June 2023
"Work hard, love much, be good, cheer on teammates, immerse in nature, have a core belief and follow it, respect the past, teach, stretch, read, choose happy and be grateful"

In the blink of an eye

Yesterday, or so it seems, Jen and I moved from Grand Forks to Dickinson. In the blink of an eye, our careers and vows developed and matured as the calendar advanced 40 years. The shift from learning to creating change is one of the pivotal points that makes life so rewarding. Our past defines us and the energy we invest defines our future.   

June 2 is my last day at UGPTI. Jen and I have decided to move on to the next chapter of our lives. 

We do so with heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to be part of UGPTI, NDLTAP, the Tribal Technical Assistance Program revival, the broad spectrum of partnerships, and the numerous NDDOT projects. UGPTI has provided an incredible opportunity to learn, to share, to create change and to give back in a fashion that truly has been the pinnacle of my career. Working with the wide array of local agency professionals has been a blessing. Stepping away from helping local leaders grow through the various means that NDLTAP leverages made this an extremely difficult decision.  

There are many secrets to individual happiness. A few of my favorites: work hard, love much, be good, cheer on teammates, immerse in nature, have a core belief and follow it, give, respect the past, teach, stretch, read, choose happy, and be grateful.

My hope is that your future is a bit brighter because we crossed paths. Know that is what you shared with me. For that, my friends, I am grateful.  

As Jen and I move on to our next chapter, we hope that our paths will cross again. We can be reached at [email protected].  

And in the blink of an eye. . . 
Updated Road Scholar program is rolling
The NDLTAP Road Scholar program has been redesigned, refined, and updated to include new achievement levels that will simplify and more clearly define the levels of progression through the program.

Each level of achievement has been renamed to match the level of achievement:

Trailblazer (Level 1) -- 30 learning hours including 20 hours of in-person instruction.

Voyager (Level 2) -- 90 learning hours, including 60 hours of in-person instruction.

Road Pro -- 150 learning hours, including 100 hours of in-person instruction.

Get a preview of the new Road Scholar brochure.

The updated program will also include Certificates of Distinction in specialized areas of learning. Local road staff can earn Certificates of Distinction by completing focused areas of learning that provide learners with opportunities to grow and attain key skills and knowledge that enhance their value to their employers. The first certificate to be offered is in leadership which will focus on leadership skills such as communication, motivation, ethics, stress management, public speaking, and many more. Other certificates are planned in asphalt, equipment operation, safety, signing, gravel, culverts and bridges, GRIT-- asset management, and trucking. Get a preview of the new brochure on the Certificates of Distinction.
Changes at Dakota Asphalt Paving Association
Executive Director Ken Swedeen retires

Ken Swedeen has been a great asset to the North Dakota and South Dakota asphalt industry, providing NDLTAP with excellent educational opportunities through the ND Asphalt Conference for 15 years. His expertise in asphalt education and outreach is the best in the industry. NDLTAP expresses our sincere gratitude to Ken for all his support through the years. Best wishes to Ken on his retirement.
“Ken has always been a great advocate for asphalt quality and education. Ken has been a great professional resource to the NDDOT Materials & Research Division over the years, and we value Ken’s contributions to advancing the way we do business.” Amy Beise, PE – NDDOT Materials & Research Division engineer.
Mike Brever is new Executive Director

The DAPA Board is excited to announce the hiring of Mike Brever as the executive director. Brever began work with the association on April 17.

Mike brings to the association 34 years of industry experience working with asphalt materials and quality control. Mike attended Concordia College and has testing certifications in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Mike served on several quality control specification committees and worked in the bituminous industry. He is excited to be representing the industry to public agencies and encouraging standardization on specifications. Mike has been eager to meet members and work together on mutual items of interest in the highway construction industry.
Mike currently resides in Alexandria, MN, with his family. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling, and, in the summer, can be found on the lake enjoying time with his family.
2022 ND Asphalt Conference
Co-moderators Molly Barnes of Northern Improvement Company and Mitch Bitz of Mandan Public Works joined forces to add extra energy to the 2023 ND Asphalt Conference. The "Molly and Mitch Show" stepped things up, adding a "Curiosity Cabinet" to engage participants and involve them in the program.  

