Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Leslie S. Richards recently announced that the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (PA STIC), received a 2017 STIC Excellence Award for its ongoing efforts to train local governments on innovative and efficient ways to improve their local road networks.
Sponsored in partnership between the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Innovation Initiative and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Center of Accelerating Innovation, this annual award recognizes STICs that have made a significant impact toward fostering a strong culture of innovation.
“With our local governments responsible for more than 78,000 miles of roadway and 6,400 structures, maintaining this vast and aging collection of assets requires both innovation and collaboration,” said Richards, who is co-chair of the PA STIC. “I applaud this group for its continued local government outreach efforts and share this award with everyone in our organization who works to keep PennDOT's culture of innovation moving forward.”
The PA STIC is a cross-section of various stakeholders, state and federal agencies, local governments, research organizations and industry partners that work together to forge an environment of innovation, imagination and ingenuity to pursue specific initiatives and their rapid implementation to deliver a modern and high-quality transportation system to the citizens of the Commonwealth. Through this collaborative effort, the PA STIC has helped PennDOT advance several successful innovations, such as Adaptive Signal Control Technology, High-Friction Surface Treatment (HFST), Accelerated Bridge Construction methods, Ultra-High-Performance Concrete and Warm Mix Asphalt.
The PA STIC received the award for their engagement of local governments to identify, pilot and promote innovations that have the potential to improve efficiency and safety while reducing environmental impacts. As an example, the PA STIC collaborated with local governments to develop and administer a Salt and Snow Management Course, which trained more than 600 participants on innovative winter maintenance techniques, best practices and operational efficiencies. The PA STIC also conducted demonstrations for local governments on the effectiveness of new and innovative road technologies and products, such as HFST.
Recognizing that education outreach is a common thread in efforts to successfully deploy and institutionalize innovation, the PA STIC also launched an outreach campaign to better understand the top transportation issues facing local governments and effective communication methods for engaging local government representatives. Most recently, the PA STIC hosted a Local Government Safety Seminar to provide local officials and transportation planners with the tools to identify high-crash corridors and intersections and target effective safety countermeasures.
FHWA first introduced the STIC concept to state transportation departments and industry partners in 2010 to foster ownership and pride in establishing a process in which ideas, innovative techniques and processes can be evaluated and implemented quickly and proficiently.
For more information, visit penndot.gov/innovation.