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Puerto Rico LTAP






Fighting Climate Change through the Eco

Friendly Road Network Planning


Biofuels: Emerging Energy Option for



Ethics and Fraud: Cases in the Transportation

Infrastructure Industry

Every Day Counts 4 Innovations at the 2016

Regional Summit in Orlando, FL
Know your Trainer: Dr. Ricardo Lopez

Fighting Climate Change through the Eco

Friendly Road Network Planning


Institute of Transportation Engineerss (ITE)

Puerto Rico Section Concludes an Amazing Year!
Nomination of Elaine Chao for
US Secretary of Transportation

Pages 4-7

Pages 10-12

Message from the Director


Ethics and Fraud: Cases in the Transportation

Infrastructure Industry

Pages 13-15



Institute of Transportation Engineerss (ITE)

Decade of Action for Road Safety Pledge


Puerto Rico Section Concludes an Amazing Year!


The Puerto Rico Transporta on Technology Transfer Center, PRLTAP/T2, is part of a network of 58 Centers
throughout the United States that comprises of the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) and Tribal
Technical Assistance Program (TTAP). The mission of the PRLTAP/T2Center is to provide training and technical
assistancetolocaltransporta onocialsofthe78municipali esthatcomprisestheCommonwealthofPuerto
Rico,theDepartmentofTransporta onandPublicWorksofPuertoRicoandtheDepartmentofPublicWorksof
theU.S.VirginIslands(USVI),withemphasisonpromo ngahighwaysafetycultureandintheimplementa onof
theUSDOTFHWAEveryDayCounts(EDC)ini a ves.


Message from the Director

regards to all our
readers in the
fourth edition of the 30th
Newsletter El Puente!
The feature article of this edition is dedicated
to the actions taken to fight climate change through
the road network planning and its successful
implementation in Puerto Rico and the United
States Virgin Islands. Readers will have the
opportunity to learn about the climate change and
the actions taken by the Federal Highway
Administration (FHWA) and the Every Day Counts
(EDC) initiative, deployed by the Puerto Rico
Highway and Transportation Authority and the
USVI Department of Public Works.
This editions second article titled Biofuels: A n
Emerging Energy Option for Transportation, a tool
for companies and others to learn about the
applications of biofuels in transportation and the
latest innovations, brings to light a whole world of
events and other research methods that have been
unable to develop, but needs to be seriously
considered in the near future.
Our third article entitled Ethics and Fraud in
the Transportation Infrastructure Industry, presents
what happens with unethical behavior in different
contexts. This article also covers the topic of fraud
in transportation infrastructure industry and its
consequences. This tool helps the reader know
what to do if they find themselves in a situation
where unethical behaviors or fraud take place.
The fourth article, The Institute of
Transportation Engineers Concludes an Amazing
Year of Opportunity!, gives a review of the ITE
Annual Meeting held in the University of Puerto

Rico at Mayaguez, highlighting the most important

activities during 2016 associated with transportation
infrastructure and applicable to Puerto Rico.
In the Latest News section, a biography of the
new nominated Secretary of the United Sates
Department of Transportation, Elaine Chao, is
The fifth and final article is dedicated to the
Every Day Counts 4 Regional Launch, carried out
this year through different summits throughout the
United States. During these summits, the 11 new
EDC 4 innovations were introduced. On December
14, 2016, in Orlando, FL these innovations will be
discussed in detail and Puerto Rico, USVI and other
states in the region, as well as federal lands will have
the opportunity to choose which EDC 4 will be
implemented in their respective jurisdictions.
Finally, in the Know the Trainer section, the T2
Center is proud to recognize Dr. Ricardo Lopez
Rodriguez, a professor of the UPRM in the
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying,
expert in structural engineering, who has offered a
seminar relevant to transportation, in the areas of
infrastructure, earthquake engineering, mitigation of
natural hazards and civil infrastructure.
I hope the articles presented in this edition can
benefit our local collaborators in transportation in
Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. It
is our intent to share and continually update
innovative transportation research initiatives,
especially Every Day Counts (EDC), in our mission
to promote highway safety, workforce development
and the management of transportation infrastructure.

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Fighting Climate Change through the Ecofriendly Road

Network Planning

limate change is a natural phenomenon caused primarily by the production of

greenhouse gases and has been aggravated by our human contaminating
actions. One of these actions include the production of some materials needed
for construction. For example, hot asphalt pavement production has increased the
greenhouse gases (GHG) production, thereby aggravating climate change. If there
were ways to measure GHG with accuracy, then road agencies could take precise
actions to mitigate climate change. However, there exists measures that aim to
mitigate their production. There four of these greenhouse gases, including
fluorocarbons (HFCs), nitrous oxide (N2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).
In transportation, the most common gases that found are methane, carbon dioxide and
nitrous oxide. Thanks to various environmental awareness projects such as the Coastal
Greenway Infrastructure Maintenance Techniques Project and The Virgin Islands
Energy Alternatives Strategy Plan, officials have taken initiatives to reduce GHG
production. Whether through preservation of natural ecosystems, eco-friendly
movements for road infrastructure, the implementation of energy and emissions
analysis tool, alternative uses of road easements: Renewable energy or planning of
transportation networks, among others, GHG emissions can be reduced.