Highlights included local agency pavement preservation plans, new technology in the asphalt world, cold weather paving plans, binder selection, project highlights and more. View presentations from the conference.
During the conference, the NDDOT and the Dakota Asphalt Paving Association presented Central Specialties with the 2022 Quality Award for its project on Highway 22 south of Dickinson. Congratulations to this crew for their well-earned recognition! 
Asphalt Conference features hometown hero
Bryce Wuori was one of the many top-notch presenters at this year's ND Asphalt Conference. Building upon the knowledge he gained working for Northern Improvement Company, Bryce started his own company, Wuori Consulting, and developed an asphalt pavement process that syncs intelligent compaction efforts, environmental factors and plant management to create a nationally recognized method for improving pavement quality. 
PAVEWISE is one of the tools that Bryce uses to help contractors produce top-notch results. Pavewise’s web-based software maximizes productivity and improves project quality resulting in increased incentives and profits for paving contractors. Variables such as weather, project specifications and equipment operations impact every paving project. By efficiently managing project variables and integrating paving solutions, Pavewise develops a success strategy for every paving project. In 2022, Pavewise helped contractors generate more than $1.5 million in quality incentives on asphalt paving projects, resulting in over $362,000 in revenue. PAVEWISE is the first intelligent construction software built for improving asphalt paving efficiencies and profits.

With PAVEWISE, Bryce is helping establish the future of asphalt paving! Learn more at Pavewise.pro.
Save the date for next year's conference!

The 2024 ND Asphalt Conference will be April 2-3 at the Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center. This conference is a must for those from local agencies who want to stay up to date on the latest in asphalt paving and who work hard to assure long-lasting and quality pavements in their jurisdictions.

Vision Zero Infrastructure Award
"I’m afraid of flying."  We all know people that share that sentiment. And yet, on commercial flights, our chance of being involved in a fatal crash is about 1 in 11 million. Or stated another way, if you flew every day, it would take more than 30,000 years before you would be involved in a fatal crash.

U.S. Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, challenges us to change the paradigm and create a ground transportation system that mirrors the safety record of air travel. We have a long way to go. Nationally, safety statistics reveal that about 43,000 people die annually on America’s highways, compared with 13 on commercial flights.  

How do we create the spark to change? What are the small steps we need to take to achieve Vision Zero?  Our cumulative efforts make a difference. NDLTAP strives to be a change agent to create a better, safer roadway network through various methods. Here are a few safety targets that you have helped us to champion.
  • Sign Warrior project, where fourth-grade students draw posters for a calendar. The drawings depict how their superhero saves the day by protecting traffic signs from vandalism, gun shots, and other destruction. Like the seat belt law, the effort is meant to have our youth be the change that shifts us in the right direction.
  • Spot on Safety – our team carries safety vests, and we hand them out to anyone in the roadway system that is not visible: the worker who forgot their safety vest, the person changing a flat tire on the edge of the road, the pedestrian, the bicyclist, and so on. In this partnership with ATSSA, we give away vests to show that we care.
  • Gravel road maintenance and gravel quality – from a 4% cross slope to better gravel, our efforts target improving the safety aspect of our gravel roadway network. By far the largest component in our road network, gravel roads account for approximately 60,000 miles and eat up nearly two thirds of local roadway budgets. Better gravel saves lives.
This sampling is the tip of the iceberg. The list of what the NDLTAP team and our partners accomplish could fill the rest of this newsletter and then some. 

Vision Zero is an integral part of all of all NDLTAP classes. It is a targeted effort to make small shifts in behavior and practices that put us all on a trend toward Vision Zero. It is an intentional effort at creating change and saving lives.

