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EDC-1 Innovations (2011-2012)


  • "Bridge in a Backpack", an emerging bridge technology was used during construction on the M-25 bridge over Harbor Creek in Huron County.

    View the video - In the Field Reports - "Bridge in a Backpack".

  • Adaptive Signal Control Technologies (ASCT) is a part of FHWA's Every Day Counts (EDC) Initiatives. ASCT measure traffic flow in real-time and automatically adjust signal timing to promote smooth flow of traffic along arterial streets. These adjustments are made in real-time to improve travel-time reliability to produce smoother flow by reducing congestion and delay. MDOT is deploying an ASCT system known as Adaptive Control Software Lite (ACS-Lite) on two corridors as part of the EDC initiative. ACS-Lite is just one example of an adaptive signal control technology. ACS-Lite was specifically designed to be deployed using conventional control equipment, communications and traffic sensors on arterial streets, making it a more cost-effective alternative to other signal timing adjustment technologies. The expected outcome is for Michigan to embrace this technology and move ASCT in general into standard practice. The two corridor deployments by MDOT are on West Saginaw in Lansing and on M-84/Bay Road in Saginaw.

    Project Examples:

    As mentioned above, MDOT is deploying two ASC-Lite systems as part of the Every Day Counts Initiative.
    Project status West Saginaw in Lansing has been operational since early March, 2012. M-84/Bay Road in Saginaw is under construction and expected to be operational by December, 2012.
    In addition to MDOT, other agencies in Michigan that are currently using or pursuing the use of ASCT are:

    The Road Commission for Oakland County began deploying an ASCT System known as SCATS (Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System) in 1991 and currently approximately 700 signals, well over half of the 1200 signals that they control, are fully adaptive.
    The city of Ann Arbor began deploying an ASCT System known as SCOOT (Split Cycle Offset Optimization Technique) in 2004 and currently have 44 intersections on Plymouth Road, Washtenaw Avenue and Eisenhower/Packard under fully adaptive control.
    Genesee County Road Commission has deployed an ASCT System known as InSync at seven Intersections on Holly Road near the interchange with I-75 near Grand Blanc.

    Related Links :

    MDOT YouTube Video for the West Saginaw project in Lansing

    FHWA Adaptive Signal Control

  • Approximately 12 projects/year proceed to further design beyond the base plan date without environmental classification. According to the procedure, Environmental Services Section staff notifies FHWA of each project, explaining what environmental concern the design process will address when moving beyond base plans. The Design Manual has been updated to reflect the new procedure and the Environmental Services Section is tracking this information for reporting purposes.

    Related Links:

    FHWA - Clarifying the Scope of Preliminary Design.

  • To view a table of Projects Completed Since 2008, please visit: Construction Manager General Contractor (CMGC)

    Additional information available is the FHWA - Construction Manager General ContractorDesign Build.

  • The design-build project delivery method combines a project design and construction phases in one contract, allowing the contractor flexibility to choose design, materials and construction methods while assuming the risk and responsibility for both design and construction. This can accelerate project delivery, lower costs and improve quality.

  • MDOT used this tool during preparation of the Detroit River International Crossing/New International Trade Crossing (DRIC/NITC) EIS for expedited review times, and more stringent review of the traffic models and analyses. FHWA headquarters also provided review of the community and Environmental Justice impact analysis. This level of review was provided in anticipation of the legal challenges from the privately-owned bridge company.

    Related links:

    FHWA Toolkit

  • The flexibilities in right-of-way strategy encourages transportation agencies to take advantage of the many areas of flexibility allowed under FHWA regulations and statutes when developing highway projects. Using these flexibilities can help agencies save time and money on the right-of-way acquisition process while meeting legal requirements

  • The often-conflicting priorities of State transportation agencies and utility companies can adversely affect the timely completion of transportation projects. Potential utility conflicts exist on most transportation projects. It is estimated that half of all highway and bridge projects eligible for Federal funding involve the relocation of utility facilities, and construction generally takes longer and costs more when utilities need to be relocated. The initiative will spotlight existing flexibilities currently in place under Federal law and regulations and describe techniques that foster effective utility coordination during project development which warrant more widespread use.

  • Instead of conventional bridge support technology, Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) Integrated Bridge System (IBS) technology uses alternating layers of compacted granular fill material and fabric sheets of geotextile reinforcement to provide support for the bridge. GRS also provides a smooth transition from the bridge onto the roadway, and alleviates the "bump at the bridge" problem caused by uneven settlement between the bridge and approaching roadway. The technology offers unique advantages in the construction of small bridges, including:

    • Reduced construction time and cost, with costs reduced 25 to 60 percent from conventional construction methods
    • Easy to build with common equipment and materials; easy to maintain because of fewer parts
    • Flexible design that's easily modified in the field for unforeseen site conditions, including unfavorable weather conditions


    Related links:

    FHWA - Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil

  • The PEL initiative within Every Day Counts is part of the "Shortening Project Delivery Time Toolkit". The idea is to better leverage data collection and studies in the pre-NEPA time frame so that once an agency determines a NEPA study is warranted, there is a foundation already built that can serve to meet the NEPA requirements without prejudicing the outcomes. The department is currently performing a study of the US 131 and I-96 corridors in Kent County as a PEL pilot to evaluate this methodology for broader usage within the context of our program development process, in particular the New Roads/Capacity Increase program. A consultant has been selected, and the work scope is being refined and coordinated with internal staff as well as the MPO. The study is scheduled for completion in December 2013.

    Related links:

    FHWA Toolkit

  • Prefabricated bridge elements and systems are bridge components that are constructed off-site under controlled conditions and moved to the work zone for rapid installation. The result is more durable bridges that can be built faster, more safely and with less traffic disruption.

  • MDOT and FHWA signed agreements for historic/archaeological resources and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) classification.  We explored obtaining an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but determined the program currently has very few impacts on threatened and endangered species.  Therefore, it did not make business sense to enter into lengthy negotiations for so few projects.

    Related links:

    FHWA - Expanded Use of Programmatic Agreements 


  • Pavement edge drop-off on highways has been linked to many serious crashes, including fatal collisions. To mitigate vertical drop-offs, FHWA advocates installing the Safety EdgeSM on pavements during paving or resurfacing projects. This technology allows drivers who drift off highways to return to the pavement safely.

    Roadway departures account for over half of all fatal crashes. Not all of these crashes involve speeders and drunk drivers. Some could have been easily prevented if a vertical pavement edge drop-off had not been present.

    Many of these tragedies might have been prevented by a cutting-edge technology known as the Safety EdgeSM. This simple, inexpensive solution is a focus of the FHWA's Every Day Counts program.

  • Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) is the generic term for a variety of technologies that allow producers of Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) pavement material to lower temperatures at which the material is mixed and placed on the road. It is a proven a technology that can:

    • Reduce paving costs
    • Extend the paving season
    • Improve asphalt compaction
    • Allow asphalt mix to be hauled longer distances
    • Improve working conditions by reducing exposure to fuel emissions, fumes, and odors


  • MDOT has eight active wetland mitigation banks with almost 54 acres of approved credit.  The department also uses other established banks for project mitigation, as well as preservation credits.   With an improved program emphasis, far less wetland acres are impacted than in past years when the program had more expansion projects.