Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Innovation

Modern equipment requires modern testing methods

Modern equipment requires modern testing methods

February 19, 2024

DashboardGetting behind the wheel of your vehicle today, you’re likely to have many additional safety features that didn’t exist even just a few years ago. This technology is also making its way into commercial vehicles that share our roads.

Updated technology is changing the training and driving skills required of commercial drivers. These updates are in turn changing the way we test the skills of the men and women behind the wheel of large commercial trucks.

Using data to visualize construction projects in a new way

Using data to visualize construction projects in a new way

February 2, 2024


Data in your handsEverywhere you look these days data is being collected. Whether it’s to enhance your shopping experience or develop new products the strategic collection and connection of data has the power to improve our lives.

At the Iowa DOT, we are continuously collecting data on the construction and maintenance projects we work on every day. This mountain of data is simply a bunch of images, documents, and numbers if it can’t be connected in a meaningful way.

Update on research to allow snowplows to

Update on research to allow snowplows to "see" through bad weather

January 4, 2024

Snowplow truck Even in the worst winter storms, some travelers may not be able to stay put and wait for the weather to improve. Because safety is at the core of everything we do at the Iowa Department of Transportation, our advice will always be to sit tight if the conditions are bad enough that it is dangerous for you to be driving. But if you must travel, we’ll be there for you, using the latest technology to safely clear the roads.

Whipping winter into shape: how better snowplow lighting can improve safety

Whipping winter into shape: how better snowplow lighting can improve safety

December 13, 2023

A32899-2019-02-25_12_37_12Picture this. You’re driving down a rural two-lane road in the dark. It’s snowing. You can make out headlights coming at you in a snow cloud. As the oncoming vehicle gets closer, you see that it’s a snowplow. You can also now make out lights that seem to hover over the front of the snowplow blade near the centerline. This light lets you know just where the plow blade is and alerts you to move over as you safely move by the plow.

Protecting worker safety during moving operations

Protecting worker safety during moving operations

October 26, 2023

Bridge taperWhen you think of a work zone, an image of pavement work or bridge construction behind a line of orange cones with workers and construction equipment might come to mind. These stationary work zones are often in place for a period of time and are easily found on the 511 system (www.511ia.org and the Iowa 511 app). But many work zones like those for simple maintenance or line painting move slowly down the road. This makes the work zones difficult for you to track on 511 and the workers in those work zones are more vulnerable to being hit by drivers who may not expect to see them on the road.

Planning for winter starts long before the snow falls

Planning for winter starts long before the snow falls

October 9, 2023

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The weather is getting chilly, and you know what that means: winter is on the way.  Salt is the main chemical we use to treat roads in the winter. There are many ways to use salt including mixing it with water and spraying that salt brine on the road to help keep snow and ice from sticking. In the right weather conditions, solid rock salt can be used to help melt the slick stuff. However, getting the solid rock salt to stay where we put it can be a challenge. One that our snowfighters meet head-on, starting with testing the effectiveness of our salt spreaders.

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