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Oregon Roads No. 102

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The Risk of Being Complacent

The last day of April…  Construction season has barely begun, and we are already hearing news reports of a work zone injury on Highway 101.  While we do not know the details of this flagger’s behaviors, the timing is right for a reminder of the hazards of working in, or alongside, roadways.  I can’t tell you how many times staff at the T2 center have witnessed workers turning their back to traffic, playing with phones or mp3 players, turning their heads away from traffic to talk to someone, and many other things that take their eyes and attention off the hazard in front of them.  Flagging is not the only risky job in a work zone.  Since any work being done on the road or side of the road poses hazards and requires undivided attention, take a look at some of these statistics:

Did You Know???

  • National studies indicate that driver inattention is the biggest factor in work zone crashes.
  • Road construction is considered the most dangerous occupation in the United States - the risk of death is seven times higher for roadway workers than for an average worker.
  • Nearly half of worker fatalities are caused when workers are run over or backed over by vehicles or mobile equipment. More than half of these fatalities were workers struck by construction vehicles.
  • Work zone crashes tend to be more severe than other types of crashes.
  • Some 40 percent of work zone crashes occur in the transition zone prior to the work area.


National Statistics:

In 2010, there were 87,606 crashes in work zones nationwide, 37,476 work zone injuries, and 576 fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in work zones. While these numbers are significantly lower than 2006 when there were over 1,000 fatalities, the 2010 numbers still equal:

  • One work zone injury every 14 minutes (that’s 96 work zone injuries a day!), and
  • One fatality in a work zone every 15 hours (that’s 1.6 fatalities a day!)

Oregon Statistics

In 2010, there were 490 work zone crashes, 237 of which injuries were reported, and 9 work zone fatalities.  What does that mean??

  • One work zone injury every 16 hours (that’s 1.5 injuries every day in Oregon!) and
  • One fatality every 40 days

Top 10 Things You Can Do To Avoid Being A Statistic:

10. Always know your PPE, what is needed and use it!
9.  Report unsafe conditions to the Traffic Control supervisor or whoever is supervising the work zone.
8. Find out what your agency policies are on work zone safety and abide by them.
7. Expect the unexpected and never assume that drivers see you - never be complacent!
6. Avoid requiring drivers to make sudden lane changes or encounter unexpected conditions.
Even if you are not responsible for this part of the work zone and you see something that would catch you off-guard driving through the work zone, report it to the person in charge of the work zone.
5. Traffic control plans are required by the MUTCD and must consider safety as an integral part of each project considering motorist, pedestrian, cyclist and worker safety.
4. Agencies should be doing public outreach to remind drivers of the importance of slowing down and avoiding work zone catastrophes.
3.  Training:
Should include an identification of the hazards faced on the job and what prevention techniques, personal protective equipment, or best practices one should use to prevent injury.
All flaggers must have proper training and a valid flagger card.
2.  Avoid distractions (answering phone, texting, mp3 players, etc.)
1.  ALWAYS be alert and aware to what is going on inside and outside the work zone!

Stay Safe!

Oregon T2 Center Director














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Training Saves Budget

Don Bruey, Public Works Director (retired), City of South Jordan, Utah Member, APWA Small Cities/Rural Communities Committee

As public works managers we are always seeking ways to save money and improve our levels of service. This is the story of how one city, in the face of budget restrictions, funded training that successfully achieved both goals. Yes, the City of South Jordan, Utah, found a way to keep training going with a reduced overall budget, saved money and increased its service levels. How did they do it?

First, it began with the introduction of an award-winning Safety Program. Why safety first? There were three good reasons. The program saved money by reducing costly equipment damage and loss. This resulted in the savings of over ten thousand dollars alone in the first year. Next, it reduced the number of lost workdays due to personal injuries. In fact, in the first year of the program they saved the equivalent in lost man-hours of two full-time positions.

Another major benefit derived from this program was an increase in employee morale  The program was coached in a way that said, “This organization cares about you and your well-being.” That created an instant understanding and bonding between employees and leadership. By including employees in the process as part of a Safety Counsel, it bought buy-in and cooperation.

