If all roads led to Rome at the height of the Roman Empire, all roads in Utah lead to elevated economic prosperity and a higher quality of life in our state today.
This theme was prevalent throughout the Utah Department of Transportation’s Annual Conference. UDOT announced a new vision, mission statement, logo, and changes to its strategic goals during the conference—all aimed at improving Utah and keeping people safe.
On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Executive Director Carlos Braceras announced UDOT’s vision is “Keeping Utah Moving.” This simple statement is a powerful reminder of the department’s purpose and the goal employees, consultants, and contractors should be working toward every day.
“With our growing population and changing demographics, we need to keep our state moving,” Braceras said. “Whether it’s building new roads, repairing old ones, taking phone calls or holding meetings, it’s all aimed at Keeping Utah Moving.”
Innovating transportation solutions to strengthen Utah’s economy and enhance quality of life.
Braceras explained that the department has based its direction and performance for years on Strategic Goals (Preserve Infrastructure, Optimize Mobility, Zero Fatalities, Strengthen the Economy); however, until this year it hasn’t had a vision or a mission statement.
As Utah looks ahead to a rapidly growing population, expected to almost double in the next 35 years, the entire state must begin anticipating solutions for Utah’s infrastructure and economy. Change can either be a problem or an opportunity. Braceras argues that for Utah, it’s an opportunity to reinforce Utah’s position as one of the country’s best places to live.
“Quality of life is the essence of what makes living in Utah so attractive,” Braceras said. “I’ve made Utah home for 34 years because I can buy a house, get a job, and enjoy the outdoors I love. That, combined with the strong state economy, is what will keep me here the rest of my life.”
Braceras, who’s been a career-long champion of safety, also announced moving Zero Fatalities to the department’s top strategic goal, but with a twist.
“Nothing that we do is more important than safety. Zero is our number one goal. Zero fatalities. Zero crashes. Zero injuries,” Braceras said.
While UDOT will continue aggressively educating drivers on habits that will decrease the amount of fatalities on Utah’s roads, focus will also be on keeping everybody within UDOT safe as well. That goes for accountants as much as it does construction workers, he said.
Deputy Director Shane Marshall announced one final change to UDOT’s direction: the emphasis area of Operational Excellence has been eliminated, reducing the number of emphasis areas from six to five (Integrated Transportation, Collaboration, Education, Transparency, Quality).
Marshall explained, “The motivating forces behind the emphasis areas of both Quality and Operational Excellence were very similar. Both areas focus on a value we all share very strongly: the desire to be good stewards of taxpayer money.
If you define part of our Quality emphasis area as “Continued Process Improvement,” then Operational Excellence can fit right into Quality.”
The updated vision, mission, emphasis areas, strategic goals and core values are available on UDOT’s new web app. This tool was unveiled at the UDOT Annual Conference, and Braceras explained there are plans to expand its functionality in the future.
For now, the web app is a helpful resource for reference as employees, consultants, contractors and partners work together in their efforts to Keep Utah Moving.