Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration - Momentum Newsletter
October 2017

Administrator's Message: Transparency and Efficiency – A New CTP Season

Greg Slater

Greg Slater

Every year, the Maryland Department of Transportation visits every county to present the Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) and receive important feedback from elected officials and citizens about our projects and efforts in their community.

The CTP details MDOT's draft six-year capital budget. The annual tour of 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City serves to update local officials and the public on Governor Hogan's $14.7 billion investment over the next six years in highways, as well as the other Transportation Business Units in MDOT.

The tour lets us engage with our customers about their transportation priorities. That is an important point. You've heard me talk about my priorities for MDOT SHA. Those priorities include empathetic and effective communication, as well as an enhanced customer service experience.

That is what the CTP is all about. We are crisscrossing the state to listen to our customers and talk about our projects, challenges and successes with transparency. CTP tours are an opportunity to hear about how we are effectively serving communities.

I am in the middle of my 10th CTP tour season and over that decade at every single meeting the district team receives kudos and compliments from the local elected officials. That is another benefit to me as a leader – hearing our local elected officials compliment our District Engineers and the hard-working men and women in their districts.

For us to make the greatest difference and achieve the greatest value for taxpayers, we need the feedback the CTP tours provide.

We have a record number of construction underway across Maryland. Under Governor Hogan's leadership and his commitment to investing in highways and bridges, we are making great strides and delivering projects more efficiently and more economically. And with each CTP stop, we get a chance to tell Marylanders about it. THAT is the customer experience.

Project Green Light is a Go

Innovation - Project Green Light is a Go

Ray Wheeler presents his idea to Greg Slater and the Project Green Light Team.

On Friday September 8, Administrator Slater hosted the inaugural installment of Project Green Light in the Earle S. Freedman Conference Room. Project Green Light solicits ideas from MDOT SHA team members to move the agency forward. Employees across the state submitted 30 ideas for review and 14 were advanced. Employees pitched their ideas to the five-person panel (Greg Slater, Betty Conners, Tim Smith, Jason Ridgway and Valerie Burnette Edgar) who gave three possible determinations – Approved for Immediate Action, Moving Forward to Additional Discussion and Not Moving Forward.

The panel approved six ideas for immediate action and the remaining ideas were approved for Additional Discussion. The six approved for immediate implementation are:

Add language to construction/paving contracts to require pavement height reporting to all stakeholders - allows the Motor Carrier Division to better track heights and prevent trucks from striking bridges, damaging the structures and impacting traffic and commerce.
Creation of software to track utility coordination, timeline (projected and reality) with links in a Microsoft Access type environment.
Set up RSS feeds for key Internet pages related to design criteria and standards.
Create a Rating of Contractor / Subcontractor database for use by all districts. Currently they are compiled and mailed to Construction and manually re-entered into a database again. Printed papers of one month of ratings from one district were more than a foot high so the time savings and efficiency of one-time entry will be significant.
Creation of a CADD Committee with members from each department that uses CADD so that best practices can be shared and issues quickly resolved.
Automate vacancy management workflow utilizing document management. Using technology to help expedite recruitment of new talent.

Greg presented a Certificate of Appreciation to all Green Light participants. Senior Managers will work with Project Green Light participants on implementation and topics approved for further investigation.

MDOT SHA Employs New Pavement Technology To Enhance Vehicle Traction

Modernization - MDOT SHA Employs New Pavement Technology To Enhance Vehicle Traction

Road crews apply high friction surface coating.

Employing the latest technological innovation, MDOT SHA is piloting a new pavement treatment process proven to enhance vehicle traction and reduce crashes, particularly on curves. The $1.1 million High Friction Surface Treatment (HFST) pilot project is underway. Featured as part of Federal Highway Administration's "Everyday Counts" initiative, the surface treatment has reduced crashes in three different trial projects: by a whopping 100 percent in Pennsylvania, 90 percent in Kentucky and 57 percent in South Carolina.

A more economical and efficient alternative to reconstruction or major rehabilitation, HFST increases roadway friction, which provides vehicle traction on pavement surfaces. The greater the surface friction, the more control drivers have of their vehicles, which is especially important in wet conditions.

Engineers are using data to drive decisions on deployment of this innovation, targeting specific interchanges with major curves in Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Frederick counties. MDOT SHA has completed the application at the I-695 (Baltimore Beltway)/MD 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) interchange, as well as the westbound US 15/US 340 ramp to southbound US 15 and the MD 75 (Green Valley Road)/Ed McClain Road intersection in Frederick County. Crews are applying the coating at the I-97/MD 100 interchange. These ramps and interchanges have a history of drivers losing control and hitting guardrail or other objects. The new surface will help motorists maintain control and reduce the crash rate at these locations.

Expanding The Customer Experience: Districts Host Open Houses For Neighbors

Customer Service Experience - Expanding The Customer Experience: Districts Host Open Houses For Neighbors

District Engineer Tony Crawford serves cake to welcome neighbors.

The men and women of the LaVale Shop are always on the road and in the community: patching asphalt, installing new signs, improving drainage, patrolling and responding to rockslides, and in fall and winter, plowing and treating roads. But on October 25 in a reversal of traditional operations, the LaVale Shop team opened their doors and invited neighbors to an Open House focusing on winter operations. MDOT SHA treated neighbors to an up-close look at equipment, supplies, winter operation strategies, and an opportunity to meet the men and women behind the reflective vests and yellow and white trucks they see every day.

Growing out of MDOT SHA’s "Be a Good Neighbor" tangible result measure, MDOT SHA is embarking on a statewide effort that will provide neighbors a behind-the-scenes tour of our frontline and most visible operations. Look for more Open Houses throughout the state later this fall and early winter.

Photo of the Month

Photo of the Month

MDOT delivers more than 35,000 pounds of food during this year’s Operation Orange food drive in partnership with the Maryland Food Bank.

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