at first. But when we toured the project sites together and they had the opportunity to explain their contributions and what they learned, you could see a positive change. They were proud of their accomplishments and happy to share that with us. They were not only earning money but learning skills, including how to prepare a resume and other life skills. It is truly meaningful when we as NJDOT employees have the chance to go out and meet with these young people and have an exchange where they can ask questions about the work we are doing, and we can build relationships.
You can always give funding, but it becomes so meaningful when you have the chance to spend half the day with these young men and women and find out about their work, interests and goals. Overall, it is a wonderful experience to oversee this program for NJDOT, to help make communities beautiful, and see lives positively changing from our efforts.
The Work Group
City of Camden
• Grassy triangle at Admiral Wilson Boulevard and Bank Street • Exit 3 off 676 North at Morgan Street
City of East Orange Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training (MOET)
City of East Orange
• Freeway Drive-East • Freeway Drive-West • North Oraton Parkway (Main Street overpass) • Ampere Plaza- 4th Avenue
City of Elizabeth
• Kellogg Park • Mattano Park • McPherson Park
City of Long Branch
City of Long Branch
• Jackson Woods Park, Route 36
New Brunswick Board of Education/New Jersey Youth Corps of Middlesex County
City of New Brunswick
• War Memorial Park, New Brunswick- Route 27- Lincoln Highway (Northbound) and Route 91 a spur of Route 1- Jersey Avenue (Southbound) • Buccleuch Park, New Brunswick- County Road 527- Easton Avenue (Northbound) and New Jersey State Road Route 18 (Northbound) • Recreation Park, New Brunswick- Route 171 Jersey Avenue (Northbound)
City of Passaic
City of Passaic
• Madison Street, NJ Route 21 Exit
New Jersey Youth Corps of Paterson
City of Paterson
• Route 80 • Route 20 • Various entrances or gateways to the City of Paterson, NJ
City of Perth Amboy
City of Perth Amboy
• Route 35 (Convery Boulevard) and Route 184 (Pfeiffer Boulevard) • South-West Corner of Smith Street Convery Boulevard (Route 35) and Riverview Drive • Outer High Street and Route 440 Ramp • NJ-184 (Lincoln Drive)
New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg
Town of Phillipsburg
• NJ 122 (Alt 22) South Main Street 900 Block • South Main Street (Union Square to Walters Park) • US Rte. 22 and Roseberry Street (NW Corner)
New Jersey Youth Corps of Atlantic County
City of Pleasantville
• Delilah Road and Franklin Avenue
City of Trenton
• Route 1/Perry Street. Interchange & adjacent Roberto Clemente Park- on/off ramp, strip between on-ramp and park • Route 1/Market Street at Stockton/Mill Hill Park- on/off ramps, MVC building, planned Artwalk and “Trenton” landscaped sign • Market Street Plaza- gateways that connect Route 1 with Mill Hill and Market Street/Broad Street intersection and corridor
Table 1: NJDOT Youth Corps Urban Gateway Enhancement Program Grantees for 2021
UHPC for Bridge Preservation and Repair is a model innovation in the sixth round of the FHWA’s Every Day Counts Program (EDC-6). Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) is recognized as an innovative new material that can be used to extend the life of bridges.Its enhanced strength reduces the need for repairs, adding to the service life of a facility.
NJDOT recently installed UHPC Bridge Deck overlays on four bridges in New Jersey. NJDOT engineers, Jess Mendenhall and Samer Rabie, explained the rationale for UHPC's installation and highlighted key lessons learned in bridge selection, existing conditions & testing, design, materials specifications, construction methods and evaluation during the NJ STIC 4th Quarter 2022 meeting.
Their recorded presentation, Design, Construction, and Evaluation of UHPC Bridge Deck Overlays for NJDOT, is viewable below. Their presentation can be downloaded here or from the NJ STIC 4th Quarter Meeting page.
NJ STIC's UHPC Innovative Initiative page highlights the deployment progress and activities of the core team in seeking to advance UHPC for Bridge Preservation and Repair and contains other articles and resources.
Advancements in automobile technologies have prompted the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and other stakeholders across the nation and globe to explore the potential of Connected Vehicle systems. Connected Vehicle (CV) technology allows cars on the road to remotely communicate with surrounding digital systems, and react accordingly to ensure safety, operations and mobility benefits.
