The National Academies

NCHRP 25-22(02) [Final]

Technologies to Improve Consideration of Environmental Concerns in Transportation Decisions

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Research Agency: CH2M Hill
Principal Investigator: Marcy Schwartz
Effective Date: 5/7/2004
Completion Date: 4/30/2006

As a continuation of NCHRP 25-22, this phase of the project endeavored to advance the use of current and emerging technologies to facilitate inclusion of environmental considerations in the transportation decision-making process. Successful transportation decision making requires an integration of environmental, engineering, social, and economic information. Informed decisions conserve environmental resources, avoid litigation, reduce project delays and costs, and increase public understanding and trust.

Advances in technology provide an opportunity to improve such decision making. However, advanced analysis, communication, and presentation tools are generally not used to enhance the inclusion of environmental considerations in the planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance activities of state transportation agencies. These tools include multimedia communications, computer modeling, remote sensing, spatial information systems, and Internet applications. Failure to use these tools is caused by inadequate knowledge of the capability, applicability, affordability, compatibility, availability, and functionality of these technologies.

NCHRP Project 25-22, completed in 2001, identified, critiqued, and showcased current and emerging technologies that support the integration of environmental considerations into transportation planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operations. Included in the NCHRP 25-22 report is a fictional case study used to demonstrate 26 technology applications that were identified as promising for improving consideration of environmental concerns in transportation planning and project development processes. The final report for NCHRP 25- 22 was published as a CD-ROM titled: CRP-CD-14 and is available for purchase through the TRB Bookstore at http://trb.org/trb/bookstore (search for "CRPD14").

Using findings from the project's first phase, this continuation undertook to identify, profile, and demonstrate existing technological applications of technology that could usefully be adopted by other agencies. In cooperation with State DOTs and other agencies, a number of potentially useful applications were surveyed and evaluated for their compatibility, universal applicability, ease of implementation, and potential usefulness to other public agencies. An initial screening yielded 20 applications that were then assessed in greater detail to select eight very promising technology applications. These applications were described in NCHRP Research Results Digest 304.  During the course of the second-phase project a national teleconference was held to demonstrate the selected technology applications. Video presentations similar to those made at the teleconference are available online at the AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence web site, http://environment.transportation.org/environmental_issues/proj_delivery_stream/recent_dev.aspx#bookmark0

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