NJ STIC 3rd Quarter 2023 Meeting

The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened its 3rd Quarter Meeting on September 27, 2023 at the NJDOT Bordentown Training Center for Excellence. This in-person event provided an opportunity for attendees to tour the newly opened state-of-the-art training center. An agenda for the meeting was distributed in advance of the event.

Welcome Remarks and Tour of Training Facility. Brandee Sullivan, NJDOT Innovation Coordinator, greeted those in attendance and opened the meeting. Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo gave welcoming remarks, noting that the STIC meeting was the first held “in-person” since the outset of the pandemic. He gave an overview of the day’s agenda and its featured speaker. He noted that Sudhir Joshi, from the Bureau of Statewide Strategies, would assume CIA Team Lead for the Planning and Environment Team.

Ms. Melissa Boyer from the Bordentown Training Center for Excellence spoke briefly about NJDOT’s acquisition of the former property of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in 2016 and the substantial rehabilitation investments made to convert three buildings and the surrounding land into the transportation-focused training complex. Those in attendance were then divided into separate teams for guided tours that were provided by Ms. Boyer and Eric Walters that included an opportunity for a “hands-on” sampling of the facility’s truck driving simulators.

After touring the Bordentown Training Center, NJ STIC participants came together for group photo before returning to the afternoon meeting session inside the facility.

FHWA Updates. After the tour, Christopher Paige, Innovation and Community Planner in the FHWA NJ Division Office, gave a brief update. He noted that the FHWA had issued its EDC-7 Baseline Report in July 2023 which conveys the innovations and goals for deployment being set by the various states. He highlighted that several FHWA Innovation Exchange Webinars have been delivered since the EDC-7 launch to introduce select topics such as Nighttime Safety and Strategic Workforce Development and available resources. As with prior rounds, EDC-7 will have a two-year cycle, but the period of performance was adjusted to run through May 2025. The first progress report cycle will be due in April 2024. He provided an overview of several resources available through the FHWA’s Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI) website which leads the national STIC program.

Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with short presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates on the status of the various innovative initiative topics being advanced during EDC-7. Update reports were given by the various CIA Teams on Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, Organizational Improvement and Support, and Planning and Environment.

Featured Presentation – SJTPO Innovative Approaches to Traffic Safety Education. The South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization (SJTPO) has developed a series of traffic safety education programs to teach the public about traffic safety. The programs are designed to bring awareness to the many traffic safety risks presented to drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians on area roadways and teach simple ways to improve safety. Robert Clarke, SJTPO Traffic Safety Specialist, described the various traffic safety education programs, highlighting the length of each program and typical audience. In describing the several trainings, he explained how they were designed to appeal to unique needs, interests and specific age groups such as high school, elementary, and middle school students, adults, and vulnerable older drivers. For example, a driving simulator program was targeted to teens in a probationary period, or the basic physics of driving were emphasized in a training targeted to high school math and physics students. During his talk, Mr. Clark also touched upon the various federal and state funding sources and resource commitments made to sustain SJTPO’s Safety Education and Outreach Program.

Announcements and Reminders

NJDOT Safety Resource Center. Jeevanjot Singh, Section Chief, gave an overview of the NJDOT Safety Resource Center (SRC) and its activities. Ms. Singh explained that NJDOT’s most important mission is ensuring safety – the safety of our customers and the assets that the agency builds. Ms. Singh noted that the SRC is envisioned as a one-stop destination for roadway safety-related information, noting that the SRC seeks to connect safety stakeholders with information about safety projects and programs, funding and grant opportunities, trainings from industry experts, safety campaign materials, technical assistance and other resources.

The SRC has launched a training program and, to-date, nine “Lunch & Learn” sessions have been held with more planned for the future. The SRC is also looking to develop longer in-depth trainings on select topics such as the “safe systems” approach. The SRC is expected to launch a website and a SRC LinkedIn page shortly and develop public campaigns to promote a positive safety culture for all road users.

Ms. Singh spoke about the role that the SRC plays in the implementation of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, among other topics. She encouraged those in attendance to register for the NJDOT Safety Summit event planned for October 24th at the College of New Jersey.

2023 National Build a Better Mousetrap Award “Bold Steps” Winner: NJ’s Route 71 Over Shark River Road Diet Project. This NJDOT bridge rehabilitation and road project was recognized as the year’s “Bold Steps” Award winner in the 2023 National Build a Better Mousetrap Award Competition. Each year, the FHWA honors state, local, and Tribal agencies for devising innovative solutions to improve transportation programs. Mrs. Sullivan congratulated Gerald Oliveto, P.E. and his team for receiving the national award which developed a breakthrough solution to preserve an old bridge while improving safety and saving taxpayer dollars.

In announcing this year’s award winners, FHWA produced a video explaining the Bold Steps Award and offering a description of the Route 71 Over Shark River Road Diet project which can be accessed here. The FHWA noted that the innovation not only improves transportation performance, but offers a model and transferable solution for other agencies.

Presentation: Route 71 Over Shark River: Road Diet & Safety Improvements Project. Gerald Oliveto, P.E. then gave an in-depth presentation about the award-winning project, explaining the history and location of the bridge and the challenges that NJDOT had to quickly confront after a span-lock failure in September 2021 disrupted the drawbridge’s operation, affecting roadway usage and maritime traffic patterns. Mr. Oliveto explained how the Route 71 drawbridge safety features – opening and closing sequences – were designed to operate to further help set the stage for understanding the challenges and urgency of the project.

He described several interim repair options that were examined for their cost and benefits before the preferred road diet option was selected as a near-term solution. He emphasized that design and implementation of the preferred solution was the product of effective teamwork and extensive internal coordination (e.g., regional operations, structural engineering, traffic engineering, signage, office of government and community relations, etc.).

Mr. Oliveto described how NJDOT implemented a road diet across the bridge, which allowed the Department to address safety issues. Traffic over the bridge was reduced from one northbound lane and two southbound lanes to one lane in each direction. With the lane configuration reduced to one lane in each direction, NJDOT was able to extend bicycle lanes that previously terminated in Avon-By-The-Sea across the drawbridge into Belmar.

His presentation highlighted a key design feature that was used to extend the bike lanes over the bridge. The extended bicycle lanes were accomplished using an innovative fiber-reinforced-polymer mat on the bascule span. The mat is the first of its kind in New Jersey and provided a safe crossing of a steel-grid deck for bicycles. Previously, bicyclists had needed to dismount and walk their bicycle across the bridge. The extended bicycle lanes provided connectivity between both downtown areas and an area heavily utilized by bicycle traffic year-round.

Mr. Oliveto’s talk described several design and community coordination features that were integrated into the project to build needed municipal and community support. His talk made clear the importance of communications, early and often, and working with the affected communities throughout the process to explain the logic behind the selection of the road diet option and identifying other design features (e.g., painted crosswalks, signage) that would be welcomed by the local communities. His talk touched upon various communications and coordination activities that were put into place, including the NJDOT’s Office of Communications use of social media and videos to keep the public informed about the road diet project, and the NJDOT’s Office of Mobility working with GPS companies about routing changes to avoid adverse routing of vehicles onto residential streets, among others.

Assistant Commissioner Russo presented Shivani Patel with the NJ STIC Exemplary Council Member Award, its first-ever recipient, in recognition of her valued contributions.

NJ STIC Exemplary Council Member Award. Assistant Commissioner Russo presented Shivani Patel, CIA Team Lead for Infrastructure Preservation, with the NJ STIC Exemplary Council Member Award as its first-ever recipient. The award recognizes her strong leadership as CIA Team Lead since assuming responsibility and her instrumental role in championing the Environmental Products Declaration initiative by developing an SME team and hosting coordination meetings

Reminders and Updates. Mrs. Sullivan closed the meeting with several reminders and updates.

NJ STIC Online. She reminded attendees of the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

NJ Transportation Ideas Portal. Mrs. Sullivan noted that the NJDOT Bureau of Research has combined the innovative ideas portal with the research portal to gather high quality ideas from the transportation community. She pointed to the business cards and a poster with a QR code that were available in the front of the room as a handy means to access the NJ Transportation Ideas Portal. She encouraged attendees to take a few business cards to share with colleagues. For more information and to how register for an account and submit ideas on the NJ Transportation Ideas Portal, go to: https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/got-ideas

Local Technical Assistance and STIC. Mrs. Sullivan added that there are free trainings on EDC-7 topics delivered through the Local Technical Assistance Program at Rutgers-CAIT. She shared links to an upcoming schedule of trainings. She also noted that new opportunities are added frequently at the website: https://cait.rutgers.edu/events.

