From left to right: Anthony Attanasio, UTCA of New Jersey; ARTBA Chairman Nick Ivanoff, Ammann & Whitney; Joyce Taylor, Maine DOT; Wayne Symonds, Vermont Agency of Transportation, and Tim Faerber, HNTB. 

By Allison Klein, vice president of member services, ARTBA

A variety of innovative project approaches were highlighted during the annual breakfast of ARTBA’s Planning and Design Division at the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials 2015 Conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

The June 9 event featured a new panel discussion format with state transportation department officials and industry representatives from Delaware, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Division President Tim Faerber of HNTB moderated the discussion, which explored Maine’s composite bridge initiative, Pennsylvania’s autonomous vehicle research program with Carnegie Mellon University, and Vermont’s efforts to increase the use of technology in project delivery.

Other states such as Delaware are focusing on ways to stretch their funds while still making needed improvements, including such items as more signalization and restriping.  Additional topics included the current size of state programs (including the design/inspection services portion) and major trends the industry should be preparing for in the years ahead.

Although funding challenges are greater in some states than others, it was clear that many DOTs are striving for innovative solutions and to continue working with the industry to advance their transportation programs.