Employee innovation on display at IDOT
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced a new app that provides audible route navigation for oversize/overweight loads and a tamp plate that ensures proper compaction of road patches have taken the top prizes in its fifth annual Innovative Ideas Contest. The contest rewards employees for innovative problem-solving that improves safety and efficiency while saving taxpayer dollars.
"This year's contest has once again produced a bounty of innovations from creative employees throughout the state," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "With an eye toward ingenuity, this contest is yet another example of how our team is always looking to improve the services we provide to the people of Illinois."
Ideas in two tracks - Operations and Technical - were submitted to IDOT's internal selection committee. Projects were evaluated by size and scope of the problem, creativity in finding solutions, ability to be implemented statewide and potential to save time, money or other valuable resources. This year's winners:
- Operations. District 5's Champaign Team Section took top honors with a new tamp plate that ensures the integrity of highway patches. Achieving optimal compaction after a full-depth road patch is crucial to ensuring the success of the repair. District 5's tamp plate attaches to a skid steer, harnessing up to 1,500 foot-pounds of force to properly prepare the ground, facilitating a durable patch that helps ensure the safety of Illinois roads.
- Technical. Central Office's Bureau of Operations won for their audible route guidance application. Developed in partnership with ProMiles, this new mobile app provides audible turn-by-turn navigation for those moving oversize/overweight loads on permitted routes. The app enables motorists to keep their eyes on the road while driving, reduces the risk of infrastructure damage that may occur when oversize/overweight loads veer off course and facilitates the movement of goods critical to our economy and the nation's supply chain.
In all, twelve finalists displayed their work in March through a virtual showcase.