These communication networks are often divided into three broad concepts (1):
Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V): CVs communicating with each other to alert riders or prevent potential collisions.
Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I): CVs communicating with road or city systems, such as stoplights, to orient and guide safer road navigation.
Vehicle to Everything (V2X): CVs communicating with potentially any accessible device, such as a pedestrian’s phone to prevent unsafe traffic interactions.
CVs can be integrated with array of digital systems to improve vehicle safety. Source: MnDOT
Over several years, NJDOT has introduced several initiatives and participated in various CV-related working groups to evaluate the requirements for upgrading its digital infrastructure to support the successful deployment and integration of CV equipment into the existing NJDOT ITS architecture. From these evaluations, NJDOT determined that the best way to implement a real-world Transportation System Management and Operations (TSMO) solution would be to establish a complete CV test-bed environment with pilot field locations. This determination led to NJDOT completing its New Jersey Connected Technology Integration and Implementation (NJCTII) project. NJDOT recently drafted a case study published by the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) that describes the lessons learned from the NJCTII initiative in advancing CV technologies (2).
TSMO Planning Strategies and Deployment
As part of the case study, NJDOT noted that a thorough planning and evaluation process was required to carry out the procurement, deployment and validation processes that could lead to the enhanced digital infrastructure hardware and software required for CV technologies. NJDOT described how its efforts followed the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) System Engineering Process, highlighting several key implementation steps:
Capability Maturity Matrix (CMM): A process tool that allowed the NJCTII to prioritize the proper actions and areas of emphasis throughout the NJCTII project.
Concept of Operations (ConOPS): A document that outlined the NJDOT’s current digital infrastructure and communications systems and identified the needs required to achieve statewide connectivity, CV data management and networking, procurement, and CV application deployment.
System Requirements Document (SRD): A document and a new process was created to evaluate deployment locations and determine needs for CV technology implementation, such as requirements for location selection, hardware selection, data flows security, and interoperability with existing NJDOT systems. NJDOT hosted or participated in several workshops to determine the overall system requirements of the digital infrastructure and CV technologies for successful deployment.
Solution Design Document (SDD): A document that utilized information from the SRD to design the digital infrastructure and CV systems for deployment at five pilot intersections, including wiring diagrams, networking, network equipment layout and field equipment installation.
Following this detailed TSMO implementation process, NJDOT was able to procure the hardware and software components required to complete a full CV system validation in a lab facility located at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) before conducting installation and field testing at pilot locations.
The laboratory testing and pilot implementation phases have involved a broad collaboration of government, academia, technology provider and engineering industry, stakeholders, among others.
Source: NOCoE Report
Outreach and Communications Lessons
The case study highlights the importance of outreach and communications processes that were conducted to coordinate with key stakeholders and other transportation agencies. These processes were used to determine the goals and needs for the CV system deployment on NJ’s roadway network and to consider the operational and safety issues that could be addressed through TSMO deployment strategies for CV systems. These activities included direct coordination with other transportation agencies within NJ, CV vendor and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), along with other departments within NJDOT.
Recognizing that there were many groups within NJ that were investigating CV technologies, but that they were working independent of each other, NJDOT and the NJCTII project team organized or participated in CV topic conferences, trainings, and laboratory demonstrations to disseminate knowledge of the emerging technology. The team found that involving many stakeholders in the CV planning and development process was a useful means to improve knowledge-sharing among practitioners and organizations, avoid and minimize redundant breakthroughs, accelerate the output of R&D, and increase buy-in across organizations.
CV systems connect to variety of digital inputs and outputs to advance road safety controls beyond what a particular element could achieve in isolation. Source: NJCTII Case Study Report
Outcomes and Benefits
The case study highlights several notable outcomes and benefits. One key benefit was that NJDOT successfully deployed and integrated CV technology for several purposes: Signaling, Phase and Timing (SpaT), Traveler Information Message (TIM), Basic Safety Message (BSM), Personal Safety Message (PSM) and MAP (i.e., messaging set to provide intersections) CV data. The NJCTII team used a spiral based testing approach in the lab to validate the CV systems. NJDOT used the lessons learned from the lab to deploy a fully functional CV system at 5 pilot intersections.
