WSRTC Update - February 15th, 2024


UPDATE: Thursday, February 15th, 2024

WSRTC: Consortium Holds 2023 Annual Steering Committee Meeting

The Western States Rural Transportation Consortium (WSRTC) convened for the annual meeting just prior to the start of the 18th annual Western States Forum in June 2023. The eleven participants represented five Consortium member states, WTI and Montana State University, and Montana Tech. You can review the meeting’s agenda (pdf), presentation (pdf), and official minutes (pdf) here and on the WSRTC Documents page.

Meeting attendees, clockwise from upper left: Doug Galarus (Montana Tech), Jeremiah Pearce (Caltrans District 2), Sean Campbell (Caltrans DRISI), Tyler Laing (Utah DOT), Tony Leingang (Washington State DOT), Jacob Grivette (Nevada DOT), Doug Spencer (Oregon DOT), David Soloos (Oregon DOT). Not pictured: Andres Chavez (Caltrans DRISI), Seth Daniels (Nevada DOT), Leann Koon (WTI/MSU).

A group of people sit at tables arranged in a semi-circle.

Photo by: Leann Koon

The meeting was called to order by Leann Koon and Sean Campbell, who welcomed attendees and facilitated personal introductions. Leann provided an overview of the meeting’s purpose and agenda.

Leann began the meeting with a preview of the 2023 Western States Forum. The Forum’s technical agenda will have seven presentations and host attendees from eight states, six DOTs, two universities, five Caltrans districts, and multiple Caltrans offices and divisions. Forum speakers and/or representatives present at the meeting each gave a brief overview of their topic.

Next, Sean Campbell discussed the history of the WSRTC and COATS project. He noted that Phase 1 TPF-5(241) of the WSRTC concluded at the end of March 2023. Phase 2 of the WSRTC, TPF-5(494), will run through spring 2027. The Consortium and its member states are the sponsors of the Western States Forum.

Doug Galarus reviewed Montana Tech WSRTC Task Order 1, which provided on-going support to the Automated Safety Warning System Controller (ASWSC) and One-Stop-Shop (OSS) projects. He described highlights of the project, which included the addition of new data feeds, conference presentations, a press release, and media interviews. With the conclusion of the Task Order, the ASWSC lab equipment was returned to Caltrans District 2.

Doug Galarus also gave a brief overview of the new WSRTC project – Chain-Up Delay Tracking and Estimation. Like what was envisioned with the travel times incubator project, the intent of this project is to use data from Caltrans-deployed Bluetooth loggers that will log time and MAC address, and to use the readings from these loggers in conjunction with chain control status and other data to develop an algorithm to estimate travel time/delay through the affected area.

Sean Campbell and Tony Leingang discussed another new project. The Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology (AHMCT) Research Center at UC Davis will be working on a project in partnership with WSDOT and Caltrans to procure and evaluate Fotokite UASs for DOT operations in network-deprived areas. There will be two main phases for the research. The first phase will be procurement, which will be completed by the end of fiscal year 1. The second phase will be documentation of system setup, field trials by WSDOT and Caltrans including support and observation by AHMCT, and final evaluation and documentation. The project started February 1st of 2023.

More information about the two new projects will be posted soon. Please check back!

Leann Koon, Sean Campbell, and Jeremiah Pearce discussed Phase 5 of the Professional Capacity Building for Communications project which ended in spring of 2023 after five phases over 15 years. The project procured multiple training courses covering a variety of topics including optical fiber and radio frequency fundamentals.

Four individuals traveled to Portland, Oregon, in August for the ITE Annual Meeting. The meeting included a Rural ITS track as NRITS was incorporated into the agenda. The WSRTC group gathered for an informal meeting during the event.

The annual meeting concluded with the traditional roundtable of ITS project work. You can read more about the many rural ITS projects the member states are working on in the meeting minutes (pdf).

To review the meeting minutes, click here, or go to the Consortium’s Documents page. The presentation from the meeting is also on the Consortium’s Documents page.