June 2019
Two simple words
Thank you – two simple words that make such a difference. On behalf of the NDLTAP team, please know that we are thankful for the opportunity to serve, the friendships that we have developed, and the chapters of life that we write together. 

The NDLTAP world is changing. As it does so, we owe thanks to several individuals who have had a huge impact on NDLTAP.

In March, Andrew Wrucke left UGPTI/NDLTAP and joined the City of West Fargo, Public Works. Andrew was a powerful teammate and has left a big hole in our team. Thank you, Andrew, for your significant contributions!  As Andrew was leaving, he shared how he enjoyed helping our local leaders and cited LTAP as the state’s best kept secret.   

As if Andrew’s move didn’t hurt enough, Sandy Baisch has decided to retire on July 12th. Sandy is one of the smiling faces that makes NDLTAP a National leader. The pain of her pending departure, is offset by our desire for her to reach her lifelong goals. Of the many retirement plans that she and her husband Darrell have in the works, her eyes light up the most when she talks about her plans to provide missionary assistance abroad. A big shout out for her stellar efforts. Sandy, you will be missed!

In April, Tom Sorel , NDDOT Director, announced his move back to Minnesota. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Tom for his leadership and the direction that he has charted for the state. Of all his advancements, Vision Zero may be the most impactful. No matter how we use the transportation network, getting everyone home safe every night is more than a goal, it needs to be a way of life. Thank you Tom!

In March, Wendall Meyer , FHWA ND District Administrator, was selected to be the new Minnesota District Administrator. Wendall’s leadership created an “I’m from FHWA and here to help” culture that allowed partner agencies to grow. Wendall’s guidance on the NDLTAP Advisory board will be missed. Wendall was always encouraging and supportive. Thank you!
The door's always open

Want to be an honorary LTAPer for a day? Are you in Bismarck and need a place to work? Our door is always open. If you need a desk for an hour or a week, stop by our office in downtown Bismarck. Sandy says she will even make up an office nameplate to make your honorary status official.  
NDLTAP's value to the City of Dickson

By Darryl Wehner, Chief Street Maintenance Operator, City of Dickinson
Submitted as part of Wehner's efforts toward completion of the Road Scholar 3 designation

 The City of Dickinson has participated in the LTAP program since 1998. We view it as a way to supplement our in-house training program and a way to expose employees to skills and techniques they aren’t exposed to on a regular basis. In the city environment, with the majority of the streets being paved, we don’t have a lot of opportunity to work with gravel roads, culverts, and other routine tasks performed by county operators.  Our operators benefit from this basic knowledge tasks when they need to perform these low-frequency tasks. With the wide range of subjects offered by LTAP, our operators are able to better understand the “hows and whys” of road design, construction, and maintenance.

The classes related to Work Zone Safety not only give new operators basic knowledge on setting up a safe work zone, but also offer veteran operators updates and refreshers on staying safe in work zones. Signing classes helped the sign crew understand how and where to install signs and the regulations that must be followed. The sign truck class helped them develop plans for their sign truck project and learn about new equipment. One example from the class was a demo of various sign post hammer styles. The switch from a traditional heavy sign post driver to a light-weight pneumatic hammer reduces lifting injury issues and increases productivity. 

The City of Dickinson values LTAP training so much that Road Scholar certification is written into our job descriptions for positions above entry level. When classes are posted, everyone who has not attended that class previously is signed up to attend. The small amount of production lost while they are attending class is repaid many times over by the knowledge they gain.

The City of Dickinson will continue participating in the LTAP program and Road Scholar certification long into the future. It has become part of our culture, and the vast majority of operators are eager for the information provided by this program.  

NDLTAP note: The City of Dickinson is a wonderful partner, often hosting NDLTAP events, ranging from indoor class room to outdoor equipment demo exercises. Last year, the City won the North Dakota “You Show Us” contest with their Crack Leveling Spreader. Check it out at https://www.ndltap.org/events/showus/ .   Never stop learning is a way of life for the City of Dickinson team!
No need to feel like a Lone Ranger
NDLTAP works hard to make sure there are no Lone Rangers out there. Whenever a new road team leader is hired or promoted, one of our NDLTAP team members schedules a face-to-face meeting to help them get started. 

You can help too. A phone call or email from an existing road leader to a new leader can have quite an impact. Pick up the phone and make the call. But be careful, you may end up with a friend for life.

