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Public Roads - Winter 2023

Winter 2023
Issue No:
Vol. 86 No. 4
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Innovation Corner

Get Ready for the Every Day Counts Round Seven Summit!

by Julie Zirlin

On February 14–16, 2023, a Federal Highway Administration-hosted virtual summit will bring together State Transportation Innovation Councils to explore the benefits of innovations from the seventh round of Every Day Counts (EDC-7) and identify those that best fit the needs of their respective State’s transportation programs. The summit is free, and registration is currently open at

For over 10 years, FHWA’s Every Day Counts program has rapidly deployed proven technologies and processes. EDC-7, scheduled for 2023 and 2024, will highlight innovations to improve safety for all road users, build sustainable infrastructure for the future, and grow an inclusive workforce.

Every 2 years, FHWA works with key stakeholder groups to identify a new set of innovations that merit accelerated deployment. After consulting with stakeholders and receiving more than 70 suggestions from local, State, and Federal agencies; academia; and industry, FHWA selected 7 innovations to promote. This portfolio of market-ready and proven, yet underutilized, practices and technologies address the unique transportation challenges on American roadways today. “I am really excited about this batch of initiatives,” stated Amy Lucero, associate administrator for FHWA’s Office of Transportation Workforce and Technology Deployment. “They represent a wide range of high priority topics and there is something for all of our stakeholders to pursue.” 

Innovations for Building a Sustainable Infrastructure for the Future

Integrating GHG Assessment and Reduction Targets in Transportation Planning

Transportation is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the U.S. This initiative provides resources to help agencies quantify greenhouse gases and set goals to decrease motor vehicle, construction, and life-cycle emissions through planning and project development.

EPDs for Sustainable Project Delivery

Highway pavement construction materials such as concrete and asphalt have environmental impacts during their life cycle. Environmental product declarations, or EPDs, document those impacts. This tool helps States support procurement decisions and quantify embodied carbon reductions using life cycle assessments for sustainable pavements.

Three-row chart. Within the first row is a sales tag icon with “EPDs” and an image of a single leaf with “Sample Environmental Product Declaration for Pavement Mixtures.” The second row has the headings, “TRACI Impact Indicator,” “Unit,” “Materials,” “Transport,” and “Production.” The third row has, listed under TRACI Impact Indicator on the second row, “Global Warming Potential;” under “Unit on the second row, “Kg CO2-Equiv.;” under Materials on the second row, “90.5;” under Transport on the second row, “1
A representation of an environmental product declaration documenting the environmental information that would be provided for the manufacturing processes associated with pavement mixtures.

Enhancing Performance with Internally Cured Concrete (EPIC2)

Shrinkage cracking in concrete is a limiting factor in achieving long-term concrete performance. Internal curing mitigates shrinkage cracking. It has the potential to triple the service life of concrete bridge decks and extend the performance of pavements and repairs.

Uncured concrete on a reinforcing-rod-lined roadway with a crane and a worker in the distance. Image Source: FHWA.
Freshly placed internally cured high performance concrete bridge deck on an overpass.

Innovations for Improving Safety for All Users

Nighttime Visibility for Safety

The nighttime crash fatality rate is three times the daytime rate. Enhancing visibility along corridors, intersections, and pedestrian crossings can help reduce fatalities. This initiative promotes traffic control devices and properly designed lighting to improve safety for all users.

An out-of-focus image of a roadway at nighttime with streetlights. Image Source: FHWA.
Poor nighttime visibility conditions on a rural freeway enhanced with partial interchange lighting.

Next-Generation TIM: Technology for Saving Lives

Over six million crashes a year in the U.S. put responders and other vulnerable road users at risk. Next-Generation Traffic Incident Management programs promote emerging technologies such as emergency vehicle lighting and queue warning solutions. These and other tools can advance safety and operations to mitigate incident impacts.

Innovations for Growing an Inclusive Workforce

Rethinking DBE in Design-Build

Many design-build contracts do not adequately provide opportunities for disadvantaged businesses. New practices are available to support the effective integration of program requirements to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete for design-build contracts.

A female highway worker wearing a safety vest and googles operates a tractor. Image Source: © USDOT / Getty Images.
Strategic Workforce Development helps identify workers for highway construction careers.

Strategic Workforce Development

The demand for highway workers is growing, and emerging technologies require new skills. This innovation helps stakeholders improve their ability to identify, train, and place highway construction workers. The focus will expand to rural and Tribal communities to increase career opportunities.

Julie Zirlin is the Program Manager of Every Day Counts.

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