Highways in the Coastal Environment: Assessing Extreme Events


Eco-friendly movements for road infrastructure

The Paris Treaty is a recent political movements to mitigate the effects of the use of fossil fuels and other carbon
dioxide (a type of GHG) emitting products. Although previously, to mitigate the GHG effects, other pilot
projects were worked on and continue until finished. Among these projects is The Green Infrastructure
Techniques for Coastal Highway Resilience movement, initiated by the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) to mitigate the GHG effects caused by transportation networks. This movement has been used to
encourage state transportation departments to develop and implement strategies that benefit coastal communities.
Examples of pilot program areas that have been chosen are described below:
The Mississippi Department of Transportation in collabor ation with the Univer sity of Souther n Alabama,
it will assess the ability of vegetated berms to protect focus points rebuilt in the Henderson Bridge that were
destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.
The Delaware Department of Transportation has developed conceptual designs for the pr otection of
marine life habitats on Route 1 between Rehoboth Beach and Fenwick Island coasts trough a technique called
"living shorelines." This approach uses plants, sand and limited use of rocks to provide coastal protection and
maintain a valuable habitat.
The Department of Transportation of New Jersey in collabor ation with US Ar my Cor ps of Engineer s, will
study green infrastructure solutions to reduce the frequency and severity of flooding along Great Bay Boulevard.
Project partners will conduct an initial investigation of the physical parameters that initiate flooding along Great
Bay Boulevard to determine how storms in the northeast and high tides of the spring affect floodwaters, describe
the general condition and the influence of a natural wetland system on damping high water events, and will
determine if there is a minimum swamp width that is needed to protect the road during high water events. This
information will be used to provide recommendations for beach restoration or marshes, which may include the
use of dredge materials available in the vicinity.
The Oregon Department of Transportation examines the application of dynamic coatings (pebble beaches)
to protect the United States Route 101 along the high-energy Pacific coast.
The Maine and New Hampshire Transportation Departments ar e par tner ing to jointly investigate cur r ent
and future impacts of sea level rise and storm surge on Route 209 in Maine, and Route 1B in New Hampshire,
and develop infrastructure taking into accounts these vulnerabilities.
Implementation of the Energy and Emissions Analysis Tool
The Energy and Emissions Analysis Tool offered by the FHWA is another way to measure the environmental
impact of a transportation infrastructure. It can measure the environmental impact of the construction that will
have based on variables such as the miles traveled by a vehicle. In addition, it is based on the Oregons Green
STEP environmental impact strategy whose equation is affected by 16 variables which are:
Generate households that represent demographic & income characteristics
Add land use & transportation system characteristics.
Identify households participating in travel demand management (TDM) programs.
Calculate vehicle ownership & adjust for car-sharing.
Calculate initial household daily vehicle miles traveled (DVMT).
Adjust household DVMT to account for TDM programs and lightweight vehicle (e.g. bicycle, electric

bicycle) travel.

Calculate vehicle characteristics and assign household DVMT to vehicles.

Identify vehicles by powertrain and optimize travel between vehicles.
Calculate household fuel and power consumption and GHG emissions.


Calculate household travel costs.

Adjust household DVMT to reflect travel costs .

Calculate the effects of metropolitan area congestion and pricing.

Calculate fuel & power consumption & GHG emissions from commercial service vehicles.

Calculate additional VMT taxes needed to fully fund road system.

Adjust fuel economy to account for eco-driving.

Calculate heavy vehicle fuel and power consumption and GHG emissions

There are different versions of this application which can measure outcomes based on different types of analysis
and scenarios. An example of its implementation can be seen by the State Department of Transportation of
Maryland. They are using the Green STEP method, and with some modifications made in the calculations, this
department was able to calculate the impact each project would have and adapt the different methodologies to its
GHG reduction plan.

Maryland DOTs Energy and Emissions Reduction Policy Analysis Tool (EERPAT)

h ps:// wa_tool/Example_Maryland.aspx

Alternative uses of road easements: Renewable energy

The development of roads easements provides transportation services but they can also be used as a source of
renewable energy, by using the roads Right of Way (ROW) as base for the instrument that produces renewable
energy. A roads ROW is the full space legally reserved for a highway or street, including its roadside
components. Additional roadside space can remain unused until a widening or incorporation of new components
is warranted.
Transportation states decided to examine the use of ROWs as an opportunity for alternative renewable energy
thus reducing GHG production and energy production. To
enable these changes and verify their compatibility, the
Federal Rail Administration has developed a guide for their
Currently there are three ways to use ROWs to produce

By planting biomass around it.

By installing solar panels.

By the implementation of wind turbines around it.

Oregon Solar Highway Demonstration Project



The Oregon State Department of Transportation have been using planning analysis to
determine the use of ROWs as a way of producing energy by installing photovoltaic
An advantage of using ROWs is the negotiation opportunity between the public and
private sectors. The funding used to develop this project may come from the
government or private companies that decide to invest in these or a combination of
both. Furthermore, the implementation of this non-traditional method has the potential
to develop a renewable energy market with low prices.