This program required internal training and time with minimal costs but was well worth the efforts. As an unexpected bonus, the City received the lowest increase in annual insurance rates in the entire State of Utah, saving tens of thousands of dollars! The Safety Program won the APWA Safety Program Award two years running.

Public Works then developed a Career Path Program that required the attainment of advanced certifications, training, and skills for each step from basic maintenance worker through the leadership staff. The program was presented to the City Manager with the projection that the training would produce additional savings and increased levels of service. The program was funded from part of the savings generated from the Safety Program and insurance cost savings. The program was approved and implemented in the next budget year. An Annual Training Plan that included managerial and leadership programs as well as technical training was created and implemented with near immediate positive results.

First, the employee responsible for the Streets Sign Program attended a class on a computerized sign-making machine. He did his homework and brought a plan forward to purchase the computer program and bring sign-making capabilities in-house. By implementing his plan, South Jordan saved nearly 25 percent of the annual sign budget including the startup costs that first year and is now replacing signs in a matter of hours rather than weeks.

Next, they sent a Streets Lead-Worker to the annual APWA Snow Conference. He came back with multiple ideas. First, the division calibrated their salt spreaders. That reduced the cost of salting during snow events from $3.48 cents per lane mile to $2.53 cents. He also learned about mixing red and white salts to work more effectively based on weather conditions. That also improved service level by improving efficiency and effectiveness of road salting.

Second, the employee learned about the advantages of pre-wetting roads with salt brine. He and his coworkers presented a proposal to build and utilize a brine system. When the numbers were crunched, they were given the go-ahead to design and build the system and dispensers.  This program further reduced the cost of salting from $2.53 cents per lane mile to $1.15 cents. The mixing, storage and pumping plant was constructed in-house as were the dispensing systems for mounting on multi-use hook trucks that replaced limited-use 10-wheelers and bobtails (a plan developed by the Fleet Division to reduce fleet costs and improve usability of fleet assets). For the cost of less than $40,000, the City will save more than that annually.

Another idea came from the concrete crew. Rather than tearing out and replacing damaged sidewalks, they proposed to purchase a pumper that raised sunken sidewalks. The cost was $15,000 to start up and allowed a two-man crew to repair more sidewalks in a week than a full crew of six could replace in a month for a fraction of the cost. This idea came forward after attending a local training session on concrete care and replacement.

Their latest program came in the form of building a dispenser for GSB-88. In the never-ending struggle to keep roads in good repair, the City has a treatment program designed to extend the service life of its roads. Part of the program calls for treating roads with regenerating agents. A bid was let for GSB-88 that came in at 11 cents per square foot. When the Streets Division manager and his staff came up with the plan to build their own dispenser and put the numbers to it they determined that they could do the treatment for 4.3 cents per square foot and build the dispenser for $6,000 to be used on the same hook truck as the brine dispenser. They saved more than the cost of the system on their first job.

Reprinted with permission from APWA and Missouri LTAP Spring 2013 issue.

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Personnel and Steering Committee Changes

Michael Bufalino is the new Research Section and T2 Center manager.  He has been with the state of Oregon since 2007 as the Freight Unit Manager, during which he aided in the development of the state’s first statewide freight plan and oversaw the Connect Oregon program.  Michael holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from CalPoly, Pomona and a BS in Marine Transportation from California Maritime Academy.  In his new role, Michael is looking forward to expanding partnerships in Research and T2 as well as helping tie training, technical assistance, and technology transfer to current research.  Michael can be reached at (503) 986-2845 or Michael.Bufalino@odot.state.or.us.

Tasha Martinez
has accepted our offer to fill the T2 Program Coordinator (formerly T2 Assistant) position.  Tasha comes to us with a very strong customer service background and 9 years of program/training coordination experience.  She begins her role as the T2 Program Coordinator on July 8th.  Please join us in welcoming Tasha to her new role!


Bill Whitson
, Multnomah County Road Maintenance Manager and T2 Steering Committee Member, has retired after serving over 28 years with the County.  He has been very involved in the T2 program, utilizing our services for the development of his employees including general training, Roads Scholar program, and many of the partnership training programs.  Bill is looking forward to doing more camping, fishing, and hunting now that he is retired as well as finally having time to do some travelling.


