Innovation

Roadway Safety Innovation

Innovation in the roadway safety industry

Outsiders of the transportation infrastructure industry may look to autonomous vehicles as an icon of innovation on the roadways, but for state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors in the roadway safety and infrastructure industry, innovation is not a stationary achievement. It is much more than a mile marker and not as easily defined.

With different perspectives and priorities, industry stakeholders are finding that in addition to new technologies, innovation is heavily reliant on communication between entities. Industry leaders are working together to move forward and ATSSA is no different. The association works year-round to progress and develop creative solutions for all of its initiatives including highlighting innovative products and technologies, training, and ATSSA membership.


One innovative effort ATSSA is involved in is a joint initiative with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices (AHB50). Both ATSSA and TRB sponsor and conduct an exciting design competition, the Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge, to promote innovation and stimulate ideas in the traffic control devices area with a goal to improve operations and safety.


Find recent updates on the latest innovations in the resource list below and be sure to check back for updates.



Exhibit at ATSSA's Annual Traffic Expo

NPRO

Do you have an innovative roadway safety product? Exhibitors can showcase their innovations in the New Products Rollout at the Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. Products released after Jan. 1 of this year qualify for entry. Twenty will be accepted for the New Product Listing and just 12 will be accepted for presentation to a panel of judges. The top three products will earn an Innovation Award that will be announced during the Convention.


Learn more
about featuring your innovative product to key industry professionals. View videos of last year's entries and award winners.



Resources

Congress nears passage of bipartisan infrastructure package, extends current authorization

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With the current surface transportation authorization set to expire over the weekend, Congress passed a short-term extension of the FAST Act, the current authorization, that will run until Dec. 3.

Earlier this afternoon the House appeared close to voting on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, but Democrats were unable to come to an agreement on a vote for a separate $1.75 trillion reconciliation package, the framework of which was released today.

AASHTO council unanimously supports resolution to convert MASH into a performance spec

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AASHTO’s Council on Highways and Streets voted Wednesday to support a resolution to convert the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) to a specification.

The vote took place during the Council’s meeting as part of AASHTO’s annual meeting in San Diego.

AASHTO maintains MASH and commissioned the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) to conduct a scoping study on the idea of converting MASH 2016 to a specification. The study was completed this year, according to a presentation by Maine Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Joyce Taylor, who serves as vice chair of AASHTO’s Committee on Design. The association also held two webinars in June with state and industry officials to address opportunities and challenges the conversion would bring.

The move to convert MASH into a performance specification is aimed at “developing a more consistent testing of roadside hardware,” according to the Council on Highways and Streets resolution.

Sorting fact from fiction with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

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Thursday is poised to be a pivotal day for the roadway safety infrastructure industry with the House of Representatives expected to vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act set to expire at midnight.

Given the significance to its members, ATSSA’s Government Relations Team evaluated key concerns being raised about the IIJA’s provisions.

ATSSA’s team analyzed the IIJA ahead of the Senate's bipartisan passage of the IIJA and provided a detailed breakdown of key aspects.

Today, ATSSA provides a fact-versus-fiction analysis of issues commonly raised about the IIJA.

 

House sets date for final infrastructure vote

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The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Originally, a vote had been expected as early as today. However, on Sunday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin debate on IIJA today and then vote on Thursday.

The current surface transportation authorization is set to expire on Thursday, meaning the House must pass the infrastructure package or a short-term extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transporation (FAST) Act, or face the Highway Trust Fund going insolvent.

ATSSA reaches out to DOTs again as raw materials challenges increase

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter this afternoon to the directors of every state department of transportation (DOT) to update them on the ongoing challenges facing members of the roadway safety infrastructure industry due to a shortfall in material supplies.

The latest resource severely cut was oxygen, which is needed to make glass beads that are used in pavement marking applications.

“Our members’ supply of oxygen has been cut by 70% in some areas and 100% in others because of the significant escalation of hospitalizations due to the spread of COVID-19 variants and the national trend of oxygen producers realigning the supply of oxygen from industrial customers to critical medical needs to combat the national pandemic,” Tetschner said in today’s letter.

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