Affirmative Actions taken in Puerto Rico and in the United States Virgin Islands
On May 18, 2016 the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA) in
Puerto Rico made The Guide for Adaptation to Climate Change in Puerto Rico as a
way to plan for climate change. As for the coastal resilience project mentioned above,
the use of green infrastructures to mitigate climate change is also recommended in this
guide. Other projects that have been used to mitigate the production of greenhouse
gases are the production of warm-mix asphalt, as part of the first round of Every Day
Counts (EDC) initiatives. The Better Roads asphalt company has implemented these
measures in Puerto Rico and in United States Virgin Islands (USVI).
Another action taken to combat climate change through transportation infrastructure
can also include improvements to traffic operations. Two such initiatives include the
Adaptive Signal Control Technologies (ASCT) and Roundabouts, both endorsed by the
EDC innovation program. The benefit of these initiatives comes from their ability to
reduce vehicle idling and thus diminish fuel waste and its associated GHG production.
Puerto Rico has adopted the ASCT in the municipalities of San Juan, Guaynabo,
Trujillo Alto and Mayagez; roundabouts have been incorporated into the highway
network in the municipalities of San Juan, Guaynabo, Dorado and Cayey, while USVI
has adopted these in Cruz Bay village, St.
In Puerto Rico and USVI, as in other
countries and states, these technologies
are used to decrease GHG production
since hot mix asphalt (HMA) increases
greenhouse emissions. With the use of
WMA on PR-22 and PR-2, a further step
has been taken to mitigate climate change
in Puerto Rico.

Yauco, Puerto Rico, Project AC#200240

For more information regarding climatic change please visit the following sites:


Biofuels: Emerging Energy Option for Transportation

iofuels offers an alternative solution as a renewable material

to replace the dependency to fossil fuels in the world.
Biofuels are made from renewable materials such as plants
and organic waste. Conventional transportation fuels such as gasoline
or diesel are made from petroleum. Although biofuels are alternative
fuels, but not all alternative fuels are biofuels. There are current
studies on the micro-algae that shows that they can be used as a source
of alternative fuel.
Micro-algae have received considerable interest as a potential
feedstock for producing sustainable transport fuels (biofuels). Global
climate change and energy security have been driving the government
to seeking for environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and
non-fossil energy resources. Some of the benefits that come from
replacing fossil fuels with Micro-algae biofuels are:

It would displace the use of fossil fuels.

Algae is not a food crop.
It can lower the price of producing biodiesel.

The perceived benefits provide the underpinning rationale for much of the public support directed
towards micro-algae research. Micro-algae are a large and diverse group of aquatic organisms that
lack the complex cell structures found in higher plants and can be found in diverse environments,
species thriving in freshwater, others in saline conditions and sea water. Most species are
photoautotrophic, converting solar energy into chemical forms through photosynthesis. Micro-algae

have received considerable interest as a potential

feedstock for biofuel production because, depending on
the species and cultivation conditions, they can produce
useful quantities of polysaccharides (sugars) and
triacylglycerides (fats). They also produce proteins that
could be used as a source of animal feed, and some
species can produce commercially valuable compounds
such as pigments and pharmaceuticals. A simplified
process of converting algae to biodiesel is shown
schematically in the figure below.
The Algae to Biodiesel Process


copious emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The

emissions have led to an enhancement of the
atmospheric greenhouse effect and an attendant increase
in global surface temperature. Global climate change and
sea level rise are the two of the most significant effects
associated with GHG.
Given the vulnerability of small islands in the Caribbean,
like Puerto Rico and the USVI, several biofuels research
initiatives have been implemented. In the USVI, based
on the success of the Alternative Energy programs and
the biodiesel project at the University of the West Indies
(UWI), a partnership is being forged between the
Caribbean Green Technology Center (CGTC) and UWI
to collaborate with CGTC to develop and implement a
project for converting waste vegetable oil (WVO) into
biodiesel. A number of restaurants, hotels and cruise
ships which operate in the USVI produce significant
quantities of WVO. This WVO, a waste product that
requires safe disposal, is a potential fuel source that is
being researched and can be converted to biodiesel.
Recall that biodiesel is a carbon positive fuel that is
readily manufactured from used or freshly produced
vegetable oil or animal fat using technology that is
widely available and readily accessible.

Climate change has driven researchers to look for

alternative resources to mitigate the environmental
In synthesis the solar energy is used to start the process impact. Fossil fuel exploration is becoming more costly
that consists of four major steps listed below:
as more remote locations are being explored to find oil.
Approximately 60% of the U.S. energy source depends
1. A specific species of micro algae is grown.
on crude oil import, of which 2/3 is used for the
2. They are harvested and the oil is extracted.
production of transportation fuel. Biofuels presents a
3. The oil is processed into biodiesel.
positive alternative to most of the problems, as it can
4. The biodiesel is shipped out for use in cars, planes, directly replace the fossil fuels use, lower the production
ships, and even tanks for the military.
price and protect the environment and our planet.
Environmental impacts from water management, carbon
dioxide handling, and nutrient supply could constrain
system design and implementation options. Cost
estimates need to be improved and this will require
empirical data on the performance of systems designed
specifically to produce biofuels. Significant cost
reductions may be achieved if CO2, nutrients and water
can be obtained at low cost.
Biofuel research in USVI
The burning of fossil fuels to generate energy for
transportation, electricity as well as other residential,
commercial and industrial processes has resulted in

For more information regarding biofuels please visit:


Ethics and Fraud:

Cases in the Transportation Infrastructure Industry

thics, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, can be defined as the

rules and behavior, based on ideas about what is morally good and bad.
Another definition incorporated by the Real Academia Espaola define ethics as a
set of moral rules that govern the conduct of the person in any purview of life.

