Friday, October 25, 2013

ARTBA Rolls Out Traffic Control Manual For Mobile Devices

One of the transportation industry’s most heavily used publications — the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) — is available for the first time on Apple mobile devices through the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). 

Published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the MUTCD defines the standards by which public and private transportation professionals install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways and bikeways, providing guidance on the types of shapes, colors, and fonts, and installation methods that should be used in road markings and signs, as well as standards by which all U.S. traffic control devices must conform. 

Steve McGough, chairman of ARTBA’s Transportation Design Construction & Management Innovation Council, and the chief operating officer of Sugarland, Texas-based HCSS, says the e-book will allow road managers nationwide to access critical safety information via their smart phones or tablets right on the job site, or in the office. “This is the latest in an ongoing series of ARTBA innovations that are designed to help industry firms and public agencies operate more efficiently,” McGough explained in a press release.

Read the rest of the story here.

Integrating Roadside Vegetation and Erosion Control

Integrated roadside management programs are being adopted at state and county road agencies because they combine the multiple missions of vegetation management, roadside beautification, motorist safety, erosion control and roadway appurtenance maintenance into one package. 

By combining these missions, economies of scale are achieved and long-term results can be achieved. Like pavement and bridge preservation programs, or other asset management programs, roadside management programs can help administrators decide what outcomes will be best for a particular stretch of highway, and following a timeline, help the agency work toward that outcome over a period of years. 

Gone are the days when roadside management meant just periodic mowing and spraying of weeds, biannual regrading of shoulders, and sporadic visits to sedimented drainage ditches with a wheel excavator. Today’s integrated plans incorporate these elements into a “tool box” of additional treatments or actions that are programmed over time for the best impact on the system and expenses.

Read the rest of the story here.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kafka On Operating An Excavator While Drunk

Franz Kafka was without doubt one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. He was also a bureaucrat who wrote about “the perils of excavating in quarries while drunk.” 

The writer of The Metamorphosis, The Trial and The Castle dealt with some seriously disturbing stuff in the human mind. The bureaucrat worked in worker’s compensation. 

In Franz Kafka: The Office Writings, we look into his at-the-office mind, one, you would have to think, that was a little more humdrum than the other one. Kafka, who died in 1924, was a  lawyer with the Workmen’s Accident Insurance Institute in the Czech department  of the sprawling Austro-Hungarian empire. 

Enjoy the rest of the story at Better Roads.

Tennessee DOT Launches SmartWay Mobile App

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has launched the TDOT SmartWay Mobile App, which helps drivers navigate Tennessee highways and provides up-to-the-minute customized traffic information. The TDOT SmartWay App is free and available for download in the Apple App Store and Play Store for Android. 

“We are excited to be able to provide this tool for motorists, especially on the eve of one of the busiest travel days of the year,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “The features we’re providing can help travelers avoid congestion and have a safer drive to their holiday destinations.” 

The home screen for the TDOT SmartWay App is a map, which will locate your current position. Users will see icons on the left hand side of the map for traffic speeds, incidents, cameras, road construction, road conditions, and dynamic message signs. Map views can be customized by simply clicking on those icons.

Read the rest of the story here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Distressed Toll Roads: Opportunities And Challenges For Restructuring

What do the Pocahontas Parkway (Richmond, Va., vicinity), South Bay Expressway (San Diego, Calif.) and Indiana Toll Road have in common? 

All are toll road projects that are currently undergoing or have been through a restructuring – or even bankruptcy.  While traditional restructuring tools are certainly available in restructuring toll road deals, toll road restructurings also present unique considerations that warrant special attention. 

Toll road revenues have been adversely affected by the economic recession and  rising gas prices, which drove down traffic overall.  The availability of alternative, free public roads has also dissuaded drivers from using toll roads.  In some instances, toll roads have not achieved revenue projections because they were built in anticipation of new housing and commercial developments that never materialized.

Read the rest of the story here.

How Distracted Is Your Driving? New Simulation Lab Can Tell

Researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) are trying to figure out how much eating, entertainment and navigation systems in cars distract drivers, and the university’s new $1.3 million Driving Simulation Laboratory could help.

This new 5,800-square-foot research facility is a partnership between Ohio State, Honda R&D Americas, Inc., and the Ohio Supercomputer Center.

