Every element of Texas transportation will be discussed during the 87th Annual Short Course as nearly 2,000 transportation professionals gather on the Texas A&M University campus Oct. 15-16. Breakout sessions will examine the latest research on topics like roadway design, maintenance and pavement management, rail, work zone safety and speed limits, just to name a few.
The Short Course is the annual gathering of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) employees in a two-day forum co-hosted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). The Institute was formed in 1950 as the research arm of the Texas Highway Department, now known as TxDOT.
“The Short Course is an important and visible indication of the success of our partnership,” TTI Agency Director Dennis Christiansen told the crowd during the opening session. “This partnership — now more than 60 years old — remains a model for the rest of the country and has led to innumerable advances and innovations, not only for TxDOT, but implemented throughout the United States and around the world.”
Roadway safety and the safety of TxDOT employees became the focus of the opening session. TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson applauded the Texas Legislature’s expansion of the so-called Move Over, Slow Down law. Effective Sept. 1, drivers must move over or slow down when approaching TxDOT workers and vehicles on the roadside displaying overhead flashing blue or amber lights.
“Safety is our first and top priority,” Wilson told the crowd, announcing that over the last year, TxDOT achieved the lowest-ever employee injuries in the department’s history.
TxDOT’s Extra Mile Awards are a highlight of the Transportation Short Course each year as employees are recognized for ‘going the extra mile’ during the course of their work. Most of the recipients were honored for saving the lives of motorists following crashes, snowstorms or flooding.