Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration - Momentum Newsletter
July 2018

Administrator's Message: Leading by Example: Work Zone Safety Is Always in Your Hands

Within several days time in June, there were THREE separate crashes in our work zones - one of which, on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, resulted in a fatality. The other two incidents could have ended just as tragically had it not been for attenuator vehicles on-site. Two of our mobile crews performing vegetation control and line striping maintenance might have lost their lives if these vehicles had not absorbed the impact of the crash. The narrow escape from serious injury - or worse - serves as a stark reminder to us all.

In 2017, we lost 14 lives in work-zone-related crashes - a number up from six in 2016. This is clearly not the direction we should be heading in. So please, as representatives of this agency, listen to these stories and heed the same advice we communicate to the public.

Greg Slater

Greg Slater

When driving through work zones, remember to slow down, be alert. Observe the move over law when you see emergency vehicles, tow trucks or work zone support equipment on the side of the road. Observe the posted work zone speed and avoid distractions.

Work zone safety is in YOUR hands. During this busy construction season, more and more of our maintenance and construction crews are out there working on the nearly 400 work zones across this state. This is a reminder to all of us. Lead by example. Remember, safety is our number one priority.

Our families are out there. Our fathers, sisters, sons, mothers, daughters and colleagues. We all have loved ones to get home to every night. So do they. Let's look out for each other and make sure we all arrive safely.

The Maryland One Integrated Hauling Permits System DELIVERS - No Waiting, No Fees

Modernization - The Maryland One Integrated Hauling Permits System DELIVERS - No Waiting, No Fees

With the advent of the new Maryland One System, hauling permit applications are auto-issued, saving time and money.

Everyday commercial vehicles travel on our highways to bring consumers everything they want and need. To keep Maryland open for business, MDOT SHA works hand-in-hand with commercial truck drivers and trucking companies to deliver - literally. Hauling permits allow businesses to move oversize and overweight load throughout the state. In the past, permit processing could take weeks. Thanks to a new automated, paperless system called Maryland One, Maryland businesses save money and commercial drivers save time.

In the past, the hauling permit process involved manual paper processing, which could take anywhere from a few days to weeks depending on the specifics. Maryland receives nearly 140,000 overweight/oversize permit applications each year. That's a lot of paper processing.

Thanks to Maryland One, hauling permit processing is now automated, meaning the tedious process that once required bridge engineers and motor carrier experts to analyze individually each overweight move to determine the safest route, speed and overall impact to road infrastructure is now much, much easier. Now, 99.1 percent of all applications are issued within 48 hours or less. Not to mention, Maryland One's monetary savings are tremendous: in Fiscal Year 2017, the new electronic processing system saved the State $2,169,840, while commercial industry savings reached $19,570,340. Great job Office of Traffic and Safety Motor Carrier Division!

For more information and Maryland One updates, check out MDOT SHA’s Motor Carrier Division site.

MDOT SHA Drone Update: The Office of Materials Technology (OMT) Assesses Geological Hazards With Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle

Innovation - MDOT SHA Drone Update: The Office of Materials Technology (OMT) Assesses Geological Hazards With Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle

A snapshot of MDOT SHA's first in-house Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Drone.

In previous Momentum articles, we explored OED's use of drone technology to inspect vital mitigation for MDOT SHA built environments. In an effort to monitor and map Maryland's geological hazards, OMT is now using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or drone, to expedite and improve data collection. Now OMT can safely collect aerial photos to provide high accuracy detailed aerial maps and 3D terrain models.

"Field conditions might be inaccessible or unsafe on foot. UAV technology allows us to safely collect data across the entire site. We can be onsite at a safe location collecting data and then convert that data into 3D models and other deliverables. Especially in emergency projects, this is the fastest, cheapest and safest way to collect site data," Sejal Barot, Director of OMT stated.

OMT has developed a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool for sharing UAV data as well. This is an innovative tool that will allow all MDOT users to view the various UAV deliverables (3D models, aerial maps, photos, videos, and more) for all flights in one centralized location. The tool ensures easy data sharing and collaboration across divisions and expedites data delivery.

"UAV deliverables yield fast, efficient and accurate solutions. We were able to fly immediately after the flood event in Ellicott City and - the same day - capture, process and provide all MDOT SHA deliverables. The GIS delivery platform helps us to share these deliverables across the entire agency, allowing customers and stakeholders to immediately quantify and measure hazardous site conditions," Ross Cuts, OMT's Field Manager and certified drone pilot explains.

This is an excellent example of successful collaboration and a testament to the hard work OMT and OPPE invested to make this program a reality. Considering these achievements and benefits, a UAS Task Force has been formed under the OIT Steering Committee to enhance the benefits of this new technology. Click the link if you're interested in joining the Task Force or if you'd like to know more information about how we're using drones internally.

Hampstead Streetscape Project Revolutionizes a Scooter-Bound Resident's Ride

Customer Service Experience - Hampstead Streetscape Project Revolutionizes a Scooter-Bound Resident's Ride

Marcus Liston rides along MD 30's sidewalks during the construction phase of Hampstead's Revitalization Project.

The crumbled sidewalks that line Hampstead's Main Street pose a problem for four-year resident, Marcus Liston. About 20 years ago, he was working on a scaffold when a Bobcat struck it, hurling him 28 feet and injuring him. The scooter-bound resident stays committed to several community efforts.

Whether he's lending a helping hand to his neighbors or making a trip to the grocery store, Marcus has to ride along the sidewalks that line MD 30. He tells us, "I go to the Walmart and the senior center across town on my scooter. If the transition from the sidewalk to the roadway was smoother and utility poles weren't in the middle of my path, it would be much easier to get around."

Fortunately, Marcus is very excited about MDOT SHA's new MD 30 revitalization project which will add ADA compliant 5-foot wide sidewalks. We are also adding pedestrian lighting to provide a safe, lit path for everyone. New sidewalks will extend from North Woods Trail to the CSX northern crossing, meaning Marcus will no longer have to travel on the street. Plus, Marcus will be able to transition from the sidewalk to high visibility crosswalks with ease thanks to new ADA compliant ramps. Better sidewalk maintenance will keep uneven pavement from causing further damage to his scooter.


Photo of the Month

Meet Cheswick, the Ocean City Walk Smart Ambassador. He makes sure he only scuttles along Coastal Highway in crosswalks when crossing the street and reminds us to Walk Smart, Bike Smart and Drive Smart. Above, Cheswick and a Walk Smart safety ambassador help cut the ribbon on the new pedestrian median fencing along Coastal Highway (MD 528), which deters unsafe mid-block crossing.

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