February 7th, 20121 Comment, Optimize Mobility, Preserve Infrastructure, Strengthen the Economy, by Catherine Higgins.
A yearly publication outlines accomplishments and shows how UDOT plans to move forward.
UDOT publishes the Strategic Direction and Performance Measures yearly to set the state’s transportation stage, communicate how construction, maintenance and safety projects improve the system, and to chart the road ahead. Utah is facing unprecedented growth in population and Vehicle Miles Traveled. The combination of factors poses a challenge, but efforts to expand capacity and make the system more efficient are helping Utahns avoid transportation gridlock.
“We have stemmed the tide,” when it comes to travel delay, explained UDOT Director John Njord today at the Utah Transportation Commission Meeting. Njord reviewed pages from the Strategic Direction, which has recently been added to the UDOT website, and highlighted some key points for commission members.
A graph that tracks travel delay with and without recent and planned capacity projects illustrates Njord’s point. Delay has been defeated by tactically executed capacity projects without witch road users would experience three to five times the amount of delay. Njord hopes to continue to make system wide improvements and believes that planned projects, if funded, will leave a “legacy for the citizens that come after us.”
Other important themes in the new Strategic Direction include:
- Increasing capacity—a look at major capacity projects, including the I-15 CORE project and the Mountain View Corridor. Both projects will be completed by the end of 2012
- Employing Innovation – UDOT has long taken pride in the innovative techniques. Last year, UDOT used Accelerated Bridge Technology to build and move the Sam White Bridge into place on I-15 – the pioneering process holds the record in the Western Hemisphere for the longest structure to be moved into place.
- Express Lanes success – Thousands of Utahns saving travel time by using the Express Lanes. During peak traffic, users travel about 14 miles per hour faster than the general lanes.
- New technology – the best and most up-to-date information from UDOT’s Traffic Operation Center is available in a new smart phone app. Nearly 30,000 people downloaded the app in the first four weeks since its release.
The Strategic Direction, which has recently been added to UDOT’s website, can be viewed online or in PDF.