Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Traffic Incident Management

Collaborative efforts taking shape for planning safer work zones

Collaborative efforts taking shape for planning safer work zones

April 15, 2024

IMG_0792With the relatively mild winter we’ve had, you’ve likely already encountered work zones on Iowa roads. With National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week kicking off today, here's more information about how we work with our partners to plan safer work zones for everyone.  

At the end of last year, we convened our third Work Zone Information Sharing Workshop. The two-day meeting brought together not just Iowa DOT management, central office, and field forces, but our partners in law enforcement, academia, motor carriers, traffic control contractors, the traffic management center, and Federal Highway Administration officials.

How you can help keep Iowa roads safer

How you can help keep Iowa roads safer

March 4, 2024

Traffic on US 20One of the main things you need to be safe on the road is predictability. That means getting from Point A to Point B without any surprises. Whenever an unexpected incident happens, whether it is a crash, stalled vehicle, debris on the road, or anything else that could impact traffic, your trip becomes less predictable and more hazardous.


At the Iowa DOT, we rely on a lot of tools to help keep your trip as predictable as possible. Two of our core values, Safety First and Customer Focus, are put into practice doing just that in our Traffic Management Center in Ankeny. The dedic
ated staff monitors hundreds of roadside cameras 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and fields incoming calls from law enforcement and other sources. They then work to make sure you have the information you need by lighting up the message signs along the road and posting information to the 511 system.

 

Above and beyond – just a few stories from the snowstorms of January 2024

Above and beyond – just a few stories from the snowstorms of January 2024

January 29, 2024

Plow cam 1-9 830 US 218 n of nashuaThe rash of January snowstorms put a real strain on our resources but many don’t realize the things our snow fighters do to make sure you can safely get to where you need to go. During this most recent storm, we had several garage staff who worked 12- to 16-hour shifts for 16 days straight. In some areas, there are no hotels close enough to ensure that our snow fighters can safely and easily get back to the shop for their next shift. It’s not uncommon for these dedicated men and women to sleep in sleeping bags on cots in the garages, unable to get back home for days at a time for a home-cooked meal or to sleep in their own bed. But as is always the case, our crews stepped up and did what needed to be done. There are dozens of stories out there that may never be told outside of the garage, but here are just a few stories that have been shared of DOTers who went above and beyond the call of duty.

Potential first responders learning to be safer on the road in Sioux City

Potential first responders learning to be safer on the road in Sioux City

December 11, 2023

RoadsideSafety is at the core of all we do. But we can’t do it all. At the Iowa DOT, we are part of a larger community of first responders. For all of us to be safer when responding to a crash or other incident on the road, we all need to work from the same playbook. The Federal Highway Administration designed a standardized training program for all roadway first responders including firefighters, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement, and towing companies.  All Iowa DOT field forces go through this training and our Traffic Operations Bureau has a hand in training other responders statewide.

Roadside Chat - Protect those who protect you. Move over for them.

Roadside Chat - Protect those who protect you. Move over for them.

November 17, 2023

11-17 protect those who protect youThis week we recognize all of our first responders for the work they do every day to keep us safer on the road with “Crash Responder Safety Week.”

These brave men and women put their lives on the line to do all they can to help your loved ones at a crash scene, Their wish is that you do all you can do as a driver to protect them so they can make it home safely to their families.

Roadside Chat - Driving sober, buckled & alert? Dude...perfect!

Roadside Chat - Driving sober, buckled & alert? Dude...perfect!

June 30, 2023

6-30 dude perfectTrick shots and daredevil moves, like those made famous by YouTubers Dude Perfect, are fun to watch online, but taking unnecessary risks has no place on the road. Driving after a few drinks, not wearing your seat belt, or allowing yourself to be distracted by something other than driving could all end in a crash that could hurt or kill you or someone else. 

What are three things you can do to make your ride perfect, or at least much safer?

Roadside Chat - Seat belts are fasten-ating. Get it?

Roadside Chat - Seat belts are fasten-ating. Get it?

June 16, 2023

6-16 fasten-atingDo you set a good example for those who depend on you? With Father’s Day coming this weekend, we want to take a look at the impact that dads (and moms, and any other adult) can have on how kids respond to buckling up every time they get into a vehicle.
 
Here are a few questions to ask yourself.
When construction season and tourist season collide

When construction season and tourist season collide

May 22, 2023

Causeway ITS cameraIt sounds like a recipe for frustration. Major repairs are needed to the main transportation artery through a very popular tourist area. As most Iowans know, the road construction season can be intense because good weather to accommodate work is somewhat limited. The same could be said for the summer water sports season. 

Here’s the situation. The pavement on U.S. 71 in Iowa’s Lakes region in Northwest Iowa needs to be replaced and the sidewalks on the causeway, which is a short bridge over the lake, need to be updated with safety barrier rail to protect pedestrians. Most of the impacts are to the towns of Arnold’s Park and Okoboji, home to one of the most popular lake regions in the state. 

For the Iowa Department of Transportation to provide excellent customer service, we needed to find a way to get nearly $20 million in construction work done while also minimizing disruption to the tourist season. Our team in the District 3 office in Sioux City ramped up communication with both our contracting partners and the community, with a focus on listening to and taking the needs of those in the area into consideration when staging certain aspects of the project to reconstruct U.S. 71.

HIGH-FLYING SAFETY INITIATIVE AIMS TO GET TRAFFIC MOVING MORE QUICKLY AFTER AN INCIDENT

HIGH-FLYING SAFETY INITIATIVE AIMS TO GET TRAFFIC MOVING MORE QUICKLY AFTER AN INCIDENT

April 20, 2023

45870468_1997712390275759_6678215674701021184_nWhen something unexpected like a traffic crash happens, getting first responders to the scene to treat you if you’re injured is the first priority. While this is happening, law enforcement and other first responders, including the Iowa Department of Transportation, are completing investigations and doing whatever they can to get the road cleared so traffic can get moving normally again.

Helping motorists navigate safer routes in an emergency

Helping motorists navigate safer routes in an emergency

April 11, 2023

Crash sceneWhenever there is a crash, tensions can run high for everyone involved. With “Safety First” and “People Matter” as two of our core values, doing whatever we can to relieve some of that tension is a high priority.

No one likes to sit in traffic waiting for lanes to be cleared after a crash. Not only is it annoying, but it can also be very dangerous. Jim Armstrong, an engineer in our Systems Operations Division quotes a national statistic that for every minute a lane is closed and traffic backs up, the risk of a second crash in the same area goes up 2.8 percent.

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