January 2024
Issue 116
In This Issue:
  • T2 Center Training Team: Looking Ahead in 2024!
  • Leaders to Watch: Justin Porter, Town of East Lyme
  • Connecticut Public Works: Promotions & Announcements
  • Safety Matters: Traffic Safety, a New Year's Resolution for All
  • Innovation Station: Top 5 Trending Technologies Get the Nod for 2024
  • The 11th Edition of the MUTCD Is Now Available!
  • CTDOT Releases Automated Traffic Enforcement Safety Guidance for Municipalities
  • OSHA's Winter Weather Safety and Health Resources
  • NEAPWA Chapter Connects: Winter Operations — Challenges and Solutions (Video)
T2 Center Training Team: Looking Ahead in 2024!
Thank you all for your interest in professional development and your support of the Training & Technical Assistance (T2) Center. The T2 Training Team has been hard at work planning another year full of opportunities for you and your crews to learn about new technologies and practices, share ideas and innovations, and improve your operations. We hope you find the variety of offerings interesting and beneficial to your agency.
The new schedule can be found here. As you look over the schedule, please let us know if you are interested in hosting a session. We appreciate being able to offer trainings around the state and in partnership with local agencies. As a host, you will benefit from having the training in town because your staff doesn't have to travel for the class they need. You will also receive two (2) scholarship seats valued at $100.00 each from the T2 Center for your staff to attend a class of their choosing, valid for one year from issuance.

In the coming weeks, we will be sending out the Host Site Requirements with more details on the type of space we need to ensure a successful workshop session for all. If you know of a facility in your town that meets these requirements and you would like to be a host for us, we'd love to hear from you! Please contact Bethe Greene at [email protected].

We would also like to offer an added Thank you to the 36 municipalities that hosted a T2 workshop in 2023. Your continued support is greatly appreciated!

Justin Porter, Town of East Lyme
Justin Porter is an East Lyme success story and a leader to watch in the Connecticut Public Works community. He graduated from East Lyme High School in 2002 and eagerly joined the workforce in roles within the service and medical fields. In 2016, following his passion for service and his fondness for the outdoors and construction, Justin made a change and joined the East Lyme Highway Department. His very first role was in a Maintainer position, which allowed him to demonstrate his technical skills, work ethic, integrity, and ability to connect with people. The Department quickly saw his talent and, in just over two years, he went from the last employee hired to the General Foreman of a department of 23 employees. It was apparent at that time that Justin had “it”, a knack for using his knowledge and skills to lead people. He continued developing his organizational and leadership skills and was promoted to the East Lyme Highway Superintendent in 2021. In 2023, Justin applied for and was accepted into the 8th Cohort for the T2 Center’s Transportation Leadership Program and is thriving with his fellow cohort members on his leadership development journey. He is always looking at ways to improve the efficiency of the Department while mentoring and developing his staff along the way. 

Outside of work, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife Mallory and their two sons, Jack and James. The Town of East Lyme is very proud to have Justin as part of their Public Works team. 
The T2 Center has launched this new section to our monthly e-newsletter, Connecticut Public Works: Promotions & Announcements. Have you promoted a crew member on your team? Has your department received an accolade? Let us celebrate these successes with our CT Public Works community. Please email Regina Hackett your agency's great news and we will publish it in an upcoming newsletter.
Town of Wethersfield

  • Dan O'Neil has been promoted to Senior Heavy Equipment Operator. He started as a Maintainer I, and over the years has received promotions to Maintainer II, Maintainer III, and now holds the highest position as the Senior Equipment Operator.

  • Ted Hilchuk has been promoted to Maintainer III. He started as a Maintainer I in the Parks Department. Upon completing his CDL B became a Maintainer II and now with his CDL A is a Maintainer III.

  • Will Adams has been promoted to Tree Care Specialist. He started as a Maintainer I in Parks and became a Maintainer II in Highway. Will moved away from CT and then moved back. He restarted his career in Wethersfield as a Maintainer I and now is pursuing a career working on the tree crew as a Tree Care Specialist.

  • Patrick Neilan has been appointed to Maintainer I. Patrick has worked as a part-time seasonal worker who is now joining us as a full-time employee.

Town of Simsbury
  • Tom Roy, Director of Public Works, was welcomed as incoming NEAPWA Chapter President on December 16, 2023, at the annual NEAPWA Holiday Board Meeting.

Town of Ellington

  • Taylor Olson has been promoted from Lead Mechanic to Department of Public Works Foreman.

  • Sam Saunders has been promoted from Refuse/Recycling Coordinator to Refuse/Recycling Manager.

