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

Administrator's Message: March Marks One Year as Your Administrator

This month marks exactly one year as your Administrator. It's truly an honor to serve this outstanding team and I extend my sincerest thanks to every single one of you for continuing to improve, modernize, and innovate our MDOT SHA.

We are evolving as a NEW MDOT SHA, and as we look boldy to transportation's future, our team drives creative projects and modernized business practices FORWARD by delivering on Governor Hogan's Customer Service Promise. We are a passionate team with motivation that originates from an ingrained commitment to serve - with integrity, trust, dedication, and dependability.

Greg Slater

Greg Slater

I'm proud of what we've accomplished and excited about the year to come. As we move forward, let's continue to focus on our four priority areas: COMMUNICATION, INNOVATION, MODERNIZATION, and THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. These areas are at MDOT SHA's core and the efforts and results behind our 'Pardon our Dust' signs MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. That dust brings monumental change to our roadways through a record number of projects which connect Marylanders to life's opportunities.

This was my dream job. After a year, it's still my dream job. And the thing that makes it so great is all of YOU. This Team. This Family. And the exceptional caliber of work we continue to deliver. Thank you.

Green Lighting a New IT Service Desk

Innovation - Green Lighting a New IT Service Desk

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) Help Desk is a critical part of business satisfaction. OIT is currently evolving the help desk to a true multi-tier support structure, a result of a Project Greenlight initiative. The new OIT Industry Standard Multi-Tiered Service Desk will improve the customer experience, empower OIT personnel with training to resolve more advanced issues and innovate service level agreement collaboration to ensure tickets are handled in a timely manner, thus meeting customer needs.

Currently, when a user has a password reset issue, the IT Liaison (ITL) must contact the help desk to resolve. The current help desk structure is usually handled by one individual with multiple duties.

The new and improved multi-tier service desk will be staffed by dedicated IT personnel trained to tackle most Tier 1 hardware support issues. If the Tier I IT professionals (Service Desk Analysts) have trouble solving the problem, the ticket moves through the Service Desk Supervisor to Tier 2 (ITL support, OIT Desktop Support) who is trained to handle more advanced or local network issues. If the Tier 2 professional can't reach a resolution, the ticket moves up the chain to Tier 3 (Network Support, manufacturer support, App Dev Groups) until resolved.

The anticipated completion date for this project is first quarter 2019. MDOT SHA will benefit by reducing loss in production by 15 percent. Eventually, staff members will be empowered to submit tickets through a web-based self-service portal, making the technological problem-solving process much more convenient statewide.

The Office of Materials Technology Modernizes Recessed Pavement Markers

Modernization - The Office of Materials Technology Modernizes Recessed Pavement Markers

The original recessed pavement marker in metal housing (left) and the new recessed pavement marker featuring plastic housing (right).

While we are encouraged to color outside the lines, we do need to drive within them. In customer survey responses, visible lane markings constantly rate highest in importance. Driving at night compromises depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision. MDOT SHA's reflective recessed pavement markers (RPMs) illuminate lane markings, keeping motorists safely within their respective paths of travel during dim driving conditions.

In the past, recessed pavement markers were installed in metal housing with epoxy (pictured left). Weighing roughly five pounds and rising slightly above the asphalt surface, the installed cost of installation is approximately $31.50 and $8.00 per unit. Additionally, the metal housings sometimes rust and separate from the roadway.

The Office of Materials Technology (OMT) has discovered a safer alternative, modernizing RPMs from metal to plastic (pictured right) - an initiative that will ultimately cost less and improve roadway safety exponentially. Approximately $25-40 in installation and around $2.85 per unit, the plastic RPMs weigh under half a pound. The plastic housing sits in a groove just below the surface of the asphalt pavement, protecting it from wear and tear.

Over the past year, OMT has also been exploring and monitoring the performance of additional durable pavement markings in lieu of metal housing RPMs. Examples include stand-alone reflective lenses in grooves, Wet Reflective Tapes, and liquid pavement-making materials such as Methyl Methacrylate, Epoxy, Thermoplastic (90 mil) and Polyurea.

Safety is our number one priority at MDOT SHA. By modernizing reflective pavement markers, we're keeping Maryland motorists out of harm's way. Our citizens rely heavily on our success in harnessing the power of modernization and propelling our agency to transportation's ever-evolving future.

Maryland's Finest: Plungers Arrive to the Annual Polar Bear Plunge Without Delay Thanks to MDOT SHA Traffic Relief Coordination

Customer Service Experience - Marylands Finest: Plungers Arrive to the Annual Polar Bear Plunge Without Delay Thanks to MDOT SHA Traffic Relief Coordination

Marylanders dip their toes in the Chesapeake Bay's chilly waters at this year's 22nd Annual Polar Bear Plunge.

In late January, the Maryland State Police (MSP) hosted the 22nd Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point Beach. Once again, MDOT SHA was a sponsor and an integral part of the event's traffic congestion management as more than 10,000 people arrived to support the Special Olympics. This year, a serious incident on the US 50 eastbound ramp to Nesbit Road had the potential to cause major delays.

A tractor trailer carrying two containers toppled over, spilling hazardous chemicals. MSP medevac rushed the injured driver to shock trauma while a concerted effort led by MDOT SHA's CHART, Centreville Shop, as well as the Kent Island Hazmat Team, cleared the ramp and redirected traffic.

Wesley Rawlins maintained CHART presence during the incident, "The ramp to Nesbit Road was completely closed. It took two hours to get the entrapped driver free. Despite this, traffic on US Eastbound 50 was minimally delayed."

While Wesley's CHART team and the Centreville Shop coordinated the crash response, MDOT SHA's Bernard Parker and the Annapolis Shop placed approximately 300 cones around Sandy Point State Park to direct traffic toward the event.

Thanks to MDOT SHA's commitment to the customer experience, plungers efficiently arrived, eager to dip their toes in the Bay's chilly waters. State Police Superintendent, William M. Pallozzi praises MDOT SHA for our continued traffic relief support, "Thank you for helping us keep the 'Flame of Hope' burning brightly for the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland."


Photo of the Month

On February 22, Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford and MDOT SHA were happy to announce the launch of Maryland TRAC (TRAnsportation and Civil Engineering), an American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) program at Patterson High School (PHS) in Baltimore City. Offered free to participating schools, TRAC engages middle and high school students with hands-on learning about the STEM field to attract future planners, engineers, environmental scientists and transportation professionals. Above, MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater and Lieutenant Governor Rutherford pose with PHS faculty and students during the event.

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