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Stimulus package to headline annual Road School

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — What the federal government’s stimulus package will mean for Indiana roads, how Super Bowl host cities have planned for traffic, and the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be among topics discussed March 10-12 at the 95th annual Purdue Road School.
Some 1,500 local and state transportation officials from throughout Indiana will participate in the event, sponsored by the Joint Transportation Research Program, which is housed at Purdue.

The conference, the oldest of its kind in the nation, will feature a number of state, federal, academic and transportation industry experts. All conference sessions, which will be held in Stewart Center, are free and open to the public.

Held at Purdue since 1914, Purdue Road School consistently attracts well over 1,000 Indiana local and state officials, consultants, and suppliers each year.

Held at Purdue since 1914, Purdue Road School consistently attracts well over 1,000 Indiana local and state officials, consultants, and suppliers each year.

“This year’s program offers an exciting set of very important transportation topics, including the federal stimulus package, infrastructure and the progress of highway projects in the state,” said Kumares Sinha, Road School co-chairman and Purdue’s Olson Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering. “Sessions will cover major engineering, economic and administrative issues in transportation.”

Bob Tally, administrator for the Indiana Division of the Federal Highway Administration, will give the keynote address at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday (March 10). He’ll talk about “Redefining the Three Rs: Recovery, Reinvestment and Reauthorization.”

The Road School will return to the topic of the stimulus package in a session at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday (March 11) on 2009 federal funding for road projects in Indiana. Speakers will be Mark Newland, transportation finance manager for the Federal Highway Administration’s Indiana Division, and Gary Eaton, director of budget, procurement and project accounting for the Indiana Department of Transportation.

During a 1:30 p.m. session Wednesday (March 11) organized by the Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE), officials from Tampa and Detroit, recent Super Bowl host cities, will talk about traffic during the big event. Indianapolis will host the Super Bowl in 2012.

Ken Voigt, ITE international president, will present an overview of traffic planning for special events. Talking about the Detroit experience will be Bob Brooks of traffic designer Parsons Brinckerhoff. Attending from Tampa will be Irvin Lee, public works director, and Mike Scanlon, signals engineer.

The speaker at the noon lunch on Wednesday (March 11) will be Joie Chitwood, president and chief operating officer of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Speedway marks its centennial this year. Lunch tickets are $20.

Some other highlights from the program include sessions on:

  • Traffic roundabouts, 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 10). Participants will be John Beery, Noblesville city engineer; Michael McBride, Carmel city engineer; and Jeromy Grenard and Craig Parks of American Structurepoint.
  • Developing a code of ethics for an agency, 3:15 p.m. Tuesday (March 10). Cynthia Carrasco, executive director of the Indiana State Ethics Commission, will moderate a discussion by Patrick Lyp of the Blackly, Tabor, Bozik and Hartman law firm, and Michael Griffin, Highland clerk-treasurer.
  • Applying environmental sustainability to roads and streets, 3:15 p.m. Tuesday (March 10). Participants will be Robin Mills Ridgeway, Purdue’s director of sustainability and environmental stewardship; Luke Leising, American Structurepoint sustainability director; and Jeremy Kashman, American Structurepoint project manager.
  • Introducing commuter rail to Indiana, 8:30 a.m. Wednesday (March 11). Lori Miser, Indianapolis Department of Public Works administrator, will moderate a panel with Tom Beck of the City of Indianapolis, and Erica Pugh and John Myers of HNTB Corp.
  • An update on major new construction within the state’s Major Moves plan, 10:15 a.m. Wednesday (March 11). Participants will be Jim Poturalski, INDOT deputy commissioner of highway management; Gary Mroczka, INDOT director of Production Management Division; and Greg Kicinski, INDOT manager of the Office of Project Management.
  • Status of the leased Indiana Toll Road, 10:15 a.m. Wednesday (March 11). Jay Grossman, Elkhart County project engineer, will moderate a panel with Leigh Morris, INDOT deputy commissioner, and Matt Pierce of the Indiana Toll Road.

Various transportation-related associations will hold business meetings on Thursday morning (March 12).

The Road School, held annually at Purdue since 1914, brings together transportation-related professionals from the federal level to the smallest municipalities in the state. It is co-sponsored by Purdue’s School of Civil Engineering and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Detailed information on the Road School program and online registration are available at http://www.purdue.edu/jtrp

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