Upcoming Events. Mrs. Sullivan noted in brief some important upcoming events on research and innovation:

  • Safety Summit – October 24th
  • 25th Anniversary of the Research Showcase – Oct 25th
  • Complete Streets Summit – Nov 1st

STIC Incentive Program Funding. Mrs. Sullivan noted that STIC Incentive Program funds are available. The FHWA offers these funds, as well as technical assistance, to support the standardization and advancement of innovative practices in a state transportation agency or other public sector STIC stakeholder. NJ STIC receives $100,000 each year. Mrs. Sullivan asked that the STIC network members communicate these grant opportunities through their networks. She noted that local public agencies are eligible to apply. Find more information, including examples of allowable activities and prior recipients, here.

Closing the Business Portion and Final Remarks. Ms. Sullivan concluded the business portion of the STIC meeting, noting that this would be the final STIC Meeting for Assistant Commissioner Russo with his imminent retirement. In recognition of this milestone and his long-standing leadership role with the NJ STIC, Mrs. Sullivan invited Vanessa Holman, Deputy Chief of Staff in the NJDOT Commissioner’s Office, to say a few words about Assistant Commissioner’s instrumental role in advancing the NJ STIC’s mission over the years and strengthening the team going forward.

About the Bordentown Training Facility. The training facility includes specialized classrooms and adjoining labs outfitted with real roadway structures, traffic control components, and vehicle maintenance equipment, including:

  • Lecture hall, multi-use classrooms, computer training labs, offices, conference and breakout rooms, and locker room facilities.
  • Two full-motion Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) Truck Simulators.
  • Construction, Landscape and Roadway Training Lab with in-ground model of drainage inlets connected by a culvert.
  • Electrical and Sign Training Lab with real traffic signal control cabinets and in-ground pull boxes.
  • Automotive Training Lab with working model of truck brake system.
  • Equipment Training Bay with welding area and space to work on large vehicles Radio Shop.
  • A mock roadway features a signalized intersection, crosswalks, overhead signs, and a railroad grade crossing that presents trainees with the traffic infrastructure and conditions encountered on the job.

A recording of the NJ STIC September 2023 meeting is under production and will be shared when it is available. The day’s presentations can be found here and in the sections below.

Photos from the Bordentown Training Facility tour are presented at the bottom.

NJ STIC Meeting – 3rd Quarter 2023, Recording
Welcome Remarks & FHWA Updates
CIA Team Update: Safety
CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation
CIA Team Update: Organizational Support & Improvement
CIA Team Update: Mobility & Safety
CIA Team Update: Planning & Environment
Feature Presentation: SJTPO Innovative Approaches to Traffic Safety Education
Announcement: Safety Resource Center
Announcement: Build a Better Mousetrap Award 2023 Bold Steps Award
Presentation: Route 71 over Shark River – Road Diet & Safety Improvements
NJ STIC – 10+Years of Innovating and 2023 Exemplary NJSTIC Member
Reminders and Announcements
      • Bordentown Training Facility Tour Photos
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      NJ STIC 2nd Quarter 2023 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened online for the 2nd Quarter Meeting on June 14, 2023. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Brandee Sullivan, NJDOT Innovation Coordinator, greeted the meeting participants, followed by Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks. He noted that there are efforts to hold the 3rd quarter STIC meeting in person. He welcomed Mr. Christopher Paige, Innovation Coordinator and Community Planner for the FHWA NJ Office. Mrs. Sullivan introduced Vandana Mathur, the new CIA Team Lead for Mobility & Operations.

      FHWA EDC Innovation. Mr. Paige stated that FHWA will have the EDC-7 baseline reports finalized soon. He noted that, in this EDC round, the progress report schedule has changed. There is no six-month report due this summer; the next report will be due in spring 2024. Mr. Paige also shared that FHWA will hold periodic webinars on EDC-7 initiatives and he will coordinate to send notifications out about the schedule.

      Mr. Paige also thanked FHWA and NJDOT staff who attended the American Council of Engineering Companies Design Summit. He noted that the Innovation presentation, which focused on the EDC initiatives, was well received.

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of:  Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, Organizational Improvement and Support, and Planning and Environment.

      Featured Presentation – NJDOT Sustainability Initiatives. 

      Three presentations were given on NJDOT Sustainability Initiatives.

      Presentation # 1 – Foamed Glass Aggregate.  Kimberly Sharp, NJDOT Bureau of Geotechnical Engineering and Geology, spoke about Foamed Glass Aggregate (FGA) which is made from 100 percent recycled glass. Use of the material reduces waste in landfills, alleviates the burden on waste management infrastructure, and promotes a more sustainable approach to handling waste. CO2 emissions and energy use for production is 50 percent less than for other lightweight aggregates used by NJDOT. Due to FGA’s light weight, fewer trucks are needed to transport it, which keeps heavier trucks off the road, and reduces emissions and congestion.

      Lightweight and durable, the material is non-leaching, rot-resistant, and non-flammable.  Ms. Sharp discussed the manufacturing process and the various applications of FGA in NJDOT projects, including as fill behind retaining walls and abutments, around utilities, tunnels and culverts to lighten loads, underneath roads to raise the profile in areas of flooding. These projects have saved millions of bottles from the landfill.

      In the future, FGA may be used for flood mitigation (underground reservoirs), noise walls, as backfill for Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE walls), and in rehabilitation projects for abutments and wall reconstruction.

      Ms. Sharp mentioned another process they are investigating that makes pellets from plastic bags and places the material in concrete.

      Presentation #2 – NJDOT Initiatives for Sustainability in Pavements.  Robert Blight, NJDOT Pavement and Drainage Management Technology, talked about innovative pavements including rubber pavements made from scrap rubber tires, recycled asphalt pavement, and recycled plastic waste. The use of these materials has the potential to reduce pavement life-cycle costs, greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and noise.

      Recycled scrap rubber tires is an engineered waste product the use of which could reduce pollution of water and air from landfill storage. Asphalt rubber is ground tire rubber incorporated into open-graded asphalt pavement material. Some applications recycle up to 1,000 tires per lane mile. Winter maintenance became an issue for NJDOT and application in roadways was paused, but the material could be used on shoulders or for parking lots.

      NJDOT used an asphalt rubber gap-graded mixture on a project in 2014 which is still performing well, and asphalt rubber binder in asphalt rubber chip seal was used on a project in 2018.

      Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) uses asphalt milled during resurfacing projects. Some concerns include performance issues with the binder and the need to process the material to achieve uniformity rather than adding directly to pavement material. A 2012 project that used a high-RAP mixture is still performing well.

      There has been a lot of research into using waste plastic in pavements looking for long-term performance and sustainability. NJDOT has an ongoing research project with Rutgers exploring use of plastic waste as a modifier in pavement materials. Safety, health and environmental concerns with using plastic requires reliance on research and engineering expertise.

      Presentation #3 – Sustainable Research Projects.  Mansi Shah and Kamal Patel, NJDOT Bureau of Research spoke about current research projects on sustainable materials. Ms. Shah discussed the research process for the Implementation of Pervious Concrete Sidewalks in New Jersey. Ms. Shah described the material which is made of cement, aggregates, water, and admixtures, poured over a stone reservoir that temporarily stores rainwater before infiltration to the subsoil. The material plays a role in stormwater management by reducing puddling and slowing stormwater surface runoff. The implementation phase involved a pilot demonstration sidewalk project in Montgomery Township. Regular maintenance of the material is required to keep the voids free of debris.

      Ms. Shah noted that the Bureau of Research seeks to conduct research studies to explore the possibility of recycling scrap tires for use as aggregate in concrete and asphalt. This process addresses a growing environmental problem and threat to health. Ms. Shah suggested collaboration with Robert Blight on this area of mutual interest.

      Mr. Patel discussed Energy Harvesting from Roadway and Bridges as an alternative to electricity produced by burning fossil fuels. Energy harvesting uses the current transportation infrastructure to generate electricity for various transportation applications such as powering sensors and other lighting as well as wireless data transfer devices to monitor traffic data and infrastructure. The research explored photovoltaic materials and Piezo electric materials. In the first project phase, researchers explored the configuration of solar panels on noise barriers and found an optimal configuration for maximum power output.

      The second project phase employed piezoelectric sensors embedded on bridge structures. Energy harvesting can be achieved by compression caused by traffic traveling over the sensors, or by vibration, caused by traffic loads and winds, detected by sensors attached to the bridge structure. The research focused on sensors attached to bridge structures and what resonant frequency would yield higher voltage outputs. Lab testing and full-scale testing were conducted.

      Reminders and Updates.  Mrs. Sullivan closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      • NJDOT Tech Transfer Website -  http://www.njdottechtransfer.net/
      • NJ STIC Website – https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/

      NJ STIC Meeting notes including presentations and recordings can be found in the NJ STIC section for the website (https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetings/)

      Sal Cowan spoke about the new NJDOT Bordentown Training Center. In seeking to address the need for a workforce that is right-sized, properly trained and properly equipped, NJDOT has developed a first-class training facility and a business unit dedicated to training the technical workforce. The training facility will be used specifically by Operations. However, in describing key elements of the facility, Mr. Cowan emphasized that it will be available to serve the entire Department.

