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. A recording is available through registering 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. A recording is available through registering here

­­­­­­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.

 

Project Bundling Webinar Series

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has provided webinar recordings as part of ongoing support for the EDC-5 Project Bundling Initiative. While project bundling is not an entirely new concept, these trainings share best practices and advanced methods for the most efficient and effective project bundling applications.  As shown below, several trainings were scheduled through May 2022. 

Resources

  • Advanced Project Bundling – A Reference for Getting Started Report and Presentation Files

Recorded Webinars

  • September 16, 2020: Advanced Project Bundling: Examples Beyond Bridges (Webinar link)
  • October 21, 2020: Moving Towards Advanced Project Bundling: Key Characteristics of Lead Agencies (Webinar link)
  • November 18, 2020: Advanced Project Bundling: Making the Business Case (Webinar link)
  • December 16, 2020: Project Bundling for Local Public Agencies (Webinar link)
  • January 20, 2021: Advanced Project Bundling: How To (Webinar link)
  • February 17,2021: Advanced Project Bundling: Overcoming Hurdles (Webinar link)
  • June 15, 2021: A Strategic Approach to Project Bundling: What Does Success Look (Webinar link)
  • August 17, 2021: Project Bundling: The Business Process (Webinar link) 
  • October 14, 2021: Bundling Implementation Best Practices Workshop: The Self-Assessment Tool (Webinar link)
  • October 19, 2021: Project Bundling: Planning and Capital Programming (Webinar link) 
  • January 18, 2022: Project Bundling: Preconstruction (Webinar link)
  • March 15, 2022: Project Bundling: Local Agency Partnering (Webinar link)
  • May 17, 2022: Project Bundling: Construction and Contract Considerations (Webinar Link Presently Inactive)
  • July 19, 2022: Advanced Project Bundling – A Reference for Getting Started (Webinar Link Presently Inactive)

 FHWA contacts for the Project Bundling initiative are Romeo Garcia (Romeo.Garcia@dot.gov) and David Unkefer (David.Unkefer@dot.gov).  

Updated September 15, 2021

Image of a road, before and after safety treatment, in the second image there is an extra curb of asphalt added to the shoulder, to help keep cars more centered on the roadway

Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures (FoRRRwD): Webinar Series

FHWA’s Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures (FoRRRwD) initiative, part of EDC-5, looks to provide systematic, targeted solutions for implementing rural road safety measures. FHWA created a series of webinars to guide state, local and tribal transportation practitioners through this new process. 

Supplemental materials, such as videos, articles, and other resources may be accessed from the FoRRRwD Resources page. 

For more information on the FoRRRwD initiative and resources, contact Cathy Satterfield at cathy.satterfield@dot.gov, and Joseph Cheung at joseph.cheung@dot.gov

2-D Hydraulic Modeling User’s Forum Web Series

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).

For more information, please go to 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)

April 7, 2022 – Colorado DOT 2D Modeling Success Stories

November 16, 2022 – Automated Bridge and Culvert Meshing Tool – Recording

Web Link to web meeting recordings prior to March 2022

July 15, 2015 – SRH-2D Model DevelopmentAugust 26, 2015 – Managing information in SMS and reviewing results for adequacyApril 27, 2016 – Mesh Development and ReviewFebruary 2, 2017 – Evaluating bridge scour with 2D model resultsApril 19, 2017 – SRH-2D Boundary ConditionsJune 21, 2017 – Developing Terrain DataAugust 31, 2017 – Back to the Basics for mesh developmentOctober 18. 2017 – Potential mesh stability issues and solutionsJanuary 25, 2018 – CDOTs 2D modeling experienceMarch 1, 2018 – Nevada DOT terrain mapping with UAVsMay 31, 2018 – Bridge and Culvert Best Modeling PracticesAugust 20, 2018 – Minnesota Data Collection and Model CalibrationNovember 14,2018 – 2D Hydraulic Model ReviewJanuary 17, 2019 – New features in the SMS SRH2D interfaceMarch 14, 2019 – SRH-2D Model Development OverviewJune 18, 2019 – Importing and Compiling Terrain DataAugust 8, 2019 – Presenting and Exporting ResultsNovember 14,2019 – 2D Hydraulic Modeling Reference Document OverviewFebruary 20, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – Terrain DataApril 4, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – 2D MeshMay 13, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – 2D Boundary Conditions and MaterialsJuly 16, 2020 – 2D Hydraulic Model Review – Hydraulic StructuresDecember 1, 2020 – What’s new in SMS 13.1 and SRH-2D 3.3March 2, 2021 -2D Hydraulic Model Review – Model Controls and Results (3D Bridges)June 17, 2021 – Understanding the Importance of Hydraulic Controls/Mesh ResolutionJanuary 13, 2022 – FEMA Flood Mapping Using 2D Modeling