At the Federal level, two core concepts underlie ethical principles and standards. Executive
branch employees, including those in the Office of Inspector General (OIG), hold their
positions as a public trust. The employees fulfill that trust by adhering to general principles of
ethical conduct and specific ethical standards. These fundamental principles broadly define the
obligations of public service and relate to issues such as maintaining financial responsibility,
soliciting or accepting gifts, and engaging in outside employment. Two underlined general
principles applicable to federal employees are:
Employees shall not use public office for private gain
Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment
to any private organization or individual.

In addition, employees must strive to avoid any action that would create even
the appearance that they are violating the law or ethical standards. By observing these general
principles and specific standards, agency employees help ensure that U.S. citizens can have
confidence in the integrity of government programs and operations.
Ask yourself and consider what happens when
employees leave work early or stay out for
extended lunches without making up the time,
or in another case, the OIG, in concert with
the Tennessee Department of Transportation
(TDOT) Office of Internal Audit investigated
the construction and operation of a 1,700space parking garage in which the facility was
constructed using $20 million in Federal funds
near the FedEx Forum Arena in Memphis, but
instead of discounting or offering the parking
for free the OIG found that a contractor

TDOT parking garage near FedEx Forum Arena in Memphis, TN

Source: h ps://www.

associated with the Grizzlies was using the garage for profit
without the TDOT consent. This is an example of a failing
ethic that leads to fraudulent conduct. Other examples of
how ethics is defined and implemented in professional
organizations associated with transportation and cases of a
failing ethic leads to a fraudulent conduct are described:
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
(ABET) defines ethics for engineers as an ethic code that an
engineer should follow. The engineers should uphold and
advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the engineering
profession by using their knowledge and skill for the
enhancement of human welfare to comply with its code of
ethics. For ABET, engineers, shall hold paramount the
safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance
of their professional duties, by being honest and impartial,
and serving with fidelity the public, their employers and
clients. Engineers shall act in professional matters for each
employer or client as faithful agents or trustees, and shall
avoid conflicts of interest.
College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico
In order to maintain and exalt the integrity, honor and
dignity of their profession, according to the highest
standards of moral conduct and professional ethics, the
engineer and surveyor by the College of Engineers and
Surveyors of Puerto Rico (CIAPR) by its Spanish initials,
should consider their primary role as professionals to serve
humanity, their relationship as professional and clients, and
as professionals and employer should be subject to their
fundamental role in promoting the welfare of humanity and
protect the public interest. They will be honest and fair, and
faithfully serve in the performance of their professional
duties, while maintaining their independence of judgment
which forms the basis of professionalism.
Code of Business Ethics
(FHWA and others)
A guide developed by the
AASHTO Suspension &
Debarment Work Group
contains the elements of a
Code of Business Ethics that
is typically used in the
transportation industry were
federal funds are awarded.
Simply stated, a Code of
Business Ethics is an open disclosure of the way an
organization operates and provides visible guidelines for
behavior. According to the USDOT, it serves as an
important communication vehicle to the company's
employees, customers, subcontractors, and the community at
large that the organization is committed to the highest
ethical standards of conduct in its operations.


Some of the fundamental elements that an effective code of

business should have are:

The commitment by the organization's directors and top

management to abiding by the Code.
Ensuring that all employees are aware of and abide by
The applicability to all levels of the organization.
A letter from the President or Chief Executive of the
organization communicating what the Code is and the
organization's commitment to following the Code.

Also the USDOT recommends a table of contents so that

employees will be able to easily find their organization's
policy for a specific issue, a statement of policy concerning
the Code and the general rules that apply to the Code, a
statement requiring employees to report suspected violations
and to cooperate with the implementation of the Code and a
statement that clearly communicates the consequences for
Code violations. Furthermore, a Code of Business Ethics
applicable to profit and non-profit organizations should
provide standards of conduct that communicate what issues
employees should be aware of and what to do whenever
confronted with any such issue.
Finally, a Code of Business Ethics is also intended to
promote ethical and law-abiding conduct within an
organization and clearly communicate to employees what is
expected of them and the consequences for violations.
Although numerous institutions have Code of Ethics, this
does not ensure all members will behave ethically. This can
lead to certain kinds of behavior contrary to their
organization aspirations, such as fraud.
Fraud can be defined as a false representation of fact
whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading
allegations, or by concealment of what should have been
disclosed. This deceive is intended to others, so that the
individual can take advantage upon the situation, whether by
unethical or illegal means. USDOT defines fraud as
deception with the intention of getting an economic benefit,
and in which someone is injured. Also fraud can be defined
as contrary to the truth and to righteousness, or law, that
financial harm to the person or entity against whom action is



In the U.S. legal system, fraud is a specific offense with

certain features. Most common fraud is in the buying or
selling of property, including real estate, personal property
and intangible property, such as stocks, bonds and
copyrights. State and federal statutes criminalize fraud, but
not all cases rise to the level of criminality. The OIG is the
primary agency in charge of prosecuting fraud at the federal
level. The OIG defines fraud as an action or activity that
involves an intent to deceive, often characterized by altered,
false or concealed documents. As an example given by the
OIG, an isolated mistake is not fraud, but a pattern of
mistakes consistently favoring the contractor suggests
Federal Aviation Administration
Another definition of fraud, provided by the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) is a generic term that embraces all
the ways one person can falsely represent something to
another in order to induce that person to surrender something
of value.

