UDOT Statement: Project Fatality

This morning we were devastated by the news that a UDOT contractor was killed while installing avalanche control equipment in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Our contractors are part of the UDOT family and it’s heartbreaking any time something like this happens. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this worker’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

At UDOT, safety is our top priority. Work on the project is shut down pending an investigation.

Utah DOT’s Weather Operations Program Celebrates its 15th Year

Utah DOT’s Weather Operations Program Celebrates its 15th Year

 

October 2016

The UDOT Weather Operations Program is celebrating its 15th year of managing weather events throughout the state of Utah. Beginning officially with the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Weather Operations program has reached many milestones over the years. Nearly 20 years ago, UDOT’s first contract meteorologist began with forecasts for a small section of the state. Today, UDOT employs a full time UDOT Weather Operations Manager, 8-12 meteorologists and a UDOT weather research analyst.

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Figure 1A UDOT RWIS deployment.

So, how has the program grown and changed over time?

UDOT meteorologists handle over 5,000 phone calls in a typical winter season. There is a significant amount of coordination with the National Weather Service and UDOT plow crews. Ahead of any major weather events, including winter storms, wind events and rain/floods, UDOT’s Weather Operations group will host a weather briefing, sharing critical and timely information. UDOT signals, traveler information, operations, Ports of Entry, Utah Highway Patrol, communications and other teams are all participants.

The UDOT Citizen Reporter program smartphone apps for iOS and Google Play were launched in October 2013 to allow motorists to report road and weather conditions to UDOT. The UDOT app was the first of its kind in the country! UDOT has received thousands of reports from citizens since the program launched and reminds all drivers to never use apps while driving.

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Figure 2 The UDOT Citizen Reporter app is a free download for iPhone and Droid.

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Figure 3 Sign up to be a UDOT Citizen Reporter.

A new feature to the UDOT Traffic app and website is the Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) of all UDOT plows during storms. A citizen can get, at a glance, an understanding of where all UDOT plows are currently working. This enhancement also allows UDOT to better track plow movements for possible equipment and material savings. Overall, this enhancement has been very well received by the public.

 

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Figure 4UDOT plows at work during a winter storm.

UDOT launched a Winter Road Weather Index (WRWI) project a few years ago to monitor snow and ice removal. The next generation of the WRWI is here… in the form of winter weather performance metrics. UDOT’s Snow and Ice performance metrics dashboard has real-time statistics that are utilized by UDOT maintenance crews to determine how effective they were at maintaining good road conditions during a storm. Several metrics go into creating the measure, including the intensity of the storm, length of time the storm is ongoing, resources allocated to the maintenance shed covering the geographic area and field instrumentation on the RWIS units. The resulting information is utilized to measure storm performance, identify best practices and possibly re-allocate resources to better cover areas in need.

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Figure 5UDOT’s Snow and Ice Performance Measure uses green, yellow and red data points to assess how maintenance crews responded to the storm.

UDOT is fortunate to have an incredible crew of plow drivers who are very dedicated to their jobs and to Keeping Utah Moving. But there’s always room for improvement and sometimes opportunities for efficiency and resource allocation. In order to track performance and possibilities for improvement, the snow and ice performance metric takes into consideration several baseline data points including snow fall rate, time of day and shed resources.

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Figure 6The UDOT Snow and Ice Performance measure graphic is available for each storm, allowing management to view an assessment and determine of additional resources are needed.

The graphic colors represented here show that UDOT’s crews managed the storm well but have some areas for improvement. The green data points show that when all factors are considered, the plow crews are exceeding expectations and are doing a great job keeping up with the storm and keeping the road well maintained. The yellow data points show that crews are performing within current capabilities for equipment and manpower. The red data points are highlighting areas for improvement where crews are not performing up to UDOT’s standards. Because the data comes to UDOT in real-time, a shed foreman has the ability to review the information at the end of the storm, end of the month or end of the season!

Under the red, yellow and green data point graph, the plow icon shows the movement of plows over the course of the storm.

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Figure 7The Snow and Ice Performance metric includes details about the storm, including pavement temperature, storm intensity and precipitation type.

