ADOT’s efforts to ease some of the stop-and-go traffic on Grand Avenue have been pretty successful so far, but you don’t have to just take our word – we’ve got the results to prove it!
Before we reveal those findings, let’s back things up a bit first …
You may recall this blog post from a few weeks ago. In it we described how ADOT worked with the cities of Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, El Mirage, Surprise and Youngtown, as well as Maricopa County, on a project to coordinate traffic signal timing at a total of 36 Grand Avenue intersections.
The signals were synched, or coordinated, to improve the flow of southeast-bound traffic during weekday mornings and to assist northwest-bound traffic during the afternoon.
Basically, the idea was to reduce the number of red lights drivers come across during their rush-hour commutes.
Drivers may have quickly noticed the difference, but ADOT wanted to quantify those results and measure how much of an improvement was made. A study on the corridor just wrapped up and judging by the results, it seems the impact has been considerable.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Just last month we blogged about a project that’s under way on I-17 and SR 69 in Cordes Junction.
So, maybe you’re wondering why we’re bringing it up again so soon …
Well, we’re blogging about it today because we’ve got an awesome new video (see above) that details the entire project and shows footage from January when crews installed some precast girders – a milestone in the construction.
When all the work is complete – around summer 2013 – motorists are going to have a much easier time maneuvering the interchange that sits halfway between Phoenix and Flagstaff. That’s because the project includes:
- New bridges on SR 69
- The removal of the outdated on- and off-ramps
- A new I-17 interchange
- Two new bridges and ramps built over I-17 to connect with SR 69
- The construction of a new Arcosanti Road, along with the realignment of Copper Star Road and Stagecoach Trail.
“I think this is going to be a major center for the folks around here and also for the state of Arizona,” Cordes Junction business owner Jerry Schultz says in the video above.
For more information on the new interchange, including construction detours, visit the project webpage.
Friday, February 24, 2012
ADOT's Engineer in Training program is open to recent
graduates. For information on how to apply, click here.
After graduation there are some tough exams involved, along with a requirement to obtain four years of engineering experience under a licensed Professional Engineer (PE).
Recent graduates can gain some of that experience through ADOT’s Engineer in Training program.
Here’s how it works
The 24-month program kicks off once a new crop of EITs are hired – usually in the spring.
And, yes, they are hired by ADOT. EITs are full-time employees brought on to contribute to the team and fill real positions at ADOT. The number of EITs hired each year depends on how many openings ADOT has available.
EITs follow a structured program working in varied sections within ADOT’s Intermodal Transportation Division. Their time is divided into training blocks that last two and four months. A few of the blocks are mandatory and others are selected by the EIT.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
|State Engineer Jennifer Toth|
It’s a pretty big deal around here because ADOT has so many engineers who come to work each day to build, operate and maintain the state’s highway system.
Overseeing that work is Arizona State Engineer Jennifer Toth.
We gave a brief overview of the position itself in yesterday’s blog post, but today we wanted to get Toth’s take on the job.
As the head of ADOT’s Intermodal Transportation Division (ITD), Toth's duty is to make sure the employees within ITD have the resources they need to perform their job to implement the Department's vision.
Besides the job responsibilities we blogged about yesterday, Toth also serves on several committees and boards, many of which work to create and maintain partnerships between ADOT and other agencies.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
| The state engineer, as director of ITD, oversees the development,|
construction, maintenance and operation of all the interstate and
state highways in Arizona
It’s the same for most of us here at ADOT, where there are a lot of employees with a lot of responsibilities and so many different job titles! In an effort to better explain what ADOT does, we thought it would be informative (and fun) to take a closer look at some of the duties behind those titles.
To kick things off, we’re going to start with the State Engineer…
The qualifications necessary to be appointed Arizona’s state engineer are actually outlined by statute.
According to the law, a state engineer must be a civil engineer registered to practice in this state. He or she must also be familiar with the theory of and experienced in the practice of highway construction, maintenance, design or engineering.
The law also states that ADOT’s state engineer must have a thorough knowledge of modern business methods and at least 10 years experience
So, those are the qualifications … but what does a state engineer do?
Well, the state engineer’s office is accountable for the administration of ADOT’s Intermodal Transportation Division (ITD).
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
|The Arizona Highways Centennial Photo Project inspired us|
earlier this week to capture a day in the life of ADOT.
Readers everywhere appreciate the publication’s gorgeous photography and stellar writing – it boasts subscribers from all 50 U.S. states and two-thirds of the countries on this planet!
Not only does it have reach, but the magazine has some real staying power. It’s been around since a few engineers from the Arizona Highway Department (now known as ADOT) published the first issue back in 1925.
According to the Arizona Highways website, the magazine’s first issues contained travel stories and photos – in black and white.
“The first issue had 26 pages, including advertisements and ran a travelogue on the Phoenix to Yuma highway. The editor listed 17 other travelogues that the magazine would cover. One thousand copies were printed and they sold for 10 cents each.
Those early issues also contained page after page of details of road-building projects ‘to tell of the work being done by the Arizona Highway Department’.”
Thursday, February 16, 2012
|The new Navajo Bridge stands right alongside the historic one.|
And, as we promised, we plan to keep the history theme alive throughout the state’s Centennial year.
One way we plan to do so is to celebrate important milestones in our state’s transportation history through a new series: Today in Arizona Transportation History -- a semi-regular feature we’ll run all year long spotlighting what happened on that particular day in transportation history.
We’ll get started today … but we’re going to have to cheat a little on this one since we didn’t kick off the series last month!
Jan. 12, 1929
Back in 1929 on Jan. 12, the Navajo Bridge – complete with a 616-foot arch – opened to traffic.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
|The Navajo Bridge, which opened in 1929 and spans the|
Colorado River, is just part of Arizona's transportation history.
But we also promised that during the year ahead we’d dedicate our fair share of attention to celebrating Arizona’s past. And rest assured, history buffs, we do not plan to disappoint!
To prove it, we’re kicking off our retrospective by introducing a new report from the ADOT Research Center, Arizona’s Transportation History -- a 179-page publication that divides the timeline of our highway system into several distinct periods, dating all the way back to the 1400s.
“The biggest accomplishments in Arizona's highway history – the ones that really changed how Arizonans live – came early in the last century, when Arizona's highway engineers built the state's first modern, all-weather roads,” said Dr. Mark Pry, one of the researchers and authors of the report. Fred Andersen also researched and authored the report.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Happy 100th Birthday, Arizona!
As most of the state enters party mode today and stops to reflect on Arizona's past, we wanted to take a different approach to our Centennial revelry...
We thought it might be interesting to celebrate Arizona's history by reflecting on where we are today.
Don't get us wrong...we're huge history buffs and plan to dedicate many blog posts during the Centennial year looking back at the impact transportation has had on shaping our state -- from the federal wagon road that would later become Route 66 to the very last mile of Interstate 10 between California and Florida (which happens to run straight through downtown Phoenix).
But today, we want to document a day in ADOT history. How does ADOT, on a daily basis, impact Arizona? How will the work we do today improve the Arizona of tomorrow?
We have folks across the state capturing ADOT activities today and plan to compile the footage into a mini documentary of sorts, which is what brought me to the Phoenix District Maintenance yard just after 5:00 this morning...
Monday, February 13, 2012
|Our team is going to be out in the field documenting|
our state's big day tomorrow.
We don’t know about you, but such an important milestone really starts to make us think about what life must have been like for Arizonans way back in 1912.
How’d they earn a living? Where did they go for fun? What were the roads like? (Come on, we do work for a transportation agency after all!)
History buffs can rest assured – this blog is going to delve into the past a little later this week by examining the early days of transportation in Arizona. But for tomorrow, Arizona’s 100th birthday, we’re not looking back …
We’ve got something else planned – something that will give Arizonans of 2112 a vivid glimpse of this state in 2012.
We’re documenting a day in the life of ADOT!
Friday, February 10, 2012
Bridge expansion joints allow concrete to expand and contract
We received plenty of questions, too, which we’ll attempt to answer here on the blog in the coming weeks – starting with one on bridge expansion joints.
But, before we get to the question let’s first take a look at what bridge expansion joints are.
Basically, expansion joints help give bridges a little “breathing” room.
Bridges made of concrete are going to expand and contract slightly for a number of reasons, including temperature changes, shrinkage of the concrete, settlement, ice and even the weight of vehicles.
Bridge expansion joints are what allow the concrete to naturally expand and contract without cracking. The rubber expansion joints are placed at the end of a bridge where it meets up with the freeway. These connectors give the concrete just enough space to move and avoid concrete cracks.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Statistics aren’t in yet from this year’s event, but early estimates show
that about 700 veterans were served by MVD at the 2012 StandDown.
See ADOT's Flickr page for more photos of this year's event.
Instead of letting that sad fact stand on its own, several organizations work to provide assistance to these veterans through an annual event called the Arizona StandDown.
ADOT’s Motor Vehicle Division was one of more than 50 agencies to take part in this year’s StandDown held last weekend at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
ADOT employees were there to help veterans get their driver licenses or state identification cards – important credentials to have in hand when applying for employment and other services.
To make sure they could process people on site, MVD employees brought 12 complete work stations to the Coliseum. Those work stations were set up just like an actual MVD office. Veterans were able to conduct transactions for driver license applications, renewals, written examinations and the road skills test (Courtesy Chevrolet provided three vehicles to be used for those who did not have one of their own).
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
|Rubberized asphalt is placed on an off-|
ramp in the west Valley last March.
Back in December when we told you about the Quiet Pavement Pilot Program, we launched a survey asking for your thoughts on freeway surface conditions in Maricopa County.
We had no idea what sort of response to expect, but you can bet we were pretty pleased when more than 3,600 people completed the online questionnaire!
That translates into a lot of quality feedback that will be utilized in the pilot program study. Public comment is vital and will serve as one of the factors that helps determine whether or not the noise mitigating effects of rubberized asphalt last the test of time.
So … are you curious to find out what the survey says?
Well, we’re happy to report that the results were strikingly positive!
As for general surface condition, 93.4 percent of survey respondents describe Phoenix Metro area freeways as either “excellent” or “good.”
Thursday, February 2, 2012
That’s why ADOT is working to synchronize some of its signals – a move that can help traffic flow a little more smoothly while reducing the type of stop-and-go traffic that can lead to congestion.
But wait … maybe you’re wondering how many traffic signals ADOT really has to worry about.
It’s true, this is the agency responsible for building and maintaining highways … and you don’t see any traffic lights out on the freeway. But you will encounter ADOT lights at freeway off-ramps and there are several state roads that have traffic signals.
Take Grand Avenue (US 60) for example … there are several lights on this stretch of road. Just last month ADOT worked to synchronize, or coordinate, the timing of the signals on Grand Avenue to reduce the number of stops that drivers make at red lights (maybe you’ve noticed a difference?).
The signals are synched to improve the flow of southeast-bound traffic during weekday morning commutes and to assist northwest-bound traffic during the afternoon.
ADOT is working with the cities of Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, El Mirage, Surprise and Youngtown, as well as Maricopa County, on the project to coordinate traffic signal timing at a total of 36 Grand Avenue intersections.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Loops are detectors embedded in the roadway to detect vehicle movement. These devices permit ADOT to determine traffic counts, density and vehicle speed.
This information helps traffic engineers make decisions and feeds ADOT speed maps.
See also PADS.
Transportation Defined is a series of explanatory blog posts designed to define the things you see on your everyday commute. Let us know if there's something you'd like to see explained ... leave a comment here on the blog or over on our Facebook page!