16-lane Texas expressway opens with tolled lanes | Magazine recognizes Texas toll lane project | Board OKs $1.6M to designate Houston-area carpool lanes
October 26, 2018
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Moving Smarter
N.J. Turnpike toll rates to remain unchanged for 7th straight year
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will hold toll rates steady for the turnpike and the Garden State Parkway in 2019, which will be the seventh consecutive year rates have remained unchanged. The authority is poised to collect an estimated $19.3 million more in toll revenue than expected this year, and the authority's commissioners have approved a $582 million budget for 2019.
NJ Advance Media (Morristown, N.J.) (10/25) 
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Tolling Today
16-lane Texas expressway opens with tolled lanes
Construction on the 28-mile Midtown Express in Texas is complete, and drivers can begin using the road this weekend. The 16-lane road includes tolled lanes.
KXAS-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (10/25) 
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Magazine recognizes Texas toll lane project
The $850 million toll lane project on State Highway 288 is underway as a public-private partnership between the Texas Department of Transportation and the Blueridge Transportation Group. Roads & Bridges magazine has recognized the effort as its No. 2 road project of 2018, partly because of its complex design.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Houston (10/25) 
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Board OKs $1.6M to designate Houston-area carpool lanes
The Metropolitan Transit Authority board of Harris County, Texas, has voted to put $1.6 million toward freeway striping and signage to indicate when new high-occupancy-vehicle lanes on US 290 are accessible only to carpooled vehicles. The HOV lanes were proposed after state and local officials in 2014 changed the planned number of reversible high-occupancy toll lanes from three to one.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (10/25) 
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Safety culture keeps highway drivers alive
The safety training that many people in Fort McMurray, Canada, received while working on the oil sands was a key factor in the safety of evacuations during the 2016 wildfire, said retired local Fire Chief Darby Allen, who was keynote speaker at the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association's 86th Annual Conference and Exhibition in Baltimore. ASECAP President Bill Halkias, also head of the Hellenic Association of Toll Road Network, said safety is "of paramount importance" among contractual obligations.
Tolling Points (10/25) 
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Waymo updates emergency-response guide for self-driving vehicles
Waymo has released a revised emergency-response guide that outlines how autonomous vehicles will yield to emergency vehicles and what they will do if pulled over by police. The guide also shows how emergency personnel should respond to a crash involving an autonomous vehicle, advising to open a door so the vehicle will not drive away, because it cannot function in autonomous mode with a door ajar.
CNET (10/24),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/24) 
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Maintenance & New Products
Chicago Skyway canopy open again after $7M rehabilitation
A $7 million rehabilitation project of the Chicago Skyway canopy is complete. The project preserves the canopy's Art Deco style and involves updated tolling equipment and improved signage.
WLS-TV (Chicago) (10/25) 
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Policy and Legislation
Illinois Tollway increases consultant's contract by $5.7M
The Illinois Tollway board has increased an engineering consulting contract with WSP USA by $5.7 million to $90.2 million over four and a half years. The extra money will be used for projects including designing a new customer service center, updating the bridge load rating system and testing new designs for sound walls.
Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.) (10/25) 
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New infographic
IBTTA has created the new infographic "Moving Us Forward: Why Toll Roads?" to educate and inform elected officials, the media, community groups and the general public. You can also use this on your website, at town hall meetings and at service plazas. Let's get the word out on the benefits of tolling and its proven record. For information, please contact Bill Cramer.
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Leadership Academy applications now being accepted through Nov. 5, 2018
IBTTA's Leadership Academy was founded in 2008 by the IBTTA Foundation Board of Directors. The Leadership Academy is an executive development program tailored specifically for senior-level managers in public and private sector organizations that serve the toll industry. This intense week-long course is taught by internationally recognized toll industry leaders, business partners and educators. The members only 2019 program will take place Feb. 10-15, 2019, in Washington, D.C. More details here.
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