Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge Systems (GRS-IBS) utilize historic bridge building methods to construct sustainable, efficient and effective bridges for low volume roads and over low velocity streams.
GRS-IBS requires a shorter bridge construction time by using local labor and equipment, which lowers costs by 25-60% and minimizes the impact to the public. The technique allows for construction in an environmentally friendly manner and the flexible design can adjust to conditions and weather events. PennDOT encourages the use of GRS-IBS technology for low volume roads. The technology is included in Publication 447, New Products for Low Volume Roads.
The Safety Edge technique uses a wedge shaped attachment to paving equipment to create a sloped 30 degree angle edge to the roadway. Safety Edge requires less than 1% of additional asphalt and can be implemented quickly at a low cost. Since the technique was introduced, over 200 projects have incorporated Safety Edge into roadway paving.
PennDOT issued Strike-Off Letter 481-13-02 making a new Standard Special Provision for inclusion of a Safety Edge detail in the placement of bituminous concrete pavements.
Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) technology allows Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) producers to mix pavement materials at 30 to 120 degrees lower than traditional heating practices. WMA can be used in cooler temperatures and improves efficiency by allowing paving seasons to start earlier and extend after the construction season. WMA’s lower production temperatures produce less emissions, which improves the environment for construction workers as well as drivers and pedestrians. PennDOT supports the use of WMA statewide and has included WMA in two new specifications in Publication 408.
Traffic congestion can be alleviated by improving traffic signal timing to adapt to changing traffic patterns and events. Conventional traffic signal systems use preprogrammed timing schedules. In contrast, adaptive signal control systems rely on real-time traffic information to continually update red and green light patterns. By responding to real-time conditions, adaptive traffic signals decrease delays, lower fuel consumption, and reduce greenhouse emissions.
Through the Green Light-Go Program, funding is available to Pennsylvania local governments to update traffic signal technology and install adaptive signals. For more information, please visit www.dot.state.pa.us/signals.
Uniform compaction during paving operations is critical to pavement performance, durability, and strength. Intelligent Compaction (IC) provides equipment operators with real-time monitoring technology to document (and make adjustments to improve) uniformity and reach optimal pavement densities. This integrated technology increases productivity and reduces future highway repair costs.
The State Transportation Innovation Council has selected Intelligent Compaction as an innovative technique to improve efficiency and result in smoother, longer-lasting pavement. To offer guidance on Intelligent Compaction usage, PennDOT has drafted a Special Provision and Publication 771 which are expected to be finalized in 2015.
In Pennsylvania, there are nearly 200 fatalities and 500 major injury incidents on slippery or wet pavement each year. PennDOT is recommending the use of High Friction Surface Treatments (HFST) to enhance safety at locations with a history of wet-pavement crashes. This technology is applied in spot treatments as a safety counter-measure to improve pavement friction, help vehicles maintain control, and prevent crashes.
PennDOT has installed HFST at over 40 locations and has identified more than 100 locations that would benefit from this innovative technique.
Roundabouts improve safety, reduce traffic delays and congestion. A modern roundabout is a type of circular intersection where traffic flows continuously in a counterclockwise direction around a central island. Studies have shown that roundabouts reduce fatal crashes by up to 90% and result in a 75% reduction in injury-causing accidents. Roundabouts also improve pedestrian safety by allowing people to cross shorter distances, and navigate through slower one-way traffic.
The State Transportation Innovation Council is promoting the use of roundabouts to improve safety and reduce congestion on state and local roads. PennDOT has constructed over 20 roundabouts in Pennsylvania, and more than 30 are planned.
Crushed Concrete Aggregate, known as Recycled Concrete, reduces the amount of construction waste from highway reconstruction and conserves natural resources. These benefits have an added value of reducing construction costs. Because of these clear environmental and economic benefits, the State Transportation Innovation Council is working with PennDOT partners to evaluate current policies and identify barriers. Through this evaluation, barriers that hinder the broader use of Crushed Concrete Aggregate can be identified and removed while ensuring that the material meets the same quality standards as new aggregate.