Sustainable Highways Initiative

Archives: FHWA Resources – News

This page contains archived items from the FHWA Resources - News page. To view the most recent items, click here.


2017

arrow

The Ray: Sustainable Highway of the Future (6-2017)
An 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85 in Georgia is where a new sustainable, highway of the future, called “The Ray,” is being tested. The goal is to create a highway that can produce its own renewable energy, sell power to utility companies, produce no stormwater runoff or emissions, and eliminate traffic fatalities. This project is a collaboration between the state of Georgia, private companies, and a family foundation.

arrow

Sustainable Transportation Grants Awarded by Caltrans (5-2017)
Caltrans awarded $9.2 million in sustainable transportation planning grants. The grants were used to encourage regional agencies to partner with Caltrans to improve the state highways, and to address mobility issues in environmental justice in disadvantaged communities. The awards also support local governments in planning and studying for complete streets, connectivity, multimodal transportation, corridors and transit hubs.

arrow

Evaluation of Roadway Vegetation Management Practices in Ohio (5-2017)
The Ohio DOT conducted an evaluation of their vegetation management practices. Recommendations stemming from the report included developing routine educational and training programs, creating an inventory of roadside vegetation, and using cultural practices to deter invasive species.

arrow

Maine DOT’s Atlantic Salmon Programmatic Featured in FHWA Newsletter (5-2017)
The May issue of FHWA’s Successes in Stewardship newsletter focuses on Maine DOT’s Atlantic Salmon programmatic. It details the programmatic’s biological assessment (BA) and the programmatic biological opinion (PBO). This programmatic has reduced project approval time by 75% and will improve informal consultation completion to 2 weeks, and formal consultations to 1 month.

arrow

New Transportation Center Focuses on Emissions, Health Impacts (3-2017)
The Texas A&M Transportation Institute has created a new university transportation center to study the health effects of transportation emissions. The Center for Advancing Research in Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health (CAR-TEEH) will study the entire tailpipe-to-lungs spectrum, bringing together experts in the areas of transportation emissions and public health.

arrow

Evaluation of Using Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure to Grow Plug-In Market (2-2017)
A study of public charging infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles, including a forward-looking case study in Massachusetts, has been conducted by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The study includes a literature review on PEV infrastructure, a case study focused on supporting 300,000 PEVs by 2025 in Massachusetts, and a discussion of a potential methodology for estimating economic impacts of PEV infrastructure growth.

arrow

Six State DOTs Join Forces to Build “Monarch Highway” (2-2017)
A coalition of six state transportation agencies are working together to help monarch butterflies on their migratory journeys by establishing a continuous “Monarch Highway” stretching along Interstate 35.

2016

arrow

FTA Selects Five Cities for Transit-Oriented Development Support (12-2016)
The U.S. Federal Transit Administration has selected the cities of Birmingham, Charlotte, Albuquerque, Omaha, and Tacoma for support in planning development near transit systems as part of the second round of its Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Technical Assistance Initiative. This program supports efforts to create mixed-use, walkable communities near transit with a focus on economically disadvantaged populations.

arrow

Colorado DOT Sets a Vision for Power-Coil Roads (12-2016)
Officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation are considering locations for a new-era infrastructure pilot project, “RoadX.” This could lead to more use of heavy-duty trucks that generate zero emissions and that are charged by the roads they travel on. The idea is to build power coils into public roads that specially-equipped electric vehicles could draw from to recharge as they are driving so that the vehicles can maintain effective travel range for commercial operations without making frequent stops to recharge.

arrow

Department of Energy Will Invest Nearly $20 Million to Accelerate Energy Efficient Transportation and Systems (12-2016)
The DOE announced $19.7 million, subject to appropriations, to support research and development of advanced vehicle technologies, including batteries, lightweight materials, and advanced combustion engines, as well as innovative technologies for energy efficient mobility. Investments in advanced, energy efficient transportation technologies and systems will improve our nation’s energy security, support energy independence, reduce transportation emissions, and strengthen U.S. economic competiveness.

arrow

U.S. DOT Issues Report on LadderSTEP Pilot in Seven Cities (12-2016)
The Department of Transportation has issued a report concerning progress under the Ladders of Opportunity Transportation Empowerment Pilot LadderSTEP Program. The report describes the achievements made under the pilot program in Atlanta, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Richmond. Projects developed under the program were aimed at improving access to transit and employment centers, developing bus rapid transit and light rail systems, and creating successful bicycle and pedestrian plans.

arrow

DOE Awards $18 Million for Propane, Plug-In Electric Vehicles (12-2016)
The Department of Energy has announced awards of $18 million for projects aimed to accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and other alternative fuels. Projects include the development of plug-in hybrid work trucks, plug-in electric school buses, and a propane direct injection engine and emission control system that will be demonstrated on a delivery vehicle.

