Planning and Engineering Roadshow
ODOT District 8 developed an inner communication program called the Roadshow. At the Roadshow we take a representatives from the Planning and Engineering Departments to visit the workforces in our County garages.
The first year of the Roadshow was primarily an introduction, where everyone explained their roles and how they fit within the goals and vision of ODOT.
The second year was more focused on important aspects of maintaining our assets and how the Office staff and County forces could interact and communicate to ensure that observations in the field could lead to projects that provide more permanent solutions to everyday issues. This would, in turn, allow our field crews to focus on their increasingly important task of maintaining our system. We specifically discussed each discipline represented, and the top 5 areas where office staff and County forces could exchange information to possibly develop solutions to common roadway and structure deficiencies.
ODOT places a lot of emphasis on a combined annual work plan. We recognize that maintaining and improving our infrastructure requires both maintenance activities and planned projects. Increased communication and awareness was needed between office staff and County forces to relay accurate and timely information.
Members of the Planning and Engineering staff in various disciplines (Traffic Safety, Hydraulics, Bridges, Geotechnical, Environmental, etc.) go to each county garage to meet with the maintenance staff. After introductions, two-way discussions are held (i.e. these are not just presentations from office staff).
Benefit and Implementation
Our maintenance staff is on the road every day. They see and know about issues that don’t always show up in crash reports or condition surveys. This provides valuable feedback to the engineers and planners, especially where a roadway issue can actually be fixed instead of just repaired over and over.
The roadshows have been very well received by maintenance staff, who now feel more informed and included in the decision making process. We have seen positive improvement in employee engagement.
As we continue these annual meetings between our office staff and the crews from our seven represented counties, our relationships and mutual respect continues to grow. These improved relationships are leading to better communication and more informed staff, ultimately leading to doing a better job of taking care of what we have.