January 2020
Jumpstart your energy level with learning
We all need a jumpstart from time to time -- especially in this cold weather. Often that jumpstart is the boost of energy that comes from a good training session or a thought-provoking conversation with a colleague or a mentor. Those energy boosters are like the espressos that get us going on cold mornings. NDLTAP and its partners plan to provide a great menu of Learning Espressos in the coming weeks and months:
  • Pavement Maintenance Workshop -- Mandan
  • Presentation Tips
  • How to Evaluate and add Safety Value to Local Roads
  • Bridge Deck Sealing Demo -- Watford City
  • Gravel Prospecting to Quality Class
  • Culvert Class
  • Wise Roads Weather Station -- Gravel Road Research
  • Daytime Sign Inspection: the Burke County Process
  • Leadership and Communication Class
  • Motor Grader Operator Training
  • Bridge Class
  • Asphalt Conference
Al Heiser, Stark County road superintendent, recently shared that the Farmers Almanac had predicted excessive snow and "teeth chattering" cold for our winter. Look for opportunities to take a shot of "learning espresso." Keep those energy levels high and pass that energy to those around you.

Here's a great shot of espresso for those who are relatively new to local roads.

Plan to attend the Northland Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association How To Training and Education Workshop 2020 in Fargo, March 16-18.

The ATSSA Northland Chapter and NDLTAP have teamed up to provide 10 free conference registrations to students as well as local government employees and officials attending the conference for the first time.

Students must be enrolled in North Dakota colleges or universities in civil or construction engineering, engineering technology, or similar programs. Applicants must be currently enrolled, with satisfactory grades. Read more about the student grant program or download a grant application .

Local government employees and officials must be attending the conference for the first time and be either decision makers or workers in inspection, or maintenance of pavement markings, traffic signs, and temporary work zone traffic controls. Applicants must be employed with a county, city, township or similar unit of government. Read more about the local government grant program or download a grant application .

Sign Trucks Needed!  Planning to attend the ATSSA How To Workshop and want to show off your sign truck? Your participation gets you free conference registration. To take advantage of this opportunity, send us a note at ndltap@ugpti.org or call 701-318-6893 for more info.


Together, we do great things!
Meet us at the North Dakota County Roads Conference January 29-31
The North Dakota County Roads Conference is Jan. 29-31 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo. The event is hosted by the North Dakota Association of County Engineers. Preview the conference agenda . Go to the NDACE website to register for the conference or to view presentations from last year's conference. They will give you an idea of the awesome content that will be provided again this year. Topics range from NDDOT/FHWA updates to conflict resolution in the office. UGPTI and NDLTAP will be well represented. Brad Wentz will present "Construction Planning with GRIT and NDLTAP." Dale Heglund will present, "Glue for Gravel Roads." You can also visit with us at our booth in the exhibit hall.
Gravel surveys are a critical part of the rural road needs study

If you missed the Nov. 20 deadline for submitting your responses to the gravel survey, there is still time to respond. Alan Dybing, from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute who is conducting the study, says it is not too late to turn in your survey. Alan is asking that all surveys be turned in by Jan. 31. On Jan. 30, Alan will be at the NDLTAP booth at the North Dakota County Roads Conference in Fargo to offer any last minute assistance on completing the survey. You can also find out more about how to fill out the survey by watching the recorded webinar or by contacting Alan at 701-231-5988 and alan.dybing@ndsu.edu , If necessary, download a copy of the county survey and cover letter .

Organized townships are also asked to complete a gravel survey. The township survey is an abbreviated form of the county survey. Download the township survey .
Learning opportunities galore!
NDLTAP has a close working relationship with the Transportation Learning Network (TLN), another component of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. TLN provides a wide range of powerful learning opportunities. The training is open to everyone who works on our state's road and street network. These free events complement the face-to-face NDLTAP classes. They also count toward your Road Scholar degree. For more information visit the TLN website .
Popularity of Sign Warrior calendar grows
Fourth graders from across the state contributed drawings to the 2020 Sign Warrior calendar produced by UGPTI’s NDLTAP program. After NDLTAP and local road departments solicited entries from schools across the state in November, 142 entries were received from nine schools. A selection panel chose the top 13 drawings to include in the calendar. Winners were from Dakota Prairie Elementary in McVille (2), Wilkinson Elementary in Williston, Park River Elementary School (3), Fordville-Lankin Public School (3), Maple Valley School in Tower City (3), and Finley-Sharon Public School. NDLTAP staffers and local road crews recognized winning artists and distributed 750 calendars across the state. 