Last month’s Vision Zero Conference was so special. Accepting the Vision Zero Infrastructure award in partnership with our team, partners, local agencies, the NDDOT and FHWA -- those that support the call to create a safer roadway network and a better North Dakota -- was quite an honor.
Students recognized for Sign Warrior art
As the school year ended, NDLTAP and local partners recognized fourth graders across the state for submitting drawings for the 2023-2024 Sign Warrior Calendar. Students submitted posters illustrating the benefits of road signs and how a sign warrior could protect signs from theft and vandalism. Posters from among those submitted will be used to create the annual sign warrior calendar created by NDLTAP. NDLTAP staff and local road department staff and law enforcement visited classrooms across the state to recognize winners and provide further education on the importance of signs. Students with posters selected to appear in the calendar were invited to explain their poster to the class and guests and were presented with a certificate recognizing their accomplishment.

  • In Pembina County, Road Superintendent Devin Johnson, Deputy Sheriff Marcus Ramsey recognized students at the Cavalier Public School. The students were enthusiastic participants and had a numerous questions for Superintendent Devin and Deputy Marcus.
  • At Tate Topa School in Fort Totten, students (pictured below) were greeted by Clarence Greene, Spirit Lake Road Superintendent. Students there also asked great questions.
  • At Park River Public School, Walsh County Road Superintendent Jason Johnston responded to inquiries from the students and recognized the excellent art submissions.
  • In Cass County, Sheriff Jesse Jahner and Road Superintendent Blaine Laaveg. recognized Ms. Mellum’s class and led an interactive discussion on the importance of road signs, their shapes and colors, and what to do should they notice a sign is missing or has been vandalized.
  • In Nelson County, Mrs. Avdem’s class at Dakota Prairie Elementary in McVille had a great discussion on the importance of road signs.
  • In Emmons County, Mrs. Pfeifer’s students had a great discussion with County Road Superintendent Skyler Prellwitz.
  • In Dunn County at Twin Buttes Elementary School in Halliday, Ms. Barcena's class discussed the ways to protect road signs.
  • In Williams County at Lewis and Clark Elementary in Williston, Ms. Morken's class learned about the different shapes and colors of road signs.
  • in Ward County, County Engineer Dana Larsen visited Ms. Smith's class at Longfellow Elementary in Minot to discuss the importance of signs.
  • In McKenzie County, sign foreman Eric Veil visited Ms. Jocelyn Bergquist's class at Watford City elementary and led a discussion on how important road signs are.
  • At White Shield Elementary in Roseglen, Ms. Marquard's class learned more about road signs.

Signs Save Lives. Great job Sign Warriors!!
Customer's Shepherd class launched
Jody Jones, ND LTAP administrative assistant and Customer Shepherd, led the launch of the new and appropriately named Customer's Shepherd class in May. The class guide is the book, Legendary Service, The Key is to Care, by Ken Blanchard.

With a focus on exceptional service, Jody and the team shared tips and tricks to tap into customer feedback and build a flock of public support. Mitch Bitz, Mandan Public Works Director and co-instructor, shared the mirror principle with the class - the image we see in the mirror defines who is responsible for customer happiness and the light that reflects from a mirror reminds us to shine light or help customers understand the situation and see the resolution to their concern.

Nicole Peske, NDDOT Communications Director, shared an incredible message on how to share info with the public through social media.
Participants learned that accountability, transparency, kindness and understanding are keys to creating world-class service. A key take-away was how to make the switch from having to handle tough calls from the public to creating opportunities to help. In the process of doing so, we make our jobs more rewarding, and at the same time, the public is the winner! 
2023 motor grader operator training begins
Motorgrader operator training for 2023 began recently with instruction in Sheridan County. Arlin Haider, a new motor grader operator instructor, led the class. Arlin is currently an instructor for Heavy Equipment Operations at Sitting Bull Community College. Arlin has extensive work experience in the construction field. We are pleased to have him training with the NDLTAP program. Randy Watson and Russell Klimpel from Mountrail County will also be instructors for the NDLTAP MGO training again this year.

