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EDC3: Seeking New Ideas to Save Time and Money With Better Bridge and Road Construction

EDC3: Seeking New Ideas to Save Time and Money With Better Bridge and Road Construction

Attention FastLane readers: the Federal Highway Administration needs your assistance identifying the next wave in cutting-edge technologies and tools to help states save time, save money, and save lives.

Today, FHWA announced a request for help as we build EDC3, the next wave of Every Day Counts (EDC) technologies -- at www.fbo.gov.

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EDC3 builds on the efforts that Victor Mendez launched in 2010 as FHWA Administrator to promote strategies and technologies that provide state and local governments with innovative solutions that can save them both time and money. Since 2010, FHWA has partnered with state DOTs to spread the use of these approaches around the country. We’ve also organized regional summits and worked with states to build State Transportation Innovation Councils. Those councils are matching proven solutions with projects to ensure these technologies and methods are options for faster project delivery.

Every Day Counts innovations like high friction surface treatments are saving lives by reducing collisions in places like Oldham County, Kentucky, where crashes fell from 18 per year to just two.

They're also saving taxpayers and businesses hundreds millions--if not billions--of dollars. For example, warm mix asphalt, a material promoted under EDC, has the potential to save $3 billion in fuel costs over the next seven years. Right now, 40 states are using warm mix for projects currently underway. The Georgia DOT used an EDC diverging diamond interchange reconfiguration near Atlanta to improve safety and save taxpayers more than $164 million. And the North Carolina DOT used an EDC interchange method to build “superstreets” featuring restricted crossing U-turns. That project resulted in a 20 percent savings in travel time, a 46 percent reduction in  collisions, and 63 percent fewer injuries and fatalities, with upwards of $600 million in transportation cost savings for businesses like UPS and other shippers.

This week’s announcement is the latest effort to conduct market research and bring 21st century market-ready innovations into practice.

If you've got ideas, there are a couple of caveats. First, we can’t promote proprietary innovations, but we can promote broad categories of innovations. And, second, it’s critical that any innovation put forward as an EDC3 candidate be one that is proven to work, chiefly through successful demonstration projects.

EDC can help FHWA and state DOTs bring better projects to completion faster and at less cost to taxpayers. By making this request, we’re building on our past successful partnerships with states and urging transportation and infrastructure experts in both the public and private sectors to help us think creatively and bring what works to the forefront, faster.

So between now and February 15th, I hope you'll take the time and make your case for an innovation. Reach us. Teach us. Lead us.

Greg Nadeau is Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

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The most innovative, sustainable and efficient form of human transportation is the bicycle. But the USDOT still refuses to build us bicycle infrastructure. Instead we just get more of the same. Wake up USDOT. The next generation demands it.

Please ban metal-studded tires for the entire U.S. except far northern Minnesota, Michigan, and Alaska. They are destroying roads.
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