The Williams County crew hit it out of the park by inviting three schools to the county shop for a tour that ended by all students receiving the Sign Warrior title and calendar. Seems appropriate that Williams County set the bar high, since its team member Rhonda Woodhams initiated our Sign Warrior program development! 

The calendar project is a part of NDLTAP’s effort to increase awareness of the importance of signs and improve road safety by reducing sign damage and vandalism.

Want a copy? You can download a printable copy or a desktop copy
Brown receives President's Award from NDTOA
NDLTAP's Denise Brown received the prestigious President's Award from the ND Township Officers Association in December. According to the association, the award was given to Brown "For exhibiting the highest standards of dedication, ability and service as an Honorary Township Officer while serving North Dakota Township Government for many years." On its website, the association notes that Denise has been a frequent presenter and exhibitor at NDTOA conventions; takes part in the NDTOA workshops; does presentations for county association meetings; and organizes and takes part in NDLTAP training sessions for township and county personnel. She was also recognized for her dedicated work providing training opportunities for township officers across the state and all the miles she traveled to deliver that training. The award recognizes exemplary contributions by individuals who are not elected officials.

Brown is pictured with ND Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford and ND Township Officers Association President Roger Olafson.
UGPTI team spotlight: Megan Bouret
Megan Bouret leads the IT team at UGPTI's DOT Support Center. The Surface Selection Tool, GRIT, and the Truck Weight Calculator are a few of her team's programming efforts that greatly benefit our local roadway system leaders. Her focus on lifelong learning makes her our spotlight team member.
 
Last year, Megan fully immersed herself in a goal to tackle her public speaking fears. She joined Toastmasters, started attending 6:30 a.m. Friday sessions and the rest is history! 
 
Toastmasters has given Megan a sense of confidence, not only in presenting but in all aspects of work and personal life. It has also provided her with a new circle of friends who support and encourage her growth. Public presentations, from prepared to impromptu, are now skills in her quiver. She finds that her personal conversations are more engaging, targeted and meaningful. Rewarding, effortless, boosting magnetism, facing fears & insecurities, and similar terms are all descriptors that Megan uses as she shares how she has grown. She lights up when asked what she has gained most. “Being more mindful” is her tip for growth.  For more info check out the Toastmasters website .
 
Side note: all of her efforts are on her own dime and time, which is another testament to her exceptional status. If you are available, consider joining Megan and her club for some personal growth and breakfast.
 
Lifelong learning and continuous improvement make Megan a UGPTI shining star.

Bridge Preservation Tip:
County and city bridge deck sealing

Similar to crack sealing and fogging/sealing efforts to preserve asphalt pavement roadways, our bridges need attention, too. Micro cracks, delamination and surface porosity factors can all be minimized through simple crack sealing and surface deck sealing efforts. Bridges close (i.e., within a mile) to roadways that use deicing agents and those on routes that use dust suppressant chlorides are key candidates that will benefit from this effort. Stay tuned for a 2020 spring demonstration training being planned for the Williston District. This training will help local leaders understand the materials, application methods, and efforts that the NDDOT includes in its bridge preservation program.

The Midwest Bridge Preservation Partnership Meeting was held in Bismarck Oct. 15-17, 2019. A common theme among the many presentations was bridge deck crack and surface sealing. With the increased use of chlorides on local roads in North Dakota (winter salt application and chlorides used for dust suppression on gravel roads), our local bridges are experiencing more deterioration. An economical way to add protection to bridges is to seal the deck cracks and surface. Nancy Huether, NDDOT’s structure management engineer, presented " Preservation Strategies and Implementation at NDDOT . " Her presentation is a great overview of NDDOT's strategies.