 

The archived snow and ice removal performance metric data includes atmospheric conditions, air temperature, pavement temperature, precipitation type and other meteorological factors that can help to determine the intensity

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Figure 8UDOT Traffic camera screenshots are archived with each storm’s metrics to provide a visual description of the storm.

of the storm. UDOT Traffic camera screenshots are also included to give a data user a visual of the road during the storm. All of this information comes together to give shed crews and UDOT leadership an idea of how resources are being utilized and where there are areas for improvement.

UDOT is ready for the winter season and we hope you are, too. Now would be a good time to check the condition of your tires and ensure you have an emergency kit in your trunk. Please remember: always buckle up and never drive distracted. Check the UDOT Traffic app or website before every trip.

 

 

What’s Next on I-15

What’s Next on I-15

The I-15 Technology Corridor: S.R. 92 to Lehi Main Street

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As the crossroads of the west, I-15 is essential to keeping Utah’s economy moving. That’s why the Utah Department of Transportation consistently looks for ways to enhance I-15.
In 2012, the I-15 CORE project was completed, and 24 miles of I-15 were widened and reconstructed from Lehi to Spanish Fork. Earlier this week, The Point project was completed, and seven more miles of I-15 were widened and reconstructed, this time from Lehi to Draper. Now, many drivers want to know, “What about Lehi Main to S.R. 92?”
Plans are already in the works to improve this section of I-15. The Utah Transportation Commission has allocated $450 million to reconstruct the freeway in this area, known as the I-15 Technology Corridor. Currently, construction on the project is programmed to begin in 2020. The project will reconstruct and widen the freeway, add two lanes in each direction, and reconstruct the interchanges at S.R. 92 and 2100 North.
In addition, new one-way frontage roads will be built on both sides of the freeway between those two interchanges, and a new bridge will be built to carry Triumph Boulevard/2300 West over I-15. Other improvements included in this project are 13 bridge replacements and new bicycle and pedestrian features.
The five-mile stretch of freeway between S.R. 92 and Lehi Main Street is located near the epicenter for the state’s tech sector growth, and the nearby population has expanded at a similar rate. UDOT has already begun work to prepare for construction to begin within the next few years.
To stay up to date on this project, visit the project website here. You can also download a project fact sheet here, or view a map of the project area here.

S.R. 201 to close two nights at I-215 for bridge demolition

For Immediate Release

S.R. 201 to close two nights at I-215 for bridge demolition

Eastbound S.R. 201 scheduled to close Friday night; westbound S.R. 201 to close Saturday night

Salt Lake City (Oct. 7, 2016) – The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) advises drivers to plan ahead for two overnight freeway closures on S.R. 201 in West Valley City. Eastbound S.R. 201 is scheduled to close on Friday night, Oct. 7, under I-215, and westbound S.R. 201 is scheduled to close in the same area on Saturday night, Oct. 8, while crews demolish the southbound I-215 bridge.

These freeway closures are scheduled to begin around 9 p.m. each night, with all lanes reopening by 6 a.m. the following day. Drivers should plan extra travel time due to traffic delays and detours, and consider using alternate routes such as I-80.

This bridge demolition is being completed as part of the I-215 west belt reconstruction project. Crews are removing the existing pavement and replacing it with new concrete from S.R. 201 to 4700 South. The project is scheduled for completion next year.

Also this weekend, crews are scheduled to shift traffic on the I-215 east belt into the southbound lanes near 6200 South. The new traffic pattern will be in place by Monday morning, Oct. 10. No additional lane closures are expected during this time – the freeway will remain with two lanes open in both directions.

For the latest information regarding this and other UDOT construction projects, drivers can visit the UDOT Traffic website (www.udottraffic.utah.gov) or download the free UDOT Traffic app, available for smartphones and tablets. Drivers can also follow @udottraffic and @utahdot on Twitter.

**Time lapse video of the bridge demolition will be available Sunday night in time for 9/10 p.m. newscasts.***

-UDOT-

Media Contact:
John Gleason
UDOT Public Information Officer
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

UDOT Begins Construction on New Wildlife Fencing in Parleys Canyon

UDOT Begins Construction on New Wildlife Fencing in Parleys Canyon

 

JEREMY RANCH (Oct. 6, 2016) —The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will start building one mile of wildlife fencing on westbound I-80 near Jeremy Ranch on Friday. The new wildlife fencing is the first phase in a long-term plan to reduce wildlife and vehicle collisions in Parleys Canyon.

UDOT partnered with Save People Save Wildlife to expedite the process to raise funding and install the fence before winter.

