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Hecox D.,FHWAs Office of Public Affairs | Elston D.S.,FHWAs Office of Corporate Research
Public Roads | Year: 2015

Virginia's hot and muggy weather on July 15, 2014, did nothing to dampen the excitement of nearly 200 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) employees and contractors who gathered outside the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) in McLean to see and hear President Barack Obama and US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. Before the speech, Trentacoste gave the President a tour of the facility, which is home to more than 24 indoor and outdoor laboratories where researchers are developing innovations in highway safety and other improvements to transportation operations. FHWA's ongoing commitment to research and innovative technology, which began a century ago, continues to change the way roads and bridges are designed, built, operated, and maintained. The simulator consists of a full automobile chassis surrounded by a cylindrical projection screen onto which three projectors render a seamless 200 degree field of view that shows high quality computer generated roadway scenes.


Elliott R.,Resource Center | Moler S.,FHWAs Office of Public Affairs
Public Roads | Year: 2012

FHWA has launched a new information-sharing initiative to help local public agencies manage their highway projects. When local public agencies receive Federal-aid funding, they work closely with their respective State departments of transportation (DOT) to meet all Federal-aid requirements, such as those for environmental reviews, civil rights, right-of-way acquisitions, safety, and construction and contract administration. An important feature of the Federal-aid Essentials Web site is a resource library of about 80 informational videos and related materials. Each video focuses on a single topic in a critical area related to delivery of Federal-aid projects. Once the user selects a category, such as Environment, a menu of videos for that category appears next to the video viewing screen. Users simply click on the desired video title and the presentation begins. The video format is conducive to viewing in a variety of settings, including in the office, at jobsites, on mobile devices, or in meetings with project teams, stakeholders, and partners.


Hecox D.,FHWAs Office of Public Affairs | Hecox D.,American University of Washington
Public Roads | Year: 2011

The new Hoover Dam bridge reaffirms that American engineering can build great infrastructure despite the current economic challenges. Once the new bridge began carrying thousands of vehicles and trucks every day over Black Canyon, the structure became one of the most awesome anywhere. Towering nearly 900 feet above the Colorado River, the bridge sits atop the world's tallest pre-cast concrete columns. Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, the event's master of ceremonies, enjoys a unique perspective on the project. As director of the Arizona Department of Transportation from 2001 until 2009, Mendez played a critical role in ensuring the project had the funds it needed from Arizona and Nevada. A narrow two-lane highway running across the dam's crest connected Arizona and Nevada on either side of Black Canyon. After extensive research, FHWA selected the Sugarloaf Mountain alternative, which included a 1,900-foot river crossing about 1,500 feet downstream from the dam.


Hecox D.,FHWAs Office of Public Affairs
Public Roads | Year: 2013

The roadheader is helping the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) expand a main thoroughfare that carries State Route (S.R.) 24 through the hills. When completed in late 2013, the new bore will hold two new lanes of traffic, expanding the existing Caldecott Tunnel from three bores to four and from six lanes to eight. Oakland officials wanted to build a tunnel through the hills to streamline commerce into and out of the area. In 1903, Alameda County excavated a tunnel through the hills just below the crest near the eastern end of Broadway, the area's primary thoroughfare. Despite its limitations, the original tunnel served area residents adequately for years. Then, along came the automobile. The onset of increasing automobile and truck traffic eventually rendered the existing geometry inadequate. The pace of the area's population growth quickened in the mid-1940s as soldiers returning from World War II purchased homes, started families, and opened businesses. Through the 1950s, Contra Costa County's population grew by 137 percent.

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