By Katie Chimelewski, director of safety & certification, ARTBA

& Melanie Laird, group program specialist, ARTBA

Nearly 300 participants connected with colleagues and learned the latest roadway construction industry developments at the virtual 2020 National Work Zone Management Conference. The ARTBA Foundation-managed National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse welcomed industry contractors, manufacturers, insurance companies, engineering firms, emergency response organizations, and government representatives to the two-hour, Sept. 17 event.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Road Weather Management and Work Zone Safety Management Programs Manager David Johnson opened the conference. He remarked on the successful work zone safety partnership between ARTBA and FHWA, which has trained over 50,000 people in more than 2,000 classes since 2005, in addition to operating the Clearinghouse for over 23 years.

Two panels presented information on key topics of concern to the roadway construction industry: connected and automated communications with vehicles in work zones, and the over-representation of large commercial vehicles in work zone crashes and fatalities. Speaker highlights included:

  • Iowa State University Research Engineer Skylar Knickerbocker explored the need to develop automated systems within work zones to improve work zone safety. He focused on automated temporary traffic control devices and the proper way for agencies to communicate with these systems to improve work zone accuracy.
  • Dan Sprengeler presented the Iowa Department of Transportation’s state-wide connected smart arrow board deployment project. It will provide real-time information of lane closure status beginning next year.
  • Jim Conroy shared information on DBi Services’ use of iCone connected arrow boards on its company trucks that provide advanced warning to drivers utilizing connected driving navigation apps.

See all the conference presentations in this linked video.

Pre-registration is open for the in-person biennial conference March 15-17, 2021, in Herndon, Virginia.

(PHOTO: screen grab from the virtual event.)