Project Bundling

What is Project Bundling?

The U.S. transportation system is aging, with many States seeing an ever-increasing number of highways and bridges that need more immediate attention. As a result, system performance is reduced, leading to potentially adverse impacts to quality of life, mobility, travel time, freight movements, and emergency response times. Often the most pressing needs are on the local systems, as evidenced by bridges that are being posted for reduced loads.

Project bundling helps address this national issue. By awarding a single contract for several similar preservation, rehabilitation, or replacement projects, agencies can streamline design and construction, reduce costs, and effectively decrease transportation project backlogs.

This proven practice draws upon efficiencies found through project delivery streamlining, as well as benefits from alternative and traditional contracting methods. A bundled contract could cover a single county, district, or State, and it may be tiered to allow a combination of work types (design, preservation, rehabilitation, or complete replacement). Bundling design and construction contracts saves procurement time, leverages design expertise, and builds momentum toward keeping critical assets in a state of good repair.

Learn more about this EDC-5 Innovation.

NJ's Use of Project Bundling

Stage of Innovation:
INSTITUTIONALIZED

New Jersey implemented project bundling prior to the start of EDC-5:

Adopted Project Bundling Across NJDOT. Project bundling has been used in NJ for years as a way to save time in the procurement of designers and contractors, as well as to save money through economies of scale and reduced staff paperwork. It is incorporated into the Department's policies and procedures and most commonly referred to as batch solicitation.

Routinely Uses Project Bundling for the Delivery of Federally-Funded Capital Projects and State-Funded Maintenance Projects. NJDOT assesses projects and programs at the planning phase for their suitability for a project bundling approach for either design, construction, or both. Major programs that use project bundling include:

- Sign Structure Replacement Program
- ADA Compliance Program
- Maintenance Roadway Repair Contracts
- Statewide Guiderail Replacement

When possible, NJDOT looks to use project bundling on smaller projects as well to save time and money.

PROJECT BUNDLING: NEW & NOTEWORTHY 

Project Bundling Webinar Series

Project Bundling Webinar Series

FHWA provides online webinars on the subject of project bundling to share best practices with interested agencies. ...
Project Bundling

Project Bundling

Awarding a single contract for several preservation, rehabilitation, or replacement projects helps agencies reduce costs and achieve program goals. Project bundling offers a comprehensive and accelerated ...

Reducing Rural Roadway Departures

What is Reducing Rural Roadway Departures?

Reducing fatalities on rural roads remains a major challenge in the United States. Roadway departures on the rural road network account for one-third of traffic fatalities. Systemic application of proven roadway departure countermeasures, such as rumble strips, friction treatments, and clear zones, helps keep vehicles in their travel lanes, reduce the potential for crashes, and reduce the severity of those crashes that do occur.

Data-driven systemic analysis can help agencies prioritize the locations and countermeasures that will be most effective by taking a broad view to evaluate risks across an entire roadway system. It can be used to proactively implement countermeasures where crashes are likely to happen, even for locations where no crashes have been recorded. The benefits include safer roads, quick deployment, and flexibility.

Learn more about this EDC-5 Innovation.

