Category Archives: Optimize Mobility

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.

First yellow flashing right turn arrow arrives in Utah

LEHI — Northern Utah County is developing at a rapid pace, emerging as a new frontier of the high-tech industry. In addition to retail attractions such as Cabela’s and the Outlets at Traverse Mountain, the area around I-15 at Timpanogos Highway (SR-92) has been dubbed the “Silicon Slopes,” attracting businesses who want affordable office space, a reliable talent pool from area universities and the high quality of life Utahns enjoy with a variety of outdoor recreation options just minutes away.

With all this development, UDOT continually evaluates how to improve traffic flow through the I-15/SR-92 interchange.

The latest update to the interchange is also a first in Utah: crews installed the state’s first flashing yellow right turn arrow at the northbound I-15 off-ramp to eastbound SR-92 in Lehi. You have probably driven through dozens of flashing yellow left turn arrows, where turning traffic yields but may make a left if there is no oncoming traffic. So why does the flashing yellow right turn arrow work at this interchange?

A flashing yellow arrow on a right hand turn on SR-92 allows traffic to flow more freely in a fast-growing part of Utah County.

A flashing yellow arrow on a right hand turn on SR-92 allows traffic to flow more freely in a fast-growing part of Utah County.

 

“The right turn goes into a lane that takes people to the SR-92 commuter lane, but a lot of people want to make a left into Adobe or Cabela’s,” said UDOT Region Three Signal Engineer Adam Lough. “We were seeing traffic back up and drivers getting frustrated because people who wanted to cross traffic to get to the left lane would be stopped on a green light. The flashing yellow signals a yield condition for drivers who want to move to the left lane on SR-92 as well as for the queue of traffic on the ramp.”

Now when the light is green, there is no eastbound traffic for drivers to weave through to move left; and during the flashing yellow, drivers who want to move left must wait for a safe opening in the traffic flow. Drivers who want to access the SR-92 commuter lanes from the I-15 northbound off-ramp still get impatient at times, but Lough said the flashing yellow right turn arrow has improved the traffic flow. “This provides a safer condition and has reduced the amount of backing on the ramp.”

Lough developed the idea of using a flashing yellow right turn arrow to address the traffic problems at this interchange ramp. Although UDOT had never installed anything like it, Lough suggested that it would be the best solution and worked with Traffic Operations Center staff to implement it. So far, he is pleased with the results.

“I am always looking for better ways to do things,” he said. “It is rewarding to see how changes like this make people’s commute a little better.”

Lough said the signal is almost always green or flashing yellow, but it briefly turns solid yellow and red as part of the signal’s cycle. The pedestrian button also triggers the red arrow.

“There is quite a bit of pedestrian traffic between the employment centers and retail outlets on either side of I-15 in this area,” Lough said. “Drivers really need to be on the lookout for pedestrians and bicyclists moving through this interchange.”

UDOT seeks public comment on Draft 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has prepared the Draft 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan (LRP), and is requesting public comment on it.

The State of Utah has a 30-year plan in urban and rural areas. The LRP is what guides transportation system improvements on State and Federal highways in rural Utah. The plan provides an assessment of future area transportation needs, along with future transportation investment recommendations. It is developed in accordance with federal regulations and updated every four years.

UDOT Urban Planning Manager Walter Steinvorth said public input is essential on the LRP.

“Not only does it build stronger bridges between the Department and rural Utah, but it also gives residents a chance to identify projects that are important to them that could possibly get overlooked.” Steinvorth said.

Not only is the LRP important for people who live in rural Utah, but it also important for the public who vacation in the area, and for those who transport goods in and through the state. While UDOT welcomes public comment from all citizens, Steinvorth stressed the great need for those in under-represented parts of the population to let the department know of their concerns.

“We collect an awful lot of data. That data and analysis doesn’t always give us the full picture,” Steinvorth said.  “We need our citizens and users to help us find what is important to them in their community.”

The Draft 2040 LRP will be available for review at http://udot.utah.gov/go/lrp from March 1, 2015, through April 30, 2015. Comments may be directed to planning@utah.gov or submitted through the comment application at the listed website.

UDOT releases 2015 top 15 construction projects list

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) announced today its top 15 road construction projects for 2015.

More than 180 construction projects are scheduled statewide this year, and motorists will need to plan accordingly. This season, UDOT is adding new lanes to freeways and highways, and building new roads to keep Utah moving. Crews will continue to perform maintenance on the state’s roads and bridges to ensure they remain in good condition and last as long as possible.

With two of the top projects located on Interstate 15, UDOT recommends motorists along the Wasatch Front rethink how they commute to reduce delays by carpooling, using transit, adjusting work schedules to leave earlier or stay later, or telecommuting.

The following is a list of the top 15 projects statewide in 2015:

1. I-15 The Point (Project Value $252 million)
Construction starts March 2015; scheduled completion fall 2016

UDOT’s largest project will widen I-15 to six lanes in each direction between 12300 South in Draper and state Route 92 in Lehi. The project will also reconstruct the interchange at 14600 South. Four lanes in each direction will remain open during daytime hours, but motorists should plan for delays due to lane shifts and other activities.

2. I-15 South Davis (Project Value $126.9 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion fall 2015

Last year’s largest construction project is scheduled for completion this year. Crews continue work to add Express Lanes on I-15 from North Salt Lake to Farmington. Work is also underway to reconstruct interchanges at 2600 South and 500 South in Bountiful as well as bridges at 1500 South and 400 North. Drivers can expect lane shifts as well as nighttime lane restrictions and surface street closures during construction.

SouthDavisConstruction

3. I-80, Silver Creek to Wanship (Project Value $43 million)
Construction resumes in April; scheduled completion fall 2015

Work will resume this spring to complete the reconstruction of eight miles of I-80 with new concrete pavement between US-40 and Wanship. In addition, two bridges over I-80 are scheduled to be reconstructed this summer. Long-term lane restrictions will last from April through the fall with a small number of overnight freeway closures to accommodate bridge work.

i-80 Silver Creek to Wanship

4. I-15 Beaver Climbing Lanes (Project Value $44 million)
Construction starts March 2015; scheduled completion November 2015

I-15 is being widened in two locations in central and southern Utah to add climbing lanes to enhance safety. Lane restrictions will be in place through much of the summer to allow crews to construct these new lanes. Motorists should plan ahead and allow extra travel time when traveling to and from St. George or Las Vegas.

Beaver Climbing lanes

5. SR-36 Reconstruction (Project Value $25.6 million)
Construction starts spring 2015; scheduled completion fall 2015

A 10-mile stretch of state Route 36 in Tooele County is being reconstructed with new pavement, curb/gutter/sidewalk, and drainage improvements. Construction is scheduled to begin as early as April, and will continue for several months. Drivers will need to watch for traffic shifts and various restrictions to accommodate the work.

SR 36 Tooele

6. I-15 Hill Field Road interchange and Thru-Turn Intersections (Project Value $28 million)
Construction starts spring 2015; scheduled completion fall 2016

The interchange at I-15 and Hill Field Road is being converted to a single-point urban interchange to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the area. This project will also construct new Thru-Turn Intersections on Hill Field Road on each side of I-15. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring and continue through 2016. Drivers should plan ahead for lane restrictions and traffic delays throughout construction.

7. Bangerter/Redwood Interchange (Project Value $42 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion July 2015

Crews are completing the new interchange at Bangerter Highway and Redwood Road. Temporary traffic patterns in the area will continue through the summer. When complete, the new freeway-style interchange will be similar to the one constructed at Bangerter Highway and 7800 South.

RedwoodBangerter

8. I-215, 300 East to Redwood Road (Project Value $14 million)
Construction starts July 2015; scheduled completion October 2015

This heavily-traveled section of I-215 is being reconstructed this year. Crews will be removing the top layer of asphalt and replacing it with new pavement, as well as installing drainage improvements. Motorists should plan for lane restrictions and moderate traffic delays.

9. US-40, SR-208 to Duchesne (Project Value $14.6 million)
Construction starts spring 2015; scheduled completion August 2015

UDOT will be removing the top layer of asphalt and repaving 18 miles of US-40 in Duchesne County. This project will prolong the life of the road and provide a smoother ride for drivers. Lane restrictions and minor traffic delays are possible through the summer.

US 40 Duchesne

10. SR-108, 2000 West in Roy/Ogden (Project Value $16.9 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion summer 2015 

A 4.5-mile section of state Route 108 in Davis and Weber counties is being widened and reconstructed. One lane in each direction will be added, as well as curb, gutter and sidewalk. Motorists should plan ahead for lane restrictions and temporary access restrictions at intersections.

SR 108 Weber County

11. Provo Westside Connector/Vineyard Connector (Project Value $21.1/$13.7 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion spring 2016

Two new arterial roads are being constructed to serve the fast-growing areas of Provo and Vineyard in Utah County. Construction has already begun on these roads, and motorists using nearby or connecting streets should watch for trucks and other equipment.

ProvoWestside

 

For more information on the Vineyard connector, please e-mail udotregion3@utah.gov or call our region hotline 801-830-9304.

12. U.S. 89/State Street, Sandy and Draper (Project Value $2.7 million)
Construction starts summer 2015; scheduled completion fall 2015

Two sections of State Street – from 8000 South to 9000 South, and from 11400 South to 11800 South – will be repaved this summer. Work will primarily take place during nighttime hours, and motorists should expect lane restrictions and business access restrictions during this time.