Advancing Projects Through Pipeline
A pipeline of Smart and Connected Corridor projects, which use CV technology, are at various stages of planning, design and implementation in New Jersey demonstrating the fruits of the efforts to-date (3). Earlier this year, the South Jersey Transportation Authority was awarded a $8.74 million grant for the Smart and Connected Atlantic City Expressway project (4). This project will utilize V2X and advanced intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technology to improve traffic safety and efficiency. The project is being funded via the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant, a program launched through the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill, that is also supporting the implementation of CV systems in at least 9 other ITS projects (4). Another notable ATCMTD recipient-project is Kentucky’s Wrong Way Driving and Integrated Safety Technology System (4), which further highlights the potential of CV and ITS systems to implement road safety controls.
With an estimated 42,000 American car crash fatalities in 2021 alone (6), CVs’ potential to save lives and reduce congestion-generating crashes warrants increased attention. Models of better cooperation and general understanding of CVs, such as NJCTII, will continue to accelerate the improvement of the technology. The NJCTII initiative offers some useful lessons for other state DOTs and organizations in its approaches to test bed and pilot field-testing; use of trainings and lab demonstrations and other events to educate staff and stakeholders on CV technologies; and the development and sharing of documents to advance technological know-how and implementation through planning, design, procurement and installation phases.
The sixth round of Every Day Counts (EDC-6) was kicked off with a Virtual Summit that introduced the innovations that FHWA would be promoting over the next two years. The summit also featured a National State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Network Showcase that highlighted some 245 innovations developed and deployed by agencies throughout the United States. The next FHWA Virtual Showcase scheduled for February 2023 will similarly introduce EDC-7 innovations and feature select innovations of its state and local partnering agencies.
This article is one in an occasional series that takes a closer look at noteworthy “homegrown innovations” implemented within New Jersey and by other state and local agencies to save lives, time, and money.
New Jersey Innovates!
The NJDOT’s Innovation Program within the Bureau of Research works to identify, develop, promote, and institutionalize innovative transportation-related ideas, practices, and initiatives within the Department and beyond. NJDOT has recently shown its commitment to building a culture of innovation by adding an Innovation Coordinator to the Bureau of Research staff.
NJDOT Build a Better Mousetrap winner, Sawcut Vertical Curb, is a response to a change in standards requiring existing curbing at guide rails to be reduced in height. This innovation increases safety and cost savings.
NJDOT has been promoting the annual Build a Better Mousetrap (BABM) Competition for several years to encourage submissions from employees of local and state public agencies who have developed new solutions to problems or found better ways of doing things. Current and past award winners explain these solutions and their benefits in videos found here, including the 2022 BABM winner's Sawcut Vertical Curb, an innovative response to a change in standards for curbing at guide rails.
Several NJ-based innovations will be among those featured as part of the FHWA EDC Innovation Showcase during the Every Day Counts Virtual Summit in February 2023. Innovations that will be highlighted include Weather-Responsive Management Strategies, Commercial Service Vehicle Alerts, Mercer County's Bike-Friendly Resurfacing Program, Montgomery Township’s Inlet Repair Trailer, New Jersey Metropolitan Planning Organization Virtual Public Involvement, and Ultra-High Performance Concrete for Bridges. Information about these and other innovations are often featured on the Innovation Spotlight page and NJ STIC Innovative Initiatives page of the NJDOT Technology Transfer website.
During Innovations Challenge showcases, MoDOT employees are able to physically see potential new best practices and ask questions about them in professional environment.
What Caught Our Eye
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has promoted a culture of innovation through its Innovation Challenge contest, which showcases and proliferates improvements to MoDOT’s tools and processes annually. Spurred on by MoDOT’s commitments to performance management between 2004 and the present, and its expressed values that ”embrace new ways of doing work” (1), this competition enables employees at all levels of the Department to introduce innovations that generate measurable results and cost savings. Since its inception in 2007, the Innovation Challenge has given thousands of MoDOT employees the opportunity to share their office’s improvements to productivity, tools, and project processes with the wider agency.
MoDOT employees receive small cash rewards for the highest ranked innovations, in addition to formalized recognitions such as the Dixon People's Choice Award or the Directors’ Safety Award. Innovations are divided into three categories (2) to convey the nature of each potential improvement:
Tools and Equipment. Innovations to items that were fabricated or modified by MoDOT employees.
Project. Innovative project implementations that produce exceptional results for transportation users or internal operations.
