Author: Becky Parker

New Mobile App: UDOT Click ‘n Fix

Photo of iPhone Click 'n Fix appDid you know that 630 UDOT maintenance employees take care of nearly 6,000 miles of highway around Utah? It’s true, and they do an excellent job of finding and fixing issues before most of us even notice. However, with that many roads, we can help them by keeping an eye out for problems and letting them know about it. To make submitting service requests as easy as possible, we’ve implemented a new iPhone and Android app called UDOT Click ‘n Fix.

UDOT Click ‘n Fix allows anyone to report an issue by dropping a pin on a map at the location of the problem. It also allows others to see everything that has been reported and to add their own comments or follow the issue to receive notifications.

Once the location is selected Click ‘n Fix asks a few follow up questions to help crews understand what needs to be fixed. Submitted issues are sent to UDOT crews and a response is posted as soon as possible.

Keep in mind, UDOT will only be able to help with issues on federal interstates and state highways like Bangerter Highway (S.R. 154) and State Street (U.S. 89). Also, while safety is our top priority, this tool is for non-emergency purposes.

To use UDOT Click ‘n Fix, download the iPhone or Android app or visit the UDOT website and use the embedded widget.

See the desktop tutorial:

See a mobile tutorial at KUTV.com:

Employee Advisory Council November 2014 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Council met November 3, 2014. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • Overtime
  • Communicating Meeting Informaiton to Groups
  • Team Building and Morale Issues
  • Training and Conferences
  • Learning from Other States
  • Department Safety Initiative

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC November 2014 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

Employee Advisory Council

A Day in the Life of UDOT Region Three

Region Three recently held a photo contest and the results included several fantastic images that show a variety of tasks that have taken place throughout Daggett, Duchesne, Juab, Uintah, Utah, and Wasatch counties.

Region Three Director, Teri Newell, provided the following thank you to all photo contest participants in the Region Three Fall 2014 Newsletter:

“Pictures of our everyday work help tell the story of what we do. Construction projects are visible to the public when it impacts traffic, but there is so much more that we do behind the scenes! From installing and maintaining culverts to clearing tumbleweeds from roadsides, it is our day-to-day work that makes Utah’s transportation system function. We have the privilege of working in some pretty amazing places with great people!”

Contest winners were:

  • Bandon Warenski for his photo of  burning weeds on S.R. 68.
  • Chad Allinson for his video clip of the tumbleweeds on S.R. 68.
  • Brian Allen for his photo series of Provo Canyon.

Honorable mentions include:

  • Leslie Beck for photos of tumbleweed clean-up along S.R. 73.
  • Mote Siufanua for photos of compaction testing on Hole Road.
  • Chad Cowan for photos of culvert installation near Nephi.
  • Ervan Rhoades for photos of chip sealing on S.R. 87 in Duchesne County.

A slide show of the images is available below or can be seen directly on Flickr.


Created with flickr slideshow.

Employee Advisory Council August 2014 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Council met August 6, 2014. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • Performance Awards
  • Recognizing Retiring Employees
  • Employee Communication
  • Losing FTEs – Doing More with Less

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC August 2014 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

Employee Advisory Council

Employee Advisory Council April 2014 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Council met April 10, 2014. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • Discussion regarding .25 percent discretionary increase
  • New legislation from the 2014 session
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Employee recognition
  • Internal communications

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC April 2014 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

Employee Advisory Council

Employee Advisory Council January 2014 Meeting

The Employee Advisory Committee met January 16, 2014. Items that were included in the discussion included:

  • An explanation of UDOT’s funding process
  • Employee recognition program
  • Market comparability adjustments
  • Employee communication

Notes from the meeting are available below.

EAC January 2014 Summary

Information from previous meetings has also been posted on the blog.

First Meeting of the UDOT Employee Advisory Council

 

 

Little Cottonwood Communcation Tool Silver Barrel Awards

Recently Alta Mayor Tom Pollard reached out to Executive Director Carlos Braceras to express his appreciation for the Little Cottonwood Communication Tool. This tool was developed by the Traffic Operations Center and allows the Alta Marshal and other designated individuals to deliver impact and closure details regarding the road through Little Cottonwood Canyon.

“Our Marshal’s department has initiated over 160 alerts using this technology and has experienced a marked and meaningful improvement in the delivery of information related to the safety and efficient traffic flow for motorists using S.R. 210,” Mayor Pollard explained in a letter to Carlos.

