We all recognize these are difficult economic times. Now, more than ever, we at the Department of Transportation need to give taxpayers maximum value for every dollar they entrust to us.
That means we need to give the transportation community better, faster and smarter ways to enhance safety, make our communities more livable, support our economy, and sustain our environment. Every Day Counts (EDC) is a first step in meeting those challenges through innovation.
I appreciate Secretary LaHood letting me share a few thoughts with everyone about EDC. Today we’re launching a new website devoted entirely to this innovation initiative. I hope you’ll check out our new site at www.fhwa.dot.gov/everydaycounts/.
To give you a little background, we launched EDC last fall with two goals in mind: shortening the time it takes to deliver major bridge and highway projects and deploying new technologies into mainstream use faster.
The new website will allow anyone to learn more about the specific strategies and technologies we’ve selected and that we’ll be working with our state and private industry partners to begin implementing these strategies and technologies this fall.
We also see the website as a place where the transportation community can share ideas about what parts of EDC are working well, best practices and innovative ideas to move forward.
A lot of the initiatives are related to one of the Department’s most important priorities, environmental sustainability. For example, the sooner we can deliver a new highway, the sooner we can reduce a city’s traffic congestion and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Or, the more frequently contractors use warm mix asphalt--one of the technologies we’re advancing--the less energy we’ll use to pave a road.
There’s also an internal component to EDC that reflects my personal belief that everyone can make a difference in creating a greener planet. The Going Greener initiative is designed to reduce FHWA’s carbon footprint and make us a greener agency. Based on employee suggestions, every FHWA office has implemented its own green plan including ways to use less paper, consume less energy, and increase recycling.
This is an important moment in the history of EDC as we gear up to implement specific technologies and project delivery strategies. The launch of our new EDC website adds to the sense of pride and excitement all of us feel about this signature innovation in the way projects are planned, built, and delivered to the traveling public.