Productivity. Improvements to office and field processes, materials, and product submissions.
llinois DOT's "Innovative Ideas" Contest has recognized and promoted innovations such as a Mobile Plow Racking Emergency Stand System, Rotating Sign Holders, and an improved Payroll Calculator.
After an Innovation Challenge showcase, subject matter experts evaluate the innovations to determine if they should be recognized as best practices for MoDOT to adopt and promote. MoDOT has implemented over 300 showcased innovations to the level of best practices since 2007. The institutional benefit of rewarding innovation extends beyond the findings of the showcase itself; fostering a culture of innovation through this event motivates MoDOT teams to consider how to improve their work throughout the rest of the year. Giving hundreds of employees the opportunity to learn from their co-workers in such a celebratory way also increases buy-in for new transportation technologies and methods. Additionally, MoDOT notes that providing a space for employees at all levels of the Department to share ideas “can result in employee retention and boost teamwork” (2).
This winner of the Illinois Innovative Ideas Contest is a work zone sign holder for Truck Mounted Attenuators (TMA) that rotates to the side for installation, thereby increasing safety and avoiding damage to the TMA frame.
The MoDOT’s Innovation Challenge is one means by which agency leadership can encourage staff to "Live MoDOT Values" in accordance the agency's "Missions, Values and Tangible Results" statement. Three of these stated MoDOT values — “Be Bold,” “Be Better,” and “Be One Team” — acknowledge the extra effort and risk-taking needed to innovate processes and products, even if it invites the potential for failure (3). By “empowering staff (particularly middle-management leaders), encouraging innovation, demanding measurable results and cost savings, and holding staff accountable for results” (3), MoDOT and its Innovation Challenge foster an innovation-oriented mindset.
In the 2020 National STIC Showcase, FHWA recognized the Illinois Innovative Ideas Contest, Illinois DOT’s annual innovation competition inspired by MoDOT’s, showing that this approach has potential outside of Missouri. Information on Illinois DOT’s sister initiative is available here (4).
Every two years, FHWA works with state transportation departments, local governments, tribes, private industry and other stakeholders to identify and champion a new collection of innovations that merit accelerated deployment through the Every Day Counts Program (EDC). The FHWA’s Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI) has recently issued the next round of areas of innovation, EDC-7.
EDC is a state-based model that identifies and rapidly deploys proven, yet underutilized innovations to shorten the project delivery process, enhance roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion, and improve environmental sustainability. Proven innovations 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.
FHWA’s CAI fosters collaboration between stakeholders within the transportation community through the State Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC), which are charged with evaluating innovations and spearheading their deployment in each state.
More information on the EDC-7 Innovations will be presented at the EDC-7 Virtual Summit, scheduled for February 14-16, 2023. Transportation leaders and front-line professionals from across the country will discuss and identify opportunities for implementing the innovations that best fit the needs of their respective state transportation program. Shortly after the Virtual Summit, an NJ STIC Caucus will be convened on February 22, 2023 to finalize the selection of innovations, establish baseline condition and performance goals for innovation deployment over the upcoming two-year cycle, and form leadership and technical teams to support the implementation of each of the chosen innovations.
In announcing its EDC-7 innovations, FHWA emphasized its commitment to a focus on safety for all users, sustainable infrastructure, and inclusive workforce development. Descriptions of each of the EDC-7 Innovations are below:
Nighttime Visibility for Safety. The nighttime crash fatality rate is three times the daytime rate. Enhancing visibility along corridors, intersections, and pedestrian crossings can help reduce fatalities. This initiative promotes traffic control devices and properly designed lighting to improve safety for all users.
Next Generation TIM: Technology for Saving Lives. Over six million crashes a year in the U.S. put responders and other vulnerable road users at risk. Next-Generation Traffic Incident Management programs promote emerging technologies such as emergency vehicle lighting and queue warning solutions. These and other tools can advance safety and operations to mitigate incident impacts.
Integrating GHG Assessment and Reduction Targets in Transportation Planning. Transportation is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the U.S. This initiative provides resources to help agencies quantify greenhouse gases and set goals to decrease motor vehicle, construction, and life-cycle emissions through planning and project development.
Enhancing Performance with Internally Cured Concrete (EPIC2). Cracking in concrete is a limiting factor in achieving long-term concrete performance. Internal curing mitigates shrinkage cracking and has the potential to substantially extend the service life of concrete bridge decks and enhance the performance of pavements and repairs.
