“Paper tickets end up in a place where data goes to die. The e-Ticket brings the data to life in real-time.”
– Former Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau
■ FIELD NOTES
The Infrastructure Bill and Technology In Our Industry
Welcome to the Second Edition of the e-Ticketing Task Force Newsletter. The Task Force can now officially be called the National e-Ticketing Task Force as we welcome Indiana DOT. On behalf of the entire Task Force, I can say it is great to have the team from INDOT participating in this important digital initiative. Spring is finally here and with it the start of the 2021 construction season. Not only are we planning how the next six months of construction will unfold, but we are waiting with anticipation for an even bigger story that will impact the entire industry: the fate of the omnibus infrastructure bill in Washington, D.C.
After many years of talking about how to repair our aging roads and bridges, it is a welcome change that both sides of the aisle are in agreement that the time for talk is over and that action is desperately needed. Across the transportation spectrum, we know that an influx of funding is long overdue. These investments will pay significant dividends in the short, medium, and long term. American families will be able to save money on car repairs as the roads, highways, and bridges they drive on are finally repaired. We will be able to modernize how we ship goods from coast to coast, access the internet, and update our electrical grid. As the summer approaches and the conversation on the infrastructure bill heats up, I anticipate we will see a significant forward-looking bill head to the president’s desk by late June, which will have a monumental impact on the future of our industry.
Hon. Gregory G. Nadeau
Former FHWA Deputy Administrator
With great investment and expenditure of capital funds also comes great responsibility to manage those funds in the most efficient way. Limiting waste and using every tool at our disposal to stretch those dollars will be our challenge. As a former legislator, I know that when you appropriate billions or even trillions of dollars, you hope there are safeguards in place to limit the waste. The best way to accomplish this is to deploy technology. Through initiatives such as EDC-6, deploying and encouraging the industry to adopt technology to speed up how we manage projects and reconcile payments will, in turn, allow us to reduce waste, spend more time where it counts and cut down on the mundane daily tasks such as back-office paperwork.
As members of this Task Force, you are well-positioned to lead the country with the adoption of this critical technology, giving legislators around the nation the confidence they need to pass such a historic bill.
Greg welcomes your feedback and can be reached at email@example.com
■ LESSONS LEARNED
Setting Up Pilot Projects
Many DOTs have decided that 2022 will be the year they publish their e-Ticketing specifications, making 2021 the year to get ready. It is always much more preferred to have your private sector partners volunteer to help you before you mandate a specification. But can it actually work? The answer is yes, but there are some things to remember:
Some contractor’s and producer’s IT departments can turn into obstructionists. Why? Because you might have chosen a solution that is different from what they want to use. Don’t expect all contractor IT staff to move as fast as maybe they could. They won’t flat out say no but expect some to prioritize other work ahead of yours. Suddenly the HR system upgrade took priority over your e-ticketing pilot (true story).
Remain flexible but firm, this is your program after all. As much as you want to give your partners input, remember that time is ticking and the Holidays will be here before we know it. Six months is not a huge window of time to get partners integrated and up and running with pilot projects. Layout a timeline and see if you can gain a commitment to at least get started.
In the end, you will not have 100% excitement over the spec you choose, and that’s okay. But what you will have is a peer group of other DOTs who have been tackling the same issues you have been and are willing to share their strategies for success (and yes some failures) with you. You are not alone.
■ IN OTHER NEWS
Listen to The National Asphalt Association’s Podcast on “Going Paperless”.
Learn more about digital construction from edcfacts.com
[E-Book] E-Ticketing: Replacing the Paper Ticket by Richard Willis, Ph.D.
■ CELEBRATING SUCCESS
Weigh Station Visit
The Task Force was presented an incredible opportunity to visit the Massachusetts State Police weigh station operation in the middle of April in Rowley, MA along Interstate 95. Lt. Thomas Fitzgerald, who is also a member of the Task Force, invited members from Brox Industries, Aggregate Industries, All States Asphalt to view the State Police in action. The team was given the opportunity to look at the advanced technologies deployed at the weigh station and had an in-depth discussion around the integration of permitting and e-ticketing data to ensure that Massachusetts highways are safe for all drivers.
– By Matthew Valle
■ GET INVOLVED
Learn More About Digital Delivery
Want to sit in on a future Task Force meeting?
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can help move the construction industry forward.
We are in the initial stages of planning the next National Task Force Meeting. Please utilize the Doodle Poll (click here) to provide the best times that work for your schedule, and as June approaches, will follow up with a more defined window of time for this important meeting.