The new $1.3 million Ohio State University Driving Simulation Laboratory will be the most technologically-sophisticated lab of its kind in Ohio and will help researchers learn more about distracted drivers and how to prevent distractions.

Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ohio DOT To Save Big On Road Salt This Winter

The Ohio Department of Transportation and municipalities across the state can expect to save about $5 million on road salt costs this winter. 

That’s because, according to a Columbus Dispatch report, the cost of road salt dropped this year to an average of $35.83 per ton — down from $40.91 per ton last year and $54.02 per ton in 2011. 

The Dispatch reports that ODOT will likely need  to purchase about 1.1 million tons of road salt this season. The agency is expected to save more than $5 million compared to last year and more than $20 million compared to costs in 2011.

Read the rest of the story at Better Roads.

How One Firm Successfully Expanded Its Paving Operations

Until a few years ago, TC Construction Company Inc. was primarily an underground utility contractor that mixed in a little bit of everything else. Its offerings included wet and dry utilities; water and wastewater pumping stations; and small grading work. The firm even did some paving — mostly trench patching. 

In 2006, TC turned its occasional paving efforts into a full-fledged offering: It moved into the production paving business. The Southern California firm most certainly did so with its eyes wide open. 

“Paving is a completely different animal,” says Austin Cameron, vice president of the Santee, California-based contractor. “We knew that going in.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Nevada Law: It's OK To Run A Red Light

Tired of waiting for a red light to turn green? Now, if you’re a motorcyclist in Nevada, a new law makes it legal to run red lights. 

The law allows those on lightweight two- and three-wheeled vehicles to go on red if a traffic light doesn’t change within two cycles, according to an MSN Autos online report. 

However, there are some stipulations. (There always are, aren’t there?) 

The rider must first come to a complete stop. The rider also must sit at an intersection for at least two light cycles and there can be no other vehicles around at the time, according to the MSN report. 

Behind the law is the reasoning that motorcycles don’t always have the needed weight to trigger traffic light sensors in pavement. 

About a dozen other states already allow two- and three-wheeled vehicles to go through red lights, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Nebraska, according to the report.

Doosan DX63-3 and DX85R-3 excavators feature blade float for excavating, filling

Doosan has launched its Tier 4 compliant DX63-3 and DX85R-3 excavators, our sister site, Equipment World, reports. 

The 6.3-metric-ton DX63-3 compact excavator features a conventional tail swing and has a 13-foot, 6-inch dig depth; an operating weight of 13,779 pounds; an 11.6-inch tail swing overhang; 5,767 foot-pounds of arm force; and 9,731 foot-pounds of bucket force.

The 8.5-metric-ton DX85R-3 features a reduced tail swing and has an operating weight of 18,960 pounds; an overhang width of 91 inches; a tail overhang of 5.8 inches; 14,509 foot-pounds of breakout force; 8,069 foot-pounds of arm force; and a 15-foot 6-inch dig depth. 

Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Crews uncover slew of historical artifacts in construction of Britain’s Crossrail commuter line

While tunneling for the 13-mile underground section of Britain’s 73-mile, $23 billion Crossrail commuter line, crews uncovered about 2,000 years-worth of historical artifacts, according to a report from our sister site, Equipment World.

The crews found the artifacts about 16 to 20 feet below ground. 

“This site is a rare, perhaps unprecedented opportunity,” Nick Elsden, a Museum of London archaeologist, told the AP. “This is a major roadway outside one of London’s busiest railway stations. You don’t get to dig that up normally.” 

Read the rest off the story here:

Crews uncover slew of historical artifacts in construction of Britain’s Crossrail commuter line

Friday, September 20, 2013

Texas A&M Transportation Institute to set bollard standards

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) is working on a solution to vehicles crashing into buildings. 

The institute announced last month that it is looking for a way to strengthen of the concrete poles known as bollards that are designed to act as a barrier between vehicles and buildings. 

According to TTI, about 20 vehicles crash into a building each day in the United States — which amounts to 7,300 incidents annually — with 70 percent involving convenience stores, restaurants or other businesses.

Read the rest of the story here:

Texas A&M Transportation Institute to set bollard standards

Massachusetts moves forward with all-electronic tolling plan

Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick and his administration are moving forward with a $250 million plan that would replace toll collectors in the state with all-electronic tolling, according to a report from The Republican. 