EPDs for Sustainable Project Delivery. Construction materials such as concrete and asphalt have environmental impacts during their life cycle. Environmental product declarations, or EPDs, document those impacts. This tool helps States support procurement decisions and quantify embodied carbon reductions using life cycle assessments for sustainable pavements.
Rethinking DBE in Design-Build. Many disadvantaged business enterprise program procedures do not adequately address design-build contracting. New practices are available to support the effective integration of program requirements to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete for design-build contracts.
Strategic Workforce Development. The demand for highway workers is growing, and emerging technologies require new skills. This innovation helps stakeholders improve their ability to identify, train, and place highway construction workers. The focus will expand to rural and Tribal communities to increase career opportunities.
The NJDOT Research Library maintains a “Did You Know” page to share basic facts about the research library's operations, available transportation research resources, and newly issued publications. The NJDOT Research Library has compiled a list of searches for recent publications indexed in the TRID database, based on 37 subject areas, covering all modes and disciplines of the transportation field.
TRID (Transport Research International Documentation) is the world's largest and most comprehensive bibliographic resource on transportation research information. It combines the records from the Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) database of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the Joint Transport Research Centre’s International Transport Research Documentation (ITRD) database of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
TRID helps researchers locate solutions to problems, avoid duplication of work, and save resources. It includes records of AASHTO publications, federal and state DOT reports, University Transportation Center (UTC) reports, and commercial journal literature, among other sources. It also satisfies the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requirements to consult TRB's TRIS databases to identify ongoing or previously completed research on a given topic.
To keep the results manageable, these searches do not include current or recently completed transportation research projects.
To expand your search to projects, or for any other research questions, please contact Eric Schwarz, the NJDOT Research Librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-963-1898.
New Jersey Department of Transportation has been recognized with a 2022 America’s Transportation Award in the category of best use of technology and innovation. The annual competition is sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. NJDOT’s project, Implementation of Drivewyze on 647 miles of NJ’s Highways, involves the use of crowdsourced data to get more information into the hands of drivers about changing roadway conditions to inform their decision making in an effort to reduce crashes. Commercial vehicle alerts inform truck drivers of hazards on the road, such as sudden slowdowns, disabled vehicles, debris, and adverse weather conditions, before the truck is affected by the incident. The driver can seek an alternate route or pull over until the slowdown is cleared. New Jersey’s project was highlighted in the November/December 2022 FHWA Innovator along with other State DOT winning innovations.
The 24th Annual NJDOT Research Showcase provided an opportunity for the New Jersey transportation community to learn about the broad scope of academic research initiatives underway and share technology transfer activities being conducted by institutions of higher education partners and their associates. The annual event serves as a showcase to present the ongoing initiatives and benefits of the NJDOT Research program. This event was an in-person event with a livestreaming option with sessions held from 9:00am-2:45pm on October 26, 2022.
This year's Showcase theme, "Advancing Equity in Transportation" served as the organizing framework for the keynote speaker and panelists during the morning plenary session. Throughout the day the Research Showcase featured presentations on infrastructure, safety, mobility and equity topics being performed by research faculty, staff, and students and NJ agencies. Several awards were presented in recognition of research and implemented innovations.
The Research Showcase Program Agenda provides more information on the day's proceedings, including presented topics and speakers. Recordings of the plenary and breakout sessions, and the presentations and posters shared during the event can be found below.
Mike Russo, NJDOT Assistant Commissioner, Planning, Multimodal, and Grants Administration, welcomed attendees to the Research Showcase event.
Parth Oza, Assistant Commissioner, Capital Program Management, provided opening remarks focusing on ways that NJDOT has embedded equity in the project delivery process. Mr. Oza emphasized the importance of gathering input from communities affected by transportation projects throughout all project phases, using grant applications to address the impact of flooding on disadvantaged communities, and planning for the safety of all road users through the agency’s Complete Streets policy.
Valeriya Remezova, Deputy Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration's New Jersey Division congratulated NJDOT for receiving the FHWA and AASHTO Innovative Initiative 2022 STIC Innovation Excellence Award. She recognized NJDOT research initiatives with an equity focus and noted New Jersey’s Metropolitan Planning Organization initiatives that advance equity.
