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Interchange a WYDOT publication

June 2012, Vol. 40, Issue 6

Our

WYDOT Family


Letters

Sincere appreciation for our commitment to safety Dear Director Cox, I am writing to express my sincere appreciation to the Capitol Police Staff and particularly Lt. Klief Guenther for their focus on the security of our Vital Statistics Service (VSS) Office. VSS deals with the public daily. Their security and the confidential nature of their work has always been a concern. Individual officers stop by the VSS Office daily. Additionally, Lt. Guenther has been working with Jim McBride, deputy director of Vital Statistics Services, since January to install a camera that can monitor their service desk during business hours. This project became operational on May 1. What is most impressive is that Lt. Guenther was able to incorporate the VSS Camera Project into a larger Homeland Security endeavor. The Police Staff has improved VSS security at no additional cost to the Department of Health, your office or VSS. Please extend our sincerest thanks to Lt. Guenther and the entire staff for their unwavering commitment to our safety.

Interchange Thanks, WYDOT I would like to thank the people who donated sick leave to me for my knee surgery. It is the generosity of these people that makes working at WYDOT enjoyable.

Thank you again, Calvin A. Cook

Motor Vehicle Services excels in service Shannon (DeGrazio), Thank you so much for sending me the proof that my truck was never registered in Wyoming. The letter, Carfax, and business card were just what the people here wanted! I couldn’t believe how fast you sent everything out to me! You can’t imagine my surprise when your letter was waiting in my mailbox the day after talking to you. Thank you again for your kindness to me and all of your help!

Steven Hamvas Englewood, Colorado

Sincerely, Thomas O. Forslund, Director Wyoming Department of Health

Grateful for generosity

Best regards, J.T. Mattas

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Thanks for the well maintained rest areas across your state. They were much appreciated.

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Grant Guymon, Okla.

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Restful places

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Heather O’Connor Dispatch Trainer

Staff WYDOT Director: John F. Cox

Shannon (DeGrazio), Thank you so much for your friendly, helpful service. I wish everyone could be like you. Make sure you show this to your boss!

I would like to thank everyone who donated sick leave to me as I have dealt with complications from surgery. It has truly been a blessing to me not to have to worry about my time because of the generosity and thoughtfulness of others. Your donated time, encouraging cards, phone calls and the many other acts of kindness during my recovery have been and continue to be greatly appreciated. I am truly thankful to be part of a great organization like WYDOT that reaches out to others in their time of need and takes care of their own. Thank you so much!

Interchange is published for employees of the Wyoming Department of Transportation by its Public Affairs Office and a number of field correspondents. Interchange invites submissions from all employees. Please send them to either your district correspondents or to: Carlie Van Winkle, Interchange editor, 5300 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY, 82009-3340. The Public Affairs Office may also be contacted by phoning (307) 777-4165, faxing (307) 777-4289, or sending e-mail to carlie.vanwinkle@wyo.gov

Public Affairs Manager: Doug McGee Editor/Art Director: Carlie Van Winkle Writers: Cody Beers District 5 Bruce Burrows Public Affairs Ross Doman District 1 Jeff Goetz District 2 Stephanie Harsha District 3 Ronda Holwell District 4 Dave Kingham Public Affairs Barbara Thomasee Office Services Sgt. Stephen Townsend Patrol Carlie Van Winkle Public Affairs Photography: Rick Carpenter Public Affairs


Also in this issue

Contents

Letters.....................................2 From Public Affairs..............4 District briefs.........................5 Gmail tips...............................9

6

HR Happenings................. 10 Extra Mile Awards..............11 Training at a Glance..........11 WYDOT by the Numbers....13

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District news.......................14 In the Community.............16 Passings................................17 WTDEA..................................18

12

6 May Mobilization

Many gather for safety awareness event

8 Our WYDOT Family

Multi talented agency working for Wyoming

12 Recording. History.

Be sure to check out the online version of Interchange at http://issuu.com/wydot.pao, or click on the link found on the employee’s internal Web site home page.

Office Services – much more than just storage

On the cover A montage of employee images taken and arranged by WYDOT photographer, Rick Carpenter. For a list of the employees pictured go to the home page of the employee’s internal Web site. June 2012

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From Public Affairs As I read over the results of the Interchange Reader Survey I can’t help but be pleased, and it’s not just because all the pie charts have me thinking about delicious pie. First of all, you’re reading it – 87 percent of respondents read a good portion of the magazine every month. And respondents like what they’re reading – more than 70 percent are interested in the type of content we feature on a regular basis. So, I’m grateful to you for reading the magazine and I thank you for taking the time to answer our survey. (WYDOT employees can access the full survey results on the main page of the employee intranet.) Some of the written comments tell me I need to provide some information on Interchange in order to answer some questions and straighten out some misunderstandings. For starters, I guess we should talk about what Interchange is and what it is not. Interchange is a news magazine; it is not an employee newsletter and it hasn’t been for about a dozen years. The purpose of the publication is to inform and educate employees (current and former), members of the media, legislators, municipalities, counties and other

stakeholders on the issues and challenges faced by the department and to highlight our successes. That’s not to say we don’t value the more personal items like retirements, service awards, the cradle call and the ever popular outdoors photo section. Those features are popular and truly important. They provide the heart and personality of the publication. They show the face of the department, namely, you folks. However, a full-on traditional employee newsletter is not something we could justify in the current climate. Luckily, we have the district pages available on the employee intranet for all of the traditional newsletter-type items. Just contact your district public involvement specialist when you have something to post. They have full access to your district pages and can load all the stuff you miss from the days of newsletters to your district section for all to enjoy. Which brings me to the next topic - more news from the districts. I agree. Send it in. We rarely refuse to print a story. In fact, in seven years as public affairs officer, I can only recall a handful of submissions being turned down. We didn’t print some inappropriate photos, we won’t use stories from outside sources without permission and one or two items were deemed ill-suited for a government publication. The other 99 percent of submissions made it into the magazine. Again, contact your district public in-

How much of Interchange do you usually read?