arrow

Utah DOT Reveals Initial Plans For a Wildlife Overpass on I-80 (12-2016)
In as early as the fall of 2017, the Utah DOT could begin constructing the state’s first wildlife overpass on Interstate 80 near Parley’s Summit. UDOT recently completed the installation of one mile of permanent wildlife fencing along Interstate 80. Members with Save People, Save Wildlife also presented UDOT with a $42,000 check as part of their contribution toward the project.

arrow

Remote-monitoring system helps keep city of Maricopa traffic flowing (12-2016)
ADOT officials are increasing their use of remote technology to help keep traffic moving on portions of highways that pass through various communities across the state. ADOT reports that it has installed a wireless communication system that allows technicians in Phoenix to monitor conditions on State Route 347 in Maricopa and to adjust signal timing accordingly. This technology will also lead to fewer emissions, as car engine idling time will be reduced by keeping vehicles moving.

arrow

New Bicycle Route 41 in Minnesota Adds 315 Miles to the U.S. Bicycle Route System (12-2016)
U.S. Bicycle Route 41 was approved last month by AASHTO, and is now part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), a developing national network of officially recognized and numbered bicycle routes. The newest designation brings the total miles in the system up to 11,563 through twenty-four states, and connects St. Paul to Grand Portage State Park.

arrow

Wisconsin DOT Reveals That Performance Management Initiatives Have Saved $1.5 billion Since 2011 (12-2016)
The Wisconsin DOT released a new report itemizing numerous initiatives that have been implemented to enhance performance and reduce cost in all of the department’s functional areas including highways, DMV, and State Patrol. Since 2011, the performance management measures have saved $1.5 billion, including nearly $100 million in the 2016 state fiscal year.

arrow

DOT Solicits Applications for Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers (12-2016)
Building on the U.S. DOT”s future-focused “Beyond Traffic” draft report outlining upcoming trends of the next 30 years, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a solicitation for applicants to be designated as U.S. DOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers. These Centers will be capable of driving solutions to the challenges identified in Beyond Traffic through research, curriculum, outreach, and other activities.

arrow

Smart Mobility Corridor Initiated by Ohio DOT (11-2016)
The State of Ohio is investing $15 million to install advanced highway technology along its “Smart Mobility Corridor” - a 35-mile stretch of U.S. 33 northwest of Columbus. It was used Wednesday, Nov. 30 for a demonstration run by Otto, a developer of self-driving vehicle technology. This Smart Mobility Corridor hopes to lessen traffic and increase the efficiency of how people travel in the area.

arrow

I-70 will be first “connected” highway in Colorado (11-2016)
Colorado DOT and Panasonic have teamed up to create a connected transportation plan. Vehicles will be able to share data to other cars and the transportation system about crashes, slowing traffic, and other issues. This will better inform drivers of alternative routes and increase safety.

arrow

Energy Department Awards $32 Million For Connected, Automated Vehicle Efficiency (11-2016)
The Department of Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), has announced $32 million in funding for 10 projects as part of the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) Program. The program enables technologies that use connectivity and automation to co-optimize vehicle dynamic controls and powertrain operation to reduce energy consumption of the vehicle. The selected projects build upon connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies to enhance vehicle safety, add driving convenience, and ultimately, reduce vehicle energy use.

arrow

Foxx: Vehicle Communication Rule Expected by January (10-2016)
Review by federal regulators has begun on a draft vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication rule that could be released in January, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

arrow

Freight lab tackles urban delivery tangles - University, Seattle team up to study traffic issues (10-2016)
The city of Seattle and the University of Washington are working together to solve the problem of truck deliveries in the city, which is experiencing growing congestion as its population grows.

arrow

Secretary Foxx Discusses America’s Transportation Future (10-2016)
Interview with Secretary Foxx about the next generation of infrastructure, his vision for the future of transportation, and how inclusive transportation can be a means for achieving socioeconomic growth and equality

arrow

U.S. DOT Launches New Automated Transportation Technology Advisory Committee (10-2016)
The new committee will be tasked with informing national policy about the fast-developing autonomous vehicle economy. The advisory committee will be essential to understanding and informing public policy about the consequences, opportunities, and problems associated with this new technology.

arrow

ATSSA to Sponsor Forum to Explore Data Analysis/Infrastructure Safety Connectivity With Goal to Move Toward Zero Deaths (10-2016)
This forum will focus on two new DOT safety initiatives, with presentations discussing the current impact of enhanced road safety data on the development of state-level strategic highway safety plans, and a presentation on how data can be used to better understand the impact of connected automated vehicles (CAVs) on future infrastructure planning.

