New standards call for Interstate sign replacement

first_imgBy David Dill. Now that