Most Part Little None

And the survey says – More than 80 percent of the people that receive Interchange read most or part of it each month. Survey respondents were also very interested or moderately interested in many of each month’s Interchange features.

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volvement specialist with any story ideas. If they don’t have time, write the story yourself and send it in. Don’t worry about not being a professional writer; we’ll do the cleanup for you. We love to print submissions from all over the department and all over the state. If it’s news, or even sort of news, we can use it. Finally, a number of you complained that there are “too many Highway Patrol stories.” Patrol is part of the WYDOT family, and, quite frankly, a lot of their stories, like drug busts, bomb dogs and high speed chases, are exciting stuff. But, just to set the record straight, Interchange staff ran the numbers. In the two years before the survey was published (March 2010 – February 2012) there were a total of 692 pages of Interchange published and 72.5 of them were about Patrol. That’s an average of about three pages per issue, or around 10 percent. By comparison, Highway Patrol employees make up 18 percent of total WYDOT personnel. Regardless of the statistics, the simple fact is Patrol submits stories. Some great ideas came from the comments as well. Someone suggested a story on the life of a WYDOT family in a remote location. They even invited Carlie to “come on up.” I think that’s one of the best story ideas I’ve heard in a long time and I can’t wait to see how it turns out, ’cuz we’re doing that one. Retirement tips, tech tips and updates from IT, the ins and outs of right of way and updates from Exec Staff. These are all fantastic ideas we’ll be pursuing. Many of you requested a section highlighting a different program until we cover them all, so we can each learn about the various responsibilities of the many programs within our department. That’s a daunting task, but we love it and you can count on seeing it in the near future. You spoke and we listened. So, this time around you might just want to read the whole dang thing. Be sure to check out the hip new e-version available at http://issuu.com/ wydot.pao. Thanks for reading, Doug McGee, Public Affairs Officer


District briefs

New Vogele paver in District 1 Laramie – After many years of having money put aside in their equipment budget for a new machine, a new apaver was purchased for District 1. The new paver replaces the recently used 1985 BlawKnox unit. With input from district operators, the new machine was purchased in cooperation with the Headquarters Equipment office. The first patch made with the new Vogele was on Highway 215, just north of Pine Bluffs.

Photo: WYDOT

HQ

Laramie – With unseasonably warm temperatures and lower than normal precipitation, a noticable difference in snowpack has been seen in Wyoming. Photos of the same area along WYO 130 near the Snowy Range show how this past winter in southeast Wyoming has been dramatically different from last year. The snowpack seen at Lake Marie is down eight to 10 feet. Comparison photos show the snowpack in early June 2011 versus the nearly absent snowpack of early May 2012.

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Photo: WYDOT

Cheyenne – WYDOT’s Geology Program hosted the Shallow Exploration Drilling Clinic in Cheyenne April 16-19, the first time Wyoming has hosted the annual gathering of drillers from the West and Midwest. Nearly 100 people from 14 states, including drillers from other transportation departments, consultants and 18 trade show exhibitors attended the 47th edition of the clinic. The event provides information to assist exploration drillers in keeping abreast with new techniques and reviewing best practices. Manufacturers’ representatives explained their newest equipment, services and drilling methods. “It’s set up for the drillers to be able to interact, discuss mutual problems and solve problems,” said WYDOT Engineering Geologist Den Dudrey. “We also interact with engineers, to help each group understand the other’s perspective.” Chief Engineering Geologist Jim Coffin gave an overview of WYDOT’s Geology Program, the drilling and testing it does and methods it uses for dealing with landslides. Dudrey gave a presentation on 16 of the landslides WYDOT drillers worked on last year, and driller Jared Nuhn presented on the Dry Sandstone slide on WYO 70 that has made it necessary to realign that highway. Engineering Geologist Cory Rinehart and drilling supervisor Craig Walker discussed improving recovery of drilling cores. The drilling done by WYDOT’s crews provides information used in the design of roads, bridges and buildings, and is used to find sources of the aggregate needed for paving. “Our work is investigation,” Dudrey said. “We determine what the subsurface material is, and give that information to the Materials Lab and they design the surfacing section for that piece of

Snowpack a concern along WYO 130

road. We give the information to Project Development and they design the angle of the back slopes and cuts. For bridges we’re looking for competent foundation material that has the ability to hold up the structure that we’re going to build.” Dudrey coordinated the clinic for WYDOT, with assistance from Walker, Nuhn, drill crew members Mike Miller, Don Legerski, Paul Vanderbloom and Jim Whetstone and administrative specialist Holly Daniels. The nine SEDC member states are Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming. Other states represented at this year’s clinic were Idaho, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah.

