March 10, 2014
When the last bridge in the OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program opens to traffic this summer, ODOT will have successfully completed one of its largest-ever undertakings. In just over a decade, we replaced 149 bridges and repaired 122. Motorists from Tillamook to Ontario and Mount Hood to Klamath Falls, on interstates as well as state highways, now enjoy a safer, unrestricted drive because of the proactive updating of these 271 aging bridges.
Now the innovative work performed on the bridge program is archived in an online, interactive retrospective: www.OTIAbridge.com. We created this look back to share our results and achievements with Oregonians, and also relay key learnings to our transportation peers across the country.
The site provides an overview of the bridge program, including job numbers and contract payments, environmental stewardship and community participation. It also highlights how the program met its goals, tracks bridges worked on and dollars spent, and makes program data easily accessible.
In a dropdown menu below the OTIA logo, visitors can first consult a map that shows the location of all 80 bridge bundles. The bundles grouped nearby bridges into projects the right size for Oregon companies to bid and work on. (The Legislature funded the OTIA III program to stimulate Oregon’s economy while improving the safety of the highway infrastructure.) Pop-ups linked to the bundles display the names of the companies that worked on the project and the contract values. Tabs take viewers to other sections that detail ODOT’s success in replanting right-of-way areas with native species, involving local residents in advisory committees, and helping young people relate to and perhaps gravitate to careers in building bridges, via tours of work zones and school projects.
As with all online destinations, the new site is a perfect forum for visual media. In addition to photos highlighting the ins and outs of construction in progress, the site features maps that depict allocation of contract dollars to small and diverse businesses, or identify bridges that include improved bat habitat. Infographics quantify jobs generated and the benefits of the geographic information systems, among many other features. And there are links to videos, including the in-depth series about construction of the Whilamut Passage Bridge, “Behind the Orange Cones.”
If you worked on the program directly, check out the link for a spin down memory lane. If you didn’t, have a look to celebrate a landmark upgrade to the highway infrastructure that we all rely on, care for or advance every day.