December 4, 2020
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Seven state departments of transportation and the Pawnee Nation in Oklahoma are set to receive a combined $6.5 million in Accelerated Innovation Deployment or AID funds to test everything from geotextile paving fabrics and advanced geotechnical methods in exploration to the use of drones for remote and emergency mapping operations.

[Above photo by the Iowa DOT.]

“These grants help state, local and tribal governments deliver projects sooner and more cost-effectively for the traveling public,” explained Nicole Nason, FHWA’s administrator, in a statement.

The agency noted that, since 2014, its AID program has provided 110 grants, valued at more than $80 million, to help federal land management agencies, local and tribal governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and state DOTs accelerate the use of innovations in transportation.

Photo by the Iowa DOT

Previous recipients used AID grants to fund more energy-efficient overhead highway lighting, installation of bridge-monitoring sensors, work zone safety technology and “intelligent compaction” technologies that can extend the useful life of pavement.

The AID program builds on the FHWA’s efforts to collaborate with states and localities, federal land management agencies, and tribal governments to accelerate the adoption of innovations and reduce project delivery times, the agency said.

In January, the FHWA provided more than $8 million in AID grants to state DOTs and local governments in 10 states.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation recently unveiled the result of a $241,687 grant it received via that fund disbursement: a robot-driven crash truck known as an “autonomous attenuator” to beef up traffic protection for highway crews when conducting routine roadway maintenance activities.

editor@aashto.org

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