The same outhouse at Lake Marie in the Snowy Range Mountains shows the dramatic difference between this year’s snowpack (bottom) and the snowpack from June 2011.

I-25 Chugwater rest area reopened Photo: WYDOT

Shallow Exploration Drilling Clinic

District 1’s new Vogele paver finishing up it’s first patch job on WYO 215.

Chugwater – The Interstate 25 rest area at Chugwater (milepost 55) has been reopened after temporary measures were taken to bring power back to the facility. Continued on page 13

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Above from left: Lt. Don Hollingshead, Robert Tompkins, Chief Brian Kozak, and Capt. Derek Mickelson. Right: Click standing in front of Amy Jones’ car. Amy survived the April 2007 head on collision with minor injuries because she was wearing her seat belt. The group (back row) Patrick Wyatt, Tanvir Dhami, sponsor Deb Buchhammer, Tabitha McMillion, Tyler Trissel, (front) Deanna LaBonde, Courtney Musgrave.

Representatives of the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Laramie County Sheriff ’s Office and Cheyenne Police Department stressed their commitment to enforcing seat-belt laws during the May Mobilization kickoff on May 22 at the Cheyenne Depot Plaza. They were joined at the event by Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen, members of the Cheyenne Fire Department and the local Click group and reporters. The annual May Mobilization event, sponsored by WYDOT’s Highway Safety program, has one simple message: Don’t risk it – click it or ticket. It provides a forum for local, county and state officials to speak to the importance of seat-belt use and the statistics that show the value of

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vehicle occupant restraint systems. Highway Safety’s Robert Tompkins and Anna Thompson welcomed the crowd at the plaza. “There are three simple steps to saving a life,” Tomkins told the gathering. “One is to enforce the seat-belt laws. Two is to educate occupants, and thirdly, to increase seat-belt use. Today we join law enforcement officers and highway safety advocates to launch this campaign.” Patrol Capt. Derek Mickelson said the campaign’s goal is to use education and enforcement to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in the state. “The statistics are sobering,” Mickelson said. “Nationwide in 2010, over 22,000 people lost their lives in motor

vehicle crashes, of which 51 percent were unrestrained. In Wyoming the statistics are even worse.” In 2011, 63 percent of Wyoming traffic fatalities were unrestrained, and in the 18-to-34 age group, 76 percent of those who died were not wearing a seat belt. With AAA predicting an estimated 35 million people on the highways during the Memorial Day weekend, Mickelson said law enforcement officers in every state will be vigilant for seat-belt use. “I would like to encourage each and every person to hold each other accountable when you get in a motor vehicle and remind each other to buckle up,” he said.


“Seat belts save lives.” Sheriff ’s Lt. Don Hollingshead noted the high percentage of unrestrained traffic fatalities in Wyoming is highest for crashes that occur during the nighttime hours – 83 percent. While the May Mobilization enforcement effort runs through June 3, Hollingshead said, “Motorists should know that deputies are out enforcing seat-belt laws year-round in an effort to ensure the safety of the public.” Police Chief Brian Kozak said the force of a crash at 40 mph is equal to the force that would be experienced if you hit the pavement after driving your vehicle off

the top of a five-story building. “We know that over 12,500 people could have been saved by the use of seat belts last year,” Kozak said. “That’s why we have a commitment to enforcing the seat-belt law.” The chief also urged drivers to avoid talking or texting on their cell phones while driving, citing national statistics that show distracted driving causes 18 percent of all crashes that result in injuries. “It’s increasing each year how many people are dying because of the use of the cell phone while they’re driving,” Kozak said. “So here in Cheyenne, if you’ve got

a cell phone in one hand, you’re going to have a ticket in the other. We take that seriously.” Click, a local teen organization, and their advisor, Deb Buchhammer, also participated in the kickoff. Click supports safe driving habits that include buckling up, avoiding distracted driving and not driving or riding with someone who might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To participate in the group each new member must sign a pledge to be a safe and responsible driver. To date, the group has nearly 100 members in the area.

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Our WYDOT family Experience. Innovation. Wisdom. New hires. Those with decades of service. Different, but yet the same. The faces seen on this page and on the front cover say a lot about us. We are a family of sorts. WYDOT is the largest and most widespread of all state agencies, and its diversity is reflected in its workforce. The 2,000-plus members of the WYDOT family are drawn from many backgrounds and represent a wide range of education, expertise and technical know-how. The agency is well known and well regarded for functions including highway and bridge construction and maintenance, law enforcement, airport engineering and aviation support, driver licensing and motor vehicle support services. The largest concentration of support staff is based at headquarters in Cheyenne, while field operations are conducted by front-line employees based at more than 60 other locations throughout the state. This month’s Interchange cover provides a photographic look at the sizeable span of WYDOT’s employees. The photos illustrate that although there is a wide variety in the workforce, the common element is our employees’ devotion to duty and pride of workmanship. A tie that binds is WYDOT’s mission of providing “a safe, high-quality and efficient transportation system,” and along with that, the core values of honesty, accountability, commitment, innovation

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and respect. This month, Interchange salutes the WYDOT worker: engineers who design construction projects and the technicians who monitor the work, snowplow drivers who keep those roads safe, troopers who serve and protect motorists, planners who help communities obtain funding for airport improvements, and the many other types of employees who work in service and regulatory environments. In all, the agency counts six major divisions encompassing more than 30 programs. WYDOT is committed to building and maintaining top-notch transportation infrastructure for the benefit of the traveling public, and the many faces of the agency remind us it takes a very large and multi talented team indeed to make that happen. – Bruce Burrows

A note from Chief Engineer Del McOmie The employee portraits on this page and on the cover are among the many such photos taken by Public Affairs’ photographer Rick Carpenter. If you have had your portrait taken by Rick, we encourage you to incorporate it into your Gmail account profile. That way, those with whom you correspond via email can “put a face with a name,” which we believe is a good business practice for the agency. If you are unsure about how to link your portrait with your Gmail profile, refer to the instructions in the sidebar article (left); otherwise, don’t hesitate to contact the Information Technology Help Desk (307-777-4350) for assistance.