In addition to the push for all-electronic tolling, officials are working on a plan that would reinstate passenger-vehicle tolls between Exits 1 and 6, beginning October 15. State legislators approved a law in July that allows the change to happen.

Read the rest of the story here:

Massachusetts moves forward with all-electronic tolling plan

Thursday, September 19, 2013

TxDOT delays gravel road plan

The Texas Department of Transportation has put on hold a plan to convert some rural asphalt roads to gravel, according to a report from The San Antonio Express-News.

Senator Carlos Uresti (D-Texas) said Tuesday that TxDOT officials decided on a 60-day delay in some of the planned conversions after state lawmakers raised concerns about the plan. 

Read the rest of the story here:

TxDOT delays gravel road plan

Industry professionals need to advocate infrastructure improvements, says APWA Congress speaker Larry Frevert

Earlier this year, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave America a D+ on its Report Card on American Infrastructure. 

The report outlined that funding is currently $1.6 trillion below what is needed to repair and maintain the nation’s failing infrastructure system by 2020, and it is $201 million short annually to make those repairs. And according to the society’s Failure to Act Report, which looks at “the impact of current infrastructure on America’s economic future,” the U.S. is projected to lose a total of 3.4 million jobs by 2020 if America doesn’t invest in its infrastructure.

Read the rest of the story here:

Industry professionals need to advocate infrastructure improvements, says APWA Congress speaker Larry Frevert

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman: ‘Average is over’

Best-selling author and New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman spoke Sunday in front of a group of public works professionals about the challenges posed by globalization, changing technology, deficits and energy consumption. 

During his session at the American Public Works Association (APWA) Congress and Exposition, Friedman noted that within a seven-year span at the start of the 21st Century, people went from simply being connected to being hyper-connected.  

Read the rest of the story here:

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman: ‘Average is over’

VIDEO: New Electric Car Folds To Park

A new electric car from Korea folds itself up when parked.  The car is designed for personal and  public transit use.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

VIDEO: Amtrak offers electric locomotive facility preview, discusses new train’s power

Amtrak on Wednesday offered Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) a preview of its Wilmington Maintenance Facility, where the company is testing its new electric locomotives, according to Delaware’s WDDE.

The facility is in the final stages of testing the Siemens-manufactured Amtrak Cities Sprinter (ACS-64), which debuted in Sacramento, California, in May. Amtrak ordered 70 of the locomotives in 2010 for $466 million and expects to replace the entire electric fleet in the Northeast Corridor with the new trains by 2016.

See the video here:

VIDEO: Amtrak offers electric locomotive facility preview, discusses new train’s power

Nation’s First Rural Bus Rapid Transit System Opens In Colorado

The VelociRFTA Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line opened last week in the Roaring Forks Valley region of Colorado. 

The system is the first rural BRT line in nation and will allow commuters in the Glenwood Springs area to travel about 40 miles to Aspen in an hour — half the travel time of a traditional bus.

Read the rest of the story at Better Roads.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Five Projects Receive Southern Regional America’s Transportation Awards

Five transportation projects have won awards in the sixth annual southern regional America’s Transportation Awards competition. 

The competition, sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, recognizes transportation projects in three main categories: “Ahead of Schedule,” “Under Budget” and “Best Use of Innovation.” The projects were also ranked by size: small category (projects that cost less than $25 million), medium category (projects costing between $25-$200 million) and large category (projects that cost  more than $200 million). 

Seven transportation projects were nominated. Read all about them here.

Video: Largest Self-Anchored Suspension Bridge

More on the Bay Bridge Project:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Top 5 Cities For Electric Cars

You have probably heard of certain cities which have particularly high electric car ownership rates, often due to their generous incentives. Can you name which five cities have over 50% of the electric cars sold in the US?

See the list and the rest of the story here.

Fun With Road Signs

While running the Emerald City Half Marathon in Dublin, Ohio, in late August, I managed to pass the miles by reading the amusing signs spectators made to cheer on friends and family – and the funny signs that some runners wore themselves. (I love wearing my shirt that bears the phrase, “In my dreams, I am a Kenyan.” Translation: In my dreams when I run a marathon, I’m crossing the finish line in all my glory, still standing upright not hobbling, in a little more than two hours. The amazing Kenyan runner, Samuel Wanjiru, who won the Chicago Marathon when I ran it in both 2009 and 2010, finished in 2:05:41 and 2:06:23, respectively. Let’s just say, my time was more than double his time.