Terry Learfield, Clackamas County Road Maintenance Supervisor will be joining the T2 Steering Committee.  Terry has been in the road maintenance industry for 17 years.  He has been highly involved in the Roads Scholar Program and our Partnership trainings.  He has been a committee member for the APWA Spring and Fall schools for 5 years.  We welcome Terry’s wide knowledge and background in the road maintenance field as well as his experience in being on steering committees.


There was an error in Dave White’s bio in the last newsletter (No. 101).  It should have read:

Dave White was hired in 2007 by the T2 Center as a permanent part-time Training and Development Specialist. Previously, Dave worked for ODOT for over 34 years in various positions that included Region Safety Manager, statewide Employee Safety and Risk Manager and as a part-time trainer for the T2 Center. Dave also manages a safety consulting business and is a Master Trainer in Oregon and Washington for both states’ Traffic Control Supervisor programs. In addition, he is the master trainer for Chemeketa Community College’s Work Zone Traffic Control and Flagging program, having trained all private sector flagger instructors for 25 years.

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Can You Spot What is Wrong With This Picture?

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2012 Northwest Public Works Institute Graduates

Congratulations to the individuals listed below who completed all three NWPWI courses, totaling 90 hours of training in leadership and management.  What an accomplishment!

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Roads Scholar Update and Graduates

During the first half of 2013, an additional 28 program participants completed their Level 1 Roads Scholar requirements.  Those successful individuals are:

Mark Callaway (City of Albany)
Richard Kuss (City of Bend)
Jim Lindsey (City of Bend)
Don McBride (City of Bend)
George Morrison (City of Bend)
David Oak (City of Bend)
Jeanette Prince (City of Bend)
Craig Qual (City of Bend)
Sadell Scarbrough (City of Bend)
Will Smith (City of Bend)
Mike Reese (City of Central Point)
Kim Crespo (City of Eugene)
Joe Roberts (City of Eugene Airport)
Kurtis Baumgardner (City of Hillsboro)
​Nick Gilbert (City of Hillsboro)
Joseph Hazel (City of Hillsboro)
Jason Henderson (City of Hillsboro)
Justin Jensen (City of Hillsboro)
Steven Sullivan (City of Hillsboro)
Josh Vanderzanden (City of Hillsboro)
Jaime Estrada (City of Hubbard)
Michael Griffin (City of Keizer)
Michael Carr (City of Wilsonville)
Douglas Decock (City of Woodburn)
Mike Bruck (Clackamas County)
Raymond “Dan” Friberg (Clackamas County)
Joe Pekkola (Clackamas County
Timothy Sing (Marion County)
If you are one of these individuals, your certificate will be mailed to your supervisor in July. With the addition of these recent graduates, 323 program participants have completed the Roads Scholar Level 1 Certificate since the program inception in the fall of 2001. Our congratulations go out to all on these individuals on their accomplishments which demonstrate a significant commitment to self-improvement and personal development. We also extend our appreciation to the counties and cities of Oregon and the Oregon DOT for participation in and support of the Oregon Roads Scholar program.

We will continue to offer more Roads Scholar Level 1 classes at numerous locations during the second half of 2013.  If your agency is interested in hosting the RS-9 Maintenance Math and RS-10 Introduction to Survey classes, please let us know since we will soon begin working on a fall schedule for these classes.   We also plan on offering RS-3 Paving Materials and RS-4 Environmental BMPs 2 at the 2013 Street Maintenance and Collection Systems Fall School scheduled for October 16th to October 18th at the Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center in Bend as well as the Level 2 class, RS-12 Workplace Safety Training 2 for those who have completed the Level 1 requirements.  In addition, we will be offering RS-4 Environmental BMPs 1 at the OACES 19th Annual Skills Demonstration on September 11th in Hillsboro (see back cover for more information). 

To schedule the RS-9 and RS-10 Roads Scholar classes or if you just have questions, please contact the T2 Center by calling 1 (800) 544-7134 or (503) 986-2855.