If you have been waiting to post your photo to your Gmail profile, but didn’t know how, follow these six simple steps to upload your image from your desktop.

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1. Open your Gmail account and locate the Settings drop down menu, click it and drag down to the “Settings” choice. Your Settings page will now be displayed where your email was just seconds ago.

2. On the Settings page, scroll down to the “My Picture” option. Click on the “Select a picture” link.

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3 3. In the box that now appears on your screen, click the “Browse...” button on the right hand side to find the photo of yourself on your desktop (or the folder that you have placed it in).

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4. Once chosen, your image will appear in the window. You are asked to crop the picture of yourself using the cropping tool. Click and drag the blue corner to size the square to your liking.

5. When you have finished cropping the image, click “Apply Changes.”

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6. Your image will now appear on email and also in your chat window.

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Don’t hesitate to contact the Information Technology Help Desk (307-777-4350) for further assistance.

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Donated sick leave policy changes The Human Resources Office would like to know how we’re doing. We want to adhere to our purpose statement which is to “Provide excellent customer service in HR related areas with professionalism.”

Comment Card

Please take a moment to provide feedback on your experience with the HR representative who helped you, whether it was in person, over the phone or an e-mail. Your opinion is very important to us, and we value your comments. Our comment cards will be available in the HR Office upon a visit, or we will send a follow up e-mail with the link to an electronic version. We thank you for your time.

Comment Card Human Resource Representative

Date of visit:

Excellent Good Average

Fair

Poor

N/A

Professionalism:

In a joint effort between Human Resources and the Payroll office, changes have been made to the donated sick leave policy. The changes are as follows: 1. There is now a Supervisor’s Sick Leave Donation Request Form that the supervisor or program manager will need to submit to Human Resources to request donated sick leave for an employee. The program managers may determine within their program who is authorized to sign the request. 2. The PER-2 Sick Leave Donation Form has also been updated. Please be sure to use the most recent forms. If you have old forms printed and available to your employees, please discard and replace them with the new updated forms. All of the new forms are available on the intranet at http://employees.dot.state.wy.us/cms/page3044. html.

Attitude: Knowledge: Efficiency: Attentiveness:

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Human Resource office at (307) 777-4467.

Overall experience: Additional comments:

In order to better serve our customers, we would like to know if we met your needs.

Would you like to be contacted regarding your comment(s)? Yes If yes, please provide your contact information. Name: Phone:

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No

Beginning June 1, Human Resources will have a comment card available to fill out. You’ll be able to click on a link within our e-mail correspondence which will take you to an electronic comment card, or you may stop by the Headquarters HR office to complete one. A sample of our new customer comment card is pictured on the left.


Over the Limit? Extra Mile Under Arrest.

AWARDS Congratulations to the April recipients!

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Training ata Glance

e Interchang May 2012, Vol.

WYDOT salutes the following Director’s Extra Mile Award recipients. The award is presented to individuals who have traveled the “extra mile” in service to WYDOT.

Avalan che Da nger

Don’t wait... July issue submission deadline is June 15, 2012. send to: carlie.vanwinkle@wyo.gov

Here are upcoming training opportunities from WYDOT University and the Transportation Learning Network (TLN) Date Class June 5 June 12-13 June 27 June 7, 14, 21

Location

Team Building Leading at the Speed of Trust Recreate Your Financial Life The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Cheyenne Cheyenne Cheyenne TLN

Coming Up in July: July 10

MBTI and Teams

Cheyenne

To register, or to find out more details, call the Training Program and talk to David Talley (777-4792), Jim Boyd (777-4791) or Rhonda DeLeeuw (777-4790). When you call, ask about the videos, books and audiotapes available from the Training Resource Library.

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Second in a series of three.

Last month I introduced how records not only show progress but are also an integral part of everyday business. WYDOT is charged by state statute to administer and maintain transportation for the state of Wyoming. To accomplish the requirements of these processes, WYDOT is divided up into several divisions serving separate purposes for the state. Among the many divisions are Aeronautics, Construction, Driver Services, Financial Services, Highway Development, Highway Patrol, Human Resources, and Procurement Services. Of course there are many others, but for now, we can all look at our own division’s records and recognize the vast number of records that document what our division does on behalf of WYDOT and the state. So what kind of records does WYDOT have? All divisions have administrative records, program records, contracts and agreements and personnel records, just to name a few. Records are specific to what the division is charged to do. The documents produced in the many programs vary as the following list shows. Financial Services: • Current bill details for the Federal Aid Project • Deferred compensation documents • Leave registers to show employees’ remaining leave time Bridge Program: • Structural design files • Calculations and compilations • Special correspondence and reports. • Hydraulics, including final drainage design files Construction (Equipment and Maintenance): • Building inspection reports regarding the conditions of field office structures • Contracting pre-qualifications • Equipment training records for employee training Contracts and Estimates: • Agreements between WYDOT and various entities • Unsuccessful bid proposals for highway construction projects Employee Safety: • Paid DR claims • Worker’s compensation files Highway Development: • Architectural building plans of all WYDOT buildings and rest areas. • Special provisions – those requirements that must be met during construction