The list of presentations and presenters from the meeting provides an overview of strategies and some good resources for local agencies. AASHTO also provides numerous training opportunities on bridge preservation for local agencies.

Mark Schrader, FHWA’s North Dakota Division bridge engineer, is a strong partner and a great advocate for bridge preservation. He is a valuable resource for local agencies.
Miller joins NDLTAP staff

Amanda Miller joined NDLTAP as administrative secretary. She assists with program planning and administration and serves as a first point of contact for local road staff across the state who use the office's services. Miller is originally from Emmons County and earned a B.S. in computer information systems from University of Mary. She most recently worked for NDSU Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck, ND, as well as at Bismarck State College.
Panos is new director at NDDOT
William Panos began work as director of the NDDOT in October after being appointed to the position in August by Governor Doug Burgum. Panos served as Wyoming's director from 2015 to 2019 and as director of School Facilities from 2013-2015. Before that, he served as director for the City and Port of West Sacramento, CA, for six years and as construction executive for the State of Washington for five years, controlling and managing more than 220 large-scale construction projects annually. To learn more about Panos, read the news release announcing his appointment .  
Potter is ND Division Administrator for FHWA
Lee Potter was appointed as the North Dakota Division Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) effective July 21.

Since 1996, Lee held several key leadership positions in the Wyoming Division including Pavement and Bridge Engineer, Engineering and Operations Team Leader, Assistant Division Administrator (ADA), and Engineering and Operations Supervisor. As the Wyoming ADA, Lee provided leadership and guidance to a diverse staff of professionals in administering the $275 million Federal-aid highway program.

Lee was instrumental in establishing partnerships with the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and the United States Forest Service to advance significant projects within the National Forest. In 2000, he was recognized by WYDOT as a member of the design team for the successful completion of the Snake River Canyon Reconstruction Project, which included balancing environmental constraints, roadway alignment impacts, and various landslide improvements.  He is also a National Highway Institute instructor for FHWA’s Construction Program Management and Inspection Guide, and Contract Administration Core Curriculum courses.

Lee began his career with FHWA in 1987 as a Highway Engineer Trainee. In 1989, he was assigned to the North Dakota Division as a Construction and Maintenance Engineer. Lee holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in Civil Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Wyoming.
2019 brings new leadership to county road crews
Jon Alt became Grant County Highway Superintendent in February. Jon has more than 25 years of experience in operating backhoes, motor graders, and other heavy equipment. He previously worked for Stur-D Products, was in the military, and also worked on a farm. Jon has a strong computer knowledge base in technical support which he gained when working for Gateway Computers.

Jon is married to his high school sweetheart, Heidi. After living in Bismarck for 10 years, they decided to move back to Carson to raise their family of three girls. Jon and Heidi enjoy spending time with family, driving in the country, and fishing. The girls enjoy challenging their dad in video games.

Jon wants to improve the county roadway infrastructure and build the roads back up to what he believes they should be. Contact Jon at jalt@nd.gov or (701)425-9251.
Elliot Finck became the Hettinger County Road Superintendent in July 2019. Elliot attended Bismarck State College for process plant technology. In 2009 he moved back to his hometown of Mott where he worked in the agricultural/agronomy industry for 8 years and also did some mechanic work. Elliot began working on the Hettinger County road crew in 2017. He is looking forward to implementing additional up-to-date ideas and technology to help improve the Hettinger County road crew.

Contact Elliot at (701) 928-1621 or efinck@nd.gov .
Seth Hamre became Nelson County Road Superintendent earlier this year. He previously worked for Ellingson Companies as well as the North Dakota Army National Guard. Seth has extensive experience in water management that includes laying drain tile in roadbeds to deal with frost boils.

Seth grew up in Nelson County in Tolna. According to Seth, there was always something that kept drawing him back to Nelson County. When the position for road superintendent opened up, Seth eagerly applied and got the job! He is excited and looking forward to the challenge.