      Mrs. Sullivan spoke about the 10th anniversary of the 2023 American Council of Engineering Companies Design Summit. The Summit gathers people from various areas of the transportation design industry.  This year’s theme was innovation and the event featured several presentations on EDC-7 topics and the role of NJ STIC, and a discussion on the barriers to innovation.

      She added that there are free trainings on EDC-7 topics through the Local Technical Assistance Program at Rutgers-CAIT. She shared links to an upcoming schedule of trainings and noted that there will be more trainings  available in the future.

      Mrs. Sullivan announced that the NJDOT Bureau of Research has combined the innovative ideas portal with the research portal to gather high quality ideas from the transportation community. For more information and to register for an account and submit ideas on the NJ Transportation Ideas Portal, go here.

      Mrs. Sullivan also announced that STIC Incentive Program funds are available. The FHWA offers these funds, as well as technical assistance, to support the standardization and advancement of innovative practices in a state transportation agency or other public sector STIC stakeholder. NJ STIC receives $100,000 each year.  Mrs. Sullivan asked that the STIC network members communicate these grant opportunities through their networks. She noted that local public agencies are eligible to apply. Find more information, including examples of allowable activities and prior recipients, here.

      Mike Russo and Amanda Gendek, Manager, NJDOT Bureau of Research, provided closing remarks.

      A recording of the NJ STIC June 2023 meeting can be found here.

      The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here or in sections below.

      Welcome Remarks & FHWA Updates

      CIA Team Organizational Support & Improvement Updates

      CIA Team Safety Updates


      CIA Team Mobility & Operations Updates


      CIA Team Infrastructure Preservation Updates


      CIA Team Planning & Environment Updates


      Feature Presentation #1:
      NJDOT Sustainability Initiatives. Kimberly Sharp, Bureau of Geotechnical Engineering

      Announcements and Reminders

      Feature Presentation #2:
      NJDOT Sustainability Initiatives: Robert Blight, Bureau of Pavement & Drainage Management and Technology

      Featured Presentation #3
      NJDOT Sustainability Initiatives:
      Mansi Shah & Kamal Patel, Bureau of Research

      NJ STIC 1st Quarter 2023 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened online for the 1st Quarter Meeting on March 15, 2023. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Welcome and Introductions.  Brandee Sullivan, NJDOT Innovation Coordinator, greeted the meeting participants, followed by Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks. He introduced a new Core Innovation Area Team, Planning and Environment, that will lead the implementation activities for two of the EDC-7 Innovations being addressed by the NJ STIC. The two EDC-7 innovations, EPDs for Sustainable Project Delivery, and Integrating GHG Assessment and Reduction Targets in Transportation Planning, will fall under the responsibility of this newly formed CIA Team.  Andrew Swords, NJDOT, and Sutapa Bandyopadhyay, FHWA, are the leads for this Team.

      Asst. Commissioner Russo thanked Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, who is retiring in April. He thanked Helene for her years of service, and her guidance and support in making the NJ STIC successful.  Mr. Russo introduced Robert Clark, Division Administrator for the FHWA NJ Office, who also thanked Helene for all her work. He noted that she is a Pavement and Materials engineer and has recently won two national awards.  In crediting Ms. Roberts for her significant work on behalf of the NJ STIC, Mr. Russo showed a timeline of the STIC’s development over more than 10 years of innovating, including being the recipient of two STIC Excellence Awards.

      FHWA Innovation Updates. Helene Roberts spoke about the closeout of EDC-6 and provided a summary of the status of each innovation initiative at the end of the two-year period. She noted that Crowdsourcing for Advancing Operations and Virtual Public Involvement had reached the institutionalization stage.  The other EDC-6 Round innovations undertaken by the NJ STIC had not changed status at the close of the two-year period, but were on a path to continue to make progress by their respective teams.

      Ms. Roberts also spoke about the EDC-7 National Summit recordings of which will be available on-demand for a year. Access to all of the recordings requires registration. Ms. Roberts noted NJ participation in the National Summit: Sal Cowan presented on Next-Gen TIM technologies in use by NJDOT, and Ted Ritter, NJTPA, and Jaclyn Davis, DVRPC, presented on Virtual Public Involvement at the National STIC Network Showcase. General information about the EDC-7 Virtual Summit can be found here along with a link to the event's agenda.  A short post about the NJ involvement at the FHWA Virtual Summit, including the referenced presentations, can be found here.

      Amanda Gendek, Bureau of Research summarized the EDC-7 NJ Caucus proceedings held on February 22, 2023. She requested that those who participated in the NJ Caucus could still complete the Feedback Form (a link was shared) to help the NJDOT Bureau of Research in organizing future Caucus-related events.

      Breakout Rooms: EDC-7 Conversations with Core Innovation Area Leads. The meeting continued with conversations with Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders about the EDC-7 innovations being pursued by the NJ STIC. Attendees chose to join one of the five CIA Team breakout sessions: Safety; Infrastructure Preservation; Mobility and Operations; Organizational Improvement and Support; and Planning and Environment.  The sessions continued the discussions that began with the NJ STIC Caucus and reviewed the baseline status of each innovation, the stage of deployment goal for the innovation over the next two years. and implementation steps that could be taken to achieve the deployment goal.

      Featured Presentation – Nighttime Visibility for Safety.  Two presentations highlighted research on lighting design guidance and various design improvements aligned with advancing Nighttime Visibility for Safety, an EDC-7 Innovation topic.

      Leigh Ann Von Hagen, Managing Director, Active Transportation & Mobility Safety Group, Rutgers Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC), and Greg Woltman, Project Coordinator, summarized previous work on street lighting and the relationship of lighting to pedestrian and bicyclist crashes. Enhancing nighttime visibility for pedestrian and bicycle safety is the subject of a research effort on Life-Saving Lighting that Rutgers-VTC is beginning with researchers at Rowan University funded through the NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center. This work will result in a lighting design guide for local jurisdictions. VTC requested input from people in the meeting through a Menti poll.  Anahita Kakhani, Graduate Research Assistant at Rowan, introduced herself as a member of the research team for preparing the lighting design guide.

      Charu Jegan and Andrey Terentiev, NJDOT Bureau of Traffic Engineering, presented on safety countermeasures for Nighttime Visibility and pedestrian and bicyclist safety. NJDOT has been installing LED lighting on state highways; improving ADA accessibility for pushbuttons and voice command at crosswalks, and ensuring that pedestrian signal heads can be seen clearly from the crosswalk; installing traffic signal backplates with retroreflective tape; installing pedestrian-activated Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (RRFB); and evaluating the effectiveness of vertical illumination.  They discussed the benefits and challenges of these countermeasures.

      Reminders and Updates.  Mrs. Sullivan closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      She announced that the 2023 Design Summit, sponsored by NJDOT, FHWA, and American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), has a theme of Innovation. The Summit will be held on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. NJDOT Bureau of Research will be gathering information from NJ stakeholders on EDC-7 initiatives through the use of QR-coded surveys.

      Mrs. Sullivan also announced that STIC Incentive Program funds are available. The FHWA offers these funds, as well as technical assistance, to support the standardization and advancement of innovative practices in a state transportation agency or other public sector STIC stakeholder. NJ STIC receives $100,000 each year. She asked that the STIC network members communicate these grant opportunities through their networks. Local public agencies are eligible to apply. Find more information, including examples of allowable activities and prior recipients, here.

      Mrs. Sullivan reminded attendees about the NJ Build a Better Mousetrap Competition. The deadline for entries is May 1, 2023. This year, state agencies can submit innovations to the national competition if the innovation is replicable in other agencies.  To learn more about the competition and see examples of past winners, go here, or download the entry form and guidance here.

      Asst. Commissioner Russo provided closing remarks.

      A recording of the NJ STIC March 2023 meeting can be found here.

      The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here or in sections below.

      Welcome Remarks

      FHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      EDC-7 NJ Caucus Review & Feedback

      Feature Presentation #1:
      Nighttime Visibility for Safety, Rutgers-Voorhees Transportation Center with Rowan University

      Feature Presentation #2:
      Nighttime Visibility for Safety, NJDOT Bureau of Traffic Engineering

      Reminders, Announcements, and Thank You

      NJ STIC 4th Quarter 2022 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened online for the 4th Quarter Meeting on December 14, 2022. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Brandee Sullivan (Chapman), NJDOT Innovation Coordinator greeted the meeting participants, followed by Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks. He announced that the NJ STIC was awarded the FHWA STIC Excellence Award, for development of the STIC Communications Plan, creation of a full-time Innovation Coordinator position, and creation of a new core innovation area related to Organizational Improvement and Support. This is the second STIC Excellence Award received by NJ STIC.

      FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that the EDC-7 cycle will be beginning in January 2023. She highlighted the seven initiatives that will be part of the next cycle: Nighttime Visibility for Safety; Next Generation TIM: Technology for Saving Lives; Integrating GHG Assessment and Reduction Targets in Transportation Planning; Enhancing Performance with Internally Cured Concrete (EPIC2); EPDs for Sustainable Project Delivery; Rethinking DBE in Design-Build; and Strategic Workforce Development. She noted that the FHWA EDC-7 Summit will be held from February 14-16, 2023 as a virtual event. The Summit will be followed by a NJ STIC Caucus on February 22, 2023.

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support.

      There was a brief break during which meeting participants could take part in an online transportation trivia quiz on innovations promoted through the Every Day Counts Program since its inception.

      Featured Presentation – Ultra High Performance Bridge Preservation.  Jess Mendenhall, Project Engineer, and Samer Rabie, Principal Engineer from NJDOT’s Structural Value Solutions Unit presented on the design, construction, and evaluation of Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) Bridge Deck Overlays for NJDOT.  The NJDOT Structural Value Solutions unit has been exploring the use of UHPC in bridge preservation and rehabilitation projects, an emerging application of UHPC in the United States. Bridge deck overlays were placed on four New Jersey bridges.

      Mr. Mendenhall described the composition of the material and its superior mechanical and durability properties. He observed that the the advantages to using the material include preservation of bridge elements in good or fair condition and extension of the service life of bridge decks yielding potential life cycle cost savings. The disadvantages include the cost of the material, limited contractor experience with use of UHPC as an overlay, and the workability of the overlay mix. The cost of using UHPC tends to be higher than that of conventional overlay, and lower than replacement of the bridge deck.

      Fully understanding the existing bridge condition and determining the remaining service life of primary structural components (i.e., the deck, superstructure and substructure) are crucial in choosing whether to proceed with deck preservation using UHPC overlay or conventional deck replacement and rehabilitation.  Mr. Mendenhall provided an illustrative example of how a life cycle cost analysis can help support the decision of preservation versus reconstruction of a bridge.

      Mr. Mendenhall described the research process and criteria used for the selection of the four bridges, among other candidates, for advancement into design and construction for UHPC Bridge Deck overlay to permit testing of UHPC.  Eight candidate structures were fully evaluated and tested before the four bridge structures were advanced. In this stage, testing was performed on current deck conditions.  All structures included in the program were evaluated for suitability based on the structural evaluations, chloride content within the deck, feasible construction stages, traffic analysis results, and existing overlay depths. Chloride content was obtained from concrete core samples on each bridge deck.

      The bridges that were ultimately selected varied in their age, size and design. All the bridges had asphalt overlay.  The selected bridges for the pilot program were in good condition to leverage the perceived long life-span of UHPC and not allow other factors to limit the potential service life.  Two of the bridges selected were less than 10 years old, and two bridges were 30-40 years old.

      In the design phase, the finished bridge deck elevation was required to match the existing elevations. Various solutions were found for the four bridges including a thin overlay, a 1.5” overlay with an asphalt topping, and a 2.75”UHPC overlay with no asphalt topping. Design solutions avoided excessive UHPC overlay to control costs.

      Mr. Mendenhall described the preferred surface conditions for the application of UHPC and the rationale for a hydrodemolition specification to remove the upper half inch of the existing deck surface. This process results in a roughened surface with exposed aggregate which is the ideal bonding surface for UHPC that limits microfractures that can affect bond performance compared to other technologies such as diamond grinding and milling.

      During his presentation he also spoke about the staging of construction into two stages for all bridges, highlighting specifications and joint details to prevent water intrusion and provide structural continuity in the deck slab.  Exposed fiber finish was specified to promote bonding between stages of UHPC application to ensure an exposed aggregate finish suitable for UHPC application. He highlighted the need for full depth and reconstruction with UHPC to full depth at deck joints which can be susceptible to deterioration.

      Samer Rabie discussed UHPC materials specifications and testing, specifications for construction processes, lessons learned, the evaluation process, and the focus of future assessments. He shared video examples of UHPC placement in the field and discussed design and construction special provisions, use of specialized equipment, mixing and application of UHPC, the importance of exposed fibers, the expertise required of the workforce and contractors, and proper curing and finishing, among other topics.

      Several lessons learned were shared, including an expectation that NJDOT would seek in the scoping and concept development stage to identify project locations that could use UHPC as a final riding surface (rather than asphalt) to enable its evaluation, inspection and characterization for representative condition ratings for the future.  However, if an overlay is needed on top of UHPC for geometry or profile, the agency will consider BDWSC (Bridge Deck Waterproof Surface Course) or High Performance Thin Overlay materials.

      To measure the existing conditions, the use of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) should be used to determine concrete cover, overlay thickness and reinforcement locations and to determine the causes of delamination.

      Two special provision items will emphasize the use of surveys to inform depths of hydrodemolition and material qualities required for placement to ensure continuous operation and to specify watertight forms, top forms, minimum overfill, and surface grinding.

      Mr. Rabie also outlined construction considerations and challenges in the application of UHPC and proper staging.  He described how UHPC slurry with no fibers was placed in air voids in response to surface defects before asphalt paving and emphasized that proper repair methods in contract documents should be defined to address aesthetic or structural anomalies.

      Mr. Rabie also described in some detail the testing methods that have been used for annual evaluations for two bridges, including non-destructive impact echo testing and ultrasonic tomography, as well as physical sampling and lab testing. The ultrasonic tomography and impact echo testing indicated that the bond between UHPC and concrete substrate is sound and that the chloride content was within expectations.

      In his concluding remarks, Mr. Rabie observed that the baseline testing was successful, with no significant defects encountered. NJDOT is considering installing UHPC overlays on newly constructed decks as well as decks with lower condition ratings for future projects. A deeper overlay (with deeper existing deck removal) will be regarded as a viable alternative for structures that need a major deck rehabilitation. NJDOT is also incorporating UHPC for several applications in the new design manual, including P&R.  In future studies, the team will seek to better understand deterioration rates of UHPC.  The presenters also responded to questions related to the approximate service life of UHPC and its tensile capacity.

      Reminders and Updates.

      Mrs. Sullivan (Chapman) announced that NJDOT received the 2022 America’s Transportation Award for Best Use of Technology and Innovation for the Implementation of Drivewyze on 647 miles of NJ’s Highways.

      Mrs. Sullivan (Chapman) provided reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      She reminded the attendees to save the dates for the FHWA EDC-7 National Summit and the NJ STIC Caucus. The EDC-7 Summit will be held from February 14-16, 2023 as a virtual event, featuring some states that have used the initiatives successfully, and an Innovation Showcase. The Summit will be followed by the NJ STIC Caucus on February 22, 2023 from 10:00am-12:00pm. During the Caucus, the NJ STIC will discuss the opportunities and barriers of the new initiatives and consider what initiatives New Jersey should pursue.

      STIC Incentive Program funds are still available for 2022 and more funds will be available soon for the coming year. The FHWA offers these funds, as well as technical assistance, to support the costs of standardizing innovative practices in a state transportation agency or other public sector STIC stakeholder. NJ STIC receives $100,000 each year. Mrs. Sullivan (Chapman) asked that the STIC network members communicate these grant opportunities through their networks. Local public agencies are eligible to apply. Find more information, including examples of allowable activities and prior recipients, here.

      Mr. Russo provided closing remarks.

      A recording of the NJ STIC December 2022 meeting can be found here.

      The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and or in sections below.

      NJ STIC December 2022 Meeting Recording

      Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

      Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

      CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

      CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

      CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

      Feature Presentation: NJDOT Innovative Approach to Safety

      Reminders, Announcements, and Thank You

      NJ STIC 3rd Quarter 2022 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened virtually for the 3rd Quarter Meeting on September 19, 2022. The NJ STIC Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the Microsoft Teams platform chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Brandee Chapman, NJDOT Innovation Coordinator greeted the meeting participants, followed by Assistant Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

      FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that there are three months remaining in EDC-6 and the EDC-7 cycle will begin in January 2023. She does not have information about the initiatives that will be part of the next cycle, but they should be announced soon. The EDC-7 Summit will likely be held in early December as a virtual event, featuring some states that have used the initiatives successfully, and will be followed by a NJ Caucus, where the NJ STIC will discuss the opportunities and barriers of the new initiatives and consider what initiatives New Jersey should pursue. The final reports for EDC-6 will be completed in January 2023.

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support.

      There was a brief break during which meeting participants could take part in a transportation trivia quiz through Mentimeter.

      Featured Presentation – Safety CIA Team. The featured presentation was delivered by Daniel Lisanti, Manager, and Jeevanjot Singh, Section Chief for the Bureau of Safety, Bicycle & Pedestrian Programs (BSBPP).

      Mr. Lisanti noted that the Bureau comprises three units: the Office of Safety Program Management, Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, and the Office of Complete Streets Implementation. The Bureau manages the federally-funded Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) for all roads in the State, manages the implementation of the 2020 New Jersey Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) for Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, and serves as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) on Complete Streets Implementation. The Bureau also manages technical projects that identify, inventory, review and analyze safety concerns along state and non-state roads, and suggest safety countermeasures, among other responsibilities.