“This demonstrates the power of a public-private partnership where groups come together to make the community better,” UDOT Region Two Director Bryan Adams said. “We want to thankSave People Save Wildlife for playing a tremendous role in making this happen.”

This one-mile stretch of fencing is funded by $50,000 in UDOT contingency funds combined with a $50,000 donation from Save People Save Wildlife.

UDOT recently completed a study with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to determine solutions to ensure that wildlife collisions are reduced not only now, but long into the future.

The department is now designing the long-term solution, which includes building a new wildlife crossing and installing enough wildlife fencing to stretch three miles in both directions on I-80from Jeremy Ranch to Parleys Summit. These projects are scheduled to start after funding becomes available in fall 2017.

UDOT requested and the Utah Transportation Commission approved $5 million to reduce wildlife and vehicle collisions in Parleys Canyon.

 

 

-UDOT-

Media Contact:
John Gleason
UDOT Public Information Officer
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

 

UDOT and UHP launch Express Lane education and enforcement blitz

With the completion of the Point project, Utah’s Express Lanes —
the longest continuous in the country — are now fully operational.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) are partnering to launch an enforcement blitz to educate drivers how to correctly use Express Lanes.

With the completion of the Point project, Utah’s Express Lanes — the longest continuous in the country stretching 72 miles from Layton to Spanish Fork — are now fully operational. Express Lanes move twice as many people as general purpose lanes (about 3,600 people per hour compared to 1,900), and are much more effective and provide greater benefits to all drivers when they are being used appropriately.

One in five drivers violate the rules regarding the Express Lanes every day, and UHP troopers pull over 300 drivers a month for those same violations.

“The lanes are getting clogged with people who don’t belong there,” said John Gleason, UDOT’s public information office. “Our goal is to keep traffic moving, and Express Lanes — when used correctly — have proven to do that.”

Vehicles with more than one passenger, C Decal vehicles, and motorcycles can use the Express Lanes for free. Solo drivers can purchase an Express Pass and pay a nominal fee to use Express Lanes. UDOT manages use of the Express Lanes by charging pass users a variable rate based on the current congestion levels and travel speed on I-15.

Drivers should keep the following in mind when driving in Utah’s Express Lanes:

  • Crossing the double white lines is unsafe and illegal.
  • Express Lanes are not passing lanes.
  • Only carpoolers, motorcycles, buses, C Decal vehicles, emergency vehicles and solo drivers with an Express Pass are eligible to use the Express Lanes.
  • Violators of the Express Lanes can be issued a citation with a fine of up to $175.

“Weaving in and out of the Express Lanes by crossing the double white lines is dangerous,” said UHP Sgt. Todd Royce. “We see it every day. It can cause drivers to brake suddenly, swerve and cause a crash. It’s extremely unsafe.”

This enforcement blitz is scheduled to continue through the weekend. For more information on Utah’s Express Lanes, visit http://www.udot.utah.gov/expresslanes.

Take a drive through all 72 miles of the country’s longest continuous Express Lanes in one minute in this video:

#WorkForUsWednesday – October 5, 2016

We’re halfway through the week, which means it’s #WorkForUsWednesday. We have several new positions open. Check them out!

UDOT’s mission is to innovate transportation solutions that strengthen Utah’s economy and enhance quality of life. Come join a workforce of over 1,600 employees who all work hard to keep Utah moving.

  • Recruitment #10156 – Seasonal Transportation Tech I, Region 2 – Wendover, Opens 9/29/16, Closes 10/09/16
  • Recruitment #10177- Transportation Technician II – Paint Crew – Ogden, Region 1 – Ogden, Opens 10/03/2016, Closes 10/09/2016
  • EXTENDED: Recruitment #10063- Office Specialist II (Part time with benefits), Complex – Administration, Opens 09/27/2016, Closes 10/12/16
  • Recruitment #10212- Traffic Data Technician (Research Assistant II), Complex – Program Development, Opens 10/5/16, Closes 10/19/16
  • Recruitment #10213 – Seasonal Transportation Technician I – Clearfield, Region 1 – Clearfield, Opens 10/05/2016, Closes 10/16/2016

Visit the Utah State Jobs website for more information on the specific job roles and to actually apply for these position. Simply filter the search criteria by department to (810) Department of Transportation, and you’ll be on your way.

We hope to see you proudly wearing UDOT orange soon.