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A Piece of History

Any idea what this is?

See Answer to History to find out!

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Did You Know?

The T2 Center offers many classes to Public Works agencies for free.  In each of our next few newsletters, we will highlight one or two of our training classes.  To schedule one of the following classes or any other T2 sponsored class, call our office at (503) 986-2855.

Equipment Tie-Down (4 hours)

This class covers important Federal and State Motor Carrier Requirements pertaining to equipment tie-downs. The 2½ hour classroom session covers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration rules on Protection Against Shifting and Falling Cargo and wraps up with a class exercise. The training then moves outdoors and concludes with a 1½ hour field exercise.

Pre-Trip Inspection (4 hours)

This class provides in-depth coverage of the commercial vehicle pre-trip inspection that is required by the USDOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.  The class introduces and guides the students through a Commercial Driver License (CDL) based checklist of the key vehicle locations that must be inspected prior to operation. The class consists of approximately 2½ hours of classroom time and 1½ hours for a vehicle walk around.

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Circuit Rider Corner

Forklift Safety - Part 4

By Bill Kolzow

In previous articles about forklift safety (Newsletters 98, 99 and 100), we covered such topics as basic operator training before ever operating a forklift, some safety tips to consider before beginning operations, and safety operating tips once you are ready to start  your forklift and use it to support your work.  We didn’t cover every practice a safe operator and/or work supervisor should observe.  This article moves beyond previous information offered. 

Forklifts must be carefully steered to avoid various incidents and accidents.  Often the slightest turn on a ramp or incline, or when driving too fast, and in other situations, will move the forklift center of gravity outside the stability triangle and could cause a tipping situation.

If you do get into a tipping situation, do NOT attempt to jump off the forklift.  Stick with it!  Grip the steering wheel tightly, try to keep your feet/legs solidly on the floor of the forklift, and ride it out.  The people who usually get badly hurt when a forklift tips are those who attempt to jump clear.

Some forklifts come with manufacturer-installed spinner knobs on the steering wheel; others may have the knobs installed in the agency or supplier’s shop.  While convenient, spinner knobs can also be a potential hazard.  They can come loose or may even break off at some inopportune time.  It is recommended they not be used at all; definitely do not use them if they are not manufacturer-installed.

If your forklift doesn’t have hydraulically adjusting forks, you have to manually move them in or out to get a proper spread.  To help avoid back injuries and pulled muscles, it is suggested that, rather than attempting adjustment with the forks near the ground, you raise the forks in place to about waist height.  Then turn off the forklift, set the parking brake, put the gears in neutral, and stand on the outside of the forks.  From there you can rather easily pull or push each fork into the position most desirable.  Don’t stand between the forks to do this; stand on the outside of them.

Since it rains in many Oregon locations, we like to install some sort of cover on top of the forklift’s overhead guard framing.  The operator, while sitting in the forklift seat, must be able to clearly see through that cover when the forks/load are raised above the overhead guard.
Most of us in public works are part-time forklift operators, using one for a very short time, and perhaps not very often.  Approach any piece of equipment you don’t often use with extra caution, check it out before operating it, and exercise good judgment while using it.  Getting the job done quickly should not be a trade-off for safety .

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Truly Doing MORE with Less!

