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.

May 27th, 2010

Building the Mountain View Corridor

No Comments, Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.

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

May 25th, 2010

SIGN ELEVATED

1 Comment, Optimize Mobility, by Catherine Higgins.
Welcome to Utah sign is elevated and installed near the Salt Lake International Airport

A new welcome sign, surrounded by small versions of other sign designs, is installed near the Salt Lake International Airport

New “Welcome to Utah” highway signs that feature images of attractions were introduced to the public today at a media event sponsored by  Governor Gary Herbert, the Office of Tourism and UDOT.

Each new sign also has the Utah Office of Tourism’s “Life Elevated” slogan.  The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will place the new signs at entrance points around the state.

Good design sells

Governor Gary Herbert pointed out that tourism is on the rise in Utah, a benefit to be appreciated during an economic recession. The new signs invite tourists to “become acquainted with Utah and Utah’s people,” and to “visit us time and time again.”

The last sign design was introduced in 1999. Since that time, “UDOT has added more than 560 new lane miles of road,” said UDOT Deputy Director Carlos Braceras. “More than 31 million vehicles could pass the new signs this year. With growth numbers like that in mind, we will continue to work hard to keep traffic flowing.”

The beautiful designs were created by landscape illustrator David Meikle who grew up in Utah. He was excited to create images that reflect what he loves about the state.

May 25th, 2010

MAKE IT CLICK

1 Comment, Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.

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

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.


The remote-controlled camera was recently used to inspect a pipe under U. S. 89 in Willard, Utah. Culverts on either end of the pipe were filling up quickly, signaling to Station Supervisor Lloyd Muhlestein that the pipe may have an obstruction.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is using a state-of-the-art camera on wheels to view the inside of pipes and culverts.

Images from the camera are sent by closed circuit to a video viewing area so workers can easily identify structural defects or obstructions. Video images are recorded for later review.

Manpower saved, travel delay avoided

Before the equipment purchased, seeing inside pipes was impossible without digging up the road. Pipes were installed, then “out of site out of mind until a catastrophic failure,” says Hydraulics Engineer Jeff Erdman.  And, road users were inconvenienced while crews closed lanes or sometimes whole roads to excavate.  Now, time, manpower and travel delay is saved because the camera can quickly and effectively identify problems so pipes can be fixed or replaced before failure occurs.

Kelly Andrew, Facilities Maintenance in Region One, customized an empty trailer with work, storage and a viewing areas that house the camera and video equipment.

A camera of many uses

The equipment was “expensive but worth it,” says Jeff, because the camera is used during design, construction and maintenance.

“Design can be a big ordeal”  when engineers don’t know where all the utility pipes are located under a planned roadway. The camera emits a radio signal that can be followed above ground to map the location of a pipe easily.

During construction, the camera helps workers decide which pipes need to be replaced or repaired and which can be left in place. Laser on the camera allows easy measurement of cracks and joints.  The high quality video shows an accurate image of the pipe condition.

The camera is lowered into a catch basin before being rolled into a pipe under U.S 80 in Willard, Utah

Lloyd lowers the camera into a culvert before its journey into the pipe. The culverts and pipe interior were previously cleaned out by a Vactor Truck.

Maintenance workers use the camera to inspect pipes and clean up clogs.  For example, irrigation water was flooding homes along Bear Lake Highway.  Using the camera, UDOT workers found that a property owner had run electrical equipment through the drain pipe under the road, causing enough water back-up to flood homes.

Have camera, will travel

The camera, along with a Vactor truck to clean out pipes, can be used in other UDOT regions. For more information, please call Kelly Andrew, Region One Maintenance, 801- 620-1614.  The camera has been such a great advantage that another camera is being purchased for statewide use.
Kelly

Kelly views images of the interior of the pipe on video equipment housed inside the trailer. He uses the camera's Laser to measure the joints and shifts the camera lens to view all angles. Kelly and Lloyd were glad see that the 50-60 year-old pipe is in good shape with no obstructions.

May 18th, 2010

UDOT’s DDI: A diamond in the rough

No Comments, Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.
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

An organization dedicated to best practices in the Design-Build method of project delivery has given the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) top honors.

The poster shows the growth of UDOT Design-Build from 6% in 2007 to 40% in 2009.

UDOT has received the 2010 Transportation Owner of the Year Award from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).  As a project owner, “UDOT has consistently reaped the benefits of both innovation and high value,” according to the DBIA.

“Throughout the process of developing its design-build program, UDOT implemented a variety of best practices that helped to ensure success, including clearly identifying risks and assigning appropriately to the Design-Build Team or the Owner, emphasizing and clearly stating the criteria RFP, and creating a transparent selection process.” (Read the entire DBIA award text here.)

Many people at UDOT have contributed says Randy Park, UDOT Director of Project Development. “The DBIA Owner of the Year Award is a great honor for the Department, and is a result of so many people in all areas of our Department.  They have utilized Design Build for all types of projects, and have been innovative in maximizing the benefits that it provides in project delivery.  This award is yet another example of the thinking out of the box, and making us a leader in the transportation industry.”
The U.S. 89 bridges moving southward near I-15. Building bridges off-site then moving the new structures into place is one way UDOT minimizes travel delay and inconvenience for the traveling public

Bridges that are replaced quickly save time and money for road users. In this image, the two U.S 89 Bridges are under construction before being moved into place. Requirements that contractors minimize construction related travel delay are included in many Design-Build contracts.

May 12th, 2010

Maintenance Matters

No Comments, Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.

UDOT maintenance workers are responsible for upkeep on state roads. This video integrates media stories and other images to show the great job UDOT Maintenance workers do to ensure the safety of the traveling public.

May 10th, 2010

Innovative UDOT leader works for Zero

2 Comments, Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.

Engineer Robert Hull shares award for traffic safety efforts

Robert Hull of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and David Beach of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) are co-recipients of an award given for their leadership in establishing inter-agency safety programs. Governor Gary Herbert presented the Governor’s Awards for Excellence today. Robert and David won in the Innovation and Efficiency category.

“This award is really about the partnership between UDOT and the Utah Department of Public Safety,” says Robert, who is a Traffic and Safety Engineer at UDOT.

Pictured left to right: UDOT Director John Njord, David Beach, Robert Hull and Commissioner of Public Safety Lance Davenport. At the event: “These dedicated and hard-working public servants are the backbone of state government,” said the Governor of all recipients. “Utah is consistently recognized as being among the best managed states in the nation, and state employees are an integral part of that.”

According to nominator Mark Panos, Deputy Director of the DPS Highway Safety Office, David and Robert “jointly realized that  there was a real opportunity to have a larger effect in promoting traffic safety in Utah.” The two began to plan and manage resources to implement safety projects nine years ago.

Some of the innovations pioneered by Robert and David include:

  • A strategic planning organization, the Safety Leadership Team, made up of representatives of state agencies with a stake in traffic safety
  • A public/private working group that has enacted safety programs as efficiently as possible
  • The shared public information campaign Zero Fatalities

Robert and David’s efforts have been copied in other states as a best practice models.

“This plan has led to an unprecedented focus on safety through the Zero Fatalities program and through Robert’s leadership,” says John Njord, director of UDOT.  ”The results have been telling, with fatalities trending downward and reaching a 35-year low last year alone.”

Robert knows that one fatality is one too many, and is committed to “positive movement toward our goal of Zero Fatalities” through continued cooperation with DPS.

The Governor’s Awards for Excellence are presented annually to recognize the contributions of state employees in the categories of energy and environment, innovation and efficiency, leadership, and outstanding public service.