Monthly Archives: April 2015

UDOT’s “Walking School Bus” app recognized for environmental leadership, innovation

 WASHINGTON – Calling transportation “the critical link between home, school, work, community and commerce,” the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) chose Earth Day 2015 to release a new video that uses UDOT’s “Walking School Bus” as an example of how state DOTs are making communities more livable and transportation systems more sustainable.

“States are applying tremendous creativity and ingenuity to ensure that transportation systems enhance the world in which we live,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director.

UDOT’s “Walking School Bus” – an organized effort in which students walk or bike to and from school together under the supervision of at least one adult – is presented as one of the innovative solutions featured in the new video.

“Researchers found that fewer parents were choosing to have their children walk or bike to school because of safety concerns and other factors,” says UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras in explaining the program in the video, adding that “Utah families and the environment are benefiting because children are healthier, there are fewer green-house gas emissions and bus operating costs have been reduced.”

Other programs featured in the video include bicycle and pedestrian facilities, wildlife protection initiatives and recycling projects.

You can watch the video on AASHTO’s Center for Environmental Excellence page, and view an interactive infographic on the UDOT SNAP page.

Major Delays Expected on I-15 this Weekend in Davis, Utah Counties

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for significant traffic restrictions on I-15 in Davis and Utah counties beginning as early as Saturday night. Crews will be demolishing a bridge at 400 North in Bountiful, and completing concrete pavement maintenance in Springville. Additional restrictions are also scheduled to begin on I-80 in Summit County as early as Saturday morning.

The following is a brief description of road construction projects that drivers should be aware of this weekend (all schedules subject to change due to weather or equipment issues):

I-15 in Davis County

I-15 is scheduled to close in both directions on Saturday, April 18, as early as 11 p.m. while crews demolish a bridge at 400 North in Bountiful. The freeway will be closed at the following locations:

  • Southbound I-15 will be closed between the Legacy Parkway/Park Lane interchange in Farmington and 400 North in Bountiful, and all southbound traffic will be diverted to Legacy Parkway. The southbound I-15 on-ramps at all interchanges in this area will also be closed.
  • Northbound I-15 will be closed at 400 North (Exit 317) in Bountiful. Northbound traffic will be diverted onto 400 North, then back onto the freeway via 500 West.

The freeway is scheduled to reopen by Sunday, April 19, at 11 a.m. Drivers in both directions are advised to use Legacy Parkway as an alternate route.

View Alternate routes for this weekend, as Interstate 15 will be closed from Farmington to Bountiful.

View Alternate routes for this weekend, as Interstate 15 will be closed from Farmington to Bountiful.

I-15 in Utah County

Southbound I-15 is scheduled to be reduced to one lane between 1400 North (Exit 261) and 400 South (Exit 260) in Springville on Saturday, April 18, as early as 9 p.m. for concrete pavement maintenance. These restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through Monday, April 20, at 7 a.m., when an additional lane will reopen.

During this time, drivers should plan ahead for severe traffic delays of more than an hour on Sunday, April 19, between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. US-89 through Provo and Springville should be considered as an alternate route. In addition, UDOT recommends that drivers adjust their schedules to avoid travel on southbound I-15 during this time if possible.

Following these lane restrictions, the southbound lanes on I-15 in this area are scheduled to be split into two sections on Monday, April 20, as early as 12 p.m. This lane split is expected to remain in place through Thursday, April 23, at 5 a.m. to allow concrete pavement to cure. Drivers wanting to use exits 261 (1400 North) or 260 (400 South) in Springville will need to stay in the right lanes.

This work is being completed under warranty as part of the I-15 CORE project at no additional cost to taxpayers.

View alternate routes from Provo to Springville, as Interstate 15 will be closed for much of the weekend.

View alternate routes from Provo to Springville, as Interstate 15 will be closed for much of the weekend.

I-15 in Salt Lake County

Southbound I-15 is scheduled to be reduced to four lanes north of the 10600 South interchange beginning as early as Saturday, April 18, at 10 p.m. These restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through Sunday, April 19, at noon while crews complete concrete maintenance. This work is being completed at night to minimize traffic delays.