Keith Benjamin, Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs, Federal Highway Administration provided the keynote address. Mr. Benjamin discussed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the opportunities to use this funding to address equity in transportation planning, project development, and other activities. He noted that the funding allows for new ideas of transportation to become a reality, and looks forward to subsequent policy embedding these changes in people’s everyday transportation experience. He noted the program’s success will be measured by improvements such as people being able to cross the street safely, mitigation of unsafe corridors, availability of bus shelters, and repaving of dangerous streets. He offered several examples of local initiatives where collaboration among partner agencies and organizations and involvement of local residents in the process resulted in more equitable projects.
Mr. Benjamin responded to several questions in a Q&A session that followed his keynote remarks.
Plenary Session Recording
Morning Session Presentation
Keith Benjamin, FHWA Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs with Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Keith Benjamin and the host moderator, David Maruca, discussed the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill, the USDOT Equity Action Plan, and the safety benefits of Complete Streets, among other topics in a lively Q&A session that followed Mr. Benjamin’s Keynote remarks. Photo by Steve Goodman.
An interactive panel discussion, "Perspectives on Advancing Equity in Transportation," followed the keynote session with state, local and transportation management association (TMA) representatives who presented examples of the equity initiatives underway in their organization and reflected on some of the continuing challenges and opportunities for advancing equity in transportation in New Jersey. The panelists included:
Elkins Green, Director, Environmental Resources, New Jersey Department of Transportation. Green served as the Moderator for the session.
Veronica Murphy, Director’s Office, Division of Local Aid & Economic Development, New Jersey Department of Transportation. Ms. Murphy shared a short video of the organization of Local Aid & Economic Development and provided an overview of the role that her office plays in providing grant funding for transportation projects. Ms. Murphy noted that equity considerations are embedded in the distribution of funding and in the process of providing technical assistance to communities through the Local Aid Resource Center.
Krishna Murthy, President, EZ Ride described the mission and various activities of his TMA and focused on the organization’s EZ Ryde4Life program that assists older adults by coordinating with Lyft and Uber to provide rides. EZ Ride is trying to make the program more accessible to individuals who are paying directly for the program and have no sponsoring organization and described the affordability challenges for the users and operator.
Andrew Tunnard, Assistant Commissioner, Transportation Operations Systems & Support, New Jersey Department of Transportation. Mr. Tunnard spoke about the Trenton MOVES project, an autonomous vehicle system that is being planned to offer transit shuttle services for an urban core population in the City of Trenton that tends to have one or no cars and spends a high proportion of their income on transportation to reach regional employment and other opportunities.
Byron Nicholas, Supervising Transportation Planner, Hudson County Engineering described the County’s efforts to advance equity through project prioritization, public involvement, multimodal safety.
Participants responded to a series of questions posed by the moderator and by the audience members.
Panelists discussed equity initiatives underway in their organization and shared their views on the challenges and opportunities for advancing equity in transportation. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Perspectives on Advancing Equity in Transportation Panel Discussion Recording
The program continued as Amanda Gendek, Manager, NJDOT Bureau of Research, announced several awards given in recognition of research, innovation and implementation efforts. Below is a listing of the award winners presented at this year's showcase:
2022 Outstanding University Student in Transportation Research Award – Xiao Chen, Rutgers University (Innovative Pothole Repair Materials and Techniques)
2022 Research Implementation Award – Anil Agrawal, City College of CUNY (NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey)
2022 Best Poster Award – Ahmed Edrees, New Jersey Institute of Technology (Minimizing Total Cost of Work Zones on Two-Lane Roads with Managed Lanes)
2022 NJDOT Build a Better Mousetrap Award (State Agency) – Gary Liedtka-Bizuga and Henry Jablonski, NJDOT, Sawcut Vertical Curb
The Sawcut Vertical Curb was recognized as an innovative response to a change in standards requiring existing curbing at guide rails to be reduced in height. The Sawcut Vertical Curb innovation saves time and money and increases safety and efficiency by obviating the need to pour new concrete curbing and allowing guide rail to remain in place during the process. A short video about the Sawcut Vertical Curb innovation was presented when the BABM award was announced during the event.
Presentation of Awards
Accepting the Better Mousetrap Award, Gary Liedtka-Bizuga, Roadway Design Group 1, with Acting Assistant Commissioner Parth Oza, Bureau of Research Manager, Amanda Gendek, and Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo. Not shown here: Henry Jablonski, Region Central Construction. Photo by Steve Goodman.