Seth, Celeste, and their 11-month old son live on a farm south of Pekin. Seth enjoys restoring old cars and rare vintage motorcycles. Contact Seth at (218) 779-7970 (cell) or 701 322-4433 (office).
Brent Keller was named the Wells County Road Superintendent in April. Brent started his career with Farmers Union Oil Company in Fessenden in 1993 as a bulk fuel/propane delivery driver and tire specialist. In the Fall of 2002, Brent began working for the Wells County Highway Department as a motor-grader operator. For a little over a year, he served as the unofficial assistant road superintendent under Mel Southhard (previous road superintendent) while continuing as a motor-grader operator in the Fessenden area. Brent believes strongly in educating himself and his road department on all roadway issues and safety. He looks forward to the Wells County Road Department participating in future NDLTAP training. Brent is currently a Road Scholar Level I recipient. Contact Brent at brekeller@nd.gov or 701-547-3497.
David Lym became Dunn County Road Superintendent this past summer. David was born and raised in Wyoming, graduating from Evanston High school, and continuing his education at Utah State University where he graduated with a double major in exercise science and Spanish and a minor in chemistry. During college summers he worked construction first for Roberts Construction, which has ties to Northern Improvement Company. Upon graduation, he continued working for Northern Improvement for 15 years working, including 2 years in South America. He worked his way up to the grading general superintendent. He wanted to stay associated with the road construction business and try something different so he applied for the position in Dunn County.

David and his wife, who is from South America, have three children and reside in the big town of New Hradec. Contact David at (701) 260-8819.
Sean Mattern became the Renville County Road Superintendent early last year. Having grown up in Renville County, Sean is knowledgeable about the county's roadway network. Sean started with the county as motor grader operator. Today, he has more than 15 years of experience working on roads and operating road equipment.
Sean and his wife, Margaret have five children. The two children who are still at home keep Sean and Margaret busy attending sport events. They also enjoy spending time on the farm where Sean grew up. When time allows, Sean enjoys tinkering in automotive restoration, a hobby he has been doing for many years.
Sean is a strong advocate for training and education. He says he has a lot to learn in his new position, and feels very fortunate that he has a great road crew with lots of knowledge and experience. Contact Sean at (701)721-6492 or smattern@nd.gov.
Nathan Miller became the Slope County Road Foreman back in January of 2019, so he's already an old hand at his position.

He has spent his entire life in southwest North Dakota, graduating from Bowman High School in 2005. Nathan worked with his family’s business as he was growing up and always had an interest in road maintenance. He was employed with Bowman County Highway Department for 8 years as an operator and 5 years as the road foreman.

He supervises 5 county road employees, so still has the opportunity to spend some time operating equipment as needed. Slope County’s townships are about 50% organized and unorganized townships. Slope County does the snowplowing for all townships.

Nathan stated that the one of the largest challenges for the Slope County is that gravel supplies are getting scarce. Thus, shoulder pulling is a must, and dust abatement is necessary to preserve the existing road surface. Another challenge is obtaining and maintaining funding to get the needed projects accomplished. Nathan’s goal is to keep the county roads functional and safe at all times.

Nathan appreciates working collaboratively with the Slope County Commissioners and his entire road crew. Contact Nathan at: nlmiller@nd.gov or 701-879-5667
Nathan “Nate” Nash is new Adams County Highway Superintendent. Nate was born in Hettinger, raised on a farm near there and graduated from Hettinger High school. After high school, he worked on farms and ranches, first in North Dakota and then in Montana where he continued working in agriculture. He joined the U.S. Army where he served for just over seven years as a mechanic and heavy truck operator in the transportation department. Nate served two tours of duty in Iraq.
After his service, he returned to Montana and worked at many jobs, from moving houses, fighting forest fires and driving truck to working for the Choteau County and Fort Benton road departments. He then moved back to North Dakota and began working for the Adams County Road Department. Last fall, he was promoted to the highway superintendent position, which supervises five other employees. Together, they implement the road program for Adams County and the city of Hettinger.

