The Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) is looking forward to a 90 to 95 percent reduction in vehicle-animal collisions along a six-mile stretch of the State Route 241 Toll Road in Orange County, California, after installing safety fencing and new wildlife undercrossings for cougars, coyotes, bobcats and deer. The safety fence ranges from 10 to 12 feet in height and features an 18-inch “outrigger” to prevent wildlife from climbing over. It is buried 24 inches to prevent animals from digging under, and is placed in close proximity to the roadway shoulder to minimize native habitat loss. For any animals that still find their way onto the roadway, the systems include jump-out ramps at half-mile intervals as an escape route back to open space. Working with the University of California- Davis Wildlife Health Center and the UC-Davis Information Center for the Environment, F/ECTA conducted a two-year field evaluation of undercrossings that were already in place, then identified enhancements that would improve wildlife connectivity throughout the area. The assessment involved GPS tracking of cougar movements throughout the Santa Ana Mountain Range, use of cameras to track wildlife use of existing undercrossings and consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Transportation, among other stakeholders.
Social Responsibility Awards
In 2012, the Illinois Tollway entered a partnership with The Chicago Lighthouse to manage a new advanced Customer Service Call Center and provide jobs for members of underserved communities, people with disabilities and military veterans. The new call center opened in October 2013 and today provides jobs for 124 employees from underserved communities, including 66 people with disabilities and 55 military veterans. The center, which features numerous accommodations for employees who use wheelchairs or are visually impaired, handles 8,000 to 10,000 customer calls per day and processes 27,000 toll and violation payments per month. For its partnership with The Chicago Lighthouse, the Illinois Tollway was named 2015 Agency of the Year by the state’s Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities.
Purpose and Objectives
On May 19 and 20, 2013, several tornados touched down in central Oklahoma, causing widespread destruction and devastation in several communities. A deadly EF5 tornado tore through heavily-populated Moore, OK, and also hit smaller communities north and east of Moore. The damage inflicted by the tornados included 24 dead, 377 injured, and 3,937 homes and businesses destroyed. Following a declaration of emergency by Oklahoma Governor Fallin and President Obama, OTA stepped forward to help clean up the aftermath of the storms and restore key transportation corridors, enabling emergency responders and volunteers to get to the scene of the devastation.
Given the widespread destruction, restoration of transportation infrastructure was a critical need. With obstructions limiting access to the disaster area, OTA crews worked to clear inbound and outbound roadways, removing debris and hauling it to a local dump. OTA’s efforts made it possible for first responders, relief agencies, and volunteers to respond to the significant needs experienced by local residents and businesses, thereby contributing to a sense of hope and recovery for the communities that were devastated by the storms.
Under state protocols, the Turnpike Authority was deployed through the state Secretary of Transportation as part of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (ODEM). Emergency services were underwritten by reallocating hourly and overtime salaries from routine maintenance activities—all of which are funded through OTA toll revenues.
The Oklahmoa Turnpike Authority focused its cleanup efforts on city streets and residential lots, using heavy equipment to help people who had no other way to quickly remove large volumes of debris.
OTA was onsite the morning after the May 20 tornado, with crews putting in long, hard days under tough conditions until their portion of the work was complete. OTA mobilized the human resources required to get the job done quickly and efficiently. When the situation called for more or different equipment, field managers had the authority and ability to buy what they needed. The Authority’s efforts earned praise from the Secretary of Transportation, ODEM, the affected communities, and local media.
When the OTA crews were first deployed, they arrived with large front-end loaders. It quickly became clear that these large pieces of equipment were less than ideal for the confined space between city street curbs, so the Authority quickly brought in skid-steer loaders that were more suitable for the work that had to be done. When work crews realized that grapple attachments on the skid-steers would make recovery operations more efficient, the grapple attachments were purchased and used.
OTA’s response to the Moore tornados showed how tolling agencies can help citizens who are unable to help themselves in a time of emergency and devastation. By being good neighbors and answering the call, the Authority quickly cleared essential access routes and established closer bonds with its community. Working together, OTA crews from different turnpikes built their own sense of connection and achieved greater pride and team spirit.
