Highlights from Recent Scans
Many significant changes in U.S. highway practices in recent years have come from or benefited from the International Technology Scanning Program. The following are just a few highlights of new ideas and technologies recently identified on scans, which are taking root in FHWA, State departments of transportation, cities and counties, private companies and universities. Some recent examples include:
Active Traffic and Travel Management to Mitigate Congestion – Executive Forum: This forum, planned for June 2007, is one of the priority initiatives identified in the implementation plans of the “Managing Traffic Congestion and Demand” (2005) and “Planning for Congestion Management” (2006) scans. The forum will focus on the key findings and recommendations from these scans and will provide an opportunity for State DOT senior executives to consider applying innovative techniques identified abroad that have the potential of accelerating or significantly advancing their congestion policies, programs, and initiatives.
Construction Management: The Construction Management scan (2005) led to the formation of an FWWA-AASHTO Construction Management Expert Task Group (ETG) which recently completed a risk manual aimed directly at highway construction management. The scan showed that leading European countries had instituted more formal risk assessment and allocation techniques than is common in the U.S. The ETG will be conducting a series of risk workshops around the country that will help implement these concepts in the U.S. The scan team has also developed a white paper on alternative payment methods and will be managing the 1st International Construction Management Conference which will continue to promote a wider vision of construction management.
Audit Stewardship and Oversight of Large and Innovatively Funded Projects: The Audit Stewardship scan team successfully petitioned the AASHTO Standing Committee on Finance and Administration’s, Subcommittee on Internal and External Audit to establish a Task Force that will develop an Audit and Finance Guide for Public Private Partnerships (PPP). The Team will be working with the World Bank to adopt a financial model that is appropriate to U.S. practices. FHWA has started developing a Web Site for PPP that will include items related to audit oversight.
Bridge Pre-Fabricated Bridge Elements and Systems: The Scan Team has just completed the final draft of a comprehensive manual on the use of SPMT – Self Propelled Modular Transporters, which was identified on the 2005 scan. In addition, they have organized and conducted open houses on SPMT construction projects in Florida and Rhode Island. This technology continues to take root in the U.S. and will have an appreciable impact on both bridge quality and accelerated construction.
Transportation Asset Management: Outcomes from the 2005 scan on Transportation Asset Management include a Senior Executive Forum, a domestic scan, the establishment of a National Asset Management Steering Committee for all public works asset management, continued development of asset management modules in AASHTOWare, and an NCHRP Statement for Developing a Model Interstate Asset Management System.