      Currently, the Bureau has 214 active HSIP projects in various stages of development. Mr. Lisanti gave an overview of the Bureau and the evolution of the programs over the past decade, explaining that HSIP funding increased and NJDOT shifted from funding low-cost, quick-fix maintenance projects to supporting larger scale capital improvement projects.

      Mr. Lisanti reviewed the Bureau’s previous STIC-related accomplishments which include work on the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) initiative for EDC-4 and EDC-5 involving an action plan for pedestrian crossing countermeasures at uncontrolled locations, and systemic safety projects for midblock crosswalk safety improvements. For EDC-3, the Bureau used STIC funding to hold local safety peer exchanges to discuss Data Driven Safety Analysis and substantive safety and the systemic safety approach.  Related to the EDC-5 initiative Reducing Rural Roadway Departures, NJDOT held a three-day virtual training with FHWA and the FHWA Resource Center.

      The Bureau has changed focus to consider why crashes happen, and to take steps to proactively address the risk of a crash. Projects include Horizontal Curve Safety Assessment which is nearing completion, Wrong Way Driving, and forthcoming safety assessments for School Zones and Intersections. Other areas of focus include Vegetation Safety Management and Midblock Crosswalk Improvements on NJDOT roadways.

      Ms. Singh reviewed several improvements to the Safety Project Delivery Process to institutionalize safety in all of their projects. The Bureau is using condensed CD checklists in the limited scope process for the Horizontal Curve Sign Program and High Friction Surface Treatment to fast-track deployment. They have included Highway Safety Manual analysis and Complete Streets checklist activities to the Capital Project Delivery Process network diagram to ensure project managers are aware of requirements for HSIP projects. The Bureau is working with consultant selection teams for proposal reviews for HSIP projects to determine the best consultant team. The Bureau has developed a Post Deployment Evaluation process which incorporates three and half years of data. This process has been submitted to FHWA for approval. If approved, the process will be used for assessment of Center Line Rumble Strips, High Friction Surface Treatment, and Road Diets. Ms. Singh discussed the introduction of split funding and job order contracting for Safety Project Delivery using HSIP monies. The Bureau is diversifying their project portfolio and coordinating with NJDOT Maintenance on vegetation management, with Technology on wrong way driving warning systems, pedestrian detection systems, and Lead Pedestrian Intervals, and with Communications on Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and public outreach.

      As previously noted, the Bureau is responsible for SHSP implementation. Ms. Singh noted a robust process that has engaged 200 stakeholders. She provided an update on progress on the original 35 priority actions and noted that 22 action items have been added for Year 2.

      Finally, Ms. Singh made note of the Safety Resource Center (SRC), a one-stop centralized clearinghouse for transportation safety in NJ. The SRC disseminates information and connects multimodal transportation experts, public officials, academia, and the public to industry resources such as safety trainings, technical standards, guidance, plans, research, case studies, best practices, and technical assistance. In the future, the SRC will be responsible for the NJDOT SHSP plans and updates.

       Reminders and Updates. Ms. Chapman closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      The NJ STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey has been distributed via email. Responses will be shared at a future STIC meeting and innovative initiatives will be featured through the NJDOT Technology Transfer program. The survey will help identify examples of implemented EDC initiatives and other innovative practices in New Jersey, and consider the challenges of implementing innovative practices. Please share the survey with your networks – the target audience is members of local public agencies, MPOs and other transportation professionals. Responses are due by September 30th. The survey can be found here.

      Ms. Chapman announced the 2022 Build a Better Mousetrap Competition Winner – The Sawcut Vertical Curb. The Sawcut Vertical Curb method involves cutting a typical 4-inch curb to 2-inches to comply with updated standards for guard rail. The existing guide rail can remain in place while cutting the curb and the construction crew can remove and upgrade the guide rail later. This new method saves time, money, and improves the safety of both work crews and road users.

      Ms. Gendek and Ms. Chapman submitted the Sawcut Vertical Curb as the first nomination to the annual AASHTO Innovative Initiatives competition earlier this month, and a winner will be selected by the end of the calendar year. The competition is for proven advancements in transportation technology and AASHTO is using the competition to accelerate adoption of innovations by agencies nationwide.

      FHWA featured NJ STIC in the September/October issue of the Innovator publication. Using excerpts from our presentation at the National STIC meeting, the article mentions the STIC Communications Plan, piloting of the Let’s Go! Workshop, and more. You can read the full article at the link here.

      Ms. Chapman reported that she attended the 2022 State Innovation Forum in San Diego, CA. The purpose of the forum was to exchange ideas with DOT Innovation peers, helping to shape the future of transportation innovation. Attendees also included AASHTO, TRB, and FHWA who were looking to gain insight into new tools and learn about the needs of the group.

      The 2022 NJDOT Safety Summit will be held as a virtual event on October 11, from 10am-12pm. Go to saferoadsforallnj.com for more information.

      STIC Incentive Program funds are still available for 2022 and more funds will be available soon for the coming year. The FHWA offers these funds, as well as technical assistance, to support the costs of standardizing innovative practices in a state transportation agency or other public sector STIC stakeholder. NJ STIC receives $100,000 each year. Ms. Chapman asked that the STIC network members communicate these grant opportunities through their networks. Local public agencies are eligible to apply. Find more information, including examples of allowable activities and prior recipients, here.

      Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research, and Mike Russo provided closing remarks.

      A recording of the NJ STIC September 2022 meeting can be found here.

      The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and or in sections below.

      NJ STIC September 2022 Meeting Recording

      Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

      Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

      CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

      CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

      CIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

      Feature Presentation: NJDOT Innovative Approach to Safety

      Reminders, Announcements, and Thank You

      NJ STIC 2nd Quarter 2022 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) held its second Quarterly Meeting of CY 2022 on June 15, 2022. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Attendees to the online meeting had opportunities to offer comments or ask questions, or use the chat feature.

      Brandee Chapman, NJDOT's Innovation Coordinator, greeted the meeting participants and facilitated the meeting procedings. Michael Russo, NJDOT Assistant Commissioner, provided Welcome and Opening Remarks.

      FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, FHWA's Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager, noted that there are six months left in EDC-6 and the EDC-7 cycle will be beginning in January 2023. She does not have information about the specific innovations that will be part of the next cycle. The EDC-7 Summit will probably be held in early December as a virtual event and will be followed by a NJ Caucus where the NJ STIC will discuss the opportunities and barriers of these new innovation initiatives and consider what initiatives New Jersey should pursue.

      Ms. Roberts noted that New Jersey was a featured state at the National STIC meeting held on June 1st.   The NJ STIC presentation team highlighted several initiatives including the Let’s Go Workshop, the Communications Plan, and the UAS Program.  A recording of the National STIC meeting and the NJ presentation can be found here.

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support.

      The Safety update provided a timely overview of a new federal program, Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A), authorized under the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Bill.  Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Local Governments are among the eligible recipients for planning and action implementation grants for safety improvements.  A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) was recently issued, and the briefing presentation covered, among other topics, eligibility requirements, funding levels, grant types, cost share and match provisions, and key deadline dates for questions and submissions.

      The Earn and Learn Program, an innovative partnership of the HCCC and IUOE, draws the upon a state labor grant, NJ PLACE 2.0.

      Featured Presentation – Strategic Workforce Development.  The featured presentation(s) explored the potential roles of community college, union and state agencies in establishing workforce training and apprenticeship programs to meet the needs of 21st Century construction jobs in transportation.  The presentations were given by Lori Margolin, Associate Vice President, Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Hudson County Community College (HCCC); Nick Toth, Director, Office of Apprenticeships, NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development (NJDOL); and Greg Lalevee, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825.

      Feature Presentation #1 - Continuing Education & Workforce Development, Hudson Community College. Ms. Margolin described the mission of the college and her office focusing on student success and diversity, equity and inclusion. She spoke about the Earn & Learn program, an innovative dual education program created with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825 that allows individuals to earn an Associates degree while gaining hands-on instruction and earning a paycheck in the Union’s apprenticeship program. For this initiative, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) developed a new concentration within the Technical Studies degree major tailored to the needs of IUOE Local 825. Participants are supported through funding from Local 825 and a NJ Department of Labor PLACE 2.0 grant. Ms. Margolin’s office works with employers who are having trouble finding eligible workers. HCCC builds training programs which include experiential learning and create career pathways for students, identifies a diverse pool of candidates, and develops short-term solutions while building a talent pipeline. HCCC is the administrative lead for the Construction Center for Workforce Innovation created this year as part of the NJ Pathways to Career Opportunities Program. The Center will focus on expanding career pathways in construction, creating new partnerships with K-12 schools and 4-year colleges and universities, and expanding the dual education program with new partners.

      Virtual Reality (VR) is being used by the IUOE to prepare workforce for operating the equipment and technology of the 21st Century.