arrow

Honolulu creates new Complete Streets Design Manual (10-2016)
Honolulu’s acting city director of transportation services, Mark Garrity, is championing the use of a new design manual for Complete Streets. He hopes that its use will help making Complete Street design practices more prevalent in any development project in Honolulu.

arrow

Walsh, Baker sign orders to create self-driving car regulations (10-2016)
In order to build a framework for success of autonomous vehicles, Mayor Walsh and Governor Baker both signed two executive orders to make guidelines and regulations for AVs.

arrow

Highway, wildlife officials team to help monarch butterflies (9-2016)
State officials plan to use a $21,500 federal grant to plant native plants to attract pollinating insects along roadways to help offset the loss of their regular habitats.

arrow

America’s Top Transportation Projects Competing For Final National Awards (9-2016)
Vote for the People’s Choice in the best transportation projects in the country. The Grand Prize and People’s Choice winners will each receive a $10,000 donation from AASHTO to a charity or scholarship fund of their choosing.

arrow

Hawaii DOT to test mileage user fee to supply highway fund, replace fuel tax (9-2016)
Hawaii is introducing a pilot project for mileage-fee across four counties, which might serve as a replacement for the gas tax.

arrow

Climate Change Is Hell on Alaska’s Formerly Frozen Highways (8-2016)
The Alaska Highway is built on permafrost that is melting due to climate change and causing significant challenges for road maintenance. The article outlines the history of the highway and potential solutions to address the problem. The challenges are applicable to many of the roads throughout Alaska.

arrow

MoDOT to test feasibility of solar roads (6-2016)
The Missouri DOT is testing solar sidewalk at a rest area on I-44 near Conway to assess how well the hexagonal pavers work. MoDOT officials hope the solar pavers will provide enough electricity to meet many of the rest area's power needs. Ideally, a successful test could lead to savings that help pay for future infrastructure needs and potential use on roadways.

arrow

Earth Day: State DOT Green Initiatives Demonstrate a Healthy Commitment to Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship (4-2016)
Across the United States, State Departments of Transportation are adopting policies and taking action to make transportation more sustainable. AASHTO provides a brief summary of such efforts in an Earth Day press release.

arrow

VDOT Pollinator Projects Receive Virginia Green Travel Start Award (3-2016)
Virigina DOT's Pollinator Habitat Program won the agency recognition for its commitment to green tourism practices. VDOT was awarded the Virginia Green Travel Star Award for Most Innovative Green Project. The program began in 2014 in collaboration with the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy with four pilot plots in northern Virginia at park and ride lots in Centreville, Woodbridge, and Sterling, and the Dale City Rest Area on Interstate 95 south.

arrow

Caltrans Looking to the Sun for Transportation (3-2016)
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced on March 29, 2016 that it will explore SolaRoad Dutch technology, which implements the use of solar panels in roadway projects. The concept of SolaRoad is that sunlight falling on the road surface is converted into electricity by concrete panels with solar cells and a translucent top layer of tempered glass. The electricity generated by the road can be used for a number of needs, including street lighting, traffic systems, electric vehicles, and households. Caltrans' District 7 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties) will explore the Dutch technology at its maintenance rest area in Lebec along Interstate 5 in Kern County.

arrow

Can A 16-Mile Stretch Of Road Become The World's First Sustainable Highway? (2-2016)
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, which promotes sustainable societies, has provided seed funding to convert a stretch of Georgia Highway into the world's first sustainable highway. The project to convert the 16 mile stretch of road, referred to as “The Ray” after the foundation's namesake, has the vision to fully rethink the road. It aims to keep the thoroughfare's vital components while improving them through the use of innovative technologies.

arrow

Maine Department of Transportation Teams Up with Climatologists, Engineers to Address Sea-Level Rise (2-2016)
As part of the 2016 omnibus budget bill that passed in December, Congress approved strengthening flood standards in the construction of roads, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. Any new federally funded construction, or re-construction after a storm, that is located in flood-prone areas will need to meet the new standards. The Maine DOT is working with the Infrastructure & Climate Network and university researchers to understand how the new standards affect the state's transportation infrastructure and prepare addressing climate change.

arrow

Sustainable Cleveland: 2016 is the Year of Sustainable Transportation (1-2016)
Sustainable Cleveland has declared 2016 the Year of Sustainable Transportation and celebrating through a series of initiatives to get Clevelanders biking, walking, taking transit, carpooling, car sharing and more in the name of healthier forms of mobility.

