Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: News

Plow cam images provide more than just a glimpse at winter weather

Plow cam images provide more than just a glimpse at winter weather

January 24, 2023

Wills SunDogYou know when you have this idea that you think is pretty good, but you have no concept of how it might explode into something much more than you expected over time? That’s what happened with the snow plow camera images the Iowa Department of Transportation began using eight years ago.

Keeping you safe - Iowa’s traffic incident management community gathers to learn from each other

Keeping you safe - Iowa’s traffic incident management community gathers to learn from each other

December 13, 2022

Crash sceneYou may have heard it said that heroes are the ones who run toward danger instead of away from it. In Iowa, we’re very lucky to have a group of these heroes in the form of responders who work together to get emergencies on the road under control quickly and clear the way as soon as possible for travelers. Their actions save lives. Recently, a group of those heroes gathered in Ames for the 2022 Traffic Incident Management Conference to learn more about how working together at a crash scene can keep everyone safer.

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

October 28, 2022

IMG_0841Chances are if you spend much time driving, you’ve come up on a line of traffic that is stopped or slowed down due to road construction. These lines or “queues” as traffic safety professionals call them, put drivers at a high risk of rear-end crashes if they’re not paying close attention to what is up ahead. This construction season the Iowa DOT explored additional technology that can provide drivers with more detailed information about stopped or slow traffic ahead.

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

October 26, 2022

Highway workerHighway maintenance workers will tell you, to work along the road, you must keep a constant eye on both the work you are doing and the traffic moving around you. But splitting your concentration isn’t ideal and it can be dangerous.

As part of the Iowa DOT’s Business Plan,  a one-year objective for 2022 seeks to “Improve Work Zone Safety.” One element of that objective is focused on helping motorists better see work zones, theoretically helping them avoid crashes in work areas.  With the 2020 deaths of two of our employees, Lynn Roder and Jeff Arbogast, fresh in our hearts and minds, this objective has become even more urgent.

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

October 25, 2022

Smart arrow board on highwayWhether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a trip to visit family and friends, having the best information about your route will help you have a safer, quicker, and less stressful journey. While winter is coming, the Iowa Department of Transportation and our construction partners will still have many active work zones as long as the weather holds. These work zones and associated delays can sometimes put a kink in your travel plans if you’re not prepared for them.

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

October 24, 2022

Crashed attenuatorMaking sure you are paying attention when you’re driving near those working on the road is essential to helping you avoid a crash and keeping everyone in the area safe, the main priority of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Last year we told you about a program that added a loud noise to a piece of equipment known as an attenuator. An attenuator is typically a trailer pulled by a large truck. Their purpose is to block oncoming traffic from entering a work zone and they are designed to take a hit instead of a worker if a driver happens to not be paying attention. While we’ve seen success with adding sound to this equipment, the next step to keeping you safer on the road is to automate the triggering of the noise.

New Iowa 511 app boasts additional features

New Iowa 511 app boasts additional features

October 5, 2022

New511-Nearby EventsGoing somewhere? Navigating the travel challenges that Iowa’s construction and winter seasons throw at you is now easier than ever with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s updated Iowa 511 app for Apple and Android devices. The new app offers a user-friendly refresh of familiar features and some new and exciting functions to help you get where you need to go more safely and efficiently.

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

September 20, 2022

IMG_7869If you’re a parent of more than one child, you know a thing or two about how to reduce conflict. Some sage advice includes separating the conflicting items (in this instance, children) to give them time to think about what to do next, potentially reducing the risk of injury.

It’s really not so different with drivers approaching an at-grade intersection on a four-lane highway. The more you can separate the drivers and give them time to think about what’s next, the fewer conflicts or crashes will happen and the severity of the conflicts that do happen is reduced.

That’s exactly what is going on right now on U.S. 20 at Poplar Avenue near Fort Dodge. A new “reduced-conflict” intersection was opened recently with the goal of seeing fewer crashes and injuries at an intersection that may be getting much busier soon with the opening of a travel plaza.

Multi-year I-80/380 project transforming travel in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor

Multi-year I-80/380 project transforming travel in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor

August 22, 2022

TransportationImpacts_I80_380Whenever you have a large amount of traffic of various vehicle types converging on one spot, there are a unique set of safety concerns. With “Safety First, “People Matter” and “Customer Focused” as three of our Iowa DOT core values, addressing these concerns is a top priority.

The Interstate 80/380 interchange in Iowa City is a major crossroads for the state of Iowa and the rest of the nation. As one of the busiest interchanges in the state, I-80/I-380 is a vital link in the overall connectivity, mobility, freight movement, and economic well-being. A multi-year project now underway includes installing new directional ramps to increase the safety and flow of traffic and replacing the current loop ramps that have seen weaving traffic which created congestion and safety issues.

New app tests process of identifying available truck parking

New app tests process of identifying available truck parking

August 19, 2022

IMG_7843Driving down the interstate, you get a feel for all the commerce that moves in the trailers of semis. With “Safety First” as a core value of the Iowa Department of Transportation, we’re doing everything we can to support professional drivers, including assisting in research to help them find parking when they need to rest.

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