FHWA STIC Incentive Program
What is FHWA's STIC Incentive Program?
Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Incentive Program provides funding to help STICs foster a culture of innovation and make innovations standard practice in their states. Pennsylvania continues its effective use of FHWA's STIC Incentive Program funding to assist with the implementation of innovations across the state.
How much funding is provided?
Each state can receive up to $100,000 per federal fiscal year. A total of $5.4 million is available through the program. Project recipients are required to provide a 20 percent non-federal match of up to 25,000.
Why is innovation funding important?
Innovative tools and techniques are proven to help reduce congestion, accelerate construction, enhance sustainability and ultimately save lives. A driving force behind the STIC process is fostering a culture of innovation. The STIC Incentive Program is one tool that helps provide resources to promote this culture. A rapid deployment of these innovations is also a key factor to the success of the STIC. STIC Incentive Program funding can support and offset costs and push innovations over the finish line.
How does it work?
FHWA is the federal agency responsible for providing the funding.
FHWA's Center for Accelerating Innovation (CAI) administers the program.
PennDOT is the State Transportation Agency (STA) for Pennsylvania. Funding is available to support or offset the costs of standardizing innovative practices in a STA or other public sector STIC stakeholder.
The Pennsylvania STIC utilizes STIC Incentive Program funding to help foster a culture of innovation in Pennsylvania. Project submissions are sent to FHWA for initial consideration. STIC members are given the opportunity to provide feedback on each submission before a final decision is made by PennDOT leadership in coordination with the FHWA Pennsylvania Division Office. Recipients are responsible for providing progress reports to FHWA twice a year and provide updates at STIC Business Meetings, as requested.
How far can this funding really go?
Since 2014, several projects have received STIC Incentive Program funding. These projects range from training programs, safety seminars, and facility business plans, to key funding to update innovation specifications. The STIC created a video to highlight just how far $100,000 can go to advance innovation in Pennsylvania.
What projects are eligible to receive funding?
FHWA lists specific
eligibility requirements on their website. In general, the project must:
- Foster a culture for innovation statewide or make an innovation standard practice
- Align with
Technology and Innovation Deployment Programs goals
- Be eligible for federal-aid assistance and adhere to applicable federal requirements
- Be able to start preferably within six months, but no later than one year, after notification of approval of STIC Incentive Program funding, and the funds must be expended within two years.
STIC Incentive Program Funding Recipients
View the list of projects that received STIC Incentive Program funding in Pennsylvania below. Other projects suggested by FHWA can be found on the
FHWA STIC Incentive Program website.
Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version
Bridge Deck Link Slabs
Bridge deck joints have been one of the leading causes for premature bridge deterioration. Link slabs are an economical way to eliminate bridge joints by connecting adjacent deck sections with a specially designed slab composed of either traditional or Ultra-High Performance Concrete. The 2021 STIC Incentive Program funding will be used to support the development of the design procedures and design tools for using Bridge Deck Link Slabs in Pennsylvania.
Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs) Pilot
ATSPMs are an innovative way to use data to analyze and optimize the performance of traffic signals. Poorly timed traffic signals are the most significant contributor to traffic congestion on arterial roadways. The 2021 STIC Incentive Program funding will be used to procure a vendor software that has the capability to flag anomalies in various performance measures as a pilot to determine whether having this functionality in software can minimize staff resources and provide effective improvements to traffic flow. The pilot will include intersections that are already connected to the PennDOT network, and have controllers and detection capable of collecting ATSPM data.
Augmented Reality in Transportation
reality is an emerging technology for the transportation industry. With PennDOT
moving toward digital delivery in 2025, augmented reality will assist
inspection staff in the field. Inspection staff will be able to view 3D models
through a HoloLens and communicate and troubleshoot with the project team at
multiple locations. Augmented reality tools are currently available in handheld
and handsfree devices. Each option
providing benefits to transportation projects. PennDOT envisions these tools to
assist with construction inspection, structural material shop inspections,
bridge inspections and incident management, as well as training and certifying
bridge inspection staff. STIC Incentive Program funding will be used to develop a task
force to research the various options available to determine which product or
products would meet the need of PennDOT moving forward. Once the research is complete and
recommendations are made, PennDOT would like to pilot the recommended tools to
further determine a selected option moving forward. This project supports Every Day Counts Round 3 (EDC-3)
e-Construction and 3D Modeling innovations.
Using Drones (UAS) for Crash Reconstruction
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, is an EDC-5 innovation that can impact nearly all aspects of transportation, including roadway incident management. Using drones for crash reconstruction can result in significant time savings. The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) has not been able to expand their UAS crash reconstruction program due to funding constraints. As a result, PSP and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) have partnered to identify funding opportunities, including the 2020 STIC Incentive Fund Program, to deploy more UAS throughout PSP troops across Pennsylvania. The 2020 STIC Incentive Program funding will be used to purchase UAS equipment for PSP Troops G (Bedford, Blair, Huntingdon, Fulton, Mifflin, Centre and Juniata Counties), H (Adams, Perry, Dauphin, Cumberland and Franklin Counties), and K (Montgomery, Delaware and Philadelphia Counties).
