From left to right are ITD Winter Maintenance Coordinator Dennis Jensen, Engineering Services Manager Blake Rindlisbacher, Director Brian Ness, Chief Operations Officer Jim Carpenter, and Idaho Transportation Board member (D6) Lee Gagner.

ITD’s awards from national transportation organization demonstrate commitment to serving public

The Idaho Transportation Department stands among the elite transportation departments in the country for the second year in a row, demonstrating fulfillment of important commitments to Gem State citizens.

During the past year, ITD worked to provide its customers good service, safe travel on state highways and economic opportunity. As a public agency, recognition of these efforts by a national industry organization shows ITD’s performance in these areas.

Following a record-breaking year in 2013, ITD earned two more prestigious awards from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at the group’s 2014 annual meeting, Nov. 20-24, in Charlotte, N.C.

ITD’s Dennis Jensen was awarded the Alfred E. Johnson award for his work with Idaho’s winter road maintenance system, and members of the department’s Idaho Freight Study Project Management Team received an AASHTO President’s Transportation award for Research. The presentations were made Sunday (Nov. 23) at the annual meeting of AASHTO, which is comprised of the nation's 50 state departments of transportation.

Last year, ITD earned more top AASHTO awards in a single year than any other state in the 100-year history of the national organization. In all, ITD earned 37 state, regional and national awards last year.

“We are pleased to be recognized with these awards, which speak to the dedication and talent of our employees,” said ITD Director Brian Ness.

“Our vision is to be the best transportation department in the country,” he added. “Bringing home awards such as these show we are well on our way to that goal."

Jensen was recognized for his work improving safety for the traveling public, which led him to develop a unique system that is improving the efficiency and effectiveness of winter maintenance, not only statewide in Idaho, but is also being noticed by other transportation organizations. Idaho was the first to establish a method measuring the effectiveness of winter highway road-clearing efforts.

The Idaho Freight Study Project Management Team developed a freight study using an inclusive process that involved representatives of all freight transportation mode in Idaho. The process established common goals and visions for Idaho’s freight network, evaluated opportunities and strategies to integrate freight movement across all modes, and strengthened partnerships between private and public entities.

Team members are Sonna Lynn Fernandez, Steve Grant, Melissa Kaplan, Robert Linkart, Jo O’Connor, Mark Wasdahl and Mark Bathrick.

AASHTO’s annual meeting is one of the industry’s most important gatherings of transportation, government and commercial organizations. The annual meeting offers transportation executives the opportunity to network and share the latest in industry policies and innovations.

Published 11-28-14