WASHINGTON — In late May, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced more than $5.6 million in Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration program grants designed to help seven states make the most of limited resources.
Alabama, Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Utah will receive funds in this round of awards. The program allows states to bring complete projects in a more cost-effective way by using innovative practices.
“We need to build our economy back better than ever before,” said Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Secretary. “That requires using innovative approaches to transportation that deliver results for the American people. The USDOT will continue to support innovations that deliver projects that help people get where they need to go, safely and cost effectively.”
Since the AID program was launched in February 2014, FHWA has awarded more than $86.9 million for 117 grants to help federal, state, local and tribal government agencies speed up their use of innovative traffic, safety and construction practices.
“Cash-strapped states are working to deliver essential services and we’re here to help,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “With the help of these grants, states can more easily deliver cutting-edge roads, bridges, highways, streets and sidewalks at less cost and in less time while improving mobility and safety for all road users.”
Project and program grants include:
Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT): $741,493
With $741,493 awarded, ALDOT will deploy an innovation known as Advanced Geotechnical Methods in Exploration (A-GaME) to repair and reopen a section of U.S. Route 231 in Morgan County that closed after a mudslide in 2020. ALDOT expects A-GaME to help reduce construction delays and identify subsurface conditions that can mitigate risks.
Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT): $448,300
In Mohave County, the Composite Arch Bridge System (CABS) technology will be used to build a durable bridge crossing on Antares Road over Truxton Wash with reduced road closure times and construction costs. Used for the first time in Arizona, CABS provide rapid, simplified construction and arches that can be easily transported and put in place without heavy equipment or large crews.
Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT): $977,398
Expanding on the experiential knowledge gained from previous efforts, MDOT will bundle bridge projects on local agency routes. MDOT’s expected outcomes with bundling, a delivery method supported by FHWA that covers several projects under one contract, include streamlined coordination and permitting, increased economies of scale and improved bridge conditions on local routes.
New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT): $452,000
The city of Nashua will help improve safety pedestrians by installing several innovations supported by FHWA, including crosswalk visibility enhancements, Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons, Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons and road reconfigurations known as Road Diets. These innovations are expected to reduce the number and severity of crashes involving pedestrians, help drivers yield to pedestrians more easily, and reduce traffic stress for pedestrians at 20 locations in the city.
Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT): $1,000,000
RIDOT will implement the findings of its Uncontrolled Midblock Crossing Evaluation and Plan and install Uncontrolled crosswalk enhancements including Rectangular Flashing Beacons, Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons, Leading Pedestrian Intervals, medians and crossing islands to improve pedestrian safety at 25 state-owned crossings.
South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT): $1,000,000
For the first time, SDDOT will deploy and evaluate the use of Variable Speed Limits on two interstate highway corridors through the state and help South Dakota develop criteria to adjust speed limits in response to weather, road, visibility and traffic conditions.
Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT): $1,000,000
UDOT will use 3D modeling software, e-Construction, drones and other FHWA-supported technologies to improve project delivery.
For more information about FHWA’s AID demonstration grant program, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/accelerating/grants.