Stormwater Training and Field Guidebook
The Stormwater Management Training and Field Guidebook helps maintenance crews at PennDOT, other state agencies, and local governments care for stormwater facilities. The Stormwater Management Training and Field Guidebook innovation received the FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding to fully complete the development of the training modules and guidebook materials, including planning and organizing training events. The training component provides maintenance employees with the necessary education and tools to correctly install and maintain Stormwater Control Measures.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Strategic Plan
FHWA's STIC Incentive Program funding is being used to develop the UAS, or drone, program and associated policies in Pennsylvania in a partnership between PennDOT's Bureau of Aviation, and the Highway Administration Deputate. The developed program and policies will help standardize the use of UAS in Pennsylvania for PennDOT and other state agencies.
The Pennsylvania Safety Transportation and Research Track (PennSTART) will be a state-of-the-art facility supporting traffic incident management training and the testing of new Intelligent Transportation Systems, tolling, and signal equipment that will foster a culture of innovation and help to standardize innovations in the future. PennSTART received FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding to complete a system engineering analysis of the facility by developing a concept of operations, use cases and a business plan on facility requirements and operations. This project received STIC Incentive Program funding in 2017 and 2018.
Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil-Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) Specification Update
GRS-IBS is an Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) method that allows PennDOT and municipalities to build bridges quickly and cost effectively. Using 2017 and 2018 FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding, PennDOT partnered with the Pennsylvania State University to assist with updating and enhancing the GRS-IBS specifications. The success of GRS-IBS has PennDOT investigating the expansion of the specification to include longer spans and higher average daily traffic, and to increase GRS-IBS bridge projects across the state.
e-Construction and Partnering Workforce Preparedness
e-Construction is the creation, review, approval, distribution, and storage of highway construction documents in a paperless environment. Construction Partnering builds relationships and connections among stakeholders to improve outcomes and successful completion of quality projects that are built on time and within budget, focused on safety, and profitable for contractors.
PennDOT and FHWA, in cooperation with the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), used STIC Incentive Program funding in 2018 to study the level of workforce preparedness for e-Construction and Partnering (eCP) between the public and private sectors. As part of the study, a statewide survey was distributed to APC members, American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) members, PennDOT and PTC construction management staff and others to gauge their understanding with e-Construction and Partnering. The study helped to create a strong foundation for making eCP a standard among Pennsylvania's transportation stakeholders.
PennSTART (see 2018)
GRS-IBS Bridge Specification Update (see 2018)
Local Government Safety Seminar
FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding was used by the PennDOT Safety Division, FHWA and the STIC, to host a virtual and in-person Local Government Safety Seminar. The event was designed to educate local government officials about roadway safety planning, proven safety solutions and funding sources for programs to address safety issues on local roadways. The seminar helped to foster a culture of innovation with local governments and PennDOT as it relates to roadway safety. The FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding also helped the Local Technical Advisory Program (LTAP) coordinate and facilitate two High Friction Surface Treatment demonstrations and develop new safety training courses for the LTAP program.
Salt and Snow Management Course
FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding was used to develop a Salt and Snow Management Course for local governments. The course included on-site classes with hands-on training and was designed to help foster a culture of innovation with local governments and PennDOT as it relates to winter maintenance. Additionally, the Local Technical Advisory Program (LTAP) team developed a webinar and workbook to make the training information more widely accessible to interested municipalities on LTAP's website. LTAP continues to offer this training as part of their regular curriculum.
Rumble Strip Installation on Thin Pavement Overlays Compendium
PennDOT used FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding to prepare a synthesis of best practices from various state transportation state agencies and stakeholders regarding the installation and re-installation of rumble strips on pavement treated with thin pavement overlay. These best practices helped provide a standardized, cost-effective process for PennDOT to effectively install or re-install rumble strips in conjunction with thin pavement overlays.
High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) Binder Evaluation
High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) is an innovative technique to improve the safety of motorists at high-priority crash locations. Using FHWA STIC Incentive Program funding, PennDOT in coordination with Pennsylvania State University, evaluated the construction performance of HFST through several pilot projects. Three different epoxies were used as the binding material covered with bauxite to provide high friction. The road condition before placement was surveyed and the placement process was documented. Approximately 30 days after placement, the projects were evaluated for performance. The evaluation led to development of specifications for HFST use and the standardization of the innovation.
Other Funding Resources
FHWA's STIC Incentive Program funding is awarded to a variety of projects in all 50 states each year to help foster a culture of innovation across the nation.
FHWA's Accelerating Market Readiness (AMR) Program provides funding to spur the advancement of emerging transformative innovations that have potential to enhance roadway safety, shorten the project delivery process, and improve the performance of the transportation infrastructure.
FHWA's Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration Program provides funding as an incentive for eligible entities to accelerate the implementation and adoption of innovation in highway transportation.