Refusal to provide supporting documentation regarding

product or manufacturing
Test or quality records reflect no failures or a high
failure rate but contract is on time and profitable
Contractor offers to select samples for testing programs
Irregularities in signature, dates, or quantities on delivery

Case 2: Disadvantage Business enterprises (DBE) owner

lacks background, expertise, or equipment to perform
the subcontract
DBE owner never at site / has full time job elsewhere.
Workers switch back & forth between payrolls of DBE
and prime.
Contractor always uses the same DBE sub.
Orders / payment for supplies handled by non-DBE.
DBE Owner is former employee of non-DBE
company; only works on their jobs.
Companies share address / phone number.
Wrong or covered company name on vehicles.

Another definition for fraud for the USDOT; it is an act

Six major consequences of fraud applicable to companies in where a person, an institution or an entity result from illegal
the transportation infrastructure industry are depicted in the or wrong way according to parameters established with the
following figure:
aim of obtaining some economic benefit. As the Code of
Business Ethics and Code of ethics for every company and
Consequences of Fraud in
for every professional exist there exist too some
Transportation Infrastructure Industry
consequences mention before. Therefore without any choice,
in the case that a person commit these type of acts, there are
several penalties such as filing criminal charges, civil action
or administrative remedies.
According to a presentation made by a representative of the
OIG in a Puerto Rico LTAP sponsored seminar, there are
three penalties for fraud: eradication of criminal charges,
civil action and Administrative remedies. In the case of
penalties for the eradication of criminal charges three laws
exist, which every authorized person should follow: 18
U.S.C. 1020 Highway Projects, 18 U.S.C. 1001 False
Statements and 18 U.S.C. 201 Bribery of public officials.
For Civil action the 31 U.S.C. 3729 False Claims Act
that imposes monetary penalties on individuals or entities
that breach. Finally with respect to administrative remedies
the 2 C.F.R. 180 this includes the suspension and/or
exclusion of the participation in government bidding.
The Puerto Rico LTAP has presentations developed by OIG,
that can be accessed through or Representative examples of other
websites that have a breath of information regarding ethics
and fraud associated with the transportation infrastructure
Highlights of pertinent fraud related cases associated with industry and related disciplines are listed below:
transportation infrastructure industry, specifically related to
construction and maintenance activities:
Case 1: A contractor misrepresents the product used in
order to reduce costs for construction
Any mismarking or mislabeling of products of materials
Contractor restricts or avoids inspection of goods or
services upon delivery


Institute of Transportation Engineerss (ITE)

Puerto Rico Section Concludes an Amazing Year!

uring Friday, October 21, 2016, the Puerto Rico Section of the Institute of
Transportation Engineers (ITE-PR) celebrated its Annual Technical
Conference at the Headquarters of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of
Puerto Rico (CIAPR, by its Spanish initials) in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. This event,
themed Integrating Safety in Planning, Design and Operations, emphasized traffic
safety as the primary role transportation professionals undertake in their actions. This
event consisted of the opening message, three conference sessions, two student poster
sessions and an interactive workshop. The opening message, named W hy Safety
Analysis, included statements from five leaders in traffic safety: Miguel A. Vescovacci
(President, ITE), Michael Avery (Associate Division Administrator, Federal Highway
Administration, FHWA), Ivelisse Gorbea (Vice-President, ITE), Juan Carlos Rivera
(Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority, PRHTA) and David Petrucci
(Safety Engineer, FHWA). Here, Juan Carlos Rivera presented the success and
upcoming challenges the PRHTA must address to continue safety improvements in
Puerto Rico.
The first of the conference sessions was named Integrating Safety A nalysis in Project
Planning and Design, was led by David Petrucci and Yanira Rivera (Pahtways
Intern, FHWA). Here they presented successful case studies of highway project
decisions driven by safety, a call to integrate safety impacts in the planning process,
as well as two key assets for traffic safety: the Roadway Safety Data Program
Toolbox and Data-Driven Safety Analysis (DDSA), the latter of which is part of the
eleven initiatives for deployment through Every Day Counts 4 (EDC-4).
The second session, titled Pervious Concrete Treatment, was imparted by Dr.
Sangchul Hwang. Here the author presents the history, characteristics, applications
and successful use of this innovative material in projects throughout Puerto Rico,
including pioneer applications at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagez (UPRM)
and the municipality of Toa Baja. This material has the potential of bringing safety
benefits through improved drainage and as an option to provide a stable surface for
vulnerable road users: pedestrians and bicyclists.



