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Transportation Innovations in Pennsylvania Save Lives, Create Efficiencies

May 10, 2022 11:00 AM
By: PennDOT Bureau of Innovations

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Last month we released PennDOT's Focus on Innovations report, which showcases innovations recently developed and implemented across the organization.

As you may or may not know, innovation at PennDOT stems from many sources, including employee-driven innovations councils and committees, an employee suggestion system (IdeaLink); a smart practice sharing tool (WorkSmart); the State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC); as well as everyday suggestions and solutions discovered by PennDOT employees.

"Innovation is absolutely essential to our operations, and we have seen how celebrating our successes acts as a continuous driver of new ideas across the department," PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. "One of the best things we can do to continue cultivating innovation at PennDOT that will ultimately benefit our customers is to encourage and recognize the amazing talents of our workforce; this publication helps us to do just that."

Focus on Innovations entries are available in an interactive format on the department's website and categorized by topics that include Construction, Maintenance, Safety and Traffic Operations, Driver and Vehicle Services, Aviation and Public Transportation.

Some examples of the latest implemented innovations include:

  • An Adopt A Highway supply pick-up box, constructed and strategically placed so Adopt A Highway crews can safely retrieve supplies at curbside locations;
  • Automated Flagger Assist Devices (AFAD), which allows flagging to be conducted by a single crew member, from a safer location, at one-tenth the cost per day; and
  • Paint truck exhaust stacks that are raised to prevent the compressor from overheating, and have nearly eliminated equipment down time.

The report also features the more recent progress and successes of STIC. Since its inception in 2012, the STIC remains committed to supporting and promoting the development and deployment of the Federal Highway Administration's Every Day Counts innovations as well as others that exist at the state national, and international levels that be well-suited for implementation statewide.

The STIC advanced several innovations in 2021, including a Certified Concrete Finishers Course, an innovation that requires 60 percent of concrete finishers certified on PennDOT projects, which helps eliminate concrete finishing mistakes and reduce the amount of rework due to concrete scaling.

Predictive Work Zone Analysis (FREEVAL-PA), also advanced in 2021, is an innovative analysis tool based on the Highway Capacity Manual that can be used to analyze work zones' effect on traffic flow. It guides PennDOT's decision-making process for implementing lane closures, crossovers, or other traffic control measures and helps minimize congestion and delays during construction or maintenance projects.

The Pennsylvania STIC brings together a diverse team of transportation stakeholders to forge an environment of imagination and ingenuity to pursue specific innovations and their rapid implementation, and to deliver a modern and     high-quality transportation system to the citizens of Pennsylvania.

For more information visit, the Innovation at PennDOT page.


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