Some of my favorite signs from the race included here for the rest of the story.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Opens On Labor Day

Despite an announcement earlier this summer that the East Span of San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge would not open as scheduled on Labor Day, the $6.4 billion span began carrying drivers late Monday night, according to a report from The Sacramento Bee.

The 2,047-foot span has been under construction for more than a decade. The project has been criticized for problems with its design, budget, timeliness and more, but it has also garnered praise for becoming the world’s largest self-anchored suspension (SAS) bridge.

Check out the video here to see a 4-minute time lapse of more than 42,000 hours of construction of the bridge.

Standard Cost Categories for Capital Projects

In 2005 FTA implemented the Standard Cost Categories, to establish a consistent format for the reporting, estimating, and managing of capital costs for New Starts projects. The cost information gathered from projects across the country has been developed into a database (the Capital Cost Database), a cost estimating resource useful to FTA and the transit industry alike. The SCC Workbook is a project management tool -- project-based as opposed to grant-based.

Read the rest of the article here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bergkamp Introduces Spray Injection Patcher Pothole Patching Solutions

Bergkamp has introduced its SP5, SP8 and SPT Spray Injection Patcher pothole patching solutions, which are designed to be quick, safe and economical options.

The truck-mounted SP5 and SP8 Spray Injection Patchers feature a dual chamber (60/40) aggregate hopper that allows for distribution of two grades of aggregate, as well as an automatic operation option that allows for in-cab operations in addition to on-ground manual operations.

The trailer-mounted SPT comes standard with manual operations.

A front-mounted boom provides a working radius of up to 13 feet on the SP5 and SP8 patchers.

Read the rest of the story at Better Roads.

Transportation Secretary Foxx names new chief of staff

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has named former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as his new chief of staff, according to a report from The Hill. 

Foxx also appointed former aide to Emanuel, Sarah Feinberg, to help run the department. Feinberg has also previously served as a D.C. representative for Facebook and Bloomberg LP

Read the rest of the story:

Transportation Secretary Foxx names new chief of staff

Weirdest U.S. Driving Laws

Weirdest U.S. Driving Laws

Transportation Sector Gains 12,000 Jobs in August

Transportation employment grew by 12,000 jobs to 4,463,500 in August, according to a report from The Hill. The figures come from statistics released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which showed that the transportation sector’s growth joins gains of 160,000 jobs in the U.S. economy. 

Additionally, unemployment was down 7.3 percent. Transit and ground transportation experienced the highest number of gains, growing from 446,200 jobs in July to 453,800 jobs in August — an increase of 7,600 jobs. - 

Read the rest of the story at Better Roads.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Data Mining Course: Sept 9-10

Elder Research is presenting a 2-day course, “Tools for Discovering Patterns in Data: Extracting Value from Tables, Text, and Links,” on September 9-10 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Drawing on 20 years of experience, Dr. John Elder will explain techniques employed by experts to solve challenging problems.

The course description can be found here:

Attendees will receive the 864-page book, Handbook of Statistical Analysis and Data Mining Applications, by Drs. Nisbet, Elder, and Miner, winner of the 2009 PROSE Award in Mathematics.  It includes fully functional (limited time) data mining software from SAS, IBM/SPSS, and StatSoft.

This course describes powerful analytic methods for classification and estimation drawn from Statistics and Data Mining.  Dr. Elder will explain leading algorithms, compare their merits, and demonstrate their effectiveness on practical applications.  We'll review classical statistical techniques, and outline how they are modified and combined into modern methods.  The course emphasizes practical advice and the essential techniques of Resampling, Visualization, and Ensembles.  Actual scientific and business examples illustrate techniques employed by expert analysts.  Key aspects of mining text and links will also be outlined, and major strengths of leading commercial software tools for Data Mining will be compared.

Space is limited, so reserve your place now!  To register, call 434-973-7673, or download a registration form. You can also register online.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

UVA TTA Access Management Comments

We recently received the following letter regarding our latest Access Management course offerings:

Dr. Emily Parkany,

I want to thank you and everyone associated with the Transportation Training Academy for offering the two Access Management workshops this summer (July in Fairfax; August in Roanoke).  As VDOT’s access management administrator I help with the workshops by making a presentation on VDOT’s specific access management regulations and standards on the second day of the session.  Over the years we have consistently attracted good participation (usually around 20) and received favorable comments. 

