Summer 2013 Vol. 21, No. 3

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Training and Education

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Demo Day finds audience eager for hands-on training
Chains, blades, and fire have been among the most common and useful tools for centuries, especially for building and maintaining roads. But even with today’s improvements, use of such tools can be ineffective or, at worst, turn deadly in a heartbeat without adequate training. One place for local transportation agency personnel to get this important training is the Minnesota Roadway Maintenance Training and Demo Day. Topics at this year’s event, held at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds in Rochester on May 1, included chainsaw safety, gravel road maintenance using a motor grader, prescribed burning on prairies, asphalt pavement maintenance, and cargo securement.

Roads Scholars honored at graduation ceremony
The latest graduates of the Roads Scholar program received a certificate of achievement during a ceremony at the 2013 Minnesota Roadway Maintenance Training and Demo Day.

Gravel road know-how online: webinar and course
Minnesota LTAP offered a webinar on May 29 about gravel road drainage, maintenance, and design. In addition, Minnesota LTAP offers an online course on Gravel Road Maintenance and Design.

Pavement

Long live concrete pavements!
“We can achieve the goal of pavements that last 40 years or more,” said Shiraz Tayabji, a featured speaker at this year’s TERRA Pavement Conference in February. “The technology already exists,” he said. “The challenge is to apply what we know consistently in design, materials, construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation.”

Safety

Getting smart about ITS
Intelligent transportation systems—broadly defined, the application of technology to the transportation environment—are helping communities improve traffic safety, increase mobility, and boost efficiency, and at significantly lower costs than rebuilding or replacing transportation infrastructure, according to presenters at the annual meeting of the City Engineers Association of Minnesota in January.

Workforce

Bye bye, boomers...Is your organization ready?
Half of the current workforce is or will become eligible for retirement over the next 10 years. Who will replace them? Has your organization been thinking about workforce recruitment, training, and retention? Leaders from across the country developed a cohesive strategic framework for addressing these challenges at the National Transportation Workforce Summit held last year.

Career advice from a Minnesota retiree
One local example of the wave of retirees is long-time Koochiching County Highway Engineer Doug Grindall, who retired in March. In the position for 36 years, Grindall was one of the longest-serving county engineers in the state. He shares some advice for potential county engineers.

Capturing boomers’ knowledge
Not only are baby boomers leaving the workforce: they’re taking their knowledge with them. An article gives tips for extracting and archiving key information from older workers.

LRRB Update

OPERA spotlight: skid loader bituminous screed
Murray County was disappointed with the quality of its bituminous patching over large areas. The county built a wide-screed skid loader attachment to bridge the patch over a wider area. The screed slides on hydraulically maneuverable skids that can be raised or lowered depending on the desired thickness of the patching material.

New YouTube videos showcases stormwater management techniques
The LRRB has released a new video: Choosing Stormwater Management Practices: A Decision Tree for Minnesota Cities and Counties. It introduces seven management practices that local government agencies may use to meet state and federal stormwater regulations.

Awards

Slagle receives NACE award
Cory Slagle, Washington County’s engineering and construction manager, has been awarded the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) 2012 Project Manager of the Year Award.

Correction: CEAM Award
The spring 2013 Exchange article titled “Associations Announce Annual Awards” incorrectly cited the participating partners for the City Engineers Association of Minnesota (CEAM) Project of the Year Award.

Information Services

The Shelf
Recent publications from various sources

Steering Committee

LTAP welcomes new Steering Committee member
Rich Sanders, the county engineer in Polk County, has joined the Minnesota LTAP Steering Committee.