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«GENERAL/ADMINISTRATIVE FHWA Launches RD&T Agenda Web Site FHWA recently launched a Web site for its research, development, and technology (RD&T) ...»

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FHWA R&T Now ~ September 2013~


A news update of research, technology, and development from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT),

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)


FHWA Launches RD&T Agenda Web Site

FHWA recently launched a Web site for its research, development, and technology (RD&T) agenda. The Web site

offers stakeholders an easily accessible, high-level overview of FHWA’s RD&T program and presents FHWA’s research and technology (R&T) agenda from two perspectives; one that concerns national RD&T challenges and one that concerns strategic RD&T objectives.

The Web site explains how FHWA’s research and program offices jointly address the six major, national-level highway R&T challenges facing the United States. These challenges include advancing highway safety, enhancing system performance, improving the mobility of people and goods, maintaining infrastructure integrity, promoting environmental sustainability, and preparing for the future.

The Web site also presents FHWA’s R&T research program by traditional discipline and topic areas—infrastructure, operations, safety, policy, planning and environment, Federal lands, exploratory advanced research, and innovative program delivery—and describes how each office’s strategic objectives drive their respective R&T portfolios.

“We see the FHWA R&T Agenda Web site as a critical element in our efforts to make the R&T program more transparent and receptive to the needs of the States and other stakeholders,” says Michael Trentacoste, FHWA’s Associate Administrator for Research, Development, and Technology.

The Web site is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/fhwaresearch/agenda. For more information, contact John Moulden, 202-493-3470, john.moulden@dot.gov.


New Brochure Explains EAR Program A new brochure that explains FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program, which focuses on longterm, high-risk research with a high payoff potential, was just published. The EAR Program matches opportunities from discoveries in science and technology with the needs of specific industries. The uncertainties in the research approach and outcomes challenge organizations and researchers to be innovative problem-solvers, which can lead to new research techniques, instruments, and processes that can be applied to future high-risk and applied research projects.

The brochure is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch/pubs/13071/index.cfm.

For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov.

Workshop Focused on Aging of Composites In coordination with the National Science Foundation (NSF), FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure R&D and EAR Program convened a 2-day workshop that featured leading engineering scientists and design engineers in the field of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials for highway infrastructure. Understanding the durability response of composite materials in terms of their degradation mechanisms is vital for the safe and economical field implementation of FRPs. The workshop, which was by invitation only, was held at the National Transportation Safety Board Training Center in Ashburn, VA, September 25–26, 2013. The main objective of the event was to identify possible new methods for understanding the aging and durability behavior of composite materials and to establish a research, development, and evaluation program dealing with durability and design issues by leveraging the collection of longitudinal performance data funded by NSF and others.

For additional information about the workshop, contact Lou Triandafilou, 202-493-3059, lou.triandafilou@dot.gov.

For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov.

Technologies to Help Vision-Impaired Pedestrians Find their Way FHWA’s EAR Program is sponsoring research on “Intelligent Situation Awareness and Navigation Aid for Visually Impaired Persons” to develop an assistive system for blind and severely visually impaired citizens so they can navigate and travel independently. The study is being completed in two phases. Phase I will explore assistive navigation technologies to provide blind or visually impaired people with obstacle avoidance and intelligent wayfinding capabilities in indoor environments. Phase II will extend the research to outdoor pedestrian environments to provide blind users with waypoint navigation, path planning, and advanced warning of special events.

More information is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/research/resources/visionimpaired.cfm. For questions about the research, contact Mohammed Yousuf, 202-493-3199, mohammed.yousuf@dot.gov. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov.

Fact Sheet: Creating Productive Roadways: Developing an Advanced Energy Production, Storage, and Distribution System Using the public right-of-way and roadway infrastructure as a source for energy production, storage, and distribution is the goal of “A Roadway Wind/Solar Hybrid Power Generation and Distribution System: Towards Energy–Plus Roadways,” an EAR Program study awarded to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The project aims to develop an intelligent power system that can provide cost-effective, highly efficient, and reliable renewable electric power production, storage, and distribution.

A fact sheet discussing the project is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch/pubs/12063/index.cfm.

For more information about the project, contact Eric Weaver, 202-493-3153, eric.weaver@dot.gov. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov.

Fact Sheet: Next Generation Vehicle Positioning and Simulation Solutions—Using GPS and Advanced Simulation Tools to Improve Highway Safety This fact sheet discusses two projects—“Integrated Global Positioning System and Inertial Navigation Unit (GPS/INU) Simulator for Enhanced Traffic Safety” and “Next Generation Vehicle Positioning in GPS-Degraded Environments for Vehicle Safety and Automation Systems”—awarded under the EAR Program. The projects are investigating key technological factors: high-precision vehicle positioning and advanced traffic simulation and evaluation tools.

