The Next Generation of TechnologyAbstract:
Moving forward with its goal of promoting high payoff, innovative technologies that State and local transportation agencies and industry can use, the Technology Implementation Group (TIG) has selected three technologies for accelerated deployment. Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the group’s mission is to “champion the implementation of technology among AASHTO member agencies, local agencies, and their industry partners to improve the Nation’s highway system” (see February 2001 Focus). The three initial technologies selected for implementation are precast substructural elements for bridges, intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies for work zones, and accelerated construction methods. The use of ITS technology in work zones, such as ramp metering systems, intrusion alarms, and queue detection information, is aimed at increasing safety for both workers and road users and ensuring a more efficient traffic flow. Accelerated construction methods, meanwhile, will help to cut down on the time needed for work zones, thus also increasing safety and causing fewer delays for motorists. To accelerate construction, highway agencies are using such unconventional initiatives as closing roads completely to traffic to allow the necessary maintenance or rehabilitation work to be done. TIG will be soliciting this fall for project sites to hold demonstrations of ITS applications in work zones. The group has chosen Indiana and Pennsylvania as pilot States for accelerated construction technology and will be planning for two pilot workshops to be held in the spring and summer of 2002.