At DOT, we know that by making our infrastructure smarter and greener, we can give our environment a break while still keeping the public moving safely, growing our nation's economy, and reducing congestion.
And that commitment to better air quality is not limited to transit and bicycling; it also includes the important work we do on America's roadways.
Today, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez spoke about FHWA’s commitment to providing more sustainable transportation options at the American Council on Renewable Energy’s (ACORE) first ever Transportation and Renewable Energy Industry Forum. And he had plenty to talk about.
For example, the Every Day Counts initiative gives states tools and new technologies for accelerating project construction, so people can see the benefits of new projects sooner. The sooner we can help relieve congestion, the sooner the emissions associated with traffic jams can be eliminated.
One of our biggest success stories for reducing congestion is a technology called Adaptive Signal Control. This approach adjusts traffic signals to actual conditions, instead of having them run on pre-set schedules. By some estimates, national deployment of this technology could cut traffic delays by up to 40 percent, cut fuel consumption by 10 percent for an annual savings of 17 billion gallons, and cut emissions by 22 percent.
In addition, FHWA is also encouraging states to use a technology called Warm Mix Asphalt, which can be placed on the road at lower temperatures than more traditional “hot mix.” What difference does that make? It significantly reduces the amount of energy needed to complete a paving project.
We’re also encouraging states to do more recycling and make greater use of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement or RAP, which re-cycles old road material for re-use.
And we’re excited about work being done to actually generate power from the highway itself.
That's right; last summer, Administrator Mendez helped break ground on one of the nation’s first solar highway projects, a project in Oregon where solar panels will generate power for a rest area along Interstate 5. Ohio, Massachusetts and California have similar projects in different stages of development.
Finally, we’ve created tools to support states in the area of sustainability. INVEST, the Infrastructure Voluntary Evaluation Sustainability Tool, helps states measure the sustainability of their projects and provides them with best practices.
DOT’s commitment to making our infrastructure greener has never been stronger. And that commitment extends to road building and road repair. We look forward to continuing our work with public and private sector partners to apply techniques that reduce our nation’s carbon footprint, preserve our air quality, and help secure an independent energy future.