2015

arrow

New Signs Provide Comparison Travel Times for I-35, SH 130 in Austin, TX (10-2015)
TXDOT is using real time travel information to let drivers know travel time differences for Interstate 35 or State Highway 130. The system uses Bluetooth detector technology that wirelessly transmits data to signage along the highways at major junctions. The goal of the signs is to share real-time data with users to promote better travel decisions, including routes, travel modes, and timing of trips, which increases reliability of the overall network.

arrow

MassDOT Completes Initial Phase of Right-of-Way Solar Energy Program (10-2015)
Massachusetts DOT completed Phase IA of the state's Highway Right of Way Solar Photovoltaic Energy Program. The program is installing photovoltaic solar arrays along state highways using a public-private partnership with a 20-year contract. Five additional projects in Phase IB will begin in the spring of 2016. Once built, the 10 Phase I sites will generate an estimated 7,100,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

arrow

Virginia DOT's Pollinator Habitat Program Moves Toward Statewide Implementation (9-2015)
Virginia DOT has partnered with other state and local agencies to plant native pollinator habitat species at four interstate rest areas, with an additional site planned for spring. The areas provide “waystations” or refuges for threatened pollinators, such as butterflies and bees. VDOT provided project management, site preparation, and volunteers for the project in Dale City.

arrow

Texas Transportation Institute 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard (8-2015)
The annual Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Urban Mobility Scorecard shows that traffic congestion has returned to where it was prior to the recent recession. The recent research estimates an average of 42 hours of lost time per commuter at a cost of $960 per commuter.

arrow

Maryland Uses Flower Plantings to Aid Bees, Butterflies While Curbing Mow Operations (7-2015)
The Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) is taking several steps to improve pollinator habitat along roadsides by reducing mowing and planting native plant species that attract pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

arrow

State DOT Programs Help Communities Become More Livable and Transportation Systems More Sustainable (4-2015)
The AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence recognized several State DOT initiatives for livable and sustainable transportation programs.

arrow

NHTSA Earth Day Event Highlights Benefits of Vehicle Fuel Economy (4-2015)
NHTSA's Advanced Fuel-Efficiency Vehicle Showcase highlighted a range of vehicles from leading manufacturers which will save consumers money at the pump and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

arrow

ADOT receives environmental award for San Pedro bridge replacement near Sierra Vista (4-2015)
The Arizona Department of Transportation has been recognized for its environmental protection efforts while rebuilding the San Pedro Bridge through a sensitive conservation area on State Route 90 east of Sierra Vista.

arrow

Colorado: Will I-70 Congestion Efforts Bear Fruit? (3-2015)
News article summarizes a set of strategies Colorado DOT is using to help disperse traffic to and from popular ski destinations.

arrow

Secretary Foxx Unveils “Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices,” a 30-Year Outlook on the Future of Our Nation's Infrastructure (2-2015)
Secretary Foxx unveiled Beyond Traffic, a new forward-looking analysis from the U.S. Department of Transportation outlining the trends that are likely to shape the needs of our transportation system over the next three decades.

2013

arrow

President Issues Executive Order on Climate Change (11-2013)

arrow

Researchers Assess Performance of State Transportation Systems Using Sustainability Index (9-2013)

arrow

AASHTO CEE Updates Stewardship Practices for Winter Maintenance, Operations (8-2013)

arrow

DEC to Move Forward With $3 Million NY Works-Funded Porous Pavement Project for Reconstructing Lake George Road and Parking Lot (6-2013)

arrow

New tool aims to provide life cycle assessments for highways (6-2013)
The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute hopes to change the way roads and highways are made with the recent official release of their newest software, the Athena Impact Estimator for Highways. The tool provides the user with life cycle assessment (LCA) results that measure the environmental impact of road designs.

arrow

Oregon Adopts Scenario Planning Guidelines To Aid Metro Areas in Meeting Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets (3-2013)

arrow

Ohio Department of Transportation Uses FHWA INVEST Tool to Improve Sustainable Practices (2-2013)

arrow

Sustainable DC Plan Targets Emissions and Climate Resilience (2-2013)


2012

arrow

MassDOT Issues Draft ‘GreenDOT’ Implementation Plan with Sustainability Goals, Performance Measures (6-2012)

arrow

American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Announces 2012 Division Award Winners (9-2012)

arrow

Colorado DOT Analyzes Rest Area Sustainability (3-2012)

arrow

International Road Federation Bulletin Focuses on Environment, Climate Change (3-2012, PDF 3.9MB)


2011

arrow

Report Issued: Sustainable Roadside Design and Management for Urban Freeways in Western Washington (7-2011, PDF 6.16MB)

arrow

Article in Better Roads Addresses Highways and Sustainability (2-2011)