A second training was held in Sioux County in early June with students from Sitting Bull College and staff from the Standing Rock Tribal Road Department and the Sioux County Road Department attending. In mid-June a class was held in Cavalier County and a class is tentatively scheduled for Lamoure County later this summer.
For more information about NDLTAP's motor grader operator training or to recommend someone or apply as an instructor, contact Denise Brown at (701) 238-9856 or [email protected].
2023 Transportation Conference Brings Value for County Road Departments
The North Dakota Transportation Conference has become the go-to conference for local road professionals across the state who want to network and learn about the latest in road and bridge technology and policies.

“If you are only going to one transportation conference a year this is the one to attend,” said Jason Johnston, Walsh County Highway Superintendent.

This year, more than 800 transportation professionals attended the two-day conference in March at the Bismarck Event Center. Employees from county, tribal, and city agencies attended to learn and network with colleagues from the ND Department of Transportation (NDDOT), the Federal Highway Administration, engineering companies, contracting firms, and equipment and material suppliers. The conference was organized and presented by NDDOT in partnership with the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UGPTI) at North Dakota State University.

APWA shares new resource center
The new APWA Resource Center makes accessing APWA education sessions, webinars, toolboxes, and videos easy and enjoyable! The resource center combines the APWA Members’ Library, APWA Resource links, and C4S page into a one-stop-shop for all of your educational needs. In just a few clicks of a button, you can filter information by subject, topic, or media-type, based on your preferences.
STIC Showcase features homegrown innovations
The EDC-7 virtual summit included a National State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Network Showcase with more than 100 homegrown innovations developed and implemented by agencies across the country. The virtual summit also featured short presentations from state and local agencies on several of these homegrown innovations, which can be watched on-demand from the summit website. Read more.
Virtual summit launches Every Day Counts round 7
FHWA kicked off round seven of the Every Day Counts program (EDC-7) with a virtual summit in February that introduced the seven ready-to-deploy innovations being promoted in 2023 and 2024. The three-day event included more than 2,900 registered attendees from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico representing state departments of transportation (DOTs), more than 200 local agencies, 80 metropolitan planning organizations, tribes, academia, industry associations, the private sector, and other federal agencies.

Each day included keynote speakers from FHWA and state DOT leadership and other innovation champions from the public and private sectors, as well as breakout sessions with EDC-7 implementation teams. The summit also featured short presentations from state and local agencies on Homegrown Innovations and virtual EDC-7 booths with fact sheets, videos, and more. Sessions can be viewed on demand by registering on the virtual summit homepage.

Dates to remember and upcoming conferences:
July 23-26, 2023 – 13th TRB International Conference on Low Volume Roads. This event will be held in Cedar Rapids, IA, and NDLTAP is arranging van transportation. Reserve your seat now!
August 16 – Welding Basics. Dunn county Highway Department, Kildeer.
August 17 – Welding Basics. City of Minot Public Works.
August 22 – OSHA 10-Hour Training, Sitting Bull College, Fort Yates.
September 12-14 – National Summit on Rural Road Safety, Oklahoma City
October 23-25 - North Central Regional Local Road Conference - Sioux Falls, SD
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.
NDLTAP and its programs are sponsored by FHWA, ND Department of Transportation, Western Dakota Energy Association, ND Insurance Reserve Fund, ND Township Officers Association, the Northland Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and ND chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Contact us @ NDLTAP 515 1/2 E Broadway, Ste 101, Bismarck ND 58501 -
(701) 328-9855 or [email protected]

NDLTAP Newsletter editor is UGPTI Communications Coordinator Tom Jirik
Contact Tom at [email protected]
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, [email protected].