In early 2010, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (Mobility Authority) established the Green Initiative, an agency-driven program designed to infuse sustainability into transportation projects. The Green Initiative is a multi-faceted endeavor that seeks to enhance the sustainability of Mobility Authority projects and to spread a culture of environmental stewardship throughout the region and beyond. Thus far, the Mobility Authority has launched three highly successful Green Initiative Programs. One example is the Green Credits program, which is designed to promote green practices by awarding certification to transportation projects that incorporate sustainable practices. The Green Credits program is currently being used for the development of Phase II of the Manor Expressway, a 6.2 mile toll project located in Austin, Texas. The Mobility Authority is requiring the design-build developer to complete certain mandatory, sustainable initiatives and has provided a large grouping of optional sustainable i itiatives for potential use to meet a minimum number of required green credits.
More than a project, program policy or action, MDX embarked on a campaign to move our community forward. We began a movement, a crusade, a full encompassing public outreach program to educate our customers, gain full support and establish a presence within our community as a leader in technology and as a trusted agency. The MDX ORT Outreach Campaign was intended to inform the community about the benefits of Open Road Tolling.
We first identified the key talking points on how ORT would improve the quality of life of our drivers – Safer, Faster, Cleaner and Provide for the Future. Next, the reach of this campaign needed to extend far beyond a corridor. The customary method has always been to focus efforts on public meetings within a set amount of yards from the roadway. However, in Miami-Dade one roadway can affect millions of drivers. The points of the campaign encompassed all aspects of a marketing and public relations campaign. It began with the briefing of elected official and community organizations. These briefings gave us an opportunity to explain who MDX is, what projects had already been delivered and what toll funds were being used for. However, this campaign took a turn to reach the masses. The point was to speak to our drivers in every way possible. If in their car, drivers would see traditional billboards, mobile billboards, toll booth wraps and if they were still paying cash at toll booths they received collateral pieces that explained what changes were coming to the roadway, where they could purchase a SunPass and what the important dates were. In addition, we printed informational ads in major local newspapers and community papers, purchased radio spots in English, Spanish and Creole. Then we decided to add television into the marketing mix by producing 60 second informational spots that put a picture to ORT. To complement the spots, a full 30 minute informational video was produced and aired for several weekends on major television networks. All portions of this campaign were designed to inform, but ultimately to drive traffic to a website designed just for the conversion. The new site MDXORT.com was truly the hub of this campaign and although websites are an essential part of any campaign, we identified the need to draw attention to the site. In every piece of communication, the website became the center for all updates.
The number is alarming. According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, more than 37,000 people die every year in traffic accidents on Brazil’s streets, avenues and roads. That is like having 185 commercial airplanes crashing every year in Brazil. CCR is concerned about these figures, and decided to do more than merely maintain its highways in excellent condition and offer services to its users. From the same expertise with which it administrates 1,571 kilometers of highways, CCR understands that the best way to lower accident rates is to invest in traffic education and in the preparation of future drivers. So, in 2002, the CCR Group, through its CCR AutoBAn concessionaire that administrates the Anhanguera-Bandeirantes System began its Road to Citizenship program. The objective was to take information on traffic safety and citizenship to the public schools in the cities through which its highways run. Because the project was so well received in those cities, the company decided to take it to other CCR concessionaires: CCR NovaDutra (Via Dutra) and CCR ViaOeste (Castello Branco and Raposo Tavares). Last year, CCR worked on a broad front with city governments and Departments of Education to extend Road to Citizenship to all of its concessionaires. Therefore, as of 2010, the cities involved with the concessionaires CCR Ponte (Rio Niterói Bridge) and CCR ViaLagos (Lagos Highway), in Rio de Janeiro; CCR RodoNorte (BR-277 and BR-376), in Paraná; and CCR RodoAnel (western section of the Mário Covas Ring Road), in São Paulo, are also working with the program. Road to Citizenship became one of the main corporate responsibility programs of the CCR Group. Since its creation, it has benefited approximately 750,000 children in 72 municipalities.
The North Texas Tollway Authority's Sustainability Initiative is a multi-faceted approach to environmental stewardship that seeks to improve air quality, protect water resources, and enhance sustainability and aesthetics that ultimately lead to a safer, cleaner, more efficient and enjoyable drive for motorists traveling in North Texas.
