The National Academies

NCHRP 25-22 [Completed]

Technologies to Improve Consideration of Environmental Concerns in Transportation Decisions

  Project Data
Funds: $179,994
Research Agency: CH2M Hill
Principal Investigator: Marcy Schwartz
Effective Date: 3/10/2000
Completion Date: 6/9/2001
Comments: Report available as CRP-CD-14

Successful transportation decision making requires integrating environmental, engineering, social, and economic information. Informed decisions conserve environmental resources, avoid litigation, reduce project delays and costs, and increase public understanding and trust. Current and emerging advancements in technology provide an opportunity to improve 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.

The objectives of this research are to identify, critique, and showcase current and emerging technologies that support the integration of environmental considerations into transportation planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operations.

To accomplish these objectives, the following tasks are recommended: (1) Identify current and emerging technologies that can be used to integrate environmental considerations into transportation planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operations. (2) Develop proposed criteria to evaluate the technologies identified in Task 1 with regard to start-up, support, and user costs; benefits; risks; data and hardware needs; applicability; learning curve; and capability to enhance public involvement and information accessibility. (3) Submit an interim report that presents the results of Tasks 1 and 2 and contains a detailed work plan for accomplishing Tasks 4 through 8. Meet with the NCHRP Project Panel for discussion of the results, approval of the proposed criteria, and approval or modification of the work plan. The research agency shall not begin work on the remaining tasks without the approval of the Project Panel. (4) Using the criteria approved by the Project Panel in Task 3, analyze the technologies identified in Task 1 and examine the feasibility of using these technologies to integrate environmental considerations into transportation planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operations. Recommend technologies and applications to be showcased. (5) Submit an interim report presenting the results of Task 4. Meet with the Project Panel to select technologies to be showcased in the final product. The meeting shall be held at a site suitable for presenting the recommended technologies. At this meeting, the research agency shall present examples of those technologies that best meet the objectives of the project and that merit inclusion in the final product. (6) Develop a final product that documents the entire research effort and showcases the technologies selected in Task 5. The final product shall demonstrate the full capability of the technologies selected and be readily accessible to the transportation community (e.g., by Internet, CD-ROM, or other innovative media). (7) Organize a workshop at the Transportation Research Board's Annual Meeting in January, 2001, to demonstrate the technologies selected in Task 5. (8) Work with the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) in presenting the final results in a national teleconference originating at the CTE at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Status: The research is complete.

Product Availability: The final report has been published as a CD-ROM titled CRP-CD-14.

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