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Highway Patrol: • Citations issued for driving violations • Move approvals for the creation of M-43’s and permits Higway Safety: • Accident reports from both the investigator and the individual Materials Lab: • Lab finals from various test documents Office Services: • Maintain project agreements Human Resources: • Inactive personnel records Photogrammetry and Survey: • Aerial photography • Survey records, including field notes and computer runs Public Affairs: • Road and Travel reports Management Services: • Highway Commission record of proceedings Procurement Services: • Purchase orders Right of Way: • Gathers and maintains appraisals of properties Utilities: • License agreements

And believe it or not, this list is just the tip of the ‘melting iceberg’ of the records our agency creates and maintains daily! Just look around your department and see how many documents your area creates, whether it’s hard copy or electronic copy. And of course we can’t keep every single one of these - could you imagine the storage building? Or, the computer server space needed? Every document has its purpose, and each a life cycle. I’ll be talking about that next month – retention, and how important it is. – Barbara Thomasee


Continued from page 5 On May 1, a power line feeding the rest area was severed interrupting service to the facility and necessitating the closure. A permanent repair has been scheduled for the near future and during that repair, the rest area will again be closed.

North Sheridan interchange Sheridan – WYDOT in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced the completion of an Environmental Assessment (EA) on proposed improvements to I-90, North Main Street, and a relocation of the North Sheridan Interchange. The EA describes the results of detailed planning and environmental impact analysis undertaken for improving the North Sheridan Interchange, which dates to the late 1950s, and connecting roadways. The document sets forth a preferred alternative which WYDOT and FHWA have determined is the best way to resolve traffic issues at the site and best accommodate future nearby land development. The EA avoids impacts to Doubleday Park and other proposed future development. It serves the needs of local, regional and interstate traffic for the reasonable foreseeable future, while also supporting the city of Sheridan’s planned future growth areas – Wrench Ranch and the Sheridan High-Tech Business Park – but would not preclude land-use decisions by the city. It also conforms to the FHWA’s interstate access policy and allows adequate spacing for a new interchange (for the planned West Corridor) farther northwest, if warranted by future travel demand and growth areas. Building a new interchange would include realigning a section of WYO 338 (Decker Road) to become the new crossroad at the interchange. In addition, the south end of future Decker Road would tie directly into the current North Main Street A digital version of the environmental assessment can be viewed on the

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WYDOT Web site, and printed copies are available at the WYDOT offices in Sheridan and Cheyenne, and at the Sheridan County Library. A public open house regarding the North Sheridan Interchange EA was held on May 15 in Sheridan.

Togwotee Trail construction had early start Dubois – WYDOT planned an April 16 start to the 2012 construction season on the Rosie’s Ridge section of U.S.26-287 between Dubois and Moran Junction. Resident Engineer Doug Jensen said, “Good weather has afforded us an opportunity for earlier construction this year, and we’re prepared to get started.” Prime Contractor Oftedal Construction, Inc. will begin pipe work on the Rosie’s Ridge section of the Togwotee Trail corridor. Travelers should expect 15 minute stop delays during daylight hours. Flagging stations will be posted at milepost 11 above the wildlife arch, and milepost 13 by the Turpin Meadows road turnoff. The construction zone is located 11 miles east of Moran Junction, and 43 miles west of Dubois. Pilot vehicles will guide traffic through the construction zone. Plans for this season include nighttime construction with 15 minute stop delays. Night closures are not anticipated for the season at this time. Weekly public meetings started April 24 and are scheduled on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. at Oftedal Headquarters located at the Blackrock Pit. Some of the projects scheduled for Rosie’s Ridge in 2012: • Three turning lanes to be built – by the Blackrock Ranger Station, by the area just west of the ranger station, and by Turpin Meadows road; • Completion of .5 miles of highway between mileposts 7.8 and 8.3 by the Blackrock Ranger Station; • Two passing lanes to be built – one westbound lane to be located east of Turpin Meadows Road, and one eastbound

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lane by milepost 11.5, about one mile above the wildlife arch; • Two wildlife berms under the new Blackrock Bridge, along both sides of the creek; • Pole fencing in the Blackrock Bridge area to encourage wildlife crossing under the bridge; and • Pole fencing in the wildlife arch area to encourage wildlife crossing under the highway. Major construction with mainline paving on the Togwotee Pass section was completed in 2011. Finishing work including reseeding slopes, building rock drains, and planting wetlands will continue on this part of the Togwotee Trail in 2012. Chip sealing is scheduled during 2012 on the Togwotee Pass/Fourmile Meadows and Rosie’s Ridge sections, as well as paving the parking area east of the Continental Divide.

Total number of employees:

as of

Apr. 27, 2012

2,049

One month ago

2,057

One year ago

2,051

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District news

Headquarters

Welcome Nicole Klassen, Budget-Federal Aid; and Charles Rollins, Bridge-Engineering Design.