Congratulations to some of this year’s new road crew leaders: 

  • Scotty Satermo, MHA Transportation Director
  • Jon Alt, Grant County Road Superintendent
  • Chris Opsahl, McIntosh County Road Superintendent
  • Sean Mattern, Renville County Road Superintendent
  • Todd Weber, Eddy County Road Superintendent
  • Nathan Miller, Slope County Road Superintendent
  • Seth Hamry, Nelson County Road Superintendent
  • Brent Keller, Wells County Road Superintendent
Denise Brown: NDLTAP's road warrior
Denise has kicked off the summer with one of the most high-impact offerings in our entire program -- Motor Grader Operator Training. 

Better roads are safer roads and motor grader operators play a critical role in making the state's gravel roads better and safer. NDLTAP motor grader operator consultants Gary Steiner and Russell Klimpel are on the road to help operators better understand material properties and equipment capabilities. 

Denise is leading this training effort and is excited to see how professional the county and township operators are and how willing that they are to learn.

During the training, Denise shared, “Williams County is an example of how a county continues each year to train their motor grader operators. Dennis Nelson, Williams County Road Superintendent, was on site to support the team. Tanner and the crew were so enthusiastic, their attitude toward learning was amazing. Being in the field helping people grow across the state is incredible. I love my job!”

Contact Denise at denise.brown.1@ndsu.edu or (701) 220-0101 to get your crew on the list for this specialized training. She’s already reserving 2020 times.  
North Dakota leads the way!
FHWA recently posted a series of videos to YouTube on low-cost safety improvements. Watch for star performances by: Denise Brown, NDLTAP and Gary Steiner and Jason Bergquist, Burleigh County. Special thanks to Wayne Klein, Burleigh County Road Superintendent, for helping the film crew and for finding good areas to illustrate the targeted safety items.

Thanks to those who participated in this project and we encourage you to share these with co-workers, friends, and your public affairs office. You can also post them on social media and share them in presentations. FYI, some of you appear in multiple videos. Thanks again!

Find all the low-cost safety improvement videos at: https://www.youtube.com/user/USDOTFHWA/videos

Click on the grahics below to see samples especially pertinent to ND roads or featuring local stars:
More than 80 percent of the fatal crashes on unpaved roads in 2017 were single vehicle crashes. Drivers run off the road and either rollover or strike a fixed object such as a tree or utility pole. Learn what low-cost safety strategies were used to improve unpaved roads in North and South Dakota.
Pavement markings are one of the least expensive countermeasures available for improving safety and can reduce crashes by 15 percent. Agencies should consider installing center lines and edge lines even where they are not required and may try adopting 6-inch edge lines rather than the standard 4-inch.
In January, the North Dakota DOT became the newest member of National Road Research Alliance (NRRA - pronounced N double-R A). That big step made it possible for a delegation of North Dakotans (pictured below) to attend NRRA’s Pavement Workshop in May. The workshop included classes in the Twin Cities and field reviews at the MnROAD site near Albertville, MN.  Korby Seward and Amy Beise, NDDOT, both provided exceptional presentations at the conference, reflecting well on North Dakota and all we do here. Learn more about NRRA by visiting https://www.ndltap.org/resources/nrra/ .

Spotlight city: Wilton, ND

As NDLTAP asphalt consultant Gerard Feist travels the state to help road and street crews understand pavement preservation, he is always on the lookout for areas of needed maintenance problems to solve.  Traveling past Wilton one evening he drove through the city to check their street conditions with plans to call them and offer his assistance at a later date. What he found was a community that does an exceptional job of taking care of their streets.

“We need to send the City of Wilton a big ‘attaboy’ for their exceptional efforts in crack sealing and taking care of their streets,” Gerard shared. “This is the best crack sealing that I have seen, with filled joints, complete city coverage and a great job of sealing the pavement/curb joint. Even their overband work was perfect.  This is also a great county/city partnership since the city buys their oil from Burleigh County. Wilton sets the standard.” 

Research shows that failing to seal the pavement/curb line can reduce the street section carrying capacity by 80%. Looks like the Wilton crew of Terry Hutslar and Dean Larson understand the power of water, the true value in pavement preservation, and how to perform quality work.  Kuddos to Wilton, our spotlight city.
UGPTI award winners

UGPTI award winners will be recognized at an Oct. banquet in Fargo. Congratulations to all winners with a special note of recognition to Tim Horner, Lifetime Achievement Award winner and my boss. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have had a distinguished career in a transportation related field and recognizes long-term excellence in transportation. Well-deserved my friend!

Other winners include Senator Rich Wardner, recipient of the John M. Agrey Award, and Don Anderson, recipient of the Chairman’s Award. Visit https://www.ugpti.org/awards/ for more information.
2020 Sign Warrior program is just around the corner!

Watch for an upcoming announcement for the 2020 calendar poster contest. All 4th grade classes in the states will be eligible to participate. 

