When I was taking driving lessons at school (way back when!), my teacher gave me some great advice: Don't just observe what the car in front of you is doing; watch the car in front of him. The same wisdom applies in business. Watch what your customer's customer wants in order to be able to anticipate and respond nimbly. We do this at Idencia and like to offer our observations as part of the service we provide. The Federal Highway Administration's Center for Accelerating Innovation(1) provides a great tool for tracking state DOT innovations across the country. Here are some of the most intriguing.
The New Hampshire DOT (NHDOT) has partnered with the UNH School of Civil and Environmental Engineering to create a benchmark example of a self-diagnosing, self-reporting, smart infrastructure at the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth, NH. The NHDOT is monitoring structural health.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has tested Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) closure pours on two bridge projects. The agency is developing UHPC standard details for inclusion in its Bridge Manual.
Florida is among the States that pursued e-Construction—the collection, review, approval, and distribution of construction documents in a paperless environment. Since July 2016, the Florida Department of Transportation has used e-Construction for all construction contracts to provide instantaneous data collection and resolve issues in the field. The agency estimates a $1.1 million investment saved $22 million a year in reduced administrative processing time.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been using pre-stressed concrete bulb tee beams utilizing Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) pre-stressing strands. MDOT expects the deployment of this innovation to demonstrate a structure that is safe for the motoring public, meets or exceeds user needs, requires minimal maintenance and provides a service life of 100 years or more.
Using accelerated bridge construction saved months of construction time on a project to replace the Ochoco Creek Bridge in Prineville, OR. The existing bridge was removed and the new bridge—constructed next to the old bridge—was moved into place with slide-in bridge construction during a 3-week closure. Using conventional construction would have required closing the bridge for more than 3 months.
Many of the experiments and trials today will result in new demands upon the infrastructure manufacturing community in the next few years. The FHWA's Center for Accelerating Innovation(1) web site is a valuable tool for watching 'that car that is ahead of the car in front of you'. Worth keeping an eye on this.
If you would like to start a dialog, we'd love to talk! Going to The Precast Show? Come visit us at Booth #590!
(1) Full disclosure: Former FHWA Administrator, Gregory Nadeau, serves as an adviser to Idencia.
Our mission at Idencia is to elevate the productivity of concrete manufacturers. We offer precast RFID tracking solutions that improve productivity and offer value throughout the value chain. As a cloud-hosted product tracking system that is seamless between manufacturers, contractors and asset managers, Idencia adds information value to all, eliminates redundancy and saves time.