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2007-2008 Director's Message

The second year of the Utah Transportation Center (UTC) as a Tier II University Transportation Center has been one of growth and continued development of very important relationships.

Working with our primary partner, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the Center received $350,000 in funding for UDOT critical research this fiscal year.  In the future we hope to focus on UDOT’s use of accelerated bridge construction (ABC) techniques and assist UDOT in determining the long term performance of bridges constructed using such techniques.

The Center has also maintained our relationship with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), this year working on a UTA funded project examining the application of LIDAR technology to passenger counting on buses.  The potential for this technology is extremely high, even to the point of determining when specfic passengers both mount and depart from a bus.  This type of data would be invaluable to any transit district. 

Without a doubt, the highlight of the year was the announcement by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the contractor for the first five year segment of the Long Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) Program. 

The FHWA selected a consortium lead by the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers University with the Utah Transportation Center as the other major university partner within the consortium.  The total contract is for $25 million over five years, the UTC portion will be $5 million over five years. The beginning of this contract coincides with the start of the new 2008-09 fiscal year for the UTC.  Dr. Marvin Halling is the Principal Investigator for the UTC on this project.  He, and all his structures colleagues, are excited and ready to go on this monumental project.

For the 2007-08 fiscal year the Utah Transportation Center managed to improve its fiscal performance over its first year as a Tier II Center.  For this fiscal year the Center leveraged its Tier II Federal funding 247%, with a total center budget of $1,417,580.  That is an increase of $278,000 over the previous year (see page 10 for budget details).  Continuing to increase this type of leverage means more research projects, technology transfer and graduate student scholarships.