Service Awards Mark Briggs, Information Technology Support – 25 years Bradford Bean, Materials-Bituminous – 20 years Deborah Lopez, Motor Vehicle Services-Registration/Title – 20 years Daniel Lyons, Highway DevelopmentProject Development – 20 years William Stevenson, Bridge Engineering Design – 20 years Christopher Way, Cheyenne I-80 Port of Entry – 15 years Steven Birdsley, Bridge Operations Inspection – 10 years Ryan Bonelli, Bridge Hydraulics – 5 years

Katherine Darrah, Motor Vehicle Services-Registration/Title – 5 years Thomas Giordano, Cheyenne I-80 Port of Entry – 5 years Matthew Gribble, Facility Maintenance-Building Maintenance – 5 years Tobias Gutierrez, Facility Maintenance-Building Maintenance – 5 years Beverley Kincaid, Driver ServicesPolicy and Records – 5 years Gary Nelson, Office Services-Mailroom – 5 years David Norby, Highway DevelopmentPhotogrammetry/Survey Marian Scott, Motor Vehicle ServicesRegistration/Title – 5 years

Timothy Babbitt, Materials-Bituminous Arlie Bixby, Equipment Mechanics Terry Kaan, Equipment Admin Toni Shepard, Patrol Office Support

Two veteran employees at WYDOT headquarters, Terry Kaan and Tim Babbitt, retired from the agency last month. Kaan, of Equipment, retired May 1, capping 36-year career. Babbitt, of the Materials Lab, followed suit three days later, after chalking up 30 years with the agency. Kaan started with the old Wyoming Highway Department (WHD), WYDOT’s predecessor agency, in 1976 as a machinist/ fabricator in Cheyenne. He later worked as a diesel mechanic and shop supervisor before being promoted to state master mechanic in 1991. Kaan is a native of Lusk, where he graduated from Niobrara County High School in 1964. He later attended Casper College and the University of Wyoming, and earned an associates degree in computer science from Laramie County Community College. He served in the U.S. Army from 1967 to 1969, which included a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, and he is a sevenyear veteran of Wyoming Army National Guard, where he was a meteorological section chief. A retirement reception for Kaan was conducted the afternoon of May 1 in the WYDOT headquarters building cafeteria. Babbitt, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, graduated from Laramie High School in 1976. He went on to earn his bachelor degree in civil engineering from UW in 1983. He first worked for WHD as highway construction technician, based in Laramie, during summers from 1979 to 1982, while still

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June 2012

We extend our condolences to Michael Miller, from Right of Way on the recent passing of his mother, Eleanor (Erna) Miller.

Retirements

Two more WYDOT veterans retire

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Condolences

a UW student. He joined the agency on a permanent basis as an engineer in Kemmerer following graduation, then returned to Laramie in a similar position the following year. Babbitt transferred to the Materials Lab in 1988 and since 1995 had been an assistant state materials engineer. He was honored the evening of his last day at work by coworkers, friends and family at a retirement party in Cheyenne.

Cheyenne retirees include Bixby, Shepard Arlie Bixby of the Mechanic Shop at Cheyenne and Toni Shepard of Highway Patrol Headquarters both retired recently. Bixby, whose last day was April 7, had been with WYDOT since 2005. Shepard left May 2, after serving 11 years as the Patrol’s senior administrative assistant. Bixby is a long-time Cheyenne resident and a graduate of Cheyenne Central High School. Before joining WYDOT, he spent five years as a mechanic for Laramie County School District No.1, and prior to that, he was affiliated with the Bixby Yamaha dealership in Cheyenne for more than 30 years. Shepard, a graduate of South Fremont High School in St. Anthony, Idaho, is a also a long-term Cheyenne resident. Between 1975 and 2001, she worked in various roles for the state of Wyoming, mostly with Probation and Parole and the Department of Health, and also for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.


Fundamentals of Service Awards

From left: Danny Thompson, Duard Dilday and Logan Brewer.

District 1

Kudos to our District 1 mechanics who recently received their Fundamentals of Service certificates. Danny Thompson – Rawlins Mechanics, was awarded his certificate for Power Trains and Welding. Duard Dilday – Cheyenne Mechanics, received his certificate for Hydraulics. Logan Brewer – Laramie Mechanics was awarded his certificate for Rigging.

District 2

From left: Geoffrey Morgheim, Terry Uhrich and Barry Schulenberg.

Congratulations go out to Geoffrey Morgheim and Barry Schulenberg, Casper shop technicians. Terry Uhrich, District 2 equipment supervisor, presented Geoffrey with his four Fundamentals of Service certificates in hydraulics, engines, powertrains and rigging, while Barry was awarded his Welding Fundamentals of Service certificate. Both Geoffrey and Barry are working toward WYDOT Master Certified Technician status.

District 1

District 2

Service Awards

Welcome

Karen Hall, Driver Services-Laramie – 30 years Jack Hoffman, Highway Development-Project Development-Laramie Design Squad – 10 years Andrew Klingenberg, District 1 Construction Staff – 10 years Joshua Petty, Arlington Maintenance – 5 years

Virginia Bellah, Shirley Rim Maintenance.

Promotions Congratulations to Vincent Birkle, on his recent promotion to highway maintenance specialist 1 for Cheyenne Maintenance Crew 1035.

Condolences We would like to extend our condolences to Randy Griesbach, district traffic engineer on the recent passing of his father in law and to Lance Adams, Medicine Bow maintenance foreman on the passing of his father.

