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The e-Construction Materials App and Sample Plan, implemented by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD), is set to digitize the future of materials quality assurance activities. As a consistent framework meant to standardize the activities within LADOTD’s construction units, the Sample provides field personnel with the ability to digitally track their sampling activities using cellular enabled tablets.  

After Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana in August 2021, the extensive damage left in the wake of the storm prompted the LADOTD to clear more than 11,500 miles of debris. Using crowdsourced data, the department allowed the public access to its debris operations dashboard. 

LADOTD’s e-Construction Materials App and Sample Plan 

The e-Construction Materials App and Sample Plan, launched in 2021 by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD), serves as the primary resource for materials quality assurance activities. Prior to the release of this innovative resource, various methods were used across LADOTD construction units to create material sample plans. This led to inconsistent collection activities and poor compliance with materials and audit standards.  

The Sample Plan provides engineers with the framework for all material sampling across the life of the project. By using cellular enabled tablets, inspectors can document sampling activities by saving and synchronizing the data in real time. The documentation of projects involving asphalt and structural concrete is now digitized for paperless field use, along with the ability to document supplemental images which increases the integrity of quality assurance activities.  

The implementation of such tools has greatly improved the ease of use among field personnel and provided process alignment across all the engineering units within LADOTD. Once fully implemented, LADOTD can expect an improvement in inspector productivity, an increase in compliance with the department’s Audit of Testing and Materials program and a decrease in inaccuracies and omissions in the Quality Assurance program. 

Weather-Responsive Management Strategies 

After Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana in August 2021, extensive wind and flood damage led to hundreds of road closures from New Orleans all the way to Baton Rouge.  

The first session of FHWA’s new Road Weather Spotlight monthly webinar series discussed Hurricane Ida’s effects on the infrastructure industry and weather-responsive management strategies (WRMS). The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTOD), one of several DOT presenters, described the strategies implemented to alleviate storm damage and accelerate the recovery process.  

The hurricane’s late strengthening led officials to evacuate several areas. By quickly adapting and modifying already existing preparations, the LADOTD implemented dynamic message signs and public service announcements to alert travelers of alternate routes.   

LADOTD’s Chief Maintenance Engineer, David Miller, said the hurricane was on track to hit two of the state’s largest cities, causing the agency to request aid from other districts in the state.  

As soon as the hurricane’s winds diminished, the LADOTD began clearing more than 11,500 shoulder miles of debris and mud. Using crowdsourced data, the agency populated its debris operations dashboard by allowing the public to input debris type and location, ultimately conserving staff resources and time.   

The Louisiana DOTD State Roadway Damage and Debris Operations assist the Louisiana community in times of disaster, like that of Hurricane Ida. This source provides citizens with the opportunity to self-report debris to the LADOTD. It works by helping individuals determine the issue, review the necessary information and contact the Call Center at 1-800-950-2732 to report issues on the State Highway System. 

SOURCES: FHWA, LADOTD