The Innovations, Developments, Enhancement and Advancements (IDEA) Program
Recently, the FHWA developed a framework for the Highway Innovations, Developments, Enhancements and Advancements (IDEA) program. The program provides a protocol for technical evaluation of earth retention systems. The framework is the first step in developing a technical review program, that will replace the current HITEC program, and be administered by the Geo-Institute of the ASCE (G-I).
The Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center (HITEC) program was initiated over 20 years ago. This evaluation program was used by state agencies to improve their transportation infrastructures and by manufacturers to improve their products. Earth retention is now a mature technology. Over the last two decades techniques to retain earth have evolved, particularly those that are based on mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) concepts.
The goal of the IDEA program is to foster further innovation with proven ERS technology, encourage the development of new technologies, and improve the methods by which the technologies are delivered to projects on the ground. The IDEA program is intended to provide a consistent framework to propose changes to standard practice that owners may take advantage of by expanding ERS innovations in their projects. Towards this goal, the IDEA Program has been developed to provide guidance for three tasks: 1) the technical evaluation of earth retaining systems; 2) the use of reports of evaluations by transportation agencies; and 3) archiving and maintenance of reports of evaluations.
Disclaimer: The information found in these evaluation reports is neither an endorsement nor an approval of a technology. Instead, the information is intended to provide the reader with accurate information and/or credible analysis.
Additional DOT System Approval Requirements
IDEA evaluation checklist for vendors
If you are considering submitting a new technology for review, please complete the following: