November 2021
Issue 90
In This Issue:
  • Safety Matters: Introducing the FHWA Rural Roadway Departure Countermeasure Pocket Guide
  • Signal Spotlight: NEW Tailgate Talk - PPE for Traffic Signal Technicians
  • Innovation Station: STICs Deploy Homegrown Innovations
  • Town Crier: John Lawlor Bridge Dedication
  • 2021 Roadway Safety Awards
  • New Connecticut Law Requires All Backseat Passengers to Wear a Seat Belt
  • Cornell Local Roads Program's Underdrain Backfill Filtering Effects Video
  • Thanksgiving Message from the T2 Center
Introducing the FHWA Rural Roadway Departure Countermeasure Pocket Guide
As part of the ongoing work to reduce rural roadway departures across the country, the Federal Highway Administration has developed a Rural Roadway Departure Countermeasure pocket guide. This guide, found here, provides local agencies with a quick reference for identifying possible countermeasures for various issues they may identify in the field. It is meant to be a hands-on approach to reducing roadway departure crashes and can be distributed to those employees who work on your local roads daily, to assist them in making your roads safer.

The guide is organized into three color-coded sections which align with the proven countermeasure categories – keeping vehicles in lane, reducing potential for a crash and minimizing severity. Also included is a graph that identifies the countermeasures within each section and provides information on whether that solution is a low, medium or high cost.
To continue this article, click here.

For more information and assistance with local road safety in your community, contact Melissa Evans, Safety Circuit Rider, at melissa.evans@uconn.edu.
Signal Spotlight: NEW Tailgate Talk - PPE for Traffic Signal Technicians
The T2 Center has published our newest Tailgate Talk informational brief. Each Tailgate Talk focuses on one on-the-job safety topic and is designed to be shared with your crew at the beginning of their day. When employees are presented with safety material in small chunks, in a setting in which they are comfortable, they are more likely to retain that information and put it into practice.
Traffic signal technicians are exposed to a number of workplace hazards including vehicle strikes, falls, and electric shock. Technicians can reduce their risk and make sure they get home safely at the end of the day by wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
If you have traffic signal systems questions, please contact:
Theresa Schwartz, P.E., P.T.O.E. - Traffic Signal Circuit Rider
STICs Deploy Homegrown Innovations
The sixth round of Every Day Counts (EDC-6) kicked off with a Virtual Summit in December 2020 that introduced the seven innovations FHWA is promoting over the next 2 years. The summit also featured a National State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) Network Showcase that highlighted 245 innovations developed and deployed by agencies throughout the country. The following are just a few examples of the expertise and ingenuity agencies have put into action in areas such as asset management, finance, design, and construction.

Several of the ideas featured used geographic information systems (GIS) to improve asset inventory management. The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) implemented a GIS-based method for surveying and cataloging cultural resources. VTrans’ Cultural Resources team and its consultant developed new GIS tools to collect, share, and archive data on the State’s historic sites in a paperless and geo-referenced format. An online map is used to track survey progress and share information with project stakeholders. VTrans expects this GIS-based method to greatly expedite project review.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) estimates savings close to $223,000 per year by using GIS to compile information on utility test holes, excavations that are commonly 10 to 12 inches wide used to verify the physical location and depth of underground utilities. Projects with extensive reconstruction, drainage, and several improvements with deep foundations usually require a large amount of test holes. In the past, test hole records were not available for all designers to view when working on specific areas. Using its GIS tools, FDOT created a layer with test hole data that designers can access to verify utility locations without having to request additional test holes. In addition to cost savings, reported benefits include streamlined delivery, consistent quality, and enhanced collaboration.

Click here to continue this article.
John Lawlor Bridge Dedication
On September 17, 2021, Bridge No.01076 in Waterbury, CT was dedicated to Brigadier General John P. Lawlor, Jr. in honor of his 34 years of military service.

BG Lawlor, Director of Public Works for the Town of East Hartford, a member of New England APWA who currently holds a position on the Board of Directors, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1987. His assignments include participating in a task force in Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as serving as Public Works Team Chief during Operation Iraqi Freedom. BG Lawlor is a proud member of the Military Order of Cincinnatus Society and recipient of the Winfield Scott Medal in recognition of his significant contributions to the profession of arms and the advancement of the Civil Affairs Branch.
To continue this article, please read the New England APWA Chapter Chatter Fall Newsletter.
2021 Roadway Safety Awards
I was honored this year to be asked to be a judge for the National Roadway Safety Award Competition. I was so impressed with the quality of the submissions and the good work that is being done around the country to support safe roadways; the panel had a tough time voting.
It is my pleasure to join the Roadway Safety Foundation (RSF) in announcing the winners of the 2021 National Roadway Safety Awards competition. Every two years, state and local agencies from across the country are asked to showcase the important work they are doing to improve roadway safety and save lives. Click here for information on the award winners. 

Special congratulations to our very own Town of Portland, CT for receiving an honorable mention for their work in Complete Streets. The town formed a grassroots Complete Streets Group which worked with local officials to write, adopt, and implement a Complete Streets Policy. See a full description on Page 14 of the Guide.

~ Donna Shea – T2 Center 
New Connecticut Law Requires All Backseat Passengers to Wear a Seat Belt
Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Office of Highway Safety, and AAA announced that beginning Friday, October 1, 2021, a new Connecticut law will require all passengers to buckle up, regardless of where they are positioned in the vehicle. The legislation enacting the new law was signed by the governor in July.

“Connecticut was one of the first states to pass a mandatory seat belt law more than 30 years ago, however it only applied to drivers and front-seat passengers,” Governor Lamont said. “I applaud and recognize the efforts of those lawmakers and safety advocates who pushed for passage of this lifesaving measure for more than 20 years. With this new law, passengers and drivers in Connecticut will be safer.”

To learn more, click here.
Cornell Local Roads Program's Underdrain Backfill Filtering Effects Video
Cornell Local Roads Program Director David Orr demonstrates the different filtering effects of backfill for water quality and filtration effectiveness.
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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 regina.hackett@uconn.edu