By Don Newell, Operations Division Manager, Marion County Public Works

How does one public agency legally obtain services from another agency? Oregon law allows agencies to purchase services from each other by an Intergovernmental Agreement or IGA. However the legal writing and maintenance of multiple agreements over time is very costly for everyone.
Now a new enhanced multi-agency IGA called MORE is available to all public agencies and provides for a diversity of services. MORE is the acronym for Managing Oregon Resources Efficiently.
MORE replaces the very successful PMAT-IGA, which was used for 18 years by 32 agencies in Northwest Oregon for everything from fixing roads and bridges, engineering traffic lights, building speed humps, snow and ice removal, to moving large trees for fish habitat. MORE has broadened its scope in many dimensions over PMAT, including being a statewide IGA, which means any public agency in Oregon can obtain the services of another.
As described in the formal IGA, MORE allows public agencies to share resources including equipment, materials, and services for public works, municipal, transportation, engineering, construction, operations, maintenance, emergency management, and related activities.
We all understand that it is not fiscally feasible to have staff be experts in all areas, and specialized equipment is very expensive, such as road paint stripers at some $450,000. MORE allows agencies to obtain these services from others, therefore truly “Doing MORE With Less!”
So what are some other advantages to MORE?
  • MORE has no expiration date. Once an agency signs they remain a MORE member until they resign.
  • MORE has no financial caps. One can do as little or as much as an agency likes.
  • MORE can be used in times of emergencies or urgency work. FEMA requires that agencies have agreements in place to aid each other for cost reimbursements.
  • MORE is short and easy to exercise. It is only two pages long, can be downloaded from the below website, and simply needs to sign by the agency and returned to Marion County. Being on the web allows the multi-agencies to exercise and maintain signed agreements at will, with virtually no administration cost.

So what else is on the MORE web page? The instructions of how to sign the IGA; PDF files of the signature pages of the MORE-IGA’s agencies; and an electronic bulletin board to be used by agencies to post notices for everything from training announcements to equipment for sale. This is one page you will want to bookmark and visit often: www.co.Marion.or.us/PW/roads/MORE.

So if you would like to do some common work or projects with another agency, save money by exchanging equipment, and/or share resources from everything to staff expertise to grader ice bits, take a look at the MORE-IGA, and discuss it with the your agency’s decision makers. This may be the key tool to leverage your agency in truly “Doing MORE with less”…or “Doing MORE “Yes!"














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Technical Resources

Free online Training Available Through NHI

Safe and Effective Use of Law Enforcement Personnel in Work Zones (Course Number 133119)

The purpose of this Web Based training (WBT) course is to provide basic knowledge to law enforcement agencies to help save lives, avoid work zone crashes, and improve safety when working in a work zone. Work zone law enforcement is highly effective in reducing speeding, speed variability, and undesirable driving behaviors such as tailgating and unsafe lane changes, which improves both traffic and worker safety. This course will provide tips for safe practices for law enforcement officers (LEO's) in work zones as well as providing for a safer work zone environment. This training will educate participants on the standards and guidelines related to temporary traffic control in work zones; the role of LEO's in work zones; the components of a typical work zone; and the proper practices and procedures related to the use of law enforcement officers in work zones. (2 hours) http://www.nhi.fhwa.dot.gov/ and search for the course number.

Maintenance Training Series (Course Number 134109)

The Maintenance Training Series was created to train individuals responsible for the maintenance of our Nation's roadways. The series consists of 11 self-paced, Web-based trainings (WBTs) on various maintenance operations topics, ranging from the conceptual (pavement preservation) to the practical (management of underground storage tanks). The trainings included in the series are listed below and each will take approximately 1 hour to complete.

Participants who wish to complete all 11 trainings in the Maintenance Training Series should enroll in course 134109. Those who are interested in specific topics may enroll in each training individually.

  • Pavement Preservation Program (134109A)
  • Shaping and Shoulders (134109B)
  • Thin HMA Overlays and Leveling (134109C)
  • Base and Sub-base Stabilization and Repair (134109D)
  • Drainage (134109E)
  • Outdoor Advertising and Litter Control (134109F)
  • Roadside Vegetation Management (134109G)
  • Weather-related Operations (134109H)
  • Basics of Work Zone Traffic Control (134109I)
  • Underground Storage Tanks (134109J)
  • Cultural and Historic Preservation (134109K)
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Federal Aid Essentials for Local Public Agencies Website

The Federal-aid Essentials website is now available and contains a resource library of informational videos and related materials. Readily accessible and available when you need an answer, each video addresses a single topic presented in everyday language condensing the complex regulations and requirements of the Federal-aid Program into easy-to-understand concepts and illustrated examples. This allows you to indicate areas of interest and receive alerts when material that matches your interests becomes available.  Visit the website at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/federal-aidessentials/index.cfm.