Service Award Gary Enniss, Wheatland Construction – 10 years I’m pleased to share the attached picture of a couple of awards bestowed by the Wyoming Warden’s Association on our Casper radio techs on April 30. Ken Link remarked to me that he gives credit to Joe Compston “going the extra mile with many wardens and others from several areas of the state,” over the last few years. These certificates confirmed many informal expressions of G&F appreciation for their service, over that time. Thanks for making us all look good, Joe and Ken. – Robert Wilson

District 3

Welcome Jaime Kramer, Evanston Port of Entry; and Daniel White, Evanston Port of Entry.

Service Awards Clint Lockman, Rock Springs Construction – 15 years Due to the occasional limitation of space, service award photos (if not found here in the District News pages) can be found on the intranet at: http://employees.dot.state.wy.us/ cms/achievements

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District 4

District 5

Welcome

Service Awards

William Arnett, Reno Junction Maintenance.

Victor Flores, Traffic-Signing –10 years Marilyn Greenway, Cody/Lovell Driver Services – 10 years Nathan Mattison, Ten Sleep Maintenance – 5 years

Service Awards Becky Fowler, Sundance Port of Entry – 20 years Heath Oetken, Sheridan Construction – 10 years Gerald Jowett, Sheridan Maintenance – 5 years Holly Mathews, Gillette Driver Services – 5 years Scott Renkly, Sheridan Guardrail Maintenance – 5 years

Gerald Jowett

Heath Oetken

WYDOT Outdoors photos due June 15, 2012.

Scott Renkly

send to: carlie.vanwinkle@wyo.gov

Due to the occasional limitation on space, service award photos (if not found here in the District News pages) can be found on the intranet at: http://employees.dot.state.wy.us/cms/achievements

In the Community

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100th birthday celebration for William Sands Buffalo – Retiree William Sands has passed many milestones in his life – most recently gaining centenarian status. Sands worked 20 years for the Wyoming Highway Dept. (1957-1977). Sands started in Buffalo, transferred to Torrington and then on to Sundance, where he retired.

Photo: WYDOT

Casper – Nearly 70 Casper cyclists, including WYDOT’s own Jeff Goetz, joined with other biking commmunities around the world on May 16 for the Ride of Silence. The ride was hosted locally by WYDOT. The Ride of Silence is a free event that honors those who have been killed or injured while riding their bicycles and helps raise awareness of cyclists’ presence on road and trails. Wyoming averages one to two bicycle fatalities per year, with two deaths as recently as 2009. In 2010, there were 12 non fatal injury crashes involving bicycles statewide. There are no statistics for 2011 yet. During the Ride of Silence event, each cyclist is asked to ride no faster than 12 mph, follow the rules of the road and remain silent while biking. All riders are also required to wear a helmet. Although the Ride of Silence has no sponsors, Safe Kids of Central Wyoming was on hand to properly fit helmets, and had helmets available for a donation. In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the

mirror of a passing bus and killed. This is the second year the ride was held in Casper. May is National Bike Month nationwide.

Doug Swaney standing next to the pedestrian crossing button that will help the visually impaired.

Photo: WYDOT

Ride of Silence event hosted by WYDOT in Casper a success

Bob Herzog (left), retired Basin D.E. Gail Money and retired Buffalo R.E. Bill Sands.

Innovation in District 4 helps visually impaired District 4 signal tech Doug Swaney came up with an innovative idea to help

the visually impaired in the Sheridan Community. Although it doesn’t look like much, the learning tool makes the right sounds when the button is pressed and gives the visually impaired group a demonstration of what to expect at a traffic signal. The working model will help the visually impaired group learn how to use them. WYDOT is upgrading several of its signal crossings to aid the visually impaired in the area and wanted a mock-up of the new pedestrian button.


Retired Highway Patrol Maj. Donald Brent Taylor, 68, died May 1 as a result of a motorcycle crash in north Cheyenne. Taylor, of Cheyenne, was with the Patrol for 27 years. He signed on as a recruit in 1968 and was initially posted in Rock Springs. He transferred to Jackson in 1970. On July 17, 1969, while still serving in Rock Springs, Taylor, along with the late Lt. Bob Mathisen, took quick action to resuscitate a young girl who nearly drowned in a motel swimming pool. Taylor and Mathisen subsequently became the first recipients of the G. Clyde Larson Memorial Award, which is awarded by the Wyoming Transportation Commission to department employees who distinguish themselves through heroic action above and beyond the call of duty. In 1975, Taylor was promoted to sergeant and assigned to Cheyenne as the Patrol’s first commercial vehicle liaison officer, a position which would evolve into that of motor carrier officer. He moved up to lieutenant in 1978, and then to captain (managing the administrative program) in 1983. His final promotion, to major, came in 1992. Taylor’s assignment in 1975 to work with commercial vehicle regulation was effectively the beginning of the current Motor Carrier Division. (Prior to that time, the Patrol had two “inspectors” who worked closely with the Public Service Commission.) He is credited with playing the key role in modernizing the Patrol’s commercial vehicle safety and regulation functions. During his eight-year tenure as motor carrier officer, the program grew from just himself to a contingent of 17. Taylor retired from the Highway Patrol in September 1995, and he later brought his experience and knowledge to the Wyoming Trucking Association (WTA), where he worked as a lobbyist. During his WHP career, he earned numerous commendations, including “Highway Safety Person of the Year” in 1991 from the WTA’s Safety Council. In 1985, he was recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for his role in securing passage of the Wyoming Child Passenger Safety Act by the Wyoming Legislature. In 2008, Taylor was one of several WHP retirees interviewed for video retrospective produced to commemorate the Patrol’s 75th anniversary. In it, he addressed the factors which lead to the development of the Motor Carrier Division, as well as the cooperative relationship which has developed between the Patrol

