Innovative design and construction techniques, cutting-edge technologies, new materials, safety products and state-of-the-art heavy equipment are being deployed by the public and private sectors to deliver critical, and cost-effective, transportation improvement projects to communities across the U.S., a new publication from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) shows.

“Economy Driven: Innovations Driving the ROI in U.S. Transportation Infrastructure” features 25 short case studies of projects that are benefitting U.S. taxpayers. Among some of the innovations featured in the publication are the:

  • Installation of oversized yellow, diamond-shaped warning signs with solar-powered flashers that have helped reduce fatalities and injuries in South Carolina.
  • Use of accelerated bridge construction in Pennsylvania that allows work to progress concurrently on site and off site so that when the deck is re-assembled at the job site it reduces traffic disruptions, provides a safer environment for workers and motorists, and increases productivity.
  • Development of a mobile app to provide travelers in Montana with real-time information about road conditions, construction projects, road incidents, still-camera images and atmospheric information.
  • Utilization of one of the largest barge-mount floating cranes in the world—with the capacity lift up to 1,929 tons—that allows the project team to place large pile caps, girders and deck segments while better controlling safety, quality, costs and schedule on the new Tappan Zee Bridge replacement in New York.

“Economy Driven” has been sent to all members of Congress and more than 30,000 transportation design and construction professionals around the country to highlight the value and many benefits of transportation infrastructure investment.

ARTBA warns, however, that the ability of state transportation departments to complete similar projects in the future could be in jeopardy if Congress does not act soon to find a long-term permanent solution for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  The latest authorization of federal highway and public transit funding expires May 31.

The HTF is the source, on average, of 52 percent of highway and bridge capital investments made by state governments annually.

“Congress has created so much uncertainty in the marketplace with 32 short-term funding extensions that state transportation departments have little choice but to delay or cancel scheduled highway and transit improvement projects every year,” ARTBA President Pete Ruane says. “This, in turn, jeopardizes private sector jobs and makes capital investment and hiring decisions more risky.”

Ruane added: “It’s time for Congress and the President to honestly explain the federal transportation investment situation to the American people and ask for their help in solving the nation’s mobility problems.”

Read the full “Economy Driven”.