NJ Expands Systemic Application of Proven Safety Countermeasures

Stage of Innovation:
DEVELOPMENT
(January 2021)

With EDC-5, NJ plans to expand their current practices to reduce rural roadway departures:

Utilizes Crash Data for Proactive Systemic Approach. Currently, NJ uses crash data to analyze transportation systems for all public roads and applies a proactive systemic approach including rumble striping, low-cost countermeasure mitigation, high friction surface treatments, and signage improvements, unless a location is on the high crash list. Then NJ provides project-specific mitigation to reduce or eliminate the issue. NJ implements these approaches on rural roads through the Local Safety, High Risk Rural Roads, and Preliminary Engineering and Design Assistance Programs.

What's Next?

Be Proactive and Organize Workshops. The FHWA Resource Center conducted a Train-the-Trainer Workshop at NJDOT Headquarters in June 2019.  Training events, hosted by the state's MPOs, were being planned for safety professionals, rural roadway facility owners and maintainers on roadway departures, location identification, systemic approach to safety, and proven safety countermeasures, with the assistance of the FHWA Safety Program Office and the FHWA Resource Center.

The planned in-person workshops were cancelled due to COVID restrictions and CDC/State guidelines. Instead NJDOT and FHWA plan to host virtual training sessions presented by the FHWA Resource Center, tentatively scheduled for March 2021.

Reducing Rural Roadway Departures: NEW & NOTEWORTHY 

Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures (FoRRRwD): Webinar Series

Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures (FoRRRwD): Webinar Series

The FHWA Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures (FoRRRwD) initiative, part of EDC-5, looks to provide systematic, targeted solutions for implementing rural road safety measures. ...
Reducing Rural Road Departures: Upcoming FHWA Webinar and Other Resources Advance EDC-5 Initiative

Reducing Rural Road Departures: Upcoming FHWA Webinar and Other Resources Advance EDC-5 Initiative

On May 12, the FHWA will host FoRRRwD on All Public Roads: Innovative Mechanisms to Deliver Safety Projects, the second of its monthly webinars designed ...
How New Jersey Counties are Reducing Rural Roadway Departures

How New Jersey Counties are Reducing Rural Roadway Departures

Reducing fatalities on rural roads is a key challenge for transportation agencies in the United States, where roadway departures on rural networks account for one-third ...
Focusing on Reducing Rural Road Departures (Video)

Focusing on Reducing Rural Road Departures (Video)

Pavement preservation is just one example among many of how NJDOT is committed to keeping New Jersey’s roadways in a state of good repair and ...

Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP)

What is Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP)?

Pedestrians account for over 17.5 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and the majority of these deaths occur at uncontrolled crossing locations (such as non-intersections) or at intersections with no traffic signal or STOP sign. Cost-effective countermeasures with known safety benefits can help reduce pedestrian fatalities in these scenarios.

FHWA promoted the following safety countermeasures through EDC-4 and EDC-5:

Road Diets can reduce vehicle speeds, limit the number of lanes pedestrians cross, and create space to add new pedestrian facilities.

Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) are a beneficial intermediate option between Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) and a full pedestrian signal. They provide positive stop control in areas without the high pedestrian traffic volumes that typically warrant signal installation.

Pedestrian Refuge Islands provide a safe place to stop at the midpoint of the roadway before crossing the remaining distance. This is particularly helpful for older pedestrians or others with limited mobility.

Raised Crosswalks can reduce vehicle speeds.

Crosswalk Visibility Enhancements, such as crosswalk lighting and enhanced signing and marking, help drivers detect pedestrians—particularly at night.

Learn more about this EDC-4 and EDC-5 Innovation.

NJ's Progress Towards Institutionalizing STEP

Stage of Innovation:
INSTITUTIONALIZED
(January 2021)

NJ's work on STEP began with EDC-4 and continued to progress during EDC-5:

Developed an Action Plan for Implementing Pedestrian Crossing Countermeasures at Uncontrolled Locations. For this collaborative effort, NJDOT and FHWA reviewed existing practice and policies impacting crossings and recommended actions for targeting specific safety countermeasures to help reduce the number and rate of pedestrian crashes, fatalities, and injuries on NJ highways.