Recognition to the Distinguished Professional 2016, granted to

Eng. Josue Cruz Martinez, PE, PRHTA Champion on EDC-TIM

The third session, New Tools for Safety A nalysis of

Unsignalized Intersections, was presented by David Petrucci.
Here the author starts with an interactive session in which the
audience contributed to define tools for safety analysis,
followed by an overview of the Unsignalized Intersection
Improvement Guide (UIIG), an online tool developed through
the National Cooperative Highway Research Program
(NCHRP), hosted by the ITE and sponsored by FHWA. This
web-based tool allows users to input information relating to
operational and safety problems of an unsignalized
intersection, then used to automatically select a list of
potentially appropriate treatments to consider as options to
address the intersections problems. By October 2016, this tool
considers 71 engineering and 4 enforcement-based treatments,
its continued development will incorporate additional
individual treatment options and treatment categories. The
UIIG can be reached through the following web address: http://
As the last part of the event, the audience of the Annual
Technical Conference then had the opportunity participate of
an interactive workshop where they learned to use the UIIG,
forming teams who would identify potential treatments for one
of two real-life intersections in western Puerto Rico based on
site characteristics, geometry and crash history.

Recogni on of Joangeli Gonzlez, MSCE from UPRM as the 2016

Dis nguished Transporta on Student at the 2016 ITE Annual Mee ng

During the morning and afternoon breaks, conference

attendants and the judge panel had the opportunity to meet
eight UPRM student research teams and their projects as part
of the Student Poster Session. Here the students had the
opportunity to present their findings on a variety of
transportation-related topics, including mass transit, materials,
innovative research methods and examination of existing traffic
safety challenges in Puerto Rico. Out of the eight projects,
three were selected and awarded. In third place was Safety
Assessment of Pedestrian and Bicycle Facilities at UPRM, by
Alexander Molano and ngel Rodrguez; in second place was
Improving Transportation Safety and Environmental
Sustainability with Pervious Concrete Bicycle Path, by Carla
Moreno; and in first place was Operational and Safety-Based
Analysis of Varied Toll Lane Configurations Using Driving
Simulation, co-authored by Jonathan Ruiz, Bryan Ruiz,
Ricardo Garca and Enid Coln.
Following the Annual Technical Conference, ITE-PR
celebrated its A nnual Meeting, where the organization
reviewed the years events, achievements and upcoming
challenges, followed by the award session, the annual report
and the oath of the 2017 Directive Board. In this event the ITEPR enjoyed the privilege of having an important guest, Paula
Flores, President of the ITE at the international level.

Recognition of the 2016 ITE First Place Technical Poster Award to

Bryan Ruiz and Johnatan Ruiz, graduate students at UPRM for the
Safer Sim Driving Simulator Poster.

Opening the Annual Meeting was a message from the 2016

President, Miguel A. Vescovacci, who welcomed the
attendants and presented the organizations overview of the
year. We may be of small size, however, we are establishing
roots in matters related to transportation

Following the ITE-PR Presidents message was Paula Flores,

the organizations international President. Her message was
about the deep transformations the transportation industry is
experiencing: changes like disruptive technologies, the need
to develop a new focus on transportation planning centered
on people instead of vehicles, the close relationship
transportation impacts have on public health, the prospects of
both expanding ITEs protagonism in transportation-related
decision-making at the public level and establishing a firmer
global presence. All of these factors are creating a perfect
storm of events. What does this mean for everything that
were doing?! How does it change what weve known? We
have to be very creative and innovative in how we address
the challenges of todays communities. She then announced
four key initiatives to follow in 2017: Global Initiatives,
Smart Cities, Vision Zero and Public Health and
Up next was the ITE-PR Section Award ceremony. This
years awardees include the Distinguished Professional,
given to Josu Cruz, an industrial engineer who has made
major contributions to the PRHTAs Intelligent
Transportation Systems and the Traffic Incident
Management initiatives; the Distinguished Student, given to
Joangeli Gonzlez, a recent graduate from the UPRM Master
in Civil Engineering program, researcher of traffic safety in
school zones and pioneering the ITE-UPRM student
chapters celebration of the Transportation Week. ; and the
admission of Enrique Gonzlez as a member of the
Leadership ITE 2017 Class, with the added bonus of being
the first Puerto Rican to be vested with this honor. In
addition to the main awards, the winning student researchers
who presented in the Poster Session were presented with a
certificate and a money prize for their outstanding
As part of the Annual Report from the ITE-PR Directive
Board members, good news continued to emerge. Among
these, the most outstanding include the formal recognition of
the organization as a non-profit company, applying
retroactively to fiscal year 2014 and thus facilitating
financial matters. Meanwhile, the combination of
sponsorships and income from the Annual Technical
Conference allowed for a budget on the rise. Another
noteworthy fact is that the membership of ITE-PR grew by
12 % from 2015 to 2016.
The last event of the Annual Meeting was the Oath of the
new Directive Board for year 2017: Ivelisse Gorbea as
president, Enrique Gonzlez as vice-president, Lynette
Alicea as Secretary and Zaida Rico as treasurer. Their vow to
commit themselves to the organization and to the
transportation profession was directed by the international
president, Paula Flores.
For more information, visit the following links: and



Nomination of Elaine Chao for

US Secretary of Transportation

I think America's strength lies in its freedoms and the

opportunities that are available in this country, anyone,
and I mean anyone who has...dreams can excel. They
can if they work hard, if they believe in themselves and
they never give up.
Elaine Chao

