Efficiencies within UDOT often generate cost savings for the public and the Department through better utilization of resources and innovative technologies. At the end of each year, UDOT prepares an efficiencies report which summarizes key efficiency initiatives from the year. The annual report fulfills a requirement for UDOT to describe the efficiencies and significant accomplishments achieved during the past year to the State Legislature. UDOT Senior Leaders use the report in presentations during legislative committee meetings.
Following are the key efficiency initiatives summarized in the FY 2013 report:
- Bicycle Detection and Pavement Markings
- Flashing Yellow Arrow for Left Turns
- Reflectorized Yellow Tape on Signal-Head Back Plates
- Portable Weather Station for Advance Warning of Debris Flows
- Audio Over IP Highway Advisory Radio in Utah County
- Commercial Vehicle Bypass (PrePass)
- Partnered Fiber-Optic Cable Installations
- Resolving Utility Conflicts through a Preserve and Protect Approach
- Utah Prairie Dog Programmatic Agreement
- Performance-Driven Programming
- Energy-Efficient LED Lighting Upgrades in Department Facilities
- iMAP GIS Tool
- Improved Decision Making Using Mobile Data Collection
- MMQA Data Collection Teams
One example from the 2013 report is the improved safety at intersections that are changed from Protected/Permissive to Flashing Yellow Arrow left-turn phasing. UDOT and other jurisdictions throughout Utah are among the first in the nation to implement flashing left-turn arrows. Potential annual public cost savings per installation ranges from $17,745 to $2,769,000 from reduced crashes.
Another example from 2013 is the use of a portable weather station to provide advance warning of debris flows and flooding at the Seeley burn scar near S.R. 31 in Huntington Canyon. Using the station contributed to over-all safety, minimized equipment losses, reduced response time, and minimized impact to commerce. An estimated $50,000 was saved through reduced risk to field crews, motorists, and equipment.
UDOT Research Division staff coordinate each year with UDOT Senior Leaders and the Communications Office to collect and compile write-ups on the past year’s key efficiency initiatives. This process will start again in August for FY 2014. We look forward to receiving “game changing” efficiency topics from all Regions and Groups that will potentially be included in the annual report.
The 2013 and earlier annual reports are available online at www.udot.utah.gov/go/efficiencies.
This guest post was written by David Stevens, P.E., Research Project Manager, and was originally published in the Research Newsletter.