Devised Recommendations Following STEP Guidance for Implementing Lower-Cost Countermeasures. The recommended countermeasures can be deployed based on specific needs, have a proven record of reducing crashes, and represent underutilized innovations that can have an immediate impact.

Developed NJ 2020 Strategic Highway Safety Plan. STEP strategies have been included in the 2020 NJ Strategic Highway Safety Plan update, completed in August 2020 and implementation efforts of proposed actions items are underway.

What's Next?

New Jersey has developed strategies in the 2020 Strategic Highway Safety Plan and will implement these strategies with the goal of eliminating all pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.

Click for the STEP Fact Sheet.

SAFE TRANSPORTATION FOR EVERY PEDESTRIAN (STEP): NEW & NOTEWORTHY 

ATLANTIC AVENUE, ATLANTIC CITY: Planning for Safer Conditions for All Roadway Users

ATLANTIC AVENUE, ATLANTIC CITY: Planning for Safer Conditions for All Roadway Users

Following a decade of transportation planning studies, including a Road Safety Audit (RSA), pedestrian and cyclist improvements are being programmed for Atlantic City's Atlantic ...
Research Spotlight: Evaluating the Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon’s Effectiveness:  A Case Study in New Jersey

Research Spotlight: Evaluating the Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon’s Effectiveness:  A Case Study in New Jersey

Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, one of FHWA’s seven Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) countermeasures, proven methods of reducing pedestrian collisions, are the subject of a ...
STEP-Aligned HAWK Signal Installed in Bergen County

STEP-Aligned HAWK Signal Installed in Bergen County

EDC STEP-aligned projects have been successfully deployed in locations across New Jersey, including a recent pedestrian improvement project along Washington Avenue in the Borough of ...
TECH TALK! Webinar: EDC Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian

TECH TALK! Webinar: EDC Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian

Please join the NJDOT Bureau of Research on April 2nd for an Innovation Exchange Webinar, EDC Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP), that we are ...
NJLTAP – Proven Safety Countermeasures Workshops – Upcoming Events

NJLTAP – Proven Safety Countermeasures Workshops – Upcoming Events

The New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program (NJLTAP) has partnered with the FHWA Division Office, NJDOT Bureau of Safety, Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs and Local ...
EDC-5 STEP – Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian

EDC-5 STEP – Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian

On October 30th the NJDOT Bureau of Research hosted the Lunchtime Tech Talk! Event on EDC-5 STEP: Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian. ...
NJDOT Safety Countermeasures Training and Education Videos

NJDOT Safety Countermeasures Training and Education Videos

The following videos describe six of FHWA’s Proven Safety Countermeasures that improve pedestrian safety. NJDOT developed these videos to train and educate viewers on the ...
NJLTAP – Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian Workshop

NJLTAP – Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian Workshop

The NJ Local Technical Assistance Program is holding an all-day workshop training event to learn more about the FHWA EDC-5 innovative initiative: Safe Transportation for ...
Local Safety Peer Exchanges: Summary Report

Local Safety Peer Exchanges: Summary Report

The Local Safety Peer Exchange Summary Report describes a series of peer exchange events that highlighted local initiatives that demonstrate best practice in addressing traffic ...
Local Peer Safety Exchange – 3rd Event

Local Peer Safety Exchange – 3rd Event

The third event in the series to discuss local initiatives that demonstrate best practice in addressing traffic safety was held on March 26, 2019. ...
New Jersey To Expand Data-Driven Approach to Highway Safety Management

New Jersey To Expand Data-Driven Approach to Highway Safety Management

Aided by STIC funding, NJDOT pilots a sofware package to proactively identify sites for safety improvement. ...
Local Safety Peer Exchange – 2nd Event

Local Safety Peer Exchange – 2nd Event

The second event in the series to discuss local initiatives that demonstrate best practice in addressing traffic safety was held on June 13th. ...
Road Diets Are Making Roads Safer in New Jersey

Road Diets Are Making Roads Safer in New Jersey

FHWA recognizes road diets as one of 20 “Proven Safety Countermeasures” to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on American highways and roads. ...
Local Safety Peer Exchange – 1st Event

Local Safety Peer Exchange – 1st Event

The first event in the series to discuss local initiatives that demonstrate best practice in addressing traffic safety was held on December 6th. ...

