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States depend more on Twitter and Facebook to communicate effectively with the public
 WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Hurricane Irene barreled up the Eastern seaboard, two important social media tools came in handy as state departments of transportation (DOTs) tried to spread the word — Facebook and Twitter. Many of the affected DOTs in Irene's path posted important messages about power outages, tree debris, safety, and dark traffic signals via these media. And in the aftermath, many are now asking their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to post photos of the damage to assist in their clean-up efforts.
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DelDOT finishing post-hurricane bridge inspections
 DOVER, DEL. — Since early Sunday morning, Aug. 28, bridge inspectors with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) have been inspecting bridges throughout the state to ensure all bridges open to traffic are safe for motorists. Statewide, inspectors have pinpointed 182 bridges that were either flooded or are vulnerable to scouring.
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VDOT crews continue response to Hurricane Irene
 RICHMOND, VA. — Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have focused efforts on removing debris, improving drainage, repairing roads, and restoring traffic signals in areas impacted by Hurricane Irene. As of 7 p.m., Aug. 28, VDOT reported that 23 primary and 204 secondary roads remained closed throughout the state.
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TDOT chief engineer named deputy commissioner
 NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer announced the promotion of Chief Engineer Paul Degges, P.E., as the new deputy commissioner of TDOT. Degges, who has been with TDOT 24 years, will continue to serve in his role as chief engineer for the department.
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Judges select the best transportation projects in the Southeastern region
 LOUISVILLE, KY. — Projects that improve traffic flow, modernize our transportation systems for current and future needs, and shorten construction times were recognized as winners of America's Transportation Awards at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. 
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TRB seeks nominations for Sharon D. Banks Award
 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Transportation Research Board is seeking nominations for the Sharon D. Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation. This TRB award, which recognizes excellence in people-oriented initiatives throughout transportation, was inaugurated in 2002 and may be presented biennially. The next presentation of the award will be made during the Chairman’s Luncheon on Jan. 25, 2012, during the TRB 91st Annual Meeting. Nominations must be submitted no later than Aug. 31, 2011.
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FHWA approves SR 99 tunnel to replace Alaskan Way Viaduct
  SEATTLE — After 10 years of environmental review and analysis, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Aug. 23 signed a record of decision allowing the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to begin final design and construction of the State Route 99 tunnel beneath downtown Seattle. The tunnel will replace the double-deck Alaskan Way Viaduct along Seattle’s waterfront.
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Colorado DOT receives unsolicited public-private partnership proposal to improve I-70
 JEFFERSON, CLEAR CREEK, AND SUMMIT COUNTIES, COLO. — The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), a government-owned business within The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), received an unsolicited proposal for a public-private partnership for the I-70 west mountain corridor. The unsolicited proposal, submitted by Parsons, identifies a phased program of transportation infrastructure improvements on Interstate 70 between C-470 and Silverthorne initially and extending to Eagle in the future. The proposal does not preclude improvements identified in the I-70 west mountain corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision.
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I-90 project recognized nationally for environmental partnerships
 HYAK, WASH. — Improvements to a five-mile section of Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie are taking shape in the form of new lanes, bridges, and fish and wildlife crossings. However, before crews could begin turning any dirt, important partnerships were formed to ensure the project design met both transportation and environmental needs. Those unique partnerships are now receiving national recognition. The Federal Highway Administration will award the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) the 2011 Environmental Excellence Award for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project on Monday, Aug. 22. 
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CDOT announces new process improvement chief
 DENVER — Gary Vansuch of Centennial, Colo., was appointed to the newly created position of director of process improvement for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). He will begin his new duties on Aug. 22. At CDOT, Vansuch will be responsible for analyzing how CDOT conducts business in order to meet Colorado’s short- and long-term strategic transportation needs.
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New York governor to sign Complete Streets legislation
 ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he will sign a law to require state and local transportation agencies to consider Complete Streets designs that will make streets and roadways across the state safe and accessible to all New Yorkers.
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OBM and ODOT seek advisor team for turnpike options
