Atkins working on RoadX Program to overhaul Colorado’s transportation system

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The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has selected a UK-based design, engineering and project management consultancy to assist it in transforming the state’s aging transportation system into one of the safest and most reliable in the USA.

CDOT has selected Atkins to provide support for their RoadX Program, Colorado’s commitment to rapid and aggressive implementation of innovative technology to revolutionize the state’s transportation system within the next 10 years.

CDOT is investing US$20m over the next year to combat congestion and improve safety through the use of technology. During the three-year contract period, Atkins and two other consulting firms, AECOM and CH2M, will be advisors for all RoadX program activities, serving as an extension of staff and helping to move projects from conception, through procurement, to construction.

Among the current issues the program intends to address are:

• Colorado ranks 32nd out of 50 states in the quality of its pavement;

• Its metropolitan areas in Denver and Colorado Springs are some of the most congested cities in the country, with metro Denver ranking 19th worst in congestion, and 16th worst in trip reliability;

• The state’s population grew by 50% in the last 20 years, and will grow by another 50% in the next 20;

• In 2014, 488 people died in traffic related crashes using Colorado’s transportation system, and another 3,219 were seriously injured;

• In 2014, the cost of all crashes in Colorado was US$13.27bn, or approximately US$2,500 per person;

• Congestion in Denver/Aurora costs US$1,101 per commuter per year.

The RoadX program will employ a multi-pronged DO-IT (deployment, operations, innovation, technology) approach, with the objective of being the most efficient, agile, and flexible system for bringing transportation technology to market. Over the next two years, the RoadX program will implement three key efforts along the DO-IT spectrum. In the first phase period from 2016-18, CDOT plans to: partner with private industry and others to deploy advanced technology to reduce the cost of transporting goods by 25%; turn a rural state highway into a zero death road; and improve congestion on Colorado’s critical corridors.

“With the selection of forward-thinking consultants, our RoadX vision will move a step closer to becoming reality,” said Peter Kozinski, CDOT’s RoadX director. “Our consultants will help us deploy innovative technology that improves our transportation system. These innovations will bring efficiency, increased safety for travelers, and demonstrate to industry that we are committed to enhancing the economic vitality of our state.”

Jim Hanson, Atkins’s ‘RoadX Champion’, commented, “Our global activities in intelligent mobility enable us to bring advances in technology from around the world. Advances in transportation technology allow us to assist clients with achieving safety and mobility goals with reduced capital construction. We are committed to engaging industry partners, technology experts, and the community, to further transportation innovation in the state.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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