      Feature Presentation #2 - NJ Department of Labor & Workforce Development, Office of Apprenticeships.  Mr. Toth noted that the Murphy administration’s prioritization of apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs resulted in the creation of the Office of Apprenticeship in the NJ Department of Labor (NJDOL) in 2018. The Office partners with US Department of Labor, and is the one-stop shop for NJ employers, nonprofits, and educational institutions that are working with registered apprenticeships, a formal program that advances workforce development. NJDOL is seeking to expand apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship in high-growth fields. The Office of Apprenticeship seeks to be the connection between educational institutions, employers and advocacy organizations. Mr. Toth reviewed several of the specific programs offered including GAINS, NJ PLACE 2.0, and NJ BUILD. These programs ensure that employers get the talent they need and, with an emphasis on equity and inclusion, provide entry points for everyone. All grants have language that helps to remove economic barriers to training and upskilling through targeted investments. He discussed pre-apprenticeship programs that provide classroom training and curriculum, strategies for long-term success, access to support services, hands-on training, facilitated entry, and occupation-specific training.

      Mr. Toth noted that a fairly new requirement of Public Works Contractor Registration is participation in a registered apprenticeship program. The program is one means by which the state of New Jersey can maximize benefits to NJ residents when spending state resources. The contractors that NJDOT is working with have to comply with this new law, and the Office of Apprenticeship can work with these contractors, and provide funding to help them comply with the law. The number of registered apprenticeship programs has increased by 77 percent since Gov. Murphy took office and NJDOL has doubled the number of women in registered apprenticeship programs.

      The IUOE Training Facility offers "hands-on" opportunities for using milling and pavement equipment in the winter months.

      Feature Presentation #3 - International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). Mr. Lalevee began by explaining that the IUOE is comprised of heavy equipment operators who build the critical infrastructure that NJ residents use every day. Mr. Lalevee noted that Local 825 assesses market needs in order to create a 21st Century workforce that can work on future transportation, energy, and clean water projects. Local 825 chose to establish a technical college that would upskill union members to gain competence with new technology including artificial intelligence, full robotic controls, GPS controls, among others. The Union sees value in partnering with the county Vo-Tech schools to provide a pipeline of future participants for its apprenticeship program. The Union recently hired an in-house academic to create curricula and build partnership, such as the Earn & Learn program developed with HCCC. Mr. Lalevee described their training facilities and equipment in South Brunswick. He noted that two significant barriers to entry to apprenticeships have been transportation and childcare. Part of the incentive for establishing a technical college was to take advantage of NJDOL programs to fund transportation for program participants. He noted that apprenticeships at IUOE Local 825 are in demand.

      Mileage-Based User Fee Pilot Program. Zenobia Fields, NJDOT Director of Government and Community Relations, announced that Eastern Transportation Coalition and NJDOT are launching Phase 4 of the Mileage-Based User Fee Pilot Program. Current funding for transportation infrastructure comes from the gas tax. With a shift to electric and hybrid vehicles, a new funding approach is needed. With an MBUF program, drivers pay for the miles they travel. NJDOT is looking for 400 members of the general public to register for the pilot. Go to the website for more information and to sign up by July 31st to participate.

      Reminders and Updates. Ms. Chapman closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      The NJ STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey has been distributed via email. Responses will be shared at a future STIC meeting and innovative initiatives will be featured through the NJDOT Technology Transfer program. Please share the survey with your networks – the target audience is members of local public agencies, MPOs and other transportation professionals. Responses are due by July 15th.  Use this link to the NJ STIC Innovative Initiatives Survey.

      The Bureau of Research has prepared a NJ nomination for the 2022 STIC Excellence Award and named several initiatives including the creation of the new CIA Team, the Innovation Coordinator position, and the STIC Communications Plan, piloting of the Let’s Go Workshop, the EDC-6 Caucus, and the NJ highlight at the National STIC meeting, among other accomplishments. The nomination will be circulating soon for signature and endorsement.

      Ms. Chapman noted that STIC Incentive Program funding is available. The program provides up to $100,000 per state. Applications are due by August 2022. Local Public Agencies are eligible to apply. The NJDOT Bureau of Research has developed a set of guidelines for project administration for selected projects.

      Sal Cowan spoke in recognition of Sue Catlett who is retiring from NJDOT after 39 years of service.

      Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research, and Mike Russo provided closing remarks.

       

      A recording of the NJ STIC June 2022 meeting can be found here.

       

      The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and or in sections below.

      NJ STIC June 2022 Meeting Recording

      Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

      Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

      CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

      CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

      Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

      Feature Presentation: Strategic Workforce Development

      Announcement: Mileage-Based User Fee Pilot Program

      Reminders, Announcements, and Thank You

      NJ STIC 1st Quarter 2022 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened online for the 1st Quarter Meeting on March 16, 2022. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Andy Swords, Director, Division of Statewide Planning, who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

      Ms. Gendek then introduced Brandee Chapman who has recently been hired as the NJDOT Innovation Coordinator. Ms. Gendek noted the importance of dedicated innovation staff and thanked NJDOT administration for supporting this position. Ms. Chapman will eventually become the NJ STIC Coordinator and NJDOT’s Innovation Subject Matter Expert and will support the Bureau of Research in becoming a hub of innovation.

      FHWA EDC Innovations Update. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, reported on the status of progress on EDC initiatives. She thanked the CIA Team Leaders and SMEs for their progress report and efforts. She noted that there are only nine months left in the two-year EDC-6 cycle and observed that there may be more progress being made than has been reported.

      Ms. Roberts and Ms. Gendek made a call for Every Day Counts Round 7 ideas with a focus on Safety, Equity, and Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.  The deadline for submitting suggestions for Round 7 innovations is April 11, 2022. Ms. Roberts explained that FHWA is looking for innovations that are "market-ready" — that is, they have been proven in deployment but are currently underutilized among the states.  Through an extensive vetting process, FHWA will pare down the list from the call for ideas to approximately 10 innovations. Ms. Gendek added that if you have an innovation that requires a little more research to be ready for implementation, please send the idea to her at NJDOT Bureau of Research.

      Ms. Roberts and Ms. Gendek engaged the NJ STIC meeting attendees with an Interactive exercise. Click for results.

      Ms. Roberts and Ms. Gendek reminded everyone that New Jersey will be a featured state at the next National STIC meeting on June 1, 2022 at 2.00 PM.  They asked those in attendance to pull out their cell phones and participate in an interactive exercise seeking suggestions on possible topics and innovative initiatives that NJ should highlight during the national meeting.

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of the prioritized EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support.

      Featured Presentation #1 — Commercial Vehicle Alerts.  The first featured presentation described an initiative to proactively deploy New Jersey Commercial Vehicle 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. Mr. Cowan set the stage for their joint presentation by explaining that Drivewyze is the provider of North America’s largest weigh station by-pass system, Drivewyze Pre-Clear.  INRIX provides real-time traffic data and analytics and has been a long-standing data partner with NJDOT.

      Mr. Cowan provided an overview of the project and discussed the web-based Drivewyze dashboard.

      In laying out the rationale for the deployment of commercial vehicle alerts, Mr. Cowan noted that NJDOT, NJ Turnpike Authority, and South Jersey Turnpike Authority are working together to provide commercial drivers with slow-down and congestion alerts to help them react before they are caught in congested and/or hazardous conditions. He highlighted the roadways covered by the subject deployment and reminded attendees of the importance of having a safe and reliable goods movement sector to the state's economy and to satisfying our growing expectations as consumers.

      Ms. Lopez described the INRIX system and its ability to deliver real-time data that detects and describes sudden slowdowns, closures, and queues by location for specific events. Drivewyze takes this data and communicates it to commercial truck drivers. The system works with severity thresholds and trigger warnings so only events that exceed these thresholds are reported. Commercial drivers receive the messages through the electronic logging device (ELD) in their cab. The reported information can be customized to include notification of specific weather events.

      Mr. Cowan presented an example of the web-based dashboard that NJDOT can monitor when Drivewyze sends out a commercial vehicle traffic alert. The alert platform provides information on congestion and sudden slow-downs by road, time of day, and incident duration and indicates the number of alerts and vehicles alerted in NJ.

      Mr. Cowan and Ms. Lopez also touched on the deployment timeline from planning to implementation, data interpretation challenges, and anticipated next-step applications for integration of the commercial vehicle alert data.

      Mr. Nichols discussed how the Drivewyze alert system worked in practice.

      Mr. Nichols then detailed how the alert system worked in practice, highlighting a specific use case, the Winter Storm Kenan in late January 2022.  He explained that Drivewyze set up a geofence and as drivers crossed that line, they were notified of road conditions so that drivers could find a location to stop and wait out the storm. Notably, NJDOT requested that emergency alerts be sent to commercial drivers along portions of the east coast. In coordination with the Eastern Transportation Coalition, Drivewyze sent alerts to 11 other states for northbound traffic and reached an estimated 4,800 drivers. This system was also used to inform drivers of open rest areas during the pandemic.  Mr. Nichols explained how the collaboration between NJDOT, INRIX and Drivewyze was able to effectively inform commercial truck drivers and change their behavior during a severe weather event.

