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Tolling Points

Maintenance and Roadway Operations Workshop: Who're You Going to Call?

By: 
Bill Cramer

When IBTTA’s annual Maintenance and Roadway Operations Workshop convenes in Harrisburg, PA, June 24-26, participants will focus in on one of the best areas for relentless, non-stop innovation anywhere in the tolling industry.

The participants who attend the Harrisburg Workshop hosted by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, will be the seasoned professionals who spend every day answering a make-or-break question for every tolled facility: When you need it to run smoothly, safely, and consistently, who’re you going to call?

One quick look at this year’s program or a review of the last several years shows the consistent thread of smart, innovative, future-oriented work coming from the IBTTA maintenance and operations community.

A few examples:

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s own award winning 511PAConnect program is one answer.  511PAConnect is an emergency communications tool that allows incident response teams to communicate via automated phone or text message with motorists who are trapped in a roadway back up.

The award-winning solar-electric panels installed by Aurora’s E-470 Public Highway Authority.

The presentation a couple of years ago on Solar Roadways, an emerging effort to replace highway asphalt with solar panels that produce electricity, embed warning lights for drivers and deterrent sounds for wildlife coming onto the road, and field-test a new roadway surface that would be less expensive to maintain.

The agency that uses a beet juice solution as an affordable, non-toxic deicing fluid after ice storms.

The 90-minute session on the fine art of performing safe gantry maintenance without slowing down the flow of traffic.

An emerging success story from one IBTTA member agency points to the bigger picture. A couple of months ago, the Indiana Toll Road announced it was installing wind turbines along its roadway—wait for it—to produce electricity from the wakes of passing cars. “The turbines would be designed to catch the passing breeze, along with the draft created by passing traffic,” WNDU 16 reported. “It’s part of ongoing efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the private company that operates the toll road.”

Doing Good and Giving Back

As part of this Workshop, IBTTA’s Foundation will hold its annual community service project at Milk & Honey Farms, a private non-profit that supplies fresh fruit and vegetables for people at risk of hunger in South Central Pennsylvania. Army veteran Tim Wallace opened the farm in 2017 and has since donated 3,000 pounds of produce to the Military Share Program of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the Bethesda Mission, and other local food banks. The to-do list for the service project includes fortifying a pond, clearing brush and trees, planting, painting, building small structures for the resident goats and a variety of other small projects for volunteers at every skill level.

Each year the community service project is organized in conjunction with this Workshop because these are the folks that love to get their hands dirty, fulfill a need and support a worthy cause.

Sign up today for IBTTA’s Maintenance & Roadway Operations Workshop, the Community Service Project and attend our Board and Committee Meetings, June 22-26, 2018 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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