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Calendar of Events and Training


American Public Works Association (APWA)                   
Oct 16-18
Street Maintenance and Collection Systems Fall School
Oct 22-25
Oregon APWA Fall Conference
Nov 12-15
NWPWI Public Works Leadership
Cannon Beach
Dec 10-13
NWPWI Public Works Essentials
Miscellaneous Conferences
Sept 10-12
OACES Skills Demo and Safety Conference                           http://skillsdemo.org
Dec 11
OACES 2013 Chip Seal Workshop  http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Roads/MORE/
Feb 2014
Northwest Transportation Conference
Oregon T2 Center                                                                          http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP_T2/
A full list of training classes offered by the T2 Center is available on-line at the above website under the "Training Programs" heading. To schedule any of the "Circuit Rider" classes, please contact the T2 Center at (503) 986-2855. Additional information on training sponsored by the T2 Center is available at our website under the "Training Programs" and "Training Calendar" headings.


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Answer to What is Wrong With This Picture

  1. The Oregon Temporary Traffic Control Handbook advises flaggers to stand “clear” of vehicle. It is recommended to stand approximately 100’ from the nearest work vehicle. This allows the flagger to be seen sooner and more clearly and also allows for a 90° escape route.
  2. In addition, flaggers should stand in the sunlight, not the shade, to provide better visibility to approaching vehicles.
  3. The MUTCD states that the flagger’s initial position is on the shoulder, not the travel lane. Flaggers have been killed while standing in the travel lane as shown in the picture. Flaggers are much safer when standing on the shoulder.
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Answer to History

Road magnet pictured in 1957

Oregon state highway department's truck-mounted electro-magnet, gathered an average of two pounds of scrap metal per mile on the surface and shoulders of the freeway between Salem and Portland.
The scrap metal consisted of items ranging from bottle cans, wiper blades, bolts and screwdrivers to breather-caps, a hubcap, a fender skirt, and an automobile drive shaft, the largest item.
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Upcoming Event


Annual Technical
Training School
Equipment Operator Skills Demonstration

Washington County LUT

Hillsboro, Oregon

September 10 - 12, 2013

Oregon Association of County Engineers & Surveyors

Check out the website: www.skillsdemo.org



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Oregon T2 Steering Committee

The Technology Transfer Center Steering Committee members listed below help guide and direct the policies and activities of the Oregon Technology Transfer (T2) Center. You are invited to contact any of them to comment, make suggestions or ask questions about any aspect of the T2 Program.​

Bruce Hildebrandt, Chair
Street Supervisor
City of Salem
Jim Buisman
Public Works Director
Lincoln County
Gerald Russell
Staff Engineer
Bureau of Land Mgmt, Portland
Terry Learfield
Road Maintenance Supervisor
Clackamas County
Liane Welch
Public Works Director
Tillamook County
Evelyn Pech, Vice Chair
Operations Supervisor
Marion County
Larry Beskow
City Engineer
City of Medford
Jon Oshel
County Roads Program Mgr.
Association of Oregon Counties
City Committee Member


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T2 Statement of Purpose

The center is jointly sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the counties and cities of Oregon, and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). FHWA funds are provided through the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP).


The purpose of the Oregon T2 Center is to help local transportation agencies obtain information and training on transportation technology relating to roads, bridges and public transportation. To accomplish this purpose, we:


  • provide low-cost seminars, training classes and workshops;
  • publish a quarterly newsletter;
  • provide a “Circuit Rider” service, taking video programs and informational materials to local agencies;
  • provide a lending library service of audio/visual programs on a variety of transportation topics;
  • Provide copies of technical bulletins or reports upon request; and
  • respond to telephone and mail inquires relating to transportation technology or make a referral to a specialist.​


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About Oregon Roads Newsletter

Oregon Roads is a quarterly publication of the Oregon Technology Transfer (T2)Center, furnishing information on transportation technology to local agencies. It is distributed free of charge to cities, counties, tribal governments, road districts, and others having transportation responsibilities. The opinions, findings or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Oregon Department of Transportation or Federal Highway Administration. We do not endorse products or manufacturers. Where names of either appear, it is only to lend clarity or completeness to the article. Space limitations and other considerations prohibit us from providing an advertising service to our readership.

Rebekah Clack, T2 Director
Bob Raths, T2 Trainer


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