Daily News Briefs, November 20, 2023

This is a Subscribers-Only area. If you are a subscriber, please login. If not...

Become a Subscriber Today »

Is Artificial Intelligence Reliable Enough Now To Inform Highway Design And Construction?

The New York Times reports on a debate within the engineering community over the role artificial intelligence (AI) in its current stage of development should play in the processes of designing highway infrastructure and its component materials. AI advocates such as University of Pittsburgh engineering professor Amir Alavi maintain the technology is already capable of reducing project costs by shortening design timelines, doing the work of multiple engineers and creating more economical and green building materials. Alavi and some of his colleagues are now working on AI-supported development projects in partnership with PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Others in the engineering profession are urging “caution against embracing the technology too quickly when it is largely unregulated and its payoffs remain largely unproven.” They acknowledge that AI has its uses today and will become more useful as it matures, but they believe more testing and a body of authoritative standards are required to ensure that AI is a safe and reliable tool for creating critical infrastructure.

Climate Change & Infrastructure Resilience Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Maintenance Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Safety (Includes COVID-19 Impacts) Information Technology Resources and Acquisitions Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) Transportation and Infrastructure Research & Development


Senate Bill Aims To Promote Innovative Transportation Construction

Transportation Today reports, “Bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate [and House] would encourage research and deployment of innovative construction materials in transportation and water infrastructure projects. The Innovative Materials for America’s Growth and Infrastructure Newly Expanded (IMAGINE) Act [S 3292] would create a task force to examine standards and methods used to assess the federal government’s approval of materials for infrastructure projects. In addition, the task force would promote research into new materials and building techniques, and spur federal investment in bridge and water infrastructure projects that utilize innovative materials.”

In a news release, a co-sponsor, Senator Sheldon Whiteside (D-RI), commented that to maximize the impact of IIJA investment, the US needs to “use the most resilient, cost-effective composite materials available to rebuild our roads, bridges and water systems. Our bipartisan legislation will foster innovation and save taxpayers money along the way.”

The Senate bill’s introduced text and one-page summary are accessible online.

Highway-Tunnel-Bridge Maintenance Transportation and Infrastructure Research & Development US Department of Transportation (USDOT) US Gov't Transportation Funding US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives


Delaware DOT Once Again Offers "Black Friday" E-ZPass Deal

Delaware DOT announced that it will once again offer a free E-ZPass transponder to anyone who opens a new individual Delaware E-ZPass account during the holiday season. The promotion is in effect from “Black Friday,” November 24, through Sunday, December 31, 2023. Accounts may be opened online or at one of three toll plaza walk-in centers. The state noted that there are currently about 627,000 active Delaware E-ZPass transponders. “Collectively,” it reports, “Newark, Biddles Corner, and Dover Toll Plazas process on average 138,606 E-ZPass transactions daily.” (TRN notes there’s been a significant upturn in Delaware transponder adoption and use over the past year, based on 2022 news coverage of the “Black Friday” promotion.)

Delaware Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) E-ZPass ETC Systems Public Outreach And Communication


These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

If you’re not already a Daily News Briefs subscriber and you want a complete picture of today’s news, click here or call 717-991-2823 for subscription information. If you’re a newcomer to TollRoadsNews.com, click here.