 COLUMBUS, OHIO — The Office of Budget and Management (OBM) in consultation with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced that they are seeking Letters of Interest for the development and evaluation of options for leveraging the Ohio Turnpike. Interested consultants are expected to organize and bid as teams. The teams must include experience and expertise in technical/engineering disciplines, legal and contract expertise, financial analysis, and public outreach.
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$2.2 billion in new funding allocated to California transportation projects
  BISHOP, CALIF. — Continuing the push to rebuild California’s infrastructure and spur job growth, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has allocated $2.2 billion in new funding to 146 highway, transit, and rail projects statewide. The funding included $863 million from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. To date, the state has allocated more than $9 billion in Proposition 1B funds.
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MBTA general manager to be appointed MassDOT secretary
  BOSTON — Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced that he will appoint Richard A. Davey as secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) effective Sept. 1st. Davey will replace outgoing MassDOT secretary and CEO Jeffrey Mullan, who last month announced his decision to resign in order to return to the private sector.
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DOT issues financial analysis of transportation-related public-private partnerships
 WASHINGTON, D.C. — On July 28, 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Inspector General issued a report on its financial analyses of transportation-related public-private partnerships (P3s). The objectives were to: identify financial disadvantages to the public sector of P3 transactions compared with more traditional public financing methods; identify factors that allow the public sector to derive financial value from P3 transactions; and assess the extent to which P3s can close the infrastructure funding gap.
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Private sector teams to vie for right to develop and operate new Virginia roadway
 RICHMOND VA. — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), in coordination with the Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships, issued a request for detailed proposals on July 28, 2011, to develop and operate a new Route 460 between Petersburg and Suffolk. The project entails design and construction of 55 miles of new tolled roadway, located south of the existing Route 460, and includes seven intermediate interchanges to provide access to local communities along the corridor. The project will be financed through a combination of public subsidy, private investment, user fees, and other innovative financing methods.
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WSDOT and BNSF agree on rail improvements
 OLYMPIA, WASH. — An agreement signed by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and BNSF Railway clears the way for the state to begin initial work this fall using some of the $781 million in federal grants awarded to Washington in the past two years to improve Amtrak Cascades service between Seattle and Portland, Ore. The money is part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) high-speed-rail grants administered by the Federal Railroad Administration.
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Virginia tunnel project moves forward
  RICHMOND — Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and Elizabeth River Crossings LLC (ERC) have agreed on the major business points for the Downtown Tunnel/Midtown Tunnel/Martin Luther King Extension Project connecting Norfolk and Portsmouth. Agreement on the major business points of the transaction paves the way for VDOT and ERC to finalize the detailed terms of the comprehensive agreement and the financing package for this $1.9 billion project. VDOT and ERC expect to sign the comprehensive agreement and achieve financial close by the end of 2011.
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Skelly and Loy to provide cultural resources services throughout Maryland
  HARRISBURG, PA. — Skelly and Loy was recently awarded a contract with the Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) to perform cultural resources services throughout the state. Project services will be provided for a five-year period and a total of $2 million and will consist of individual project assignments dependent on the MDSHA’s workload.
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AASHTO announces 2011 Faces of Transportation photo contest results
  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) announced that a single photograph won both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award in the 2011 Faces of Transportation photo contest. Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) photographer Julie Duewel won for "Balancing Act," a photograph of NDOT Bridge Inspector Aleksander Nelson performing a safety inspection at the Mike O'Callaghan/Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge — part of the Hoover Dam Bypass situated 900 feet above the Colorado River.
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GDOT reselects HNTB to lead innovative program delivery support services
 ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) hired HNTB Corporation to continue its role as the prime consultant for the department's Innovative Program Delivery Technical Support Services initiative. GDOT's Office of Innovative Program Delivery, along with its P3 Division, serve as an incubation center of emerging best practices in alternative project delivery and finance, importing proven design-build and public-private partnership methodologies from across the globe. Other key firms within the team include Jeffrey A. Parker & Associates Inc. and Halcrow Inc.
