U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
In his welcome address and introduction to the U.S. representatives to Technical Committees and Task Forces, Thomas Everett, the U.S. First Delegate to the World Road Association (WRA), spoke of a broader commitment – in time and travel support and enhanced involvement. This commitment, he said, affords the U.S. the opportunity to exert an active role globally on key road related issues.
Mr. Everett praised the work done by FHWA and AASHTO staffers who serve on the technical committees and task forces. He told committee members that their involvement in the technical work of the WRA creates important opportunities that ensure U.S. perspectives are captured in the Association’s information products. The products in the form of reports, guidelines, and other information tools, he said, are invaluable tools for the professional roads community worldwide. In noting the momentous work of committee members and organizations in the final products of the committees, and task forces, Mr. Everett asked members to intensify the dissemination of these products and to seek ways to make them better known domestically.
As the United States National Committee to PIARC, AASHTO, endorsed the work done by State DOTs in support of U.S. participation in the Association’s technical bodies. He encouraged state DOTs to continue their work and to provide significant input into the final products of the Abu Dhabi Congress.
The meeting included a panel discussion featuring several PIARC products recently released with significant support from the U.S. representatives to the Association’s technical bodies. The Association’s Strategic Plan for the current cycle identifies the generation of information products on a more continuous basis as one of the key objectives in developing PIARC’s substantive work. Throughout the 2016-2019 cycle, the Association has continued to pursue novel approaches to the development and sharing of knowledge among its members. The FHWA has been extremely supportive of these efforts. The panel commended the Association’s efforts to release products more timely for use by members.
Joey Hartmann, U.S Representative to PIARC’s Technical Committee on Bridges (TC D.3) presented on a comprehensive compilation of 28 case studies from 15 countries on inspection and damage assessment techniques. Compiled by Technical Committee D.3 on Bridges, under the leadership of Scot Becker from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the case studies will also be used as reference in the Technical Committees final report to be unveiled at the World Road Congress to be held in Abu Dhabi, October 6-10, 2019. Mr. Hartmann highlighted the compilation of case studies as a good example of how Technical Committees use information gathered in the early part of the -year PIARC cycle to promote technical knowledge prior to the Congress.
Tiffany Julien, U.S. Representative to PIARC’s Technical Committee on Freight (TC B.4) presented on a collection of Good Practices Relative to Multi-Modal Freight Transportation Policies and Truck Management on Highways
The document underlines the importance of well-functioning logistics and freight transport system for a prosperous economy. As the leader of the working group tasked with this publication, Ms. Julien stressed the need for strategy sharing among countries and drew attention to solutions for solving and addressing some of these issues that countries such as Austria, Canada, Switzerland, and other are engaged. Some of the topics for which countries needed strategies and solutions are heavy vehicle charges, speed management of vehicles at work zones, and ITS based data collection and sharing of truck movement programs.
FHWA’s Bryan Cawley and Agnes Velez presented on a recently released PIARC publication on the topic of drones. Contrary to the bridges and the freight related products, “The Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to remotely Collect Data for Road Infrastructure” was not produced by a Technical Committee or Task Force. It was the result of a PIARC Special Project outsourced to the private sector on a proposal submitted by FHWA. The Association established this facility to support projects outside the rubric of the Strategic Plan. The report highlighted the developments in the study of UAS as a means of providing a reliable means of collecting vital information on roads in remote, hard to reach areas. The study consisted of collected information from various organizations and countries. The material and information gathered has been used to support the national accelerated deployment of the UAS technology. In 2018 FHWA held a webinar summarizing the findings of the report and published a brief on the topic. For additional information please click the link below: