Category Archives: Uncategorized

Attention, walkers!

United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recency blogged about distracted walkers who text, listen to music or talk on cell phones while crossing streets.   There’s no doubt, pedestrians who don’t pay attention pose a safety risk to themselves and others.

“And, it’s not just cars and trucks that pedestrians are ignoring,” writes LaHood. ” …Pedestrians distracted by cell phone calls and text messages also risk deadly encounters with the transit buses and commuter trains around them.”

The Federal Transit Administration is promoting Operation Lifesaver, a safety campaign that shows the dangers of distracted walking around trains.

Maybe we should have payed more attention in kindergarten. Remember the song “Stop, Look and Listen?”  Here’s a video to share with little walkers:

What does the 2010 Census have to do with transportation?

The Census collects information about population, which plays a fundamental part in predicting road use

Walt Steinvorth works in Transportation Planning at the Utah Department of Transportation. He doesn't wear a turban like the Great Carnack, but he does have an "all knowing" look about him, don't you think?

Walt Steinvorth calls himself  “the firm’s fortune teller” but he doesn’t use Tarot Cards or a crystal ball. Steinvorth depends on “a lot of science” to predict the number of vehicles expected to use an existing or future transportation facility using a traffic demand model or TDM. Census information is a fundamental ingredient of a TDM.

UDOT gets population numbers from demographers at the Governor’s office of Planning and Budget who look at historical trends, employment, birth and death rates to predict future population. Transportation planners use these population forecasts as inputs to the TDM to predict future highway and transit demand.

The Federal Government requires the departments of transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to develop long range multi-modal transportation system plans for 20 years into the future. TDMs are used to determine where and when to expand highway and transit systems to meet future demand.

During long range transportation planning, UDOT and the MPOs uses a TDM to test various transportation alternatives. When planning future improvements for existing roads, a TDM is used to determine if more lanes are needed, and if so, how many. TDMs also provide information about pedestrian and bike use.

April 2010: Eleven-year-old Henry Johnson attaches the completed census form to the mailbox after watching his mom fill in the blanks.

NOTE: UDOT is an ARE (acronym rich environment).  MPO and TDM are a few acronyms that see frequent use here at the DOT.  Click this link to see a list of other commonly used transportation acronyms. Then, impress your friends and family by using ATMS, LOS, or MUTCD with confidence. Your mom will be so proud.

View UDOT on YouTube

With a few key strokes and mouse clicks, you can watch a bridge move, take a virtual tour of the Traffic Operations Center or hear some fine cowboy poetry on UDOT’s YouTube channel. Over 30 videos are posted that show how UDOT uses innovation in construction, contracting and design to make our transportation system better.

Here’s a video of UDOTs Diverging Diamond Interchange in American Fork:

ENJOY THE VIEW

A revised website has been launched for the Mountain View Corridor, a planned freeway, transit and trail system in western Salt Lake County and northwestern Utah County.  The site provides:

The project will be built in phases designed to balance transportation needs with available funds. Initial construction includes building two lanes in each direction with signalized intersections where future interchanges will be located.

In Salt Lake County construction has started on a 15-mile segment between 5400 South and Redwood Road (at approximately 16000 South). Construction will be completed in 2013.

In Utah County, the three-mile construction area is on 2100 North from Redwood Road to I-15. Construction will be completed in 2011.

Sad U2’s not in town? UDOT to perform bridge act in American Fork this weekend

Pioneer Crossing bridge move in October, 2009

While not as loud or colorful as an uber-famous rock band, a UDOT bridge move is a show worth catching. UDOT is, after all, a world leader in using new technology to replace bridges.

The public will be able to see that technology in action this weekend in American Fork when UDOT moves two segments of a new interchange from a staging area into place overnight on Friday June 4 and Sunday June 6 beginning at about 10:30 p.m. both nights.

The bridge move can be viewed from the existing Main Street Bridge both nights.  Parking will be available at the park-and-ride lot southwest of the interchange.  A flagger will be posted to help visitors enter the viewing area beginning at 9:30 p.m. Visitors will only be allowed to cross the freeway ramps to enter the viewing area at locations where a flagger is present.  Seating will not be provided.

The new segments should be in place sometime in the wee hours of the morning. Once in position, the  segments will form the north bridge of the new Diverging Diamond Interchange at American Fork Main Street.

What to expect

Watching a bridge move is an fascinating but slow process. Workers will be using a Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) which are multi-wheeled vehicles equip with lifts. The SPMTs are moved using a small box with controls that look like joy sticks. The bridge will be very carefully and slowly rolled into place over hours of time.

These segments are the among the longest and heaviest structures that UDOT has moved, according to Carmen Swanwick, Chief Structural Engineer at UDOT. Asked if those factors pose any difficulties, Carmen said “no, we’ve designed for it.” Engineers are uber-planners, after all.

For more information about Pioneer Crossing and the Diverging Diamond Interchange, please visit the Pioneer Crossing Web site or call the project information hotline at 1-877-222-3757.

Do you truck? UDOT helps truckers and dispatchers avoid delay

i-Truck website and weekly email update gives trucker-specific road construction information

UDOT has a website and a weekly email update service that helps truckers and dispatchers anticipate or avoid road construction that may cause delay.

The Web site has an interactive map that allows users to view construction information by choosing a region or a specific project. To view the map, click this link to see the i-Truck website.

To sign up for a free weekly e-mail construction update called the Trucker’s Concierge, contact itruck@intrepidagency.com.

Building the Mountain View Corridor

The Project Management Office for Copper Hills Constructors is located at 5680 Dannon Way, close to where construction will take place

Copper Hills Constructors has moved.  Two office buildings that house the 16-firm joint venture that is building  the Mountain View Corridor are now located on the corridor.

One of the two buildings Copper Hills Constructors will use was purchased by UDOT during the right-of-way aquisition process, and will be used for approximately a year before being removed to make way for the first phase of the Mountain View Corridor. The other building will be used for the duration of the project.

This building, located west of the Project Management Building, will be used for a year

Being close to where road construction will take place is very helpful and will make communication with stakeholders “go a lot more smoothly,” Says Teri Newell, UDOT Project Manager.

UDOT Project Manager Teri Newell and and Parsons Brinkerhoff Utilities Manager Iraja Cecy in Teri's new office

Between now and 2013, 15 miles of the Mountain View Corridor will be built between 5400 South and 16000 South. Eventually, Mountain View Corridor will connect Interstate 80 to Interstate 15. To learn more about Mountain View Corridor construction visit the website.

Utilities Coordination Meeting

Right of way team members left to right: Carol Bellinger, Dian McGuire and Jeremy Christensen

Public Involvement Manager Jessica Wilson stands by a truck with the Copper Hills Constructors logo

MAKE IT CLICK

The rest of the family was fine

A school year book page tells about the tragic loss of friend Calvin Hansen

Calvin Hansen was a kind, fun-loving boy who always “mustered up a lot of enthusiasm for life,” says his mom Donna Hansen. Calvin died in a car crash because he had secretly removed his a seat belt on a family road trip. Others in the car were not badly hurt. After his death, Donna “just wanted to scream to the world ‘wear your seatbelt!’”

Donna told her family’s story today at a kick-off for “Click It or Ticket,” a statewide campaign to promote seat belt use. Her hope is that by telling the heart-breaking tale, others will listen.

Seat belt advocate Donna Hansen talks to a reporter about the loss of her son Calvin


Utah law requires that all passengers and drivers use safety belts

From May 24 through June 6, local and state law enforcement agencies will be conducting highly visible extended effort to enforce Utah’s seatbelt law by issuing citations to drivers who don’t buckle up.  Utah Chick-fil-A restaurants have joined in the effort by providing coupons for a free sandwich for officers to distribute to buckled motorists with each traffic stop – a reward for driving safe.

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, correct use of seatbelts use can reduce the risk of injury or death by 70% but nearly 300,000 Utahns fail to buckle up. The age group least likely to buckle up is young people age 15 to 24.

What the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Highway Safety Office wants you to know:

You could be involved in a crash – On an average day in Utah, there are 155 motor vehicle crashes involving nearly 400 people, resulting in 70 injuries and one death.

Seatbelts provide effective protection – Regular seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to protect people and reduce fatalities in a crash. In Utah, unbuckled occupants were 29 times more likely to die than belted occupants.

Take the pledge:

The goal of the Click It or Ticket effort is to educate the public and increase seat belt use, not to write citations.  You can help in that effort!  Find Utah Click It or Ticket on Facebook, take the pledge to always buckle up, enter to win $45 (the price of a citation) and publish your results on your profile and friends’ walls!

Sergent Robert Breck of the Utah Highway Patrol: He'll be watching

Sergent Breck of the Utah Highway Patrol holds a Click It or Ticket Poster

UDOT urges travelers to “Stay an Extra Day” and avoid holiday travel delay

Thinking of taking a road trip during a summer holiday weekend? Staying an extra day just got cheaper. UDOT and the Utah Office of Tourism hope some discounts for lodging and attractions will mean a decrease in traffic moving through construction zones during peak travel times and an increase in tourism.

The  “Stay an Extra Day” promotion is focused on the Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Pioneer Day and Labor Day holidays as well as on weekends throughout the summer. Offers range from half-off a fourth night hotel stay over a summer weekend to a discount on a sunset cruise near Memorial Day.

Businesses interested in participating can still submit offers or update existing offers already posted on the website.

For questions or to submit information, contact Christina Davis at 1-888-i15Core or christinadavis@utah.gov.

For information on summer construction projects and to plan ahead to avoid delays, visit Know Where Know Why.


UDOT’s DDI: A diamond in the rough

Today, the Utah Transportation Commission visited the Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at Pioneer Crossing.

The seven members of the Utah Transportation Commission take regular tours of Utah Department of Transportation construction projects. Today commission members visited Region Three, located in central Utah.

UDOT Deputy Director Carlos Braceras and Transportation Chair Jeff Holt discuss the DDI from the top of a new bridge