Unmanned Aerial Systems

What is Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)?

UAS offer several transformative aspects for highway transportation, enhancing safety and productivity, while also reducing cost.

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), sometimes referred to as drones, are multi-use aircraft controlled from a licensed operator on the ground. The benefits of UAS are wide ranging and impact nearly all aspects of highway transportation—replacing boots on the ground, increasing accuracy, speeding up data collection, and providing access to hard-to-reach locations.

UAS provide high-quality survey and data mapping that can be collected automatically or remotely. Large areas can be mapped relatively quickly in comparison to traditional survey and mapping practices. Other uses include survey and imagery as part of emergency response events, where traditional surveying and mapping practices may be inadequate or sites impossible to access. UAS can supplement conventional activities, such as bridge safety inspection and routine construction inspection, to increase safety and collect data from otherwise unattainable perspectives.

UAS improve operations, construction, inspection, and safety by collecting data needed to design, build, and operate the highway system. Bridge inspection enhanced by UAS improves safety for the inspection team and the traveling public by reducing the need for temporary work zones and specialized access equipment, which can also be very cost effective. Construction inspection with UAS allows for a bird’s eye view of a project’s progress and for the development of three-dimensional (3D) terrain models that document the construction process and assist in assessment of earthwork quantity measurement.

UAS technology gives State departments of transportation (DOTs) eyes-in-the-sky during incident responses for roadway disturbances and for damage assessments following fires, earthquakes, and bridge hits. It allows States to obtain quality data to make better-informed decisions, all collected from a relatively low-cost platform.

Learn more about this EDC-5 Innovation.

Field tours demonstrate UAS capabilities to staff and partnering organizations.
Field tours demonstrate UAS capabilities to staff and partnering organizations.

Integrating UAS in NJ Transportation Operations

Stage of Innovation:
INSTITUTIONALIZED
(December 2021)

NJ has been a national leader in UAS and initiated several activities before and since EDC-5:

Established Drone Program. NJDOT’s Division of Multi-Modal Services established a drone program and hired a UAS Coordinator position in Aeronautics to lead NJDOT’s UAS initiatives.

Leveraged Federal Financial Assistance. NJDOT successfully applied for three FHWA grants, including:

FHWA Tech Transfer Deployment Funds to hold a UAS Peer Exchange on Best Practices. A national UAS Peer Exchange was held based on the successful NJ model and NJDOT’s UAS Coordinator presented at the event in Washington DC.

FHWA STIC Incentive Program Funding to purchase equipment and training to evaluate the use of UAS for structural inspections, Traffic Incident Management (TIM), surveying and accelerating construction projects, determining flooding adjacent to state highways, and bridge deck thermography mapping.

FHWA State Planning & Research Program funds for research into Best Practices, Policies and Procedures to recommend potential legislative and regulatory remedies, enforcement and compliance strategies and tools, and training products for engineers and consultants involved in UAS operations.

Conducted Research and Field Demonstration Studies. Integrating UAS in transportation has been the subject of research and field studies to demonstrate the use case for high-mast light pole inspections, traffic incident management and monitoring, dredging and beach replenishment, photogrammetry, bridge inspection, and watershed management, among other topics.  

In 2019 after the kick-off EDC-5, NJDOT established a protocol to streamline requests for UAS usage on projects through the SimpliGov online system. The agency also developed an internal Night Training Powerpoint Course to fulfill the FAA COA night authorization requirements, helping to support future requests for NJDOT UAS operations at night. Additionally, the agency created an interactive UAS display for "Take Your Child to Work Day" to promote staff and youth education of the program's work. This display was done as part of the NJDOT Commitment to Communities initiative and under the Bureau of Aeronautics' mandate to promote aviation awareness and showcase UAS unit benefits. By 2020, the NJDOT UAS program had supported more than a dozen construction management projects.

