ITD wins safety award in AASHTO President’s competition for third time since 2017, demonstrating commitment

The award was received Oct. 22, by ITD officials, pictured left to right in photo: ITD Chief Engineer Blake Rindlisbacher, D5 District Engineer Todd Hubbard, and Chief Deputy/Chief Operations Officer Dan McElhinney.

The Statewide Asset Attribute Inventory (SWAAI) program for Idaho highways, an effort spearheaded by D5’s GIS Analyst Nik Sterbentz with collaboration from ITD districts across the Gem State, received the AASHTO President’s Transportation Award in the Safety category Saturday, Oct. 22 at the group’s annual conference. Previously, the components of Idaho’s 12,300-lane-mile state highway system were not inventoried in a convenient, central system. The SWAAI not only solves the current problem, but also sets ITD on a great course for the future.

It marks the third time since 1997 that Idaho has won the safety award from AASHTO (American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials) – the national group that oversees all state departments of transportation across the country. Since safety is one of ITD’s top priorities, the acknowledgement is especially gratifying.

“Winning this award in the Safety category is a great reflection of the constant value that safety is to each of us at ITD, and how each of us can contribute to the advancement of safety wherever it is we serve,” ITD Director Scott Stokes said. “This is who we are.”

The SWAAI program touches on several of ITD’s strategic goals, starting by saving nearly 300,000 personnel data collection hours and helping its planners identify ways to make ITD’s roads safer to drive. ITD can now fulfill many requests quickly and with much less labor, saving taxpayer dollars in the long run – an estimated $3.8 million saved in boots-on-the-ground collection costs alone.

Prior to the project, ITD lacked reliable comprehensive data inventories of key highway assets, including signs, guardrails, ADA ramps, sidewalks, and vertical clearance. Without reliable information, a data-driven approach to decision-making was frequently impossible, resulting in rushed, anecdotal, costly ad hoc solutions.

“It’s an opportunity for ITD to identify and implement numerous new, innovative practices and build on its legacy while proving its willingness to be open to revolutionary new improvements,” Sterbentz (pictured below) said about the SWAAI project.


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