The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued $8.8 million in grants for 10 projects in eight states and the District of Columbia in support of “transportation innovations” for bridge and highway construction – including work zone safety efforts.
Those grants – which can be used to support everything from testing ultra-high-performance concrete to digital mapping programs – flow from the FHWA’s Accelerated Innovation Deployment or AID demonstration program.
“Innovation is essential for the future of transportation infrastructure and these grants will help our state, local, and tribal partners to improve safety, increase the resilience of our transportation infrastructure, and combat the climate crisis,” said FHWA administrator Shailen Bhatt in a statement. “The grants … will bring more innovations to America’s road, highway, and bridge projects.”
The AID demonstration program – funded in part by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), enacted in 2021 – provides “incentive grants” and other resources to offset the financial risks involved when implementing transportation innovations. FHWA said this “incentive funding” – distributed through a competitive discretionary grant process – allows tribal governments, state departments of transportation, federal land management agencies, and local governments to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in the highway transportation sector. The agency added that metropolitan planning organizations or MPOs and local governments can also apply for AID grants in partnership with state DOTs.
FHWA noted that its AID program – housed within its Technology and Innovation Deployment Program – supports the dissemination and deployment of proven transportation innovations through any phase of a highway transportation project including project planning and delivery and system operations.
Since it launched the AID program in February 2014, FHWA has awarded more than $95.7 million for 127 grants to help agencies speed up their use of innovative practices, tools and technologies – including those supported under FHWA’s Every Day Counts or EDC program. The agency noted that EDC is a state-based program model that identifies and rapidly deploys proven yet underutilized innovations that will more quickly make the U.S. transportation system adaptable, sustainable, equitable, and safer for all. Information courtesy of AASHTO.