      Featured Presentation #2 — Trenton Moves: Autonomous Vehicle-Based Urban Transit System Project.  The next presentation was made by Andrew Tunnard, NJDOT Asst. Commissioner, Operations Systems and Support, who spoke about Trenton Moves — Mobility & Opportunity: Vehicles Equity System. Mr. Tunnard described the fundamental importance in planning transportation systems and services of considering all kinds of people when thinking about mobility. He introduced the "Trenton Moves" project, which will seek to identify and address the transportation needs of the carless, and those who are unable to drive due to physical limitations. Trenton has approximately 90,000 residents, and over 70 percent have one or fewer cars.

      Mr. Tunnard provided an overview of the Trenton Moves project, highlighting the project's aims and processes needed to bring it to fruition.

      Mr. Tunnard explained that NJDOT is collaborating with the Governor’s Office, Princeton University (Prof. Alain Kornhauser and students), Mercer County, and the City of Trenton to deploy a safe, equitable, affordable, sustainable, on-demand transportation system. As envisioned, the system is expected to comprise 100 autonomous, electric shuttle vehicles and 50 kiosks. The initiative is in the concept phase and the hope is to have people riding the vehicles by early 2024. Steps in the implementation process include: creating a vision in the neighborhoods and communities and building support at the local level for the use of this technology; enticing tech companies to come work with NJDOT in a public-private partnership (PPP) to bring the technology to implementation; and up-front infrastructure funding. Although these vehicles will travel on existing infrastructure, improvements to road markings, curbs, intersections, and signage will be needed, in addition to construction of a maintenance garage and operations center and the 50 kiosks.

      Mr. Tunnard touched on some of the potential operational design domain (ODD) phasing, service and pricing plan considerations that must be tackled to fully test and pilot the shuttle system.  Beyond the practical challenges, Mr. Tunnard invited those in attendance to envision how the transit system might deliver needed last-mile services from the Trenton train station to government offices, among other destinations, and improve mobility and accessibility in Trenton for its residents.

      The City of Trenton received a local transportation planning grant of $5M from NJDOT to support the start-up and deployment of Trenton Moves.  Once the project is established, the intent is to expand the project to surrounding communities and eventually throughout New Jersey.

      Reminders and Updates. Ms. Gendek closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      She noted that STIC Incentive Program funding is available. The program provides up to $100,000 per state. Applications are due by August 2022. The NJDOT Bureau of Research has developed a set of guidelines for project administration for selected projects.

      She also reminded everyone that the entry deadline for the 2022 Build A Better Mousetrap Competition is May 1st.  She encouraged attendees to spread the word about the competition among their colleagues.   An NJLTAP Webinar, Innovating at the Local Public Works Level: Can You Build a Better Mousetrap? will be held on March 23, 2022 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm for those who would like more information.

      A recording of the NJ STIC March 2022 Meeting can be found here.

      The Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the section below.

      NJ STIC March 2022 Meeting Recording

      Welcome Remarks

      Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

      CIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

      CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

      Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

      Feature Presentation: New Jersey Commercial Vehicle Alerts

      Feature Presentation: Trenton Moves: Autonomous Vehicle-Based Urban Transit System Project

      Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You

      NJ STIC 4th Quarter 2021 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) convened online for the 4th Quarter Meeting on December 15, 2021. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants could use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

      FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, reported that the TOPS EDC-6 initiative team had been very active. New Jersey is a leader in Targeted Overlay Pavement Solutions (TOPS) for asphalt solutions. The TOPS session at the County Engineers Fall Forum included the initiative team as well as other speakers who provided New Jersey-specific information to the municipal and county engineers. The TOPS working group met on October 7, 2021 and had input from Monmouth County and Princeton.

      Ms. Roberts noted that the Let’s Go Workshop pilot was held at the end of September with the Digital Project Delivery and Strategic Workforce Development initiative teams. She announced that New Jersey will be a featured state at the next National STIC meeting with discussion of the new STIC Communications Plan, and possibly highlighting the use of interactive STIC meetings early in the pandemic, and other topics. She asked that attendees contact Ms. Gendek if they have other suggestions for topics that could be highlighted. She reminded CIA leads that the next progress report is due at the end of January.

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support

      Featured Presentations.  Kevin Becica, PE, PP, CME, Camden County Engineer described work on Targeted Overlay Pavement Systems Projects Using BRIC and SMA. Ms. Becica provided Westfield Avenue Phases I and II as case examples for the use of Binder Rich Intermediate Course (BRIC) and Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA). The county road system comprises predominantly older concrete roads, with some asphalt overlay surfaces, and asphalt pavements in the southern section of the county. When the older concrete pavements fail at the longitudinal and transverse joints, the county is using overlay of BRIC and SMA to repair roads rather than use full concrete slab replacement which is expensive. The county uses NJDOT standard specifications for these materials. Some of the benefits of BRIC include a longer life than standard asphalt, a smoother surface, a surface that supports pavement markings so that they remain durable and visible, and a uniform look. Challenges to use of BRIC include higher costs due to the need to shut down regular asphalt production at a plant in order to produce this specialty material. Although utility companies are required to repave after digging up a road, they will replace the material with standard asphalt. Ms. Becica considers that the benefits outweigh the detriments and notes that local officials need to understand the arguments for using these materials. She is looking forward to the next project, possibly on Kings Highway. For more details on Camden County’s use of BRIC and SMA, see Ms. Becica’s presentation.

      Sue Catlett, Project Manager in NJDOT’s Mobility Research Group provided an update on the Weather Savvy Roads project, an Accelerated Innovation Deployment Grant-funded project. The project has expanded to 24 equipped vehicles. She discussed the instrumentation process including set-up of the cameras and sensors and other equipment, and the web interface which includes the virtual video wall, the map, the camera view, and ambient air and road temperatures. NJDOT is comparing the value of mobile and fixed RWIS, and testing FirstNet signal strength compared with commercial cellular strength on state roads. The Weather Responsive Management System can also assist in traffic incident management by providing video of an incident scene that can help ensure that individuals in the field receive the appropriate support and get the road back open more quickly. NJDOT is continuing to work on improving the capacity of the video management system, acquiring additional instrumentation, and improving hardware maintenance and driver awareness and understanding of the system. This project won the ITS-NJ 2021 Outstanding Project Award.

      Amanda Gendek introduced the 2021 Build A Better Mousetrap Competition Video. The video features the state and local agency winners for 2021 and describes the competition. As highlighted in the video, the next round of submissions of implemented ideas is due on May 1, 2022 for both state and local agency agencies. The Build a Better Mousetrap page on the Technology Transfer website features the competition video as well as the innovations recognized in past years of the competition.  Application for the next round can be found here.

      Ms. Gendek also encouraged attendees to contact her if there are innovations at NJDOT or at local agencies that could be advanced through a video. The Bureau of Research’s Technology Transfer program has the contractor and a funding mechanism to produce case study videos highlighting noteworthy innovations.

      Reminders and Updates.

      Ms. Gendek closed the meeting with information and reminders on the online location of several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      A recording of the NJ STIC December Meeting can be here.

      Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the sections below.

      NJ STIC December 2021 Meeting Recording

      Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

      Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Infrastructure Preservation, NJDOT Bob Signora, FHWA - Nunzio MerlaCIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

      Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

      CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

      Feature Presentation: Use of BRIC by Camden County

      Feature Presentation: Weather Savvy Roads Update

      Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You

      NJ STIC 3rd Quarter 2021 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) 3rd Quarter Meeting, held on September 15, 2021, featured presentations about the NJDOT Safety Voyager Tool and the NJ STIC Communications Plan,  among other topics. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants were invited to use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks.

      FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that the first six-month progress report for the EDC initiatives and STIC incentive grant update reports were submitted, indicating few changes in the stage of implementation except for E-Ticketing and Digital As Builts.  She shared a graphic of the EDC-6 deployment stage for each initiative illustrating the baseline assessment and goals for the two year period.

      Ms. Roberts reported that NJDOT will pilot FHWA’s Let’s Go! Workshop which is designed to help in the formation of cohesive teams and plans to advance the EDC innovative initiatives. The workshops are scheduled for September 21st and 28th with a focus on the Strategic Workforce Development team, and the E-Construction team that will address Digital As-Builts and 3D Project Delivery.  FHWA resource specialists for these subject areas will be present to assist in instruction and coaching for the pilot workshop(s).

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Infrastructure Preservation, Mobility and Operations, and Organizational Improvement and Support

      Featured Presentations.  

      Peter Brzostowski, NJDOT Bureau of Transportation Data & Support shared an instructive video presentation that demonstrated several major features of the Safety Voyager tool which was followed by a questions and answer session. Safety Voyager is based on the NJTR-1 traffic enforcement crash reports. The tool provides information on crash incidents at specific intersections and corridors. Mr. Brzostowski walked through several scenarios to explore the various queries that can be made, for example, by weather-related events, years, type of crashes, and location, among others, and the use of modules that explore topics such as sun glare, weather, and crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists. The tool includes an equity layer based on census data.