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W.V. state highway engineer receives top engineer award
 CHARLESTON, W.V. — The West Virginia Division of Highways announced that Marvin G. Murphy, the West Virginia Division of Highways’ state highway engineer, was presented the prestigious American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Robert E. Pearson/Person of the Year Award at its 2011 National Conference in Orlando, Fla. With a membership of more than 6,000 spread over nine sections across the country, ASHE seeks to provide a forum for members and partners of the highway industry to promote a safe, efficient and sustainable highway system through education, innovation and fellowship.
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Georgia DOT tries privatized interstate maintenance
 ATLANTA — Privatized maintenance of Interstate Highway 95 on Georgia’s coast begans July 1 as the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) launched a three-year demonstration program with a Maryland firm specializing in such work. Roy Jorgensen Associates Inc., was awarded the $6.8 million contract, which includes a possible three-year renewal if the department chooses to continue the outsourcing arrangement.
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Longest-serving state DOT chief discusses agency’s future in new video
 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) Director Dan Flowers has helped set his state’s transportation priorities for more than four decades. Flowers, the longest-serving CEO of any state department of transportation in the country, announced his retirement in June. In a new “Two-Minute State DOT Update” video, Flowers discusses AHTD’s critical infrastructure needs and the important role the public must play to keep the Interstate Highway System in a good state of repair.
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Caltrans awards its first design-build project
 FRESNO, CALIF. — Caltrans announced that it awarded its first design-build project — the State Highway 99 Chowchilla Rehabilitation Project — to Granite Construction Company. Design-build is currently being used in 32 other states. Caltrans obtained design-build authority in February 2009 with the passage of Senate Bill 4 (second extraordinary session). The legislation established a demonstration program, which allows 10 design-build projects for Caltrans and five for local transportation agencies, subject to authorization by the California Transportation Commission.
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State DOTs respond to lean times with technology and innovation
  Washington, D.C. — The high cost of motor fuels, coupled with decreases in spending for all modes of transportation, is presenting significant challenges and opportunities for state departments of transportation across the country. State transportation departments in Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, and New Hampshire offer some examples. 
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Virginia opens Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships
RICHMOND , VA. — In early June, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton announced the official opening of the commonwealth’s Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships (OTP3 office). The office will be responsible for developing and implementing a statewide program for transportation project delivery via the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA) of 1995.
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Parsons Brinckerhoff to design fiber-optic network for MDOT
DETROIT — The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for the design of a new fiber-optic communications network in metropolitan Detroit. The project is a multi-phase effort to build an MDOT-owned fiber-optic network for communications with the Detroit region’s intelligent transportation system deployment, including hundreds of closed-circuit television cameras, dynamic message signs, and vehicle detection systems along regional freeways.
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ADOT director: Research key to safe, efficient transportation system
PHOENIX — Research and development investments are critical for creating and expanding upon safe, efficient transportation systems, Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee.
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Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $3 billion increase in construction funding
RICHMOND, VA. — The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) adopted the Fiscal Years (FY) 2012-2017 Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP) allocating to projects almost $3 billion in additional construction funding created by Governor Bob McDonnell's transportation funding package passed by the General Assembly this year. The $10.6 billion construction program, which increased 36 percent from $7.8 billion in the FY 2011-2016 program, will enable important rail, transit, transportation management, bicycle, pedestrian, and highway projects to move forward.
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Headlines From Around The Web

N.C. DOT to cut 400 positions (Winston-Salem Journal)
Georgia DOT commissioner resigns (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Georgia DOT loses another top manager (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
New Road Signs Will Now Wait (The New York Times)
WYDOT staffer wins national post (Billings Gazette)
Schneider named acting IDOT director (The State Journal-Register)
Selection of MDOT director delayed (Hattiesburg American)




HubDOT Exclusive

In replacing the Willamette River Bridge, the Oregon Department of Transportation makes steps to ensure the structure's ecological footprint is as small as possible, leaving room for natural habitats to flourish.

  Bringing new life to the I-5 Willamette River Bridge

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