Every Innovation Starts With A Conversation

Rounding up the articles that broke new ground and expanded our understanding 

By Angie Schmitt 

Full 1
Full 1

The industry is undergoing rapid change. One year ago, former Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau launched InfraTalk America (ITA). ITA’s goal is to create engaging content that makes the case for, and speeds the pace of, innovation. Additionally, the platform seeks to inform policy makers on new technologies that have the ability to make the industry more efficient, safer, and sustainable. To that end, ITA seeks to help transportation agencies make the most of the historic investments that are taking place right now. 

As we celebrate one year of publishing, we’re looking back at the stories that helped push the envelope. Last month, we shared our most-read stories. This week, we highlight our editor’s picks of critical stories you may have missed. 

Maine DOT’s History Making Composite Bridge Project Wins Regional Award 

The Grist Mill Bridge in Hamden, Maine received honors from AASHTO for its groundbreaking use of lightweight, corrosion-proof girders. These structures were made from a sustainable mix of composite materials. Traditionally, bridges have used either a heavier, carbon-intensive steel, or a mix of steel and concrete for the bridge superstructure. We dug into more detail on this pace-setting project in our Infodoc. As part of the filming, we spoke with former New Hampshire DOT Commissioner and current Executive Director of TRB Victoria Sheehan about why mainstreaming this technology can seem so slow going, despite the enormous potential for savings.  

In Indiana, Safer Work Zones, Less Congestion 

Indiana DOT is using moveable barriers, a form of positive work zone protection, to keep traffic delays at a minimum on interstate projects. These structures are also critical to keeping workers safe. This post was part of a series highlighting the importance of integrating positive work zone protection technologies.  

e-Ticketing to Spark a Digital Revolution in Boston 

Boston’s inspiring story of how a contractor helped kickstart the first municipal-level experiment with e-Ticketing for materials handling was deeply reported. It was also loaded with punchy quotes such as, “E-ticketing keeps the driver in the truck and keeps the product moving.” Private contractors turned out to be important drivers of change in materials handling as well. This can be evidenced in our interview with concrete industry leader Keith Onchuck.  

Ann Schneider on Women in Construction and the Promise of IIJA 

When Ann Schneider was Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation, she was one of just a handful of women across the 50 states. Since then, the industry has shifted. Female leaders, like herself as well as Shante Hastings, of DelDOT, and Caltrans’ Dara Wheeler, have been critical voices for innovation in the industry.  

We hope you’ll stay with us through the coming year as we watch the continued adoption of digital construction and other critical technological advancements.