Community Medical Services (CMS) is a project in which a core of volunteers, aided by an ever-increasing number of partners, offer their time and expertise during peak holiday periods to provide emergency assistance to motorists on the N3 Toll Route and the adjacent impoverished community of Van Reenen village in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Participants this Easter, which coincided with CMS’ 25th anniversary of selfless public service on the N3 Highway, included CMS paramedics themselves, N3TC, The Road Safety Foundation, Unicef, The Quadraplegic Association of South Africa, Monroe Shock Absorbers (Tenneco), Bridgestone SA and BMW South Africa.
Autovias S/A is a private-sector company, which has been awarded a 20-year government franchise for Lot 10 of the “São Paulo State Highway Franchise Program.” Currently, it is responsible for managing 316.5 km of highways, and the area under its direct management is the geoeconomic region of Ribeirão Preto, Araraquara, São Carlos and Franca. The highway grid under Autovias jurisdiction comprises five highway segments located in the Northwestern region of the São Paulo State, extending into the State’s central area. The toll road system operation involves a number of activities, including infrastructure construction works, which often cause topography and landscape changes to occur, modifying the behavior of water dynamics within catchment areas, leading to: erosion, settling, decreased ground-water infiltration, particularly in aquifer recharge capacity, and direct changes in the local hydrological cycle. In mid 1998, Autovias created the “Waterway” (Via das Ãguas) program, aimed at mitigating the impacts felt by natural resources, in particular water resources, as the entire highway grid which it manages is located on an aquifer recharge zone. It consists of building rainwater containment dams along the highway grid managed by the company, particularly in the areas of public-supply springs, waterways and headwaters located within the drainage basins of the Sapucai-Mirim, Pardo and Grande rivers. The objectives of the system are: to store rainwater fl owing from the highways and adjacent areas; to slow down the kinetic speed of such water, allowing it to infiltrate and consequently recharge the aquifer; and to prevent the water table from lowering and the ground from eroding and being dislodged along drainage areas.
Over the last few years, TCA has broadened its comprehensive community outreach program to educate Orange County residents on the benefits of The Toll Roads as well as the largely unknown accomplishments of TCA. The new efforts emphasized community outreach on the plans to build the last 16 miles of Orange County’s toll road system known as Foothill-South, and include community outreach programs, school and educational programs, and holiday toy and food drives.
Intervias Is a highway concessionaire (Toll Company) which has as its main responsibility the administration of six important highways of the State of São Paulo. Intervias has the commitment of recovering, maintaining, enlarging and improving these roads and freeways, besides offering assistance service to the users and implementing traffic operation and control equipments, to provide comfort, safety and satisfaction to drivers and pedestrians. Through the Projeto Escola Intervias (Intervias School Project), having as its slogan “Humanizing Traffic through Education”, the company develops the education of values, providing the dissemination of learning which will lead to the human relation universe and social relationship which favor a thorough citizenship exercise through an ethic-based process of inclusion.
This project was conducted in collaboration with the Brazilian Association for the Search and Protection of Missing Children (ABCD). Pictures of missing children where printed on the back of vouchers of eight toll stations in order to increase awareness of ABCD, its work and its victims. Because of this initiative, three children were found and many more people have been exposed to this important information.
The Suncoast Parkway is Florida’s Turnpike’s 42-mile, new alignment, limited-access toll facility, which impacts over 220 wetland acres as well as over 600 private property owners. In response to these concerns, the Turnpike Enterprise developed and implemented the Aesthetic Design Guidelines (ADG) to control the design process and ensure that the Parkway be compatible with the environment. Also, the Enterprise recognized the opportunity to construct a multi-modal shared-use along the corridor and created a multi use “linear park” adjacent to the roadway facility. Therefore, this parkway provides not only a memorable driving experience, but also the merging of social opportunities and innovative use, while preserving delicate environmental conditions.
The Blue Water Bridge Authority has successfully completed a comprehensive archeological mitigation program to allow the construction of a new duty store. This was a complicated program to engineer, as it required the utmost care and sensitivity on the part of the Authority in handling the cultural and spiritual concerns of the Aamjiwnaang (Chippewas) First Nation Community. Some of those concerns were in regards to the responsible disinterment and re-interment of several burial sites within the project area. Ingenuity in engineering techniques was used to minimize impact to the site and maximize the amount of the site that could remain undisturbed.