The Highway of the Future

David Hartgen: “In coming decades, most existing highways will be modernized, resurfaced or repaired. Innovative highway designs like diverging diamond interchanges, high-speed directional ramps, partial-access arterials and frontage roads will increase traffic capacity and safety. Pop-in uniform bridge designs and task-force construction contracting will allow for rapid replacement.”

“Electronic communications will be key in many areas, particularly as vehicles get better at sensing one another and adjusting automatically to maintain safe distances. This emerging capability has huge potential to significantly increase road capacities and to decrease travel times. Traffic congestion on major highways, already beginning to level off, may even decline. Legal speeds could increase to 90-plus miles an hour, where separated roadways for trucks and electronically connected vehicles justify it.”

“In short, 2050’s highways will mean greater mobility, fewer accidents, less fuel consumption, and reduced pollution and other environmental impacts.”

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