STIC Incentive Funding helped build the capacity of the UAS Program.  Work on this grant was completed and the final report is available here.  The NJDOT UAS Program was featured in the FHWA EDC-5 Webinar Series: (SR200). The presentation, Developing a UAS Program: From Startup to Additional Tasking, highlighted key challenges, benefits and lessons in standing up a UAS Program at a state DOT.  The NJDOT UAS Program was highlighted in a video highlighting the innovation and benefits of the program for the state.  The NJDOT UAS Program was featured in the UAS for Traffic Monitoring Applications webinar as part of the EDC-5 series of webinars in December 2020.

What's Next?

The UAS Program subsequently was awarded a second STIC Incentive Funding Grant to purchase additional equipment and to perform UAS Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) trainings to support transportation emergency response and operations safety units.  The NJDOT UAS Program is working with other state DOT agencies and domestic vendors to domestically source drone technology in response to the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act expected to go in effect in 2023.

Click for the Fact Sheet: Unmanned Aerial Systems

Click for Infographic: Benefits of UAS for High Mast Inspection

UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS: NEW & NOTEWORTHY

NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey

NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey

NJDOT’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Operations Manual (UASFOM) is an example of knowledge sharing through development of a procedures manual that guides practice within the ...
Launching the UAS Program: STIC Incentive Funding Grant – Final Report

Launching the UAS Program: STIC Incentive Funding Grant – Final Report

The final report for this STIC incentive project describes the use of the grant to assist in establishing the UAS program within the Bureau of ...
Drone Technology at NJDOT

Drone Technology at NJDOT

This video features NJDOT's Unmanned Aerial Systems program in the Bureau of Aeronautics and explores how the adoption of drone technology can serve NJDOT's goals ...
Drone Program Reaches New Heights, Seeks to Go Higher

Drone Program Reaches New Heights, Seeks to Go Higher

Three years after its establishment, the UAS Program at NJDOT continues to reach new heights and seeks to go higher. ...
Drone Program Takes Off in Bureau of Aeronautics

Drone Program Takes Off in Bureau of Aeronautics

So what does it take to start a new and innovative NJDOT Drone program when it has never been done before? ...
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Peer Exchange at NJDOT

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Peer Exchange at NJDOT

NJDOT held a Peer Exchange on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, also known as Drones) on October 3-5, with representatives including six state DOTs and FAA. ...

Federal Highway Administration Releases Third EDC-5 Progress Report

FHWA has released the latest report card for Every Day Counts (EDC)-5 innovation deployment status among state Departments of Transportation. The goal of the EDC program is rapid technology transfer and accelerated deployment of innovation across the country. The program seeks to develop a culture of innovation through shared best practices, data, specifications, case studies, and success stories. The report card depicts the implementation stage (Not Implementing, Development, Demonstration, Assessment, Institutionalized) for each innovation by state. Detailed information on NJDOT’s work on these Innovative Initiatives can be found here.

FHWA recently announced the next two-year round of innovations, EDC-6. Work on these innovations will begin in January 2021. Information on the seven innovations promoted in this round can be found here.

FHWA’s Ray Murphy Presents EDC-5 Weather-Responsive Management Strategies

On April 14, 2020, the NJDOT Bureau of Research hosted a Lunchtime Tech Talk! webinar on "EDC-5 Weather-Responsive Management Strategies." This event featured a presentation by Ray Murphy, ITS Specialist with the FHWA's Resource Center. Under Round 5 of the Every Day Counts (EDC) program, FHWA promotes Weather-Responsive Management Strategies (WRMS) to manage traffic and road maintenance during inclement weather to improve safety and reliability, and minimize environmental impacts associated with weather events. Weather affects: traffic safety, with 21 percent of the nearly 6 million roadway crashes in the past decade related to weather; mobility, resulting in reduced efficiency and productivity; and environmental impacts on watersheds, air quality, and infrastructure.