Photo: WYDOT

Crash claims retired WHP Maj. Brent Taylor

and the trucking industry. “The U.S. Department of Transportation … told us we didn’t enforce the weight laws like we should and that if we didn’t pick up the way we did enforce things, we were probably going to start losing highway funding,” Taylor recalled. The threat of sanctions proved effective, with the Wyoming Legislature subsequently (in 1980) authorizing the addition of a dozen positions to the division. “The Patrol … has always worked with the trucking association to work out our problems instead of battling over them. Not that we agree on everything, but we can just about solve anything that comes up if we just sit down and talk about it,” Taylor said. “With some give and take on both sides, we are able to make it more pleasant … for the truckers and for the Patrol.” He was a native of Preston, Idaho, and graduated from North Cache High School in Richmond, Utah. Prior to joining the Patrol, he worked for Teton Vangas, Inc., in Jackson and Big Piney. He was active as a Shriner and was a past master of Masonic Lodge #1, and was a strong supporter of Shriners Hospitals. Survivors include his wife, Cindy (herself a WYDOT retiree), as well as his mother, Lori; a son, Todd, and four daughters, Shauna, Brenda, Laurie and Shelly. Memorial services were conducted May 5 in Cheyenne.

Recent retiree Sterling Fritzler dies WYDOT retiree Sterling Fritzler of Torrington died May 5. He was 53. Fritzler began working for the state in 1981 as a clerk in the Laramie Port of Entry, which at the time was within the Wyoming Department of Revenue and Taxation. He had previously worked for the University of Wyoming. In 1997, Fritzler transferred to the Torrington Port of Entry. By then, jurisdiction of the ports of entry had been moved to the Highway Patrol as a result of state government reorganization during 1990-91. He retired from WYDOT last November. Fritzler was well known in the Torrington area for his collection of colorful replica flags, which he put on display annually outside his house to commemorate Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. He was also an inveterate collector of law enforcement badges issued by highway patrols, sheriffs offices and police departments from numerous other states. He is survived by his mother and sister, both of Laramie. Funeral services for Fritzler were conducted May 8. Continued on page 18 June 2012

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Courtesy the Torrington Telegram

Passings


Lab’s Dick Wilson succumbs

Former Materials Lab employee Floyd DeGabain dies

Richard J. “Dick” Wilson, 59, of Cheyenne died May 17 following a lengthy and determined battle against cancer. Wilson was a long-term employee in WYDOT’s Materials and Testing Laboratory, where he was assistant supervisor of the Soils and Surfacing Section. Co-workers say Wilson’s skill and expertise will be greatly missed, as will his enduring sense of humor and penchant for practical jokes. He had been with the department since 1980, and he previously worked as a draftsman for the Wyoming Water Planning Program. Wilson was a graduate of East High School in his native Cheyenne, and he also earned a bachelor of science degree in Wilson is fondly remembered for his jovial sense of humor. parks and recreation from the University of Wyoming. Survivors include his wife, Karen, and son Chad “Mac” Wilson, both of Cheyenne, as well as his mother, Darlene Wilson of Mesa, Ariz.; and sister, Joni Betz of Seattle. A celebration of Wilson’s life was conducted May 26 in Cheyenne.

WTDEA Store

Agency retiree Floyd DeGabain, 88, died April 19 in Cheyenne. DeGabain joined the Wyoming Highway Department (WHD), WYDOT’s predecessor agency, and worked in the Materials Laboratory at headquarters for nearly 25 years prior to his retirement in June 1986. He was a native of northern Colorado who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After leaving the military and prior to joining WHD, DeGabain worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. While working at WHD, DeGabain began making candy as a hobby, and he and his late wife Roberta eventually turned the hobby into a small business, De’s Candy Shop, which features a variety of homemade confections. DeGabain continued to own and operate the candy business following his retirement from WHD. He was a past master of Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 4, and was a member of the Oak Spokes Car Club. Survivors include two daughters, Carolyn and Claudia, a son, Edward, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Memorial services were conducted April 24 in Cheyenne.

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Cash Calendar

An 18 Month Calendar (7/2012 - 12/2013) is selling for $15. Daily chances to win starting January 2013. Contact your representative for information.

Gloves

Pigskin leather work gloves. $5.25 for members, $6.25 for non-members. Call Tina Thomas at 777-4486.

Cookbook

The Roadkill Cookbook is selling for $10. Call Barbara Thomasee at 777-4494.

Hats

WTDEA State Board is selling hats. The hats are $18. Contact your WTDEA representative for more information.

If you would like your WTDEA event to be placed in Interchange, please contact Tina Thomas, tina.thomas@wyo.gov or Tony Niswender, anthony.niswender@wyo.gov

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Photo: WYDOT

Continued from page 17


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Interchange 19PM 5/17/2012 2:30:35


Interchange

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Interchange - June 2012