City of Norwalk

  • Garrett Bolella, Assistant Director of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking, has been honored as one of ten individuals selected in the 2024 ENR Regional Top Young Professionals Competition. This annual program honors outstanding young professionals working in the design or construction industry who have made an impact while exhibiting qualities such as leadership, career progress, and community service.
Traffic Safety, a New Year's Resolution for All
As with every new year, 2024 brings a fresh start and new resolutions for everyone. One of the best goals we can set for ourselves is to help make our roadways safer. As we look at the preliminary year-end totals found on the Connecticut Crash Data Repository (CTCDR), we find that 2023 saw a decrease in traffic fatalities compared to 2022. While this is a good step in the right direction, the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roadways was still far too high. As we move toward our goal of having zero traffic fatalities, there are many things we can personally do to help keep everyone safe. Let’s consider making it one of our resolutions to make all Connecticut roads safer in the New Year. Here are some tips for everyone to follow.
If you are operating a vehicle:

  1. Always wear your seat belt. According to NHTSA, “It’s important to buckle up every trip, every time, no matter where you’re sitting in a vehicle, including the back seat. In 2021, nearly 60% of back seat passengers who were killed in a crash were unbuckled (based on known seat belt use).” Seatbelts save lives. It’s not just a slogan, it’s a fact!

To continue reading, click here.
For assistance with increasing traffic safety in your community, please contact the T2 Center Safety Circuit Rider Team Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, or Jason Hughes, Safety Technical Associate.
Top 5 Trending Technologies Get the Nod for 2024
Every year since 2018, APWA holds an annual contest to determine the Top Trending Technologies in Public Works for the upcoming year.

APWA’s Technical Committees, Standing Committees, and the Council of Chapters all give input and suggestions with the top 16 technologies ultimately selected. Then the voting begins. Technologies battle it out until the ultimate victors are chosen. After two rounds and 4,590 total votes across 915 bracket entries, the winners for 2024 are:

  • Artificial Intelligence Condition Assessment Data Collection 
  • Availability of Centralized Community GIS mapping data 
  • Lead Service Line Identification 
  • Microgrids
  • Sustainability Due to Severe Events—Improving Transportation Infrastructure

All these were chosen because they are either rapidly developing technologies, or they are being used in new and innovative ways. Continue reading to learn more about the five Top Trending Technologies selected by this year’s voters. Throughout 2024, APWA’s educational offerings will take deeper dives into each of these technologies to offer timely and relevant ideas and best practices that can be applied to public works operations going forward.

Click here to continue reading.
11th Edition of the MUTCD Is Now Available!
On December 19, 2023, a final rule adopting the 11th Edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) was published in the Federal Register. The new MUTCD includes a number of updates to improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and all road users.
States must adopt the 11th Edition of the National MUTCD, or have a State MUTCD or Supplement that is in substantial conformance with the National MUTCD as their legal State standard for traffic control devices within two years. The Federal Register notice, which provides detailed discussion of the final dispositions of major changes from the 2009 Edition, can be viewed here. To view the 11th Edition of the MUTCD and other related information, go to the MUTCD Current Edition web page

Check out the MUTCD News Feed for up-to-the-minute information on new items such as Interim Approvals, Official Interpretations, Policy Statements, Federal Register notices—everything you need to make the most of your MUTCD and keep road users on the move!
CTDOT Releases Automated Traffic Enforcement Safety Guidance for Municipalities
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is releasing guidance for municipalities that elect to use automated traffic enforcement safety devices, such as red light and speed safety cameras, in their communities. Pursuant to Public Act 23-116, CTDOT was required to develop guidance on the plan development, criteria, and application submission. To view the guidance, click here.
“The CTDOT team worked incredibly hard over the last several months in partnership with community partners and elected officials in creating guidance for municipalities that has all the information and resources necessary to ensure automated traffic enforcement safety devices are used appropriately. Automated traffic enforcement safety devices have been proven to significantly reduce crashes and serious injuries, and ultimately save lives,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett Eucalitto. “This legislation is the first of its kind in Connecticut. By developing a comprehensive guidance, we are ensuring our roads will become safer for everyone.”

Automated traffic enforcement safety devices include red light cameras and speed safety cameras. The Public Act does not provide a mandate for municipalities to install these devices, but rather, they must opt-in with a vote of their legislative body. The Public Act requires the guidance be consistent with the goals of installing traffic enforcement safety devices in locations where they are likely to improve traffic safety and ensuring that the distribution of the devices throughout the municipality is equitable.

By releasing the guidance, Connecticut towns and cities are now able to start the process of submitting applications to CTDOT. 

For more information on CT's Automated Traffic Enforcement Safety Device (ATESD) Program, click here.
OSHA's Winter Weather Safety and Health Resources
With the winter weather Connecticut has been experiencing this season, now is a good time to remind everyone that OSHA has resources on winter weather safety and health. These resources are designed to help protect workers, particularly those working outdoors, from exposure to extreme cold, injuries during snow removal, slipping on ice, and other winter weather hazards.
Check out OSHA’s webpage dedicated to Winter Weather.
NEAPWA Chapter Connects: Winter Operations — Challenges and Solutions (Video)
While COVID-19 was a major challenge for many public works departments, new and innovative practices were created that continue to be utilized today. In this video, you will hear from a panel of public works professionals discussing the challenges of winter operations and sharing new techniques they are using to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and support DPW storm crews. Current weather predictions for the Northeast are calling for snowier and colder conditions this winter, pick up a few tips that can help your department this winter season.
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Visit T2Center.uconn.edu for more information and resources.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for future Connecticut Crossroads topics, please feel free to email the designer Regina Hackett at [email protected]