Key highlights on regulations, policies, and program funding for the transportation professional

Innovation of the Month: Debris Removal

Posted: 11/28/2023

FHWA's Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative's latest "Innovation of the Month" features the North Texas Toll Authority's (NTTA's) creative solution to removing debris from roads while improving the safety of their responders.

Roadway debris, while dangerous for drivers, is even more dangerous for responders who must dodge traffic to remove objects from the road. Such objects are often struck by vehicles—propelling them into another car or person—or can force drivers to swerve or brake suddenly in avoidance. Roadway debris often includes things like spent tire treads, lost ladders or furniture, dropped vehicle parts, and random trash.

To safely address the dangers associated with the task, the NTTA team acquired and installed debris removal systems on their roadway safety service trucks. These vehicle-mounted removal systems allow operators to lower a plow-type blade to the roadway surface from inside the cab and push debris out of the travel lanes.

These systems not only expedite removal, but more importantly allow the operator to execute the process from the safety of their truck cab. The debris removal system used by NTTA is integrated into the vehicle’s front push bumper, allowing the agency to push vehicles as well larger debris items and spilled loads at traffic crash scenes.

Interested in learning more?

Every Day Counts

Now in its 7th round, FHWA's EDC state-based initiative identifies and deploys proven innovations that will make our transportation systems more adaptable, sustainable, and safer for all.

FHWA works with state DOTs, local governments, tribes, private industry, and other stakeholders to identify new innovations to champion every two years that merit accelerated deployment.

Need More Help?

California LTAP Center

Phone: (562) 985-2872