In November 2016, Elaine Chao was nominated for

Secretary for the United States Department of
Transportation (USDOT) by elected President Donald
Trump. Secretary Chao earned her MBA from the
Harvard Business School and an economics degree
from Mount Holyoke College.
Under President George W. Bush, Mrs. Chao was
appointed, as the 24th U. S. Secretary of Labor, and
recognized as the first Asian-American woman to be
appointed to a Presidents Cabinet in the US history,
and served the entire eight years of his Administration.
Secretary Chao has been motivated to dedicate most of
her professional life ensuring that everyone receives the
opportunities to build better lives, since she
experienced a transition to a new country when she
arrived at her early ages to the United States.
According to the elected Presidents work plan Mrs.
Chao would have a key role in the implementation of
the infrastructure spending bill passed through
Congress and start government-backed works projects.
Nominated Secretary Chao has also served as Deputy
Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation,
Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission and
Deputy Maritime Administrator. Prior to her service in
the government, Chao worked as Vice President of
Syndications at BankAmerica Capital Markets Group
and banker with Citicorp in New York. She has also
been involved as President and Chief Executive Officer
of the United Way of America and as Director of the
Peace Corps.
For more information regarding the professional career
of the Nominated Secretary Chao visit http:// and http://


FHWA Puerto Rico Division Office is
looking forward to working with our
stakeholders through the STIC to
implement future innovations in
Puerto Rico, Eng. Maribell Perez,
EDC Coordinator PR & USVI

Every Day Counts 4 Innovations at the

2016 Regional Summit in Orlando, FL

very Day Counts (EDC) program is an initiative conceived by the Federal

Highway Administration (FHWA) designed to identify and deploy the latest
technologic innovation aimed at shortening project delivery, enhancing the
safety of our roadways, and protecting the environment. The program was designed to
focus on a finite set of initiatives implemented by phases. Every Day Counts-4 (EDC4) is the fourth phase of the EDC program. Currently the local, state and territory
governments are in the evaluation and selection process of the new initiatives, enabling
them to do the formal adoption by December 2016 of the program that will be
implemented in 2017-2018.
Eng. Maribell Perez, EDC Coordinator in Puerto Rico and USVI from the FHWA
Puerto Rico Division stated that the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation
Authority (PRHTA) has embraced innovation since FHWA launched of Every Day
Counts (EDC) program in 2010. EDC innovations like Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA)
and the construction of the first Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge
System (GRS-IBS) in Puerto Rico on the National Highway System (NHS) have been
implemented. Most recently under EDC 3, Puerto Rico is leading the nation with more
than 49% of their first responder trained as a result of the implementation of the
Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Train the trainer initiative. The implementation
of innovations in Puerto Rico not only has helped to accelerate project delivery, but
most importantly has improved Safety in their highway network with a reduction of
almost 14% of fatalities as of December 2016. FHWA Puerto Rico Division Office is
looking forward to working with our stakeholders through the State Transportation
Innovation Council (STIC) to implement future innovations in Puerto Rico, expressed
Eng. Perez.
EDC 4 offers tools and strategies for developing transportation systems that are
inclusive and interconnected through place-making (planning, designing and
managing public spaces that promote peoples health, happiness and well-being) and

EDC-4 Initiatives

Automated Traffic Signal

Performance Measures

Collaborative Hydraulics:
Advancing the Next Generation

Community Connections


There are eleven (11) EDC 4 initiatives announced by the date of this publication:
Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPMs)
Collaborative Hydraulics: Advancing the Next Generation of Engineering
Community connections
Data-Driven Safety Analysis (DDSA)
Integrating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) with permitting
Pavement preservation based on an informed decision-making process
Road weather management, or weather-savvy roads
Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP)
Ultra-high performance concrete connections for prefabricated bridge element
systems (PBES)
Using data to improve Traffic Incident Management (TIM)

States, territories and federal lands agencies will be selecting their initiatives during
the EDC 4 Regional Summit, that will be held on December 14, 2016, in Orlando,
Florida. At the summit Puerto Rico and USVI will be represented by officials from the
Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works, and the Highway and
Transportation Authority, the USVI Department of Public Works, and the Director of
the Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Center / LTAP, representing PR and
The participants will have the opportunity to be exposed to the vision of Secretary
Foxx regarding EDC Program as well as STIC innovation of representative State
DOTs and complemented with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Administrator, Florida Division. A representative from the American Association of
State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will also participate in this
session. Building the Culture of Innovation will be the emphasis in the morning
complemented with four breakout sessions of EDC 4 initiatives, namely ATSPMs,
DDSA, Pavement Preservation (Where and When) and e-Construction and Partnering.
In the afternoon breakout sessions the TIM, STEP, Pavement Preservation (How) and
Community Connections initiatives will be discussed. Representatives of DOT
officials in this Region including, territory and federal land will have the opportunity
to know each other and exchange ideas regarding the challenges they will face in the
process of implementing EDC 4 in their respective States and territories. Patents and
proprietary innovation round table will complete the program for the first day. For the
second day, they will continue with the remaining innovation breakout sessions and
EDC trivia challenge. Finally, State based caucuses will be conducted for the purpose
of developing EDC draft implementation plans and discuss the ideas on how they will
be implementing in each state, territory or federal land.

EDC-4 Initiatives

Data-Driven Safety Analysis


Using Data to
ImproveTraffic Incident

E-Construction and Partnering

Integrating NEPA and Permitting

Pavement Preservation

Ultra-High Performance Concrete

Safe Transportation for Every



Road Weather Management


Know Your Trainer: Dr. Ricardo Lopez Rodriguez

r. Ricardo Lopez Rodriguez was born in the city of

Ponce, Puerto Rico. He completed his Bachelor of
Science in Civil Engineering degree from the
University of Puerto Rico at Mayagez (UPRM). By 1980,
he began his graduate studies at his alma mater, focusing
on structural engineering. Afterwards he moves on to
study for his Ph.D., first at Cornell University and then at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
After completing his education, Dr. Lopez joined the
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying of the
UPRM as assistant professor teaching undergraduate level
courses such as Reinforced Concrete Structural Design and
Structural Analysis, as well as teaching graduate level
courses including Non-Linear Analysis, Design of MultiStory Buildings, Concrete and Reinforced Concrete,
Research and Doctoral Thesis, among others.
Dr. Lopezs interests include the study of the behavior of
reinforced concrete structures, earthquake engineering,
mitigation of natural hazards and civil infrastructure,
among others. Due to his passion for civil engineering, Dr.
Lopez has made several publications with a variety of
professors from the UPRM and other universities.

Dr. Lopez directed a multidisciplinary study sponsored by

the Office of the Insurance Commissioner which
culminated in several publications. His expertise includes
the topics "Estimating Damage Caused by Natural Hazards
for the Insurance Industry in Puerto Rico," which was
published in Dimension magazine in 2005, and "Effect of
the Interior Masonry Wall on the Seismic Behavior of
Concrete Houses - An Experimental Study" in
collaboration with Dr. Daniel Wendichansky Bard and Dr.
Edgardo Velez Velez, which was presented at the 14th
World Conference on Earthquake Engineering held in
Beijing, China.

Infrastructure: The Case of Tropical Storm in Dominican

Republic" in June 2009 along with professors Didier
Valds Diaz, Ismael Pagan Trinidad and Rafael Victoria
Bournigal, which was presented at the forums of the
"Seventh LACCEI Latin American and Caribbean
Conference for Engineering and Technology (LACCEI
2009), Energy and Technology for the Americas:
Education, Innovation, Technology and Practice", in San
Cristobal, Venezuela. Among his peer-review publications
is the book entitled "Seismic Rehabilitation of Houses in
Stilts", co-authored with Dr. Jose A. Martinez Cruzado and
Dr. Yvonne Gonzalez Avellanet in 2013. In the fall of
2016, as part of the Symposium in honor of Dr. Luis
Godoy, Dr. Lopez in collaboration with Eng. Juan
Rodriguez published the article "Nonlinear Static and
Dynamic Analysis of Arches of Concrete Armed with
Deficiency in Concrete Columns" in the Journal of
Computational Mechanics in Argentina.
In terms of administrative positions, Dr. Lopez is currently
the Director of the Civil Infrastructure Research Center
(CIRC) and the Associate Director for Graduate Studies
and Research of the Department of Civil Engineering and
Surveying at UPRM. In terms of participation in national
committees, Dr. Lopez is member of the ACI 318H Seismic Design Committees of the American Concrete
Institute (ACI) and Secretary of the Earthquake
Commission of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of
Puerto Rico (CIAPR).
Dr. Lopez has assisted the Puerto Rico Transportation
Technology Transfer Center / LTAP offering a seminar in
the areas of infrastructure, earthquake engineering,
mitigation of natural hazards, civil infrastructure, among
others. The Puerto Rico LTAP Staff recognizes the
extraordinary contribution of Dr. Lopez in our Training
Program and welcome him to our family of instructors.

As part of his academic and professional experience, Dr. Congratulations and welcome to the LTAP family!
Lopez published the paper "Tropical Storm Impact on


I, ___________________________, pledge to do my part to help save lives on the road.

I pledge to:
____ 1. Not text while driving.
____ 2. Obey the traffic laws applicable to drivers.
____ 3. Comply with the speed limits.
____ 4. Pass the key if I am under the influence of alcohol.
____ 5. Have no distractions while driving a motor vehicle.
____ 6. Share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
____ 7. Always buckle my safety belt.
____ 8. Require my vehicle occupants to always buckle the safety belt.
____ 9. Always buckle my children with a safety belt.
____ 10. Use the protective safety devices while on a motorcycle,
bicycle or motor vehicle.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Fundacin Lus A. Seeriz

Administra on of Automobile Accident Compensa on





University of Puerto Rico at Mayagu ez
Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Call Box 9000, Mayagu ez, PR 00681

787.834.6385 PHONE
787.265.5695 FAX



Administra veSta



AlexanderMolanoSan ago
JavierSotoSan ago
JaimeLpezMar nez
KarinaSan agoRivera
ElPuenteNewsle er

EL PUENTE is published by the Puerto Rico Transportation Technology Transfer

Center located at the Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying.

The opinions, ndings or recommenda ons expressed in this newsle er are those of the Center Director and Editors and do not necessarily reect the views of the
Federal Highway Administra on, the Puerto Rico Department of Transporta on and Publics Works, the Puerto Rico Highway and Transporta on Authority, or the U.S
Virgin Islands Department of Public Works.

Puerto Rico LTAP