US 89 Sandy:Draper State Street

13. U.S. 89/Harrison Boulevard intersection (Project Value $6.3 million)
Construction starts May 2015; scheduled completion September 2015

UDOT will realign the intersection of US-89 with Harrison Boulevard to improve traffic flow and will install additional safety improvements in the area. U.S. -89 will also be widened near the intersection. Occasional lane closures will be necessary to complete the work, and motorists should expect additional congestion due to construction.

14. SR-7, Warner Valley to Washington Dam Road (Project Value $21 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion December 2015

Construction continues to extend state Route 7 (Southern Parkway) near the St. George Airport. This extension of the new highway will help improve travel between the new airport and area recreation sites including Zion National Park and Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Southern Parkway

15. Antelope Drive, 2200 West to University Park Boulevard (Project Value $8 million)
Under construction; scheduled completion May 2015

Antelope Drive is being widened near the I-15 interchange to improve traffic flow and enhance safety in the area. Additional turn lanes are being constructed near the entrance to Davis Hospital and Medical Center. Lane restrictions and occasional delays are expected, but two lanes in each direction will remain open on Antelope Drive at all times.

AntelopeDrive

UDOT wants motorists to be in the know regarding construction projects and traffic delays. The following tools are available to provide information about projects and traffic conditions statewide:

UDOT Traffic App — The UDOT Traffic app delivers traffic info directly to motorists by incorporating the best and most up-to-date information from the UDOT Traffic Operations Center, including real-time traffic conditions, construction alerts, crash information and road weather conditions. The UDOT Traffic app is free and available for download in the Apple App Store and Android Market for tablets and smart phones.

Interactive UDOT Traffic Website — The website, http://udottraffic.utah.gov, features an interactive map identifying the locations of UDOT projects statewide. Additional information is provided for each project, including the construction schedule, expected travel delays and the project benefits. The public can also subscribe to an RSS feed on the site to receive real-time updates for the projects that affect them most.

UDOT social media — UDOT offers an official Twitter feed and Facebook page; UDOT Traffic and its four regions statewide also operate Twitter accounts. Motorists can find a list of these feeds at twitter.com/UtahDOT where they can receive regular updates on road construction and traffic conditions.

Riding along for traffic data

You’ve used the app. You’ve seen the traffic cameras on TV or online, and you might have even seen the Traffic Operations Center in person. But have you ever wondered what exactly goes into getting the information? We’ll take you on a “ride along” and show you how.

Through the technology and data of the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), UDOT can Keep Utah Moving. Recently, a critical part of the system was updated along the I-15 corridor, as newer controllers were installed and programmed. The controllers gather volume and speed data from passing vehicles. Although no identifying information is collected, it does give a wealth of data on the speed of traffic, the density of traffic, weather conditions, etc.

The replacement process starts when the new lane controllers are programmed with the proper software to collect the data. The controllers run on Linux-based command prompts and also use custom software add-ons. The base software is programmed at the UDOT Traffic Operations Center.

Kent (left) and David (right) are in charge of maintaining and upgrading the ATMS systems along the Wasatch Front.

Kent (left) and David (right) are in charge of maintaining and upgrading the ATMS systems along the Wasatch Front.

Once the controllers are programmed, they are ready to be deployed into the field. The first set to be replaced was along southbound I-15 at 3300 South.

Kent and David working in an ATMS cabinet alongside I

Kent and David working in an ATMS cabinet alongside I-15.

The new controllers are wired in and turned on. They also have to be programmed once they are in the cabinet by using data from a controller at a different location. This process requires time, patience and many command prompts.

atms crew 3

The lane controllers are installed as a pair, in case one fails while in the field. One acts as the primary and one as a secondary. They both have ability to function independently, but also as a pair.

Once the new controllers are field-programmed, they are brought online and tested to make sure that they are working properly. Once they are tested and confirmed to be working, the ATMS crew moves on to calibrate and install the next set of lane controllers. The whole process of removing the old boxes and installing and testing the new ones takes just under an hour per cabinet.

An overhead sensor that collects data from Express Lane users.

An overhead sensor that collects data from Express Lane users.

UDOT also uses in-pavement “pucks” that collect traffic data. All of this information is sent to a nearby traffic cabinet and then to the UDOT Traffic Operations Center. The information is used to create the congestion layers on the UDOT Traffic app and website, so travelers can know about delay and congestion information for their trips.

An in-pavement "puck" that collects speed data from passing vehicles.

An in-pavement “puck” that collects speed data from passing vehicles.

This guest post was written by Adam McMillan, Traffic Operations Center Intern.