Nate is a “Professional Uncle” with three nieces and three nephews in the Montana area. He enjoys working to solve all the different problems and opportunities associated with road management.

Contact Nate at (701)567-3376 cell, (701) 567-2235 shop, or at adamscounty@ndsupernet.com .
Chris Opsahl became the McIntosh County Road Superintendent March 1. He has lived in Wishek for 14 years and has heavy equipment and mechanic experience.He spent the last 9 years driving truck for Royal Farms Transport of Wishek. Chris also operates his own repair shop in Wishek.

Chris and his wife, Robin, have 2 children. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and restoring old cars.

Chris is new to the county road crew way of life, but plans to do his best to keep the county roads safe and in good condition. “I know I have some big shoes to fill, replacing Dennis Glas, but I am excited for this new career opportunity” Contact Chris at 701-288-5187 or copsahl@nd,gov .
Todd Weber became the Eddy County Road Superintendent in March. He has more than 30 years of experience in building and maintaining roads, bidding jobs and working with crews. He previously worked for Harvey Sand and Gravel, Lee’s Construction, and Bechtold Excavating.

Growing up in Eddy County, Todd knows the challenges facing the county’s road system with a high water table in some areas and sandy soil in others. Todd says he and his team will improve the roadway infrastructure by being very particular about gravel material that they will use.
Todd and his high school sweetheart, Lori, have two children and one granddaughter. Todd and Lori enjoy spending time outdoors whether that means riding horse, spending time with their Belgium horses or working cattle. Contact Todd at (701) 341-7290 or tjweber@nd.gov .
Fieldsend provides national leadership

 Kevin Fieldsend, Ramsey County, ND Highway Superintendent, is pictured during President Trump's press conference about changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) . Kevin attended the event as part of his role as the NDACo President. Way to go Kevin! We are also proud to have Kevin on the NDLTAP Advisory Board. Leadership happens at the local level. Kevin leads by example!
NDLTAP partner testimonial

" Dale, you, Denise, and the rest of the team at NDLTAP do amazing work. We are proud to partner with you! ." 

--Brennan Quintus, CEO, North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund
NDDOT Tests Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) in Seal Coats

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is trying to reduce seal coat costs for North Dakota roadways. Their tests may prove the viability of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in seal coats while also identifying many other uses for the numerous RAP stockpiles across North Dakota and the rest of the country.  

NDDOT is making the attempt to replicate techniques used in mountainous areas of California where the use of RAP is becoming more common in asphalt seal coats. NDDOT Field Engineer Tyler Wollmuth is leading up testing of the concept on ND 3 from Napoleon to I-94. NDDOT bid and awarded the ND 3 project to Asphalt Surface Technologies Corporation (ASTECH) of St. Cloud Minnesota. The project began in early June of 2019. NDDOT directed ASTECH to process a RAP stockpile located in the NDDOT Napoleon maintenance yard. Read more about the test.

Upcoming conferences:
 
  • North Dakota Roads Conference, January 29-31 in Fargo.

  • ATTSA How To Training and Education Workshop 2020, March 16-18 in Fargo.

  • Local Roads Conference, October 21-22 in Rapid City.

On behalf of the NDLTAP team,

Thank you!
Our Mission

To foster safe, efficient, environmentally sound, and cost effective North Dakota highway, road, and street systems by exchanging transportation technology with North Dakota's local units of government and transportation community through training, technical assistance, and information services as part of the US FHWA's nationwide LTAP network.
Contact us @ NDLTAP 515 1/2 E Broadway, Ste 101, Bismarck ND 58501 -
(701) 328-9855 or ndltap@ugpti.org
NDSU does not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, participation in lawful off-campus activity, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, spousal relationship to current employee, or veteran status, as applicable. Direct inquiries to: Vice Provost, Title IX/ADA Coordinator, Old Main 201, 701-231-7708, ndsu.eoaa@ndsu.edu .