Mr. Murphy provided examples of weather responsive practices being tried by state DOTs, including an advanced traveler information notification deployed by Iowa DOT.

Mr. Murphy provided examples of weather responsive practices being tried by state DOTs, including an advanced traveler information notification deployed by Iowa DOT.

Mr. Murphy described the prior-round, EDC-4 innovation, Road Weather Management – Weather-Savvy Roads, that formed the basis for this EDC-5 initiative. The innovation promoted data collection including Pathfinder, a collaboration between the National Weather Service, state DOTs, and state support contractors to provide weather information and forecasts, and Integrating Mobile Observations (IMO) that collects weather and road condition data from instruments on agency fleet trucks.

Through WRMS, FHWA promotes the use of mobile data to support decision making. Benefits to agencies include improved safety, system performance and operations, and reduced costs and environmental impacts. Agencies can use Weather Responsive Management Systems to address diverse internal needs such as staffing, material use, and route optimization, and condition and performance reporting. Data sources include transportation agency fleets, private vehicles, third party entities, agency operators, road users and infrastructure. Some data is collected by in-vehicle sensors, video and camera images, and automatic vehicle location. Other data sources include fixed Roadway Information System (RWIS), National Weather Service, reports from road users and operators, mobile observations and connected vehicle data, among others.

The traveling public benefits through safer pre-trip and real-time route decision making based on enhanced traveler information, roadside messaging, variable speed limits, and road lane closures or restrictions. Unified, localized, and more accurate messaging gives the public increased confidence in the messaging and the agency.

Mr. Murphy addressed some common challenges that agencies face in adopting this innovation, such as a lack of connectivity in remote areas, the need for buy-in from agency leadership and from road crews, hesitance to adopt the innovation, and funding.

Mr. Murphy cited some of work that NJ DOT has accomplished in the field of Weather Responsive Management Strategies.

Mr. Murphy highlighted recent initiatives undertaken by NJDOT related to Weather Responsive Management Strategies that have been funded in part through FHWA innovation grants.

He noted that the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive Program and STIC Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) grants can help fund implementation of these technologies. NJDOT received a STIC incentive funding grant to support pilot testing of technology used by the Safety Service Patrols. NJDOT was also awarded an AID Grant from FHWA to support a weather savvy roads pilot program, installing video camera dashboards and sensors onto NJDOT maintenance trucks and safety service patrol vehicles to collect streaming video and weather / pavement information to support road weather management throughout the state.

Webinar participants had an opportunity to pose questions of Mr. Murphy. One participant asked about possible resistance to installation of automatic vehicle locators due to privacy concerns. Mr. Murphy noted that agencies must operate openly and inclusively when implementing this technology. Training and education can help users become more accepting of the technology.

A participant asked about the use of IMO data versus information gathered from a public entity such as WAZE. Mr. Murphy responded that the agency receives the IMO data directly and can oversee the accuracy of the data, but that information should come from multiple sources to create a robust dataset.

When asked what agencies consider the biggest challenges, and what arguments can be used to support this innovation, Mr. Murphy responded that funding is always a concern but that buy-in is often the larger issue. He emphasized the need for a champion who can demonstrate the benefits of the strategies through performance measures.

When asked if specific applications of WRMS were being considered for EDC-6, Mr. Murphy responded that various innovative practices were being considered and no decisions had been made yet.

A participant asked if these systems can be adapted to rockfall data. Mr. Murphy noted that visibility apps used with dust storms or fire events could be adapted for other weather events.

Mr. Murphy’s presentation offered several examples of DOTs nationwide employing these strategies. A participant asked if any states are quantifying the benefits of WRMS implementation. Mr. Murphy offered that Caltrans is one agency.

The presentation given by Mr. Murphy can be downloaded here.

More information on this innovation is available on the FHWA Weather Responsive Management Systems resources page.

A recording of the webinar is available here, (also to the right).