Local Utah reporter wins top transportation journalist award

TAMPA, Fla. — The American Traffic Safety Services Association has chosen Jed Boal, reporter and anchor for KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, as the winner of the ATSSA National Media Award. This award goes to “A reporter/news organization, blogger or freelancer who has been fair, balanced, and informative in reporting transportation related issues on radio, television, newspaper and the web”.

KSL-TV's Jed Boal (left), and UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason pose with Boal's plaque.

KSL-TV’s Jed Boal (left), and UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason pose with Boal’s plaque.

Boal, who has worked for Utah’s NBC station for 16 years, has the tenacity and skepticism that a good reporter needs to “dig deep” and combines that with a skillful blend of transparency, relationship building, and storytelling. He’s always looking at new ways to tell a story and inform the public — whether it’s riding along with an Incident Management Team, purposely depriving himself of sleep to conduct a study for a story, or pulling out rumble strips to help the public see what they do.

“There are very few journalists in the entire country that are more fair, balanced, and informative than Jed Boal of KSL-TV,” UDOT Public Information Officer John Gleason said.  “Jed is the kind of journalist who turns the stereotype of reporter on it’s head, all while making sure he’s still got the public’s right to know in mind.”

ATSSAaward

The ATSSA chose KSL-TV’s Jed Boal as its recipient of its 2014 National Media Award.

We’re grateful to work with professionals like Jed Boal in the Utah media. It’s obvious Boal not only loves being a community watchdog, but also cares just as much about letting the public know what amazing things UDOT is doing for the state. This attitude makes it very easy for UDOT to get the word out to the public, knowing Jed will give UDOT a fair shake regardless of whether the story is a positive one or a negative one for the department.

 

 

A gallery of maps shed light on STIP process

The STIP Workshop Gallery, now available through UPlan, enhances planning, decision-making and transparency.

The projects on the map are showing UDOT’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP, a four-year plan of funded state and local projects for the State of Utah.

The STIP is updated and published annually after a yearlong cycle of events that includes input from other government agencies, fiscal analysis, and public meetings and comments. The STIP serves as UDOT’s official work plan for developing projects from conception, through design, to advertising and construction.

A screen shot of Region One's STIP map gives the public a look the status of projects and how much is being spent.

A screen shot of Region One’s STIP map gives the public a look the status of projects and how much is being spent.

Before UDOT’s GIS team produced maps showing the STIP, the list of projects were published as static hard-copy maps or as a list of projects. The new STIP maps are web-based and dynamic, and change as UDOT makes changes to the program. The data on the maps are obtained from ePM, UDOT’s electric program management system, and are refreshed nightly.

Policy makers, program managers and the public

The maps will be used at the Utah Transportation Commission Workshop in April. “It gives them a view of the planned and recommended projects in the regions they represent,” says William Lawrence, UDOT Director of Program Finance. Lawrence will use the maps to zoom in to see the exact location, scope, planned schedule and budget of each project at the workshop.

The maps help “open a conversation up among groups at UDOT,” says Lawrence. Portfolio and project managers can use the maps to coordinate or combine projects. For example, a bridge program manager and a pavement program manager can coordinate projects to reduce impact to the public.

The maps help UDOT’s goal to be a transparent public agency. “In a nutshell, it basically says here’s the funding we have and here’s where we’ve planned to spend it,” says Lawrence. It lets the public see “exactly what’s coming in their direction.”

To find the maps, start from the UPlan Map Center website, enter STIP in the search field and select “search for apps” in the drop down box.

This post was written by Catherine Higgins of the UDOT Project Development division. It will also appear in the GIS bi-monthly newsletter.

Bridging Borders: UDOT engineer featured in AZDOT video

With hundreds of miles of interstate weaving through Utah, have you ever wondered how UDOT deals with transportation issues where highways and interstates cross state lines? This video, produced by our friends at the Arizona Department of Transportation, shows what happens on a project in the Virgin River Gorge, which Interstate 15 runs through. Our own Dana Meier, a UDOT Program Engineer assigned to Washington County in Southern Utah, is featured in it.

The Gorge is a main thoroughfare for those seeking to get between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, and is a huge connection point for those moving on to Los Angeles and Phoenix. A shutdown of this 29-mile section of road in Arizona can have wide-reaching effects nationally.

In the video, Region 4’s Meier, a 16-year veteran of the department, explains why interstate collaboration is so important.

“That little stretch of I-15 is a critical link for commerce from the port of Long Beach to the rest of the nation,” Meier said. “Maintaining the continuity and communication is critical for the entire system to function. It doesn’t just affect Utah. It affects Nevada and Arizona. It affects all of us.

At UDOT, collaboration is one of our valued emphasis areas. Teaming with local and interstate partners helps meet local and out-of-town traveler needs by providing a better product, and helps various entities share much-needed knowledge and skill. Collaboration also saves time and taxpayer dollars by avoiding costly arguments, claims and litigation.