This safety effort has received widespread attention. North Dakota Game & Fish is adding this to their Hunter Safety classes, and will be sharing the vandalism message with over 5,000 students annually.  ATSSA has invited us to present at their National Conference in August with hopes that the program gains traction nationally.  Signs save lives. Together we can make a difference!
Help! Save those bullet-riddled signs

 ND Game & Fish is looking for 150 shot-up signs. They want to pass one sign out to each hunter safety program instructor across the state so that they have a show-and-tell piece for the class. Mountrail County has already donated a bunch of signs. 

If you have shot-up signs that you can donate or that we can purchase, please send me a note at dale.heglund@ndsu.edu or 701-318-6893. NDLTAP will collect the signs and prepare class materials.

UGPTI's new tribal liaison

Joy Anne Annette is UGPTI's new tribal liaison. As tribal liaison, she will work with Native American tribes in North Dakota and across the region to provide access to UGPTI resources and expertise for enhancing transportation.

Annette was most recently a family support social worker with White Earth Indian Child Welfare. She earned a B.S. in Education and speech Communications from NDSU and also studied graphic arts at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, MA. She also earned a certificate of continuing education in grant Writing from Fond Du Lac Community College in Cloquet, MN. She previously worked as a licensing worker with the Upper Midwest American Indian Center in Minneapolis, was a high school teacher, and was director of Native American Programs at Concordia College in Moorhead. She serves on the White Earth Tribal and Community College Council of Trustees where she is currently secretary. She is also a founding member of the White Earth Grandmothers Council.
ND hosts National Local Roads Safety Plan Peer Exchange

North Dakota NDDOT, FHWA and NDLTAP hosted a National Local Roads Safety Plan Peer Exchange Meeting May 14 and 15. The NDDOT and FHWA attendees were incredible, providing awesome support and energy to help our county and city leaders. A big note of thanks to Sharon Lisph, Walsh County Highway Superintendent, Dennis Nelson, Williams County Highway Superintendent, and Mark Berg, City of Bismarck Traffic Engineer for participating.

The information handoffs were incredible. We’ll share info at an upcoming Road Conference.
NDLTAP customer testimonial

"NDLTAP's assistance is incredible. The personal assistance, ability to tap into them as a resource and for advice anytime, the field outreach, and more is a critical and valuable part of our county's learning and growth plan. Their help to develop, train us on use and expand the asset inventory system, GRIT, has got to be the best in the nation.   With over 37 years under my belt, I learn every day. Thanks to NDLTAP for providing the learning opportunities that make us better." 

--Todd A. Miller, Stark County Road Operations Specialist.
Presentation gurus

Congratulations to the first class of Becoming a Presentation Guru graduates. These staffers from the NDDOT were rockstars! The course walks through the process that breaks down presentation challenges and provides simple tips for success. Participants learned how to engage the audience and develop their own presentation styles. The 4-hour class was offered April 29 in Bismarck.
County project highlight: Bottineau County
Rich Gimbel, Bottineau County Road Supervisor, reports that his department was looking for the best option to stabilize a three-mile section of gravel road with a high volume of trucks going to grain elevators. The department did a pilot project about three years ago on one mile of the section, stabilizing it with Base One and leaving the other two miles. At that time, they did not spec the gravel to a class 13 modified. The two miles of unstabilized road had to be pulled back in every year because trucks kept pushing shoulders out, causing the road to become wide and flat. Meanwhile the one-mile section stabilized with Base One stayed in shape.

Last year they did the two-mile section with Base One, but this time they did so with a class 13 modified. They have not bladed these two miles since last August, but the original mile needed to be reshaped this spring after snow melt, but should be fine until mid-fall when they usually reshape again before winter.

“To us, it is very obvious that a spec’d class 13 modified with a Base One stabilizer is out-preforming a non-spec’d gravel with Base One,” Gimbel said. “But with that said the first original mile is still keeping the road profile 100 times better than what was not treated. Like it was said at the meeting in Stanley: good gravel is KEY!”
Lamoure County earns County Road Day event through leadership
Each year, the NDLTAP team selects one county to honor through a County Road Day. For 2019, Lamoure County is the winner. Why? County Commissioner involvement. 

Bruce Klein, Lamoure County Commissioner, is a strong advocate for the road crew. Josh Loegering, County Engineer, and Tim Geinert, County Operator and Township Officer, are moving the county forward. Leadership seems to come naturally to this group who have put forth impressive efforts to lead the pack. One example of that leadership is the snow plow tracking software system that they launched this winter to help the public make educated travel plans based upon road conditions. Snow plow locations and road condition info is posted live and available online at https://lamourecountynd.com/LaMoureCounty-SnowPlowPath . Take a look at this awesome tool.

