PennDOT demonstrates value to taxpayers
Pennsylvania’s State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) has several success stories to brag about, including geosynthetic reinforced soil integrated bridge systems (GRS-IBS).
But a clear benefit of the group, according to Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch, is that it shows taxpayers that the highway agency and its stakeholders are working to use tax dollars efficiently and apply new technologies to improve the transportation system. “That in itself is worth the effort of the STIC,” he said.
PennDOT built five bridges with GRS-IBS technology in 2013, which reduces costs and construction time, and has at least three more planned for 2014.
PennDOT is marketing the innovation to local governments with a traveling tabletop GRS model. “We want to increase awareness that this technology can be very cost-effective, deliver projects quickly, and allow local government to participate with man hours and equipment to help build them,” Schoch said.
STICs-led by the highway agency head and FHWA division administrator in each state-bring together transportation stakeholders to identify and implement innovations, including those promoted through FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiative. All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have STICS in some format.
STICs are an effective way to build a network to deploy innovation throughout the country, said FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez. “Innovation is not the work of just one person, agency or entity alone,” he said. “It is about a partnership of all of us in the industry.”
For information on applying for a STIC incentive, contact the FHWA division office in your state.