March 11, 2011

Do you want to keep up with your neighbors?
Remember to set your clocks ahead Saturday night for the start
of Daylight Saving Time.

Transportation board
Annual activity reports to be presented at board meeting
The Idaho Transportation Board will receive annual reports from a number of presenters when it convenes next week for its monthly business meeting in Boise. The two-day meeting will begin Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Headquarters auditorium. The meeting will conclude with a late afternoon tour of the Human Resource Services (HRS) office. Formal business will resume at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and should be concluded by early afternoon.

Project Management Office moves to Administration
The Project Management Office, or PMO, has been an integral part of the Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) group since it was created several years ago. It is composed of a team of highly professional project managers, enterprise architects and support staff that collectively manage a project portfolio of more than $50 million.


Boise area's first computer housed at highways
Philo T. Farnsworth.  Even if the name is not familiar, the average American family owes a large part of their daily entertainment to him. His invention, the television, is center stage every evening in most homes. Computers are central to life and work now, too. Life without them is difficult to imagine. Though not quite on a par with Farnsworth, ITD also was a
pioneer of sorts.

Highway safety
Traffic deaths continue decline in January, February
Efforts to improve safety for motorists on Idaho highways appears to be paying off with a continuing decline in motor vehicle fatalities – a three-year trend that extends into the first quarter of 2011. Preliminary data from the Office of Highway Safety and Operations show 209 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in Idaho during 2010. That is down from 226 fatalities in 2009 and from 232 fatalities in 2008.


Don't depend on luck if you drink on St. Patrick's Day
If St. Patrick’s Day celebrations include green beer or other spirits, don’t depend on good luck to get home. ITD reminds motorists to make the right choice to drink responsibly and not drive impaired. Statewide, an impaired driving high-visibility education and enforcement campaign is under way through March 22.


FHWA presents 'Partnering Award' to D-1's Sorensen

Gus Shanine, deputy division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in Boise, presented an FHWA partnership award to Sandpoint Resident Engineer Ken Sorensen, for his outstanding leadership efforts. The presentation was made at the recent ITD/AGC annual meeting for districts 1 and 2 in Coeur d’Alene.


Military historians thankful for help with new sign
The Idaho Military Historical Society recently acknowledged the work that District 3 Engineer Dave Jones and Traffic Engineer Kevin Sablan did to facilitate placement of signs for the group on Interstate 84. Jones and Sablan cleared the administrative process to allow signs near the Orchard Street Interchange and the route to Gowen Field early in a project to widen the interstate between the Cole/Overland and B roadway exits.


Credit union offers free financial management tool
Icon Credit Union, created as a financial institution for transportation employees, recently announced the newest member benefit – Accel Members Financial Management that provides free access to money management and financial education services. Icon Credit Union has teamed up with Accel, a financial management program. Through comprehensive education and exceptional service, this organization has been assisting individuals for more than 40 years.


Public responds to call for transportaton input
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) launched a social media campaign in January to gauge the public's opinion about transportation issues. A wide cross section of American travelers, truckers, commuters, cyclists and other users of our transportation system offered their views on AASHTO's Facebook and YouTube sites.


Published March 4, 2011

Nampa middle school girls explore engineering careers
Groups of eighth-grade girls sat at tables, intently folding and taping paper into different shapes and guessing which shape could support the most weight. The circular pillar was the easy winner, supporting at least five reams of paper. As the session moved on to other topics, one group of girls from Nampa's West Middle School stayed on the ream-stacking task. Intrigued by the possibilities, they fashioned a tall, narrow paper cylinder that didn't collapse until the seventh ream touched down. They drew praise but weren't satisfied.


Mary Harker honored as 'Woman Making History'
When asked what she does as the Chief Human Resource Officer at the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), Mary Harker laughs, “I think there’s people inside the organization that would have the same question.” Mary is responsible for 1,826 full-time employees through the human resource programs she administers, including her 21-member staff that specializes in compensation, classification, recruitment, benefits and training.


District 5 foreman injured in I-15 crash Saturday
Pocatello maintenance foreman Claylon Perkins joined Idaho State Police officers Saturday morning to help clear a vehicle crash on Interstate 15, near Exit 67 when he became a victim of the icy conditions. Perkins, 55, stepped from his 2009 GMC Sierra pickup truck to assist ISP officers after a single-vehicle crash on the slick freeway shortly after 8 a.m. Moments later, a driver traveling at “freeway” speeds also lost control on the slick highway and crashed into the back of Perkins’ truck.


Gary Moles rides into sunset of retirement

District 3 Maintenance Engineer Gary Moles stepped aside Friday (March 4) after nearly 32 years at ITD to pursue a retirement filled with classic cars, fishing and grandchildren. Moles always characterized his role as that of an offensive lineman, leading the charge and opening holes for others to run through. As a hard-charging lineman, he was a Region 4 Resident Engineer for three years before becoming the district’s main maintenance man in February of 2009.


Good highways begin at the bottom

Work your way up. That's good advice for a career and good advice for building a highway, too. The foundation comes before the pavement. Substructure comes before superstructure. But what of the ground beneath? Is it firm enough? Will it hold up the structure for its life span. Enter five guys – not the restaurant, but Materials and the Materials Section.


Highway Safety
Impaired patrols nab more than DUIs
Ensuring safe travel on Idaho's highways is a prime reason for high visibility education and enforcement campaigns that target impaired driving, such as one planned statewide for March 11-21. ITD’s Office of Highway Operations and Safety works with partners statewide to reduce deaths and injuries from traffic crashes by utilizing federal funds to address dangerous driving behaviors. This effort is part of the department's commitment to achieve a goal of zero deaths on Idaho's highways.