Created to implement, proven but underutilized innovations, the ‘Every Day Counts’ program by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) focuses on cooperation with partner organizations to bring about change. State transportation departments are an important partner in implementing these initiatives.
The Alabama Department of Transportation in partnership with other state DOT’s, the FHWA, and state/local workforce boards, launched the Highway Construction Workforce Partnership (HCWP) to address the national shortage of highway and construction workers. As part of this effort, they prioritized training, workforce development, and public safety. In addition, in keeping with their emphasis on safety, ALDOT has also implemented a strategy to reduce traffic fatalities due to rural roadway departures.
ALDOT Commits to Highway Construction Workforce Development
A key partner in the HWCP initiative in Alabama is the statewide Alabama Community College System. Bishop State Community College in Mobile administers a 24-week On-The-Job Training Program that includes:
- Industry-recognized credentials set by the American Traffic Safety Services Association Flagger Training;
- Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) 10-hour certification;
- National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core curriculum; and
- Familiarity with heavy construction equipment and operator and Commercial Driver’s License training.
The first program of 15 participants launched in January 2021 and 6 highway construction companies committed to hiring individuals once their training is complete. The goal is to train 500,000 individuals by 2025.
To learn more about the Heavy Highway Construction Training program at Bishop State, click here.
Reducing Rural Roadway Departure Fatalities through Wider Shoulders and Rumble Strips
A significant number of deaths in recent years have resulted from people exiting the roadways in rural areas of Alabama. In response, ALDOT has committed to increasing roadway safety. The first step was to improve curves in the roadways and implement roadway departure countermeasures as part of all resurfacing projects. Some of these countermeasures include widening shoulders and installing rumble strips, which have reduced deadly roadway departure accidents by nearly 25%. Because some of these accidents happen on local roads, ALDOT also launched a funded campaign to help individual counties develop Local Road Safety Programs of their own.
More information on the agency’s use of the Focus on Reducing Rural Roadway Departures (FoRRRwD) initiative can be found here.
SOURCES: FHWA, ALDOT and Bishop State Community College