ARA Leads the Way in Transportation System Sustainability
When it comes to sustainability in transportation and energy, ARA is in the business of producing innovative solutions with a decidedly practical approach.
ARA serves federal, state and local customers, and provides expertise and services to highway agencies, municipalities, airports, tollways, intermodal facilities, architectural/engineering firms, contractors, energy companies and public-private partnerships throughout North America. ARA performs research, consulting, training and technology implementation in many areas related to sustainability, including:
- Planning and design of infrastructure that incorporates low carbon dioxide-emitting materials and practices, life cycle cost considerations and environmentally friendly features as well as maintenance management systems to optimize preservation of existing infrastructure
- Adaptation and mitigation of the impact of climate change for existing infrastructure
- Value engineering and life cycle cost analysis
- Energy system audits and design/build of system improvements to reduce energy consumption
- Roadway infrastructure, avian radar and natural resource technologies to support wind farm development and operation
- Research on more environmentally friendly construction materials, roadway surfaces to improve vehicle fuel efficiency and alternative fuel technologies
“Our infrastructure services and technologies are helping to optimize capital investments, reduce operating costs, increase environmental stewardship and enhance customer service, as well as improve relationships with neighbors,” says Curt Beckemeyer, Transportation Sector Manager. “We played a leading role in helping the Illinois Tollway to develop and execute its current $6 billion, 10-year Congestion Relief Program.”
There are many new and emerging technologies in pavement materials and maintenance and rehabilitation techniques, but not all materials and techniques are appropriate for all situations. ARA’s extensive experience in pavement engineering and research can help reduce risks and advance projects with appropriate innovations in developing sustainable, cost-effective designs for new and rehabilitated pavements.
When it comes to eco-friendly pavements, ARA also designs permeable pavements that allow for a reduction of impervious cover and surface water runoff, which helps to filter contaminants and reduce peak water drainage from storms.
To help transportation agencies and the global community to combat climate change, ARA develops strategies and implements technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of these efforts, ARA has helped agencies to develop more environmentally friendly construction materials, to identify techniques for improved vehicle fuel efficiency, and to upgrade facilities to reduce energy consumption.
Reducing the world’s dependency on fossil fuels is another strategy for both enhancing sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ARA is helping reduce fossil fuel dependency through the development of alternative fuel technologies. ARA and its subsidiary, GMI, also offer services and technologies to support wind-generated power. For marine-based installations, ARA and GMI provide services to assess potential impacts on marine mammals, reefs, migratory birds, fish and other wildlife.
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