I-80 in Summit County

I-80 is scheduled to be reduced to one lane in each direction from the U.S. 40 interchange to Wanship as early as Saturday morning, April 18. All traffic will be shifted to the eastbound lanes, and the speed limit will be reduced to 45 miles per hour. In addition, the westbound on- and off-ramps at Exit 150 (Tollgate/Promontory) will both be closed. These restrictions are scheduled to remain in place through fall 2015.

Crews are completing the second phase of a project to reconstruct I-80 in this area with new concrete pavement. Last year, work was completed in the eastbound lanes, and this season crews are reconstructing the westbound lanes.

Construction schedules are weather-dependent and subject to change. For more information about these and other UDOT projects, visit udottraffic.utah.gov or download the UDOT Traffic app, available for iOS or Android devices.

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Preconstruction honored with regional quality award

UDOT Region Four’s Preconstruction Team has developed GIS tools that support and enable communication and better decisions, and charts a path for other work groups at UDOT to exploit GIS capabilities more fully.

The team won a WASHTO award recently for developing and employing GIS tools. Here’s an overview of some of the team’s efforts. Click here to read the full WASHTO award nomination.

DesignCompareAppScreenShot

This screen shot shows an image of an app that compares the phases of design for the Bluff and Sunset project located in St. George.

GEO-referencing design files

A Design-to-UPlan app displays the design files on a UPLAN map. Multiple design options can be displayed to facilitate discussion among UDOT and stakeholder groups. All three phases of a project, concept, plan-in-hand and PS and E, can be viewed simultaneously on one screen with multiple windows.

Mapping right-of-way survey files

The team has also built tools to convert Right-of-Way (ROW) survey data from CAD to GIS, and graphically display the UDOT ROW lines on a UPLAN map. Certified section corners, complete with tie sheets, are also linked to the map and accessible to the public. A ROW Type Map app displays property in one of three categories, ROW, Limited Access or No Access.

A pilot project, when fully implemented, will pull information from ePM each evening, and display individual parcels within a project area on a UPLAN map. The parcels will be color-coded to show the acquisition status of each parcel. Hosting the maps on UPLAN allows public access with security controls to insure the integrity of the data and to regulate sensitive information.

Mapping utility conflicts

By displaying utility data and infrastructure via UPLAN, project teams can work to quickly resolve potential conflicts with utility companies. Ultimately, Region Four’s vision is to create a database of all utilities within the region and statewide.

Mapping sensitive environmental areas

Region Four Preconstruction has been working with the State Historic Preservation Office to develop protocol to ensure the secure use of sensitive environmental data.  The team also standardized a GPS data dictionary for use in managing mitigation for Utah Prairie Dog surveys.

GIS tool benefits

GIS tools provide value to project teams and stakeholders. Maps help solve communication gaps among disparate groups, including the general public, commercial land surveyors, land owners, policy makers, and contractors. For example, UDOT Project Managers can help local leaders and the general public visualize project options and outcomes, and help facilitate a better decision-making process. And sharing an online map can allow productive work sessions with participants in various remote locations.

GIS maps and apps can support complex environmental processes. Region Four is home to most of Utah’s cultural sites and threatened and endangered species, and GIS tools help UDOT staff reduce or mitigate protected areas and avoid animal habitats.

While GIS has a sophisticated infrastructure, Region Four’s Preconstruction department has embraced the new technology to understand and develop its capabilities and has pioneered GIS tools for the benefit of all of UDOT.

Congratulations to Region 4 Preconstruction!

Team Members: Wendy Nez, Jared Beard, Ted Madden, Riley Lindsay, Bill Mecham, Don Johnson, Kelly Hall, Gernice White, Eric Hansen, Pam Higgins, Jared Barton, Randall Taylor, Cameron Gay, Silvia Barbre, Devin Monroe, Sam Grimshaw, Josh Peterson, Brandon Weight, Jeff Bunker, John Fraidenburg, Paul Damron, Monte Aldridge.