Stay tuned as more details for the Lamoure County Road Day are finalized and publicized.
Gravel Surfacing = Never Stop Improving
Better Gravel = Better Roads
Better Roads = Safer Roads
A big note of thanks to RoadWorx, Base One, and DMC Wear Parts for being part of the Glue for Gravel Roads classes this spring. The class focus is on understanding gravel quality, roadway shape, materials to enhance roadways and equipment performance.   

Class 5 gravel is material to be used under a pavement. It should not be used as aggregate surfacing. 

Class 13 gravel may be a decent aggregate surfacing, but needs cohesive fines that bind the rock and sand together to perform well. 

With roughly 60,000 miles of gravel road in the state, gravel quality is a key component in roadway safety and structural carrying capacity. So what target areas should we look at and why? 

NDLTAP is working on various efforts to answer that question. Our motor grader operator training includes one critical item, 4% cross-slope. Too flat and the gravel potholes, too steep and the traffic uses only the middle of the road or runs the risk of tipping over. That’s where the motor grader operator talent ends, the rest is up to the gravel purchasing agent.

Gravel can be quite complicated. NDLTAP can help gravel road agencies understand gravel prospecting, gravel production specs, quality control and quality assurance testing, gravel performance prediction models, and gravel placement. When we look at clay and the cohesive properties of gravel, gravel specs and testing can be a challenge for suppliers. Clay is the binder that holds the sand and rock together. Generally, clay is needed for stabilizers and dust suppressants to perform too. 

Gravel can be purchased without any binder.  If it is, a binder will need to be added during hauling or placement. NDLTAP has worked with the NDDOT to develop a sample starting spec with a plasticity index (PI). PI is a test that essentially describes how cohesive or sticky the fines are. Other tests, such as the hydrometer and sand equivalent, can be used to determine the amount of clay in a sample. The amount of clay is not directly related to the cohesiveness of the material. 

We are exploring ways to see how local materials compare with the three test methods (i.e., PI, hydrometer and sand equivalent) with the hopes of providing a testing process that is faster and not as dependent upon a lab tester’s experience level. The good news is that on an upcoming Department of Defense project, testing will be done to see how PI, sand equivalent and hydrometer testing correlate for our local materials. We hope to learn if we can use other faster, more repeatable testing to help us understand how a gravel may perform.

 Thanks to the NDDOT and FHWA for helping us find answers as we continue to look into options to make better gravel for local roads.  
Pavement preservation class launched

Special thanks to Kirk Odegaard, City of Tioga Public Superintendent, and his crew for hosting the Pavement Preservation Pilot Class. Rodney Ness, Swanston Equipment, and Gerard Feist, NDLTAP, provided the expertise to help participants learn about pavement preservation techniques in the class and in the field. Tioga hosted a great day of learning.
Help with 129,000# truck routes
Not sure if the 129,000# trucks can negotiate your roadway curves? The DOTSC team at UGPTI developed an AutoTURN process to help.  Download the document. For more information and resources on 129,00# truck routes, go to:
Helpful resources

Follow us on Facebook. NDLTAP's Facebook page is an easy way to find out what's going on in your area and keep up with road-related learning opportunities across the state. Look for us at https://www.facebook.com/ndltap/

The Tribal Transportation Assistance Program, TTAP, offers a wealth of learning options for you to choose from. The TTAP Maintenance & Operations Training event in Bismarck July 9-12 will feature courses on work zone safety, temporary traffic control, gravel road maintenance and design, soil stabilization and dust abatement, erosion control, pavement preservation strategies and more. See more
Upcoming conferences:
I love bridges!  If you do too, consider attending the National Bridge Preservation Conference in Bismarck Oct. 15-17 . To encourage local participation, the Conference Committee has 10 scholarships for free registration that will be available to local county, city and township leaders. For scholarship details contact Nancy Huether, NDDOT Bridge Structural Management, at (701) 328-4450 or nmhuether@nd.gov .
The Local Roads Conference will be Oct 16-17 in Rapid City . NDLTAP and the ND Association of County Engineers will again be hosting transportation to the conference via a motor coach that leaves from Fargo. All county commissioners can ride the bus free and they can take one of their road crew members along for free also. The conference committee is also providing five free registration scholarships for any first-time attendees. It's simple to apply - just send us an email request at ndltap@ugpti.org

The NDLTAP team gets to put together the conference agenda. Now is a great time to send in any topics or presenter suggestions. Please send your ideas to ndltap@ugpti.org . Registration will open in August.
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 .