UDOT leadership expressed their gratitude by presenting silver barrel awards to those involved with the project. Award recipients included:

Rob Clayton
Chuck Felice
Liam Fitzgerald
Paul Jencks
Robert Miles
Lisa Miller
Lee Nitchman
Brady Roberts

Autonomous and Connected Vehicles

What does the future hold? That question is nearly impossible to answer unless we’re talking about ways to optimize mobility and reach zero fatalities. Then, we do have a few ideas. The U.S. Department of Transportation, state DOTs and automakers have been working on connected vehicles for several years and Google and some universities have been working on autonomous vehicles. Both of these efforts will allow for the safest and most efficient transportation system we’ve ever imagined.

Photo of an intersection

Connected vehicles can improve safety at busy intersections

So, what are autonomous and connected vehicles? Autonomous vehicles use sensors and photo imagery to drive themselves. Connected vehicles would assist the driver by providing information and resources. Blaine Leonard, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program Manager, explained it to me this way. When an autonomous vehicle approaches a signal it sees that it is green and that it can proceed. In comparison, a connected vehicle would have information from the signal including how long it will remain green as well as what the next signal phase is. It would even know what another unseen connected vehicle is doing down the road.

Recently the U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a rulemaking process which will ultimately mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication as standard equipment in the future. This will allow these vehicles to share information and alert a driver in order to avoid a crash. This is just the first step though. As Blaine mentioned, the next step will enable transportation infrastructure to also communicate with vehicles. The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center estimates that these technologies could save over 5 million crashes a year.

There are concerns that transportation officials and automakers haven’t forgotten about, including privacy and security. For these technologies to work correctly they must be accurate and impenetrable to common problems we face such as hackers and viruses. There is also the question of privacy which is a sensitive and personal subject for each individual. At this time vehicle communication would be anonymous.

In Utah we have technology in place that makes us well suited for these advancements. One is the LiDAR data that includes a complete picture of roadway assets along state Routes and interstates. We also have an extensive fiber optic network that allows for statewide communication.

IMT Receives Silver Barrels

Group photo of IMT with CarlosIf you’re a long time reader of our blog you already know about our Incident Management Team (IMT) and how valuable they are. You especially understand this if you’ve ever been stranded on the side of the road and they came to your rescue. Yesterday Executive Director Carlos Braceras presented IMT with silver barrel awards. Award recipients included:

Todd Abbot
Brent Beach
Bill Frashure
Nick Jarrett
David Jean
Steve Johnson
Alan Peterson
Jeff Reynolds
Curtis Sanchez
Dave Stallworth (recently retired)
Dave Tuttle
Travis White
Mark Whittaker
Ron Williams
Robert Woolsey
Matt Zwemke

Thank you to these very deserving individuals and be sure to check out the reasons why we appreciate them so much:

Job Well Done
Managing Nicely
Incident Management Teams: UDOT’s angels in white trucks provide assistance to stranded motorists

Region 4 Silver Barrel Awards

We have great employees statewide but today we want to highlight a few from the southern part of our state, Region 4. Last week region director, Rick Torgerson, presented Silver Barrel Awards to six deserving recipients.

Dale Sellers from the Hanksville Maintenance Station has always been an excellent employee but last September while covering for his ill supervisor Dale excelled. A major flooding event closed S.R. 95 and caused unsafe conditions on S.R. 24 north and west of Hanksville. Dale mobilized the crew and was able to reopen most of the areas very quickly. Dale continued to work on the clean-up for the next two weeks as well as monitored work performed by a contractor brought in to repair S.R. 95.

Kim Manwill was the project manager on the recently completed Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at milepost 8 (St. George Boulevard) on I-15. The project presented him with a new opportunity for involvement with a Design Build project. Prior to the project beginning Kim took advantage of opportunities to learn from other project managers in Region 3 in order to assure success on his project. The project included an aggressive schedule with a goal to have the interchange functioning prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Kim not only met the goal but was able to beat it by opening a week early.

Monte Aldridge, Chet Johnson and Randall Taylor assisted researches from Utah State University with their study of wildlife use of various bridges and culverts. The result of the study includes design recommendations such as culvert length and fencing that will reduce wildlife collisions. Because of their assistance the State of Utah will see substantial cost savings due to the reduced number of collisions.

Nancy Jerome is project manager for a project on U.S. 89 from Kanab to Kanab Creek. There have been many obstacles up to this point including environmental, right-of-way, public, local and business concerns as well as roadway closures and difficult constructibility issues. Nancy has been able to rise above all of these issues to meet the needs of the Department as well as the needs of the affected entities.

Congratulations to all these well deserving employees!