The fact sheet is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/advancedresearch/pubs/13065/index.cfm.

For more information on the project, “GPS/INU Simulator for Enhanced Traffic Safety,” contact James Arnold, 202-493-3265. For more information on the project, “Next Generation Vehicle Positioning in GPS-Degraded Environments for Vehicle Safety and Automation Systems,” contact David Gibson, 202-493-3271, david.gibson@dot.gov. For more information about the EAR Program, contact David Kuehn, 202-493-3414, david.kuehn@dot.gov.


TFHRC Open House Features Intelligent Compaction and Sustainable Pavement Technologies On September 3 and 5, 2013, FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure R&D held an open house at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to explore intelligent compaction and sustainable pavement technologies.

Researchers displayed intelligent compaction construction equipment and demonstrated its use in the construction of research test pavements. They installed an intelligent compaction retrofit instrumentation kit on a double drum asphalt roller and a single drum soil roller.

FHWA is implementing intelligent compaction technology through the second round of its Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative, which aims to deploy innovation that can shorten project delivery, enhance roadway safety, and protect the environment.

The full-scale pavements that are being constructed at TFHRC’s Pavement Test Facility are designed to provide recommended limitations for combining increased recycled content with reduced temperature warm mix asphalt production (an initiative of the first round of EDC).

Those participating in the event included FHWA’s Eastern Federal Lands; FHWA’s Office of Infrastructure; the Virginia Department of Transportation and FHWA Division; the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation and FHWA Division; the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO); and the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Partners included Virginia Paving Incorporated;

Caterpillar Incorporated; Alban CAT; SITECH; and Trimble.

Indoor presentations were recorded as part of ARTBA’s Local Transportation Virtual Conference program and can be accessed via www.lotransvirtualconference.org/artba. For more information on intelligent compaction activities, contact Richard Duval, 202-493-3365, richard.duval@dot.gov. For more information on the Sustainable Pavement Accelerated Pavement Testing Experiment, contact Nelson Gibson, 202-493-3073, nelson.gibson@dot.gov.

LTPP InfoPave Released for User Review and Input

The Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program’s recent efforts to develop a new Web-based user interface program to disseminate the vast resource of LTPP data and information has taken form and is now being released for user review and input. During this beta testing phase, the LTPP program invites State engineers and managers to explore all of the benefits LTPP InfoPave has to offer.

LTPP InfoPave can be accessed at www.infopave.com. For more information, contact Debbie Walker, 202-493deborah.walker@dot.gov.

New Profilers Capture Data on the Road The LTPP program has taken delivery of four new, state-of-the-art inertial profiling units. The profilers were manufactured to meet LTPP’s stringent acceptance criteria. The new devices replace LTPP profilers that logged more than 1.2 million miles. A week-long training exercise held in April paved the way for the program to incorporate the new devices into production mode.

For more information, contact Debbie Walker, 202-493-3068, deborah.walker@dot.gov.

TechBrief: FHWA LTBP Workshop to Identify Bridge Substructure Performance Issues This TechBrief provides an overview of the proceedings and findings of the “FHWA Workshop to Identify Bridge Substructure Performance Issues,” which was held March 4–6, 2010 in Orlando, FL. The purpose of the workshop was to consider overall bridge performance and identify geotechnical performance metrics that may correspond to good and poor performance. The issues identified and the recommendations made at the workshop are being used in the design and implementation of the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) program.

The TechBrief is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/infrastructure/bridge/13049/index.cfm.

For more information, contact Hamid Ghasemi, 202-493-3042, hamid.ghasemi@dot.gov.

Report: Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Performance Testing—Axial Load Deformation Relationships The use of geosynthetic reinforced soil (GRS) for load bearing applications such as bridge abutments and integrated bridge systems has expanded among transportation agencies looking to save time and money while delivering a safe and improved product to the traveling public. GRS has been identified by FHWA as a proven, market-ready technology, and is being actively promoted through its EDC initiative. This report presents a database of 19 performance tests performed by the FHWA. It also presents findings, conclusions, and suggestions regarding various design parameters related to the performance of GRS, such as backfill material, reinforcement strength, reinforcement spacing, facing confinement, secondary reinforcement, and compaction.

The report is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/infrastructure/structures/13066/index.cfm For more information, contact Mike Adams, 202-493-3025, mike.adams@dot.gov.

Report: Composite Behavior of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Mass Many studies have been conducted on the behavior of GRS structures, but the interactive behavior between the soil and geosynthetic reinforcement in a GRS mass has not been fully elucidated. This report highlights a study that investigated the composite behavior of a GRS mass.

This report is available at www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/infrastructure/10077/index.cfm.

For more information, contact Mike Adams, 202-493-3025, mike.adams@dot.gov.

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