Media Briefing: UDOT and UHP announce Express Lane education and enforcement blitz

Media Briefing: UDOT and UHP announce Express Lane education and enforcement blitz

WHAT:
Ride alongs and media availability regarding education and increased Express Lane enforcement efforts by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) will be available.

UDOT and UHP are partnering to educate drivers about how to correctly use Express Lanes to reduce congestion and improve traffic.

With the completion of the Point project, Utah now has the longest continuous Express Lanes in the country.

WHO:  

John Gleason, UDOT public information officer

Todd Royce, UHP public information officer

WHEN:   

Thursday, Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m.

VISUALS:

Ride along with UHP troopers as they educate drivers regarding Express Lane laws.

***Media interested in a ride along should call Sgt. Todd Royce today to make arrangements***

WHERE:

UHP Salt Lake County Office – 5681 South Commerce Drive, Murray. Exit I-15 at 5300 South, turn south on Commerce Drive, continue to UHP office.

 

-UDOT-

Media Contact:
John Gleason
UDOT Public Information Officer
jgleason@utah.gov
Cell: 801-560-7740

Sgt. Todd Royce
UHP Public Information Officer
troyce@utah.gov
Cell: 801-556-8261

The Point Project Now Complete

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The barrels are gone, all lanes are open, and The Point project on I-15 is now officially complete.

This two-year, $215 million project widened I-15 to six lanes in each direction between 12300 South in Draper and S.R. 92 in Lehi, a distance of approximately seven miles. The project also replaced the existing pavement with new 40-year concrete, reconstructed the 14600 South interchange as a single-point urban interchange to improve traffic flow, and installed new traffic management technology such as cameras, ramp meters, electronic message signs, and fiber optics.

This section of I-15 is the principal transportation link between Salt Lake and Utah counties. More than 160,000 cars travel through this area each day, including nearly 37,000 trucks. Maintaining I-15 in top condition, and expanding the freeway to meet Utah’s transportation needs, will help Utah’s economy continue to grow.

“Keeping traffic moving on this critical economic lifeline running through the heart of our state was a huge undertaking, and our crews stepped up to the challenge,” UDOT Project Director Tim Rose said.

With the completion of The Point project, nearly all of I-15 along the Wasatch Front has been reconstructed within the past two decades. One last section – in Lehi, from S.R. 92 to Main Street – remains, and is programmed to begin construction in 2020.

 

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#WorkForUsWednesday – September 28, 2016

It’s #WorkForUsWednesday! Check out these nine job openings with UDOT that stretch the entire state. We have a big need for Transportation Technicians. This position is a great way to get into UDOT and be part of a team that performs roadway maintenance and construction.

UDOT’s mission is to innovate transportation solutions that strengthen Utah’s economy and enhance quality of life. Come join a workforce of over 1,600 employees who all work hard to keep Utah moving.

  • Recruitment #09974 – Environmental Performance Manager (Environmental Manager), Complex – Environmental, Opens 9/14/16, Closes 10/3/16
  • Recruitment #10018 – Land Surveyor, Region 1 – Ogden, Opens 09/26/2016, Closes 10/09/2016
  • Recruitment #10063- Office Specialist II (Part time with benefits), Complex – Administration, Opens 09/27/2016, Closes10/04/2016
  • Recruitment #10035 – Transportation Technician II, Region 2 – Stations 225 & 230, Opens 9/23/16, Closes 10/9/16
  • Recruitment #10034 – Transportation Technician II, Region 2 – Station 227 (2 vacancies), Opens 9/23/16, Closes 10/9/16
  • Recruitment #10084 – Transportation Technician II, Region 4 – Garrison, Milford, Opens 9/22/16, Closes 10/02/16
  • Recruitment #10026 – Transportation Technician II (2 positions), Region 4 – Salina, Opens 9/21/16, Closes 10/02/16
  • Recruitment #10113- Transportation Technician II, Region 1 – Centerville, Opens 09/27/2016, Closes 10/03/2016
  • Recruitment #10084 – Transportation Technician II, Region 4 – Garrison, Milford, Opens 9/22/16, Closes 10/02/16 

Visit the Utah State Jobs website for more information on the specific job roles and to actually apply for these position. Simply filter the search criteria by department to (810) Department of Transportation, and you’ll be on your way.

We hope to see you proudly wearing UDOT orange soon.