Tech's Terry McNinch, Tim Colling Honored
Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations
Terry McNinch, director of Michigan's Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), and Tim Colling, assistant director of LTAP, have received the Charley V. Wootan Award, presented annually by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Research Council (NRC).
The award recognizes their outstanding paper in the field of policy and organization. It was presented at the Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lecture and TRB Awards Ceremony at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting, January 10-14, in Washington, DC.
The Wootan Award was established to honor the director of the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University, who was active in TRB for many years.
McNinch and Colling's prizewinning paper is "Making Asset Management Work: Innovative Components for Successful Implementation by Local Agencies in Michigan."
Sue McNeil, chair of the TRB Asset Management Committee and a professor at the University of Delaware, applauded the selection. "I am delighted that Terry and Tim are being recognized for their work promoting asset management, particularly for local agencies. In addition to their award-winning paper, they have conducted workshops, worked one-on-one with agencies, spoken at conferences and meetings, and provided technical support to local agencies. This particular paper not only documents the experience in Michigan, but identifies the benefits experienced by 'early adopters.' It is of value to both researchers and practitioners. I look forward to seeing many more papers from Terry and Tim."
Over the past three years, working with its partners, Michigan LTAP has hosted 120 training events related to applying asset management to transportation infrastructure. More than 4,000 people have participated, 70 percent from county road commissions, cities and villages.
McNinch said that although he and Colling will receive the award, 'It's really about the people who help make it all happen. Our entire staff works hard making Michigan LTAP trainings top-notch and RoadSoft as good as it is," he noted. "They all deserve a lot of credit."
Colling added: "Recognition also goes out to the county road commissions and cities that are grabbing hold of these concepts and making good things happen. Adopting these assets is a big leap for many road commissions and cities. It's a completely different way of looking at the road business, which is sometimes a hard sell. These agencies deserve a lot of credit for what they have done, too."
Cited in the award-winning paper is the city of Manistee, Michigan (population 6,600), where city managers recognized that the 49 miles of city streets were in fair condition but would soon deteriorate to poor if something wasn't done. The managers attended an asset management workshop in fall 2007. In January 2008, the city's elected officials attending training. In April, pavement condition data were collected using the RoadSoft® Laptop Data Collector (LDC). In June, the managers were using RoadSoft's asset management analysis features to build pavement maintenance strategies and optimized budgets. By August, they were able to present to the city council an efficient and effective maintenance strategy for preservation of city streets.
RoadSoft is an integrated roadway asset management system designed to address the specific needs of counties, cities and villages. A geographic information system interface helps agencies manage their roads, signs, culverts, driveways, bridges, guardrails, pavement markings, sidewalks, traffic counts and traffic crashes. It is currently in use by more than 370 local agencies in Michigan, other local agencies throughout the US, and most recently in a World Bank-funded project by a state Department of Transportation in Brazil. Developed over the past 15 years by the staff of the Technology Development Group of the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, RoadSoft is now available worldwide under a nonprofit license.
As shown in McNinch and Colling's paper, successful implementation of transportation asset management by counties, cities and villages is critical when transportation resources are limited and dwindling every month--the current situation in Michigan.
Carmine Palombo, director of transportation programs at the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and chair of the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC), said that McNinch and Colling help promote "the gospel of asset management" throughout Michigan. "It's through their efforts and the work of other dedicated professionals throughout the state that the concepts of asset management are getting into the hands of local agencies, thereby improving roadway management in the face of scarce resources. We look forward to continuing our partnership with them."
Steven A. Warren, deputy director of the Kent County Road Commission and member of the TAMC, also recognized the pair's outstanding efforts. "Because of their sincere appreciation and understanding of the challenges local transportation agencies face, Terry and Tim are able to provide valuable assistance to these agencies as they strive to implement asset management," Warren said.