      In response to a question, Mr. Brzostowski noted that employees of state government agencies, MPOs, and anyone working on a government project at any level can request access to Safety Voyager. Mike Russo added that the team had received input and feedback from various sources, and have been able to customize the tool to respond to primary customer needs. Expansion of the tool’s functionality continues.

      David Aimen, Rutgers-Voorhees Transportation Center, presented on the NJ STIC Communications Plan, noting that the development of the Plan was funded in part by a STIC incentive grant and prepared on behalf of the NJDOT Bureau of Research – the administrative lead for the management of NJ STIC. The Plan seeks to improve the NJ STIC’s effectiveness through continuing communications and engagement with STIC stakeholders.  The Plan increases awareness of the FHWA Every Day Counts Program and NJ STIC by identifying a toolbox of communication tools, methods and strategies that will be used to document performance, capture and share information on innovative initiatives, and promote implementation of these initiatives throughout the State. The Plan is posted on the NJ STIC section of the Technology Transfer website here.

      Following the presentation, Amanda Gendek and Helene Roberts conducted an interactive exercise with attendees to help identify innovative practices that could be featured at future NJ STIC meetings, in future communications and/or other technology transfer activities. The interactive polling exercise solicited suggestions from attendees on innovations that have been advanced by organizations and provide useful lessons learned for others, innovations that should be more widely shared with the STIC and others, and topics for innovative case study videos.  The exercise also solicited feedback on continuing training needs for specific EDC-6 initiatives.

      Reminders and Updates.

      Amanda Gendek closed the meeting with reminders about several resources that highlight the NJ STIC and other innovation topics funded through research and technology transfer activities, including:

      A recording of the NJ STIC 3rd Quarterly Meeting of 2021 and the Safety Voyager video can be found on this page.

      Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the sections below.

      Screenshots from the interactive exercise in support of the Communications Plan can be found here.

      NJ STIC 2021 3rd Quarter Meeting Recording

      Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

      Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Infrastructure Preservation, NJDOT Bob Signora, FHWA - Nunzio MerlaCIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

      Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

      CIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

      Slide image reading Operations Apprenticeship Program, Michele Shapiro, Direcor, NJDOT Human ResourcesFeature Presentation: Safety Voyager (link to video presentation)

      Feature Presentation: NJ STIC Communications Plan

      Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You

      Image reading: New Jersey State Transportation Innovation Council, 2nd Quarterly Meeting, June 16, 2021, there is also a Url reading: www.njdottechtransfer.net/NJ-STIC

      NJ STIC 2nd Quarter 2021 Meeting

      The NJ State Transportation Innovation Council (NJ STIC) 2nd Quarter Meeting, held on June 16, 2021, featured presentations about on-going and proposed strategic workforce development initiatives, among other topics. The STIC Meeting Agenda had been distributed to the invitees prior to the meeting. Participants were invited to use the chat feature to offer comments or ask questions of the speakers during the online meeting.

      Amanda Gendek, Manager of the NJDOT Bureau of Research greeted the meeting participants, followed by Asst. Commissioner Michael Russo who provided the Welcome and Opening Remarks. Asst. Commissioner Russo noted that the NJDOT workforce will return to work at 50 percent capacity on June 21, 2021. Meetings will continue using virtual formats to accommodate other organizations that may not be returning to in-person work yet. NJDOT has found that virtual meetings have provided better access and increased participation. Mr. Russo took a moment to note the imminent retirement of Michele Shapiro, Director, NJDOT Human Resources, who had been integral to workforce training innovations at NJDOT that were being highlighted for their lessons learned during the current STIC meeting.

      FHWA EDC Innovation. Helene Roberts, Innovation Coordinator and Performance Manager for the FHWA NJ Office, noted that six month progress reports for the EDC initiatives and STIC incentive grant update reports are due by July 8, 2021.

      Ms. Roberts reported that NJDOT has offered to pilot FHWA’s Let’s Go! Workshop which is designed to help in the formation of cohesive teams and plans to advance the EDC innovative initiatives. The workshop will be held in September 2021, with a focus on the Strategic Workforce Development team, and an E-Construction team that will address Digital As-Builts and E-Ticketing.

      Core Innovation Area (CIA) Updates. The meeting continued with presentations from Core Innovative Area (CIA) leaders who provided updates of the status of EDC initiatives on the topics of Safety, Mobility and Operations, Infrastructure Preservation, and Organizational Support and Improvement.

      Featured Presentations. Michele Shapiro, Director, NJDOT Human Resources, presented on the Operations Apprenticeship Program as it relates to Strategic Workforce Development. The program began in 2014 as a way to provide consistent training and job skills among crew members, and establish a path to advancement for workers. Ms. Shapiro offered a number of lessons learned from this ongoing initiative.

      Chrystal Section, NJDOT Division of Civil Rights ADA/504 Coordinator, presented on reinvigorating a Succession Planning program at NJDOT. This program operated between 2001 and 2010 and several individuals currently in leadership positions went through the program. The proposed two-tiered program would provide workforce development on the executive level and on the professional level to offer increased opportunities for advancement within the agency.

      Vicky Tilghman-Ainsley, Acting Executive Director, NJDOT Division of Civil Rights/Affirmative Action, spoke about Special Recruitment Programs, including a pilot program to introduce high school students to the construction and maintenance fields. She noted that the Youth Corps program is continuing with gateway projects in the summer. The agency will also be working with contractors and contractor organizations to increase the number of women and minorities in the workforce. Laine Rankin commented that, a number of years ago, students were brought in to NJDOT to learn about planning at the agency and suggested that this effort could be replicated in other divisions.

      Reminders and Updates.

      Amanda Gendek provided the following information and reminders:

      • Information on NJ STIC is available on the NJDOT Technology Transfer website at https://www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/
      • She is preparing an application for a 2021 STIC Excellence Award. She is highlighting several innovative endeavors undertaken by NJ STIC in the past year, including the NJ STIC Virtual Caucus that utilized breakout sessions to enable in-depth discussions on each of the EDC-6 innovative initiatives.
      • The NJDOT Tech Transfer Newsletter is available on the Tech Transfer website and is emailed to those subscribed to the listserv.
      • A STIC primer document is available that provides links to information for new STIC members or as a review for current members. This document can be found in recent emails.
      • The Build a Better Mousetrap Competition is accepting applications from public agency employees who have implemented a better way to do their jobs, whether it’s a new gadget that improves the quality and safety of a project, or an innovative process that reduces costs and improves efficiency.

      Helene Roberts noted that the NJ STIC Executive Team will be meeting to review and revise the STIC charter in light of the addition of the Organizational Support and Improvement CIA.

      Asst. Commissioner Russo closed the meeting out with a note about the renewed interest in succession planning and the introduction of the fourth CIA team that will be sharing updates on that effort and others related to Strategic Workforce Development.

      A recording of the NJ STIC 2nd Quarterly Meeting of 2021 can be found on this page.

      Meeting Presentations can be found in its entirety here and in the sections below.

      NJ STIC 2021 2nd Quarter Meeting Recording

      Slide image reading: Welcome, Mike Russo, Assistant Commissioner, NJDOT Planning, Multimodal & Grant AdministrationWelcome Remarks

      Slide image reading: FHWA Updates, Helene Roberts, P.E., Innovation Coordinator & Performance Manager, FHWA, NJ Division OfficeFHWA EDC Innovation Updates

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Safety NJDOT - Dan LiSanti, FHWA - Keith SkiltonCIA Team Update: Safety

      Slide image reading: CIA Team Infrastructure Preservation, NJDOT Bob Signora, FHWA - Nunzio MerlaCIA Team Update: Infrastructure Preservation

      Slide image reading CIA Team Mobility & Ops NJDOT - Sue Catlett, FHWA - Ek PhomsavathCIA Team Update: Mobility and Operations

      Slide image reading: New! CIA Team Organizational Improvement & Support - NJDOT - Zenobia Fields, FHWA - Brian GoodsonCIA Team Update: Organizational Improvement and Support

      Slide image reading Operations Apprenticeship Program, Michele Shapiro, Direcor, NJDOT Human ResourcesFeature Presentation: Operations Apprenticeship Program

      Slide image reading: Reinvigorating Succession Planning and Special Recruitment Programs, Chrystal Section & Vicki Tilghman-Ansley, NJDOT Civil RightsFeature Presentation: Reinvigorating Succession Planning and Special Recruitment Programs

      Slide image reading: Reminders & Announcements, NJDOT Tech Transfer Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net), NJ STIC Website (www.njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic/), and all meeting recordings, presentations, and summary are posted: njdottechtransfer.net/nj-stic-meetingsReminders, Announcements, and Thank You