Best Poster Award Recipient, Ahmed Edrees, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Minimizing Total Cost of Work Zones on Two-Lane Roads with Managed Lanes. Photo by Steve Goodman.
2022 Outstanding University Student in Transportation Research Award, Xiao Chen, Rutgers University, Innovative Pothole Repair Materials and Techniques. Photo by Steve Goodman.
2022 NJDOT Research Implementation Award, Anil Agrawal, City College of CUNY, NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey. Photo by Steve Goodman.
In the afternoon, concurrent break-out sessions for research presentations focused on the topics of Equity & Mobility, Infrastructure, and Safety in Transportation, and for the presentation of posters from students and researchers at New Jersey’s colleges and universities describing their methods and findings on ongoing and recently completed research and responding to questions by attendees.
Equity & Mobility Session Recording
Infrastructure Session Recording
Safety in Transportation Session Recording
Equity and Mobility Presentations
Peter J. Jin, Rutgers University-CAIT, Real-Time Traffic Signal System Performance Measure Phase II LINK
Zijia Zhong, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Assessing High-Resolution Connected Vehicle Data for TSM&O Applications LINK
Hannah Younes, Rutgers University-VTC, Factors Influencing the Fatality of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Involved Crashes in New Jersey LINK
Seyed Masoud Shirkhorshidi, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Corrosion Performance of Ultra-High Performance Concrete in Uncracked and Cracked Beams LINK
Rojyar Barhemat, Soroush Mahjoub, Victor C. Li and Yi Bao, Stevens Institute of Technology LINK
Ashith Padinhar and Marath Purakkal, Rowan CREATES, Developing Electrically-Heated Flexible Pavement for Self-Deicing Application LINK
Branislav Dimitrijevic, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Development and Evaluation of a Pedestrian Crossing Alert System Using 2-Channel LiDAR Sensor LINK
Anahita Kakhani, Rowan University, Emerging Countermeasures for Pedestrian Safety: A Review of State of Art and Recent Advances LINK
Sam Rosenthal, Rutgers University, Complete and Green Streets: Effective Public Engagement Practics and Resouces to Promote Safety and Advance Equity LINK
2022 Poster Presentations
Decision Aided Cost and Construction Time Estimates for the Gateway Tunnel Project - Ehsan Mehryaar, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Recommendations for Improving NJDOT Specifications for Cold In-Place Recycling - Ahmed Saidi, Rowan University
Minimizing Total Cost of Work Zones on Two-Lane Roads with Managed Lanes - Ahmed Edrees, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Simulating Corrosion Induced Damage in Recycled Aggregate Concrete Systems - Jin Fan, New Jersey Institute of Technology
A Review on Seat Belt Compliance of Drivers and Front Passengers: Data Collection, Analysis, and Countermeasures - Omar Al-Sheikh, Rowan University
Feasiblity Study of Shared Mobility Programs as a First/Last-Mile Solution in Underserved Communities: A Case Study in Camden City, NJ - Ruqaya Alfaris, Rowan University
Zero-Emission Bus Fleet: A Review of State Practices, Recent Developments, and Future Directions - Zahra Vafakhah, Rowan University
How Distraction Triggers Speeding: An Observational Case Study in New Jersey - Ahmed Sajid Hasan, Rowan University
Use of 100% RAP for Repair Purposes - Dr. Faisal Kabir, Rowan University
Three-Dimensional Finite Element Modeling of Cold In-Place Recycled Asphalt Sections in Accelerated Pavement Testing - Chenchen Huang, Cheng Zhu, Yusuf Mehta & Daniel Offenbacker, Rowan University
Assessment of the Impact of Binder Grade on the Laboratory Performance of Fiber-Reinforced Asphalt Mixtures - Ali Reza Khan, Ayman Ali, Yusuf Mehta, Rowan University
A Framework for Proactive Safety Evaluation of Intersection Using Surrogate Safety Measures and Non-Compliance Behavior - Deep Patel, Rowan University
The Research Showcase was organized by the NJDOT Bureau of Research in partnership with the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) and the Rutgers Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center. The 24th Annual NJDOT Research Showcase was co-sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.
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 #3 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 June 2022 status of deployment for the seven 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.