Offering the training helps District land development review staff, private sector transportation engineering consultants, and local government transportation planners obtain a thorough understanding of access management techniques and VDOT’s regulations and standards.

In 2007 the General Assembly instructed the Commissioner to implement access management regulations/standards (§33.1-198.1 of the Code of Virginia).  Both Governor Kaine and Governor McDonnell have been supportive of the program recognizing that managing access to state highways can reduce traffic congestion, enhance public safety, reduce the need for new highways and road widening, and preserve the public investment in existing highways.  Please see VDOT’s access management web page for an overview at

I hope you will continue to schedule the Access Management Workshops periodically throughout Virginia.  I would suggest consideration be given to conducting one in Hampton Roads and one in either Richmond or Charlottesville this winter and 2014.

Best regards,

Paul Grasewicz, AICP

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

UVA TTA Upcoming Fairfax Workshops

The Transportation Training Academy is bringing several workshops to the Fairfax area in August, including our popular Project Management workshop.  Space is limited so sign up today!

For class and registration information please see our workshop announcement.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

UVA TTA Upcoming Roanoke Workshops

The Transportation Training Academy is bringing several workshops to the Roanoke area in August.  Space is limited so sign up today!

For class and registration information please see our workshop announcement.

Friday, August 2, 2013

MATC Structural Health Monitoring & Nondestructive Evaluation Workshop & Webinar

You are invited to attend the MATC Structural Health Monitoring and Nondestructive Evaulation Workshop and Webinar!  To be held online and in person on the Missouri University of Science and Technology Campus. This event is FREE and open to all interested transportation professionals. 

The goal of this workshop/webinar is to introduce, review, and present various nondestructive evaluation and sensing technologies to research and engineering communities. The applications of some of the advanced technologies in highway bridges are illustrated with case studies. Participants of this workshop/webinar will understand various state-of-the-art and state-of-practice developments in nondestructive evaluation and structural health monitoring.

Please visit the workshop website for agenda and speaker information.

Crews Complete Oregon's Whilamut Passage Bridge Four Months Early

Crews completed construction last week of the northbound Interstate 5 Whilamut Passage Bridge over the Willamette River in Eugene, Oregon.

The bridge, which was completed four months ahead of schedule, is expected to reduce congestion and improve freight movement in the area.

“The new I-5 bridge will help drivers get home sooner and relieve freight congestion for businesses, while also maintaining the beautiful Alton Baker Park, including the Whilamut Natural Area,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at the bridge’s ceremonial ribbon-cutting last week. “Equally important, by finishing the bridge four months early, we saved taxpayers money and delivered important benefits even faster.”

Read the rest of the story at the Better Roads Website.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Newest Issue of ARTBA Washington Newsline Now Available

Stay up-to-date by checking out the latest issue of Washington Newsline.

Free ARTBA Webinar: What Email Solution is Right For You?

Email is a “must-have” for any organization. Unfortunately, there is a cost involved, and at times it can be very high. Learn about the reasons for choosing between an “owned exchange,” a “hosted exchange,” and Google Mail, and find out which option is right for your organization during this informative, interactive, 60-minute August 8 webinar led by IT expert Josh McDonald of HCSS. There is no charge to participate.

For more information and to register for this event see the full announcement here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Colorado I-70 Bridge Replacement Finished Ahead of Schedule (Video)

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reopened Interstate 70 on Monday morning following a weekend of bridge work. 

CDOT announced the section of road, located between Interstate 25 and Federal Boulevard, opened approximately 4.5 hours ahead of schedule. 

More than 1,000 visited the viewing area over the weekend to watch more than 100 crew members work Friday through Sunday to demolish the old Pecos Street bridge and install the new, 2,400-ton pre-cast bridge.

Read the rest of the story and see a time-lapse video of the construction at the Better Roads website.

Beat The Heat (and other transportation problems) With Some Thinking

Just what can extreme heat do to our transportation infrastructure? Quite a lot. 

What the current heat wave hovering over large portions of the country can do is not only disrupt travellers but also damage roadways and rails. 

You’d have to wonder if the aging state of the infrastructure actually gives the superheat a chance to do even more damage.

