Travis McGrath's Highways memo - Aug. 2018
I hope you're enjoying your summer. I've been able to spend a couple days rafting and boating, but my summer really gets started in August.
However, I have been able to bask in the summer weather while touring our construction and maintenance sites around the state. I've enjoyed talking to our maintenance folks about projects including mowing, culvert replacement, shouldering, striping, pavement patching, and even a short road reconstruction project involving people from five sheds.
And I've learned a lot from our construction inspectors and engineers on bridge inspection, road realignment, bridge replacement, and interchange reconstruction projects. I also learned the hard way that my geotechnical work boots weren't suited for paving projects (see picture, right). Ah well, it was time for new boots anyway.
Now that we're in the hottest weather of the year, please ensure you're protected against heat injuries. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Work or rest in the shade when appropriate. Take breaks as needed. And protect your skin from sun exposure.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has a nice website dedicated to helping keep workers safe in the heat. Please visit this site for other good reminders and tips.
Summer also produces beautiful Idaho scenery, which can be a distraction for drivers. On July 4th east of the Powell shed on US-12, my wife and I came across a gruesome motorcycle crash (pictured, left). The rider was apparently enjoying the scenery when he drifted onto the shoulder. He glanced off the shoulder barrier and was ejected over his handlebars onto the roadway. We watched as they life-flighted him to Missoula.
I believe (but haven't been able to confirm) he survived, and if so he was very lucky. He wasn't wearing a helmet and his head wound left a big pool of blood on the roadway. As noted in our Shift videos, please engage with driving when you're at the wheel!
I mentioned in my last update that we are getting closer to launching our new safety "look." If you haven't seen it already, please watch the "In Motion" video from May announcing the change.
We received the strong yellow-green vests (pictured, right) from our vendor in mid-July, and have sent them out to get the ITD logos applied. We hope to distribute the vests and make the switch by the end of August. More to follow.
All-Staff Updates This Fall
I'm planning my next round of all-staff updates for November and December. I plan to visit several locations in each District and Division to share information from around ITD and Highways, plus field some Q&A. Scheduling information TBD.
Update on Program Delivery
As I've noted before, we focused on timely completion of construction projects last year. We did this in order to "pay down" construction funding that had been accumulating for a couple of years. I'm happy to report that through your efforts, we awarded and managed construction very successfully in Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018).
In FY18, we completed and paid out $403 million in construction work. That is $169 million (70%!) more than any recent year. Thank you to everyone who helped us get so much construction done and open for our customers!
Update on Tiger Teams
As I noted in my last update, the HILT's goals for 2018 include a number of tasks being tackled by you, either by leading or serving on Tiger Teams. If you are aware of a problem that needs solving and are willing to lead or participate in the effort, please contact your DE/DA or me. An update on the progress of those teams is available in the Tiger Team update.
Highlight on Role Clarity
You've heard me talk about the importance of role clarity. We all need to understand our individual roles in achieving ITD's vision and mission and Highways' supporting vision (One Highways, doing things better every day). We also need each team in Highways to understand how their team relates to all the other teams, to ensure we don't have overlapping functions (e.g., between Districts and HQ) or big gaps between teams. To help achieve this alignment, we are clarifying each team's role in program delivery functions (e.g., planning, traffic, materials, environmental, right-of-way, design, construction). Statewide discipline teams for the related functions are leading these efforts. Please check page 2 of the Tiger Team update.
HCP Metrics and Targets for FY19
HCP metrics and related targets for FY19 have been published for the TTOs and TOTLs. Metrics and memos for the TTEs and TESLs should be finalized soon. To the extent possible, we've minimized changes from FY18 metrics and goals. The few changes we did make addressed 1) employee feedback and 2) metrics that still needed some adjustment to work as intended.
As noted in the Tiger Team update, the HCP Continuity Team is revamping all the HCP documentation. The goal is to consolidate all the various documents posted on ITD's websites and eliminate out-of-date information. The result should be much clearer and cleaner.
Monthly Highways Reports
Just a reminder that you can catch up on news from around Highways here at the SharePoint site.