Read the rest of the story at the Better Roads website.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Park-O-Meter Turns 78

On July 16, 1935, in Oklahoma City, parking changed forever. 

There, on the sidewalk, the parking motorist found a new contraption. The parking meter had arrived. Thank you, Carl C. Magee. 

No more free parking, not even parking under time limit signs, but pay up front and make sure you don’t forget to feed it or get back in time. It made policing parking easy so it helped fill the coffers of a lot of American cities over the years. 

Read the rest of the story at the Better Roads website.

CDOT Uses Child’s Perspective to Demonstrate Proper Lane Merging

The Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a new series of messages to inform drivers about the “late merge,” a lane merging technique aimed at reducing traffic delays through construction zones.

CDOT’s late merge messages, which consist of highway signs and an online video, emphasize travelers’ use of all open lanes until a work zone’s actual merge point.

Read the rest of the story and see the video at the Better Roads website.

Friday, July 26, 2013

FHWA Pushes Dynamic Management of Transportation Networks

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is trying to help agencies strapped for transportation infrastructure funding dollars. One way FHWA says it is doing this is by “working to promote a dynamic approach to manage the transportation network.” 

Which means? 

According to FHWA: 

“The approach seeks to optimize performance and increase efficiency throughout the entire trip chain as seen from the traveler’s perspective. Termed Active Transportation and Demand Management (ATDM), the program advances the ability to manage, control, and influence travel demand, traffic demand, and traffic flow of transportation facilities.” 

Read the rest of the story at the Better Roads website.

Japan’s road construction signs are cute cartoon animals

Here in the U.S., we’ve been seeing innovations that save time and money, increase driver safety, raise awareness about construction crews and make other improvements to highway construction. But in Japan, a different and adorable kind of innovation is showing up at highway construction sites. Road construction crews in Japan have begun using animal-shaped barricades (also used as traffic signs) that look like they belong on a playground instead of a construction site. According to Kotaku, the “character barricades,” collaboratively designed by Asahiyama Zoo in Hokkaido and rental company Sendaimeiban, started making appearances in 2006 and have since become popular on job sites across Japan. - 

See more at the Better Roads website.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Safe Electricity Shares Important Outdoor Safety Tips

When the weather is nice, it is fun-and healthy-to stretch the legs and enjoy time outside. With the official start of summer on June 21, outdoor activities-baseball games, cookouts, and more-are in full swing. While it's good that we get fresh air and sunshine, make sure all family members are aware of potential hazards to keep outdoor fun safe.
"Make sure your family has a talk about staying safe. This includes safety during storms and safety around power lines and other electrical equipment-including pad mounted transformers, those green metal boxes that contain the above ground portion of an underground electrical installation," says Molly Hall, executive director of the Safe Electricity program. "These cabinets carry high voltages and are safe when locked, but they can be deadly if someone reaches inside. If you see one in your neighborhood that is open, call authorities and your utility immediately."

Take a moment to go over these tips at the Safe Electricity website.

Palm Beach County man invents way to save traffic signals from hurricanes

Those traffic signals that smashed to the ground, broke and fell apart while being flung to and fro by hurricane-force winds perplexed state traffic engineers and academics.
The wholesale failure of many of the state's traffic signals in 2004 and 2005 during eight back-to-back hurricanes, including Jeanne, Francis and Wilma in South Florida, had them scrambling to come up with new ways to make signals more stable. And save the state millions of dollars in repair costs.
Read the rest of the story here...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Amazing ERO Concrete-Recycling Robot Can Erase Entire Buildings

Demolition is a messy business—not only does the process require heavy machinery and produce clouds of dust, but it also results in giant piles of rubble that often head straight for the landfill. Omer Haciomeroglu, a student at Sweden’s UmeĆ„ Institute of Design has designed Ero – a robot that recycles concrete in an energy-efficient manner and separates it from rebar and other debris on the spot. The project won the 2013 International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the Student Designs category.

Read more about this story here....

Dutch Scientists Invent Smog-Eating Pavement to Help Clean the Air

In urban areas, both smog and pavement seem to dominate the landscape. While the two may seem like separate and distinct elements of the city ecosystem, the air and ground could potentially be linked together to help reduce overall pollution. Dutch scientists from the Eindhoven University of Technology  have invented a new method to clear the atmosphere by treating paving blocks with titanium oxide. The special “photocatalytic pavement” was amazingly able to cut smog in half compared to a control.

Read the rest of the story here...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Newest Issue of Better Roads eRoad Pro Daily Now online

In this issue, Six projects receive mid America regional America's Transportation Awards, Senate to consider DOT, HUD spending bill and much more!

View all these stores at the Better Roads website.

International Road Federation Online Moduals

Enhance your environmental knowledge by following the Environmental Management and Urban Design online learning tool. Developed by the New Zealand Transport Agency, and based on the New Zealand frameworks, this series of learning modules offers you insights in project specific strategies and planning, real world case studies, public relation, construction and maintenance of green road development in urban settings.

View all of their offerings at their website.

Monday, July 22, 2013

NJ LTAP Presents: Winter Operations/Snow and Ice Control

It’s not too soon to think about how you will tackle the snow and ice challenges of the 2013-2014 winter season. Managing winter operations and snow and ice control requires that those involved have a broad and diverse knowledge base. The ability to plan and prepare, train available staff and to make quick critical decisions are requirements of a successful manager/supervisor involved in these activities. This presentation will focus on the following:
  • Planning and developing policy for winter operations
  • Snow and ice control chemicals and materials
      • Applying the right materials at the right time and right place
      • Environmental impacts
  • Equipment needs
  • Weather and pavement forecasting services
  • Snow and ice control strategies
  • Preparing and utilizing snow and ice control chemical/material treatment plans
  • Personnel resources and training

Safety Link- Smart, Safe & Sober

Smart, Safe & Sober is a comprehensive statewide partnership aimed at reducing traffic fatalities. It is a joint effort of local law enforcement, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Highway Safety Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia Department of State Police, the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, and DRIVE SMART Virginia.
Through education and awareness on seat belt use, public service announcements, community events, and high visibility enforcement by state and local law enforcement, the SSS program helps to save lives on Virginia’s highways.

Visit Smart, Safe & Sober today!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

VDOT Dashboard

Take a moment to see how VDOT is doing by check out the VDOT Dashboard.  The Dashboard is a performance reporting system for VDOT projects and programs.

Intermediate Work Zone Traffic Control Training- July 23-24 Midlothian, VA

UVA TTA is please to announce that it will be presenting the workshop "Intermediate Work Zone Traffic Control" in Midlothian, VA on July 23-24.

Federal requirements now instruct state and local governments to train personnel in work zone traffic control relevant to the job decisions that each individual is required to make. This workshop provides training needed to properly install and monitor work zones for construction and maintenance projects for long-term (greater than three consecutive days) operations. 

This course also provides comprehensive training on work zone standards, guidelines, installations and removal procedures, inspection, liability, documentation and supervisory skills. Several workshops included in this course are designed to provide hands-on experience implementing and modifying temporary traffic control plans for various real-life situations. It also teaches how to recognize, analyze, correct, and document deficiencies. At the conclusion of this workshop, a short open-book written exam will be administered to all attendees. 

A VDOT-issued training card will be given to each attendee who achieves a passing grade of 80% or higher.

Please visit the  UVA TTA website to register.

Transportation Training Academy Workshops

The Transportation Training Academy has released its schedule through the end of August.  Take a moment to visit our workshops page and see what we have to offer!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

LTAP TTAP July Newsletter

The July edition of the LTAP TTAP Newsletter is now available online- plenty of information on the upcoming national conference, stories of interest, resources and upcoming LTAP events.

Montana LTAP Webinars

The Montana LTAP has a great library of webinars on it's website.  These compromise the state's safety webinars from 2011-2013.  The Transportation Training Academy recommends taking a few moments and checking out what they have available.

Head over to the Montana LTAP Webinar website and see what's available!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Pavement Preservation Journal Available Online

The latest Pavement Preservation Journal is now available online.  The jam-packed Summer 2013 issue includes reports on the thinning of concrete overlays, FP2's involvement in the Preservation Study at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT), asset management in a Colorado city, and the use of ground-penetrating radar to assess airport runway structure.

These and other articles are available here.

ARTBA Launches Grassroots-Focused Video, Website

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has launched its latest educational video and website, with a goal of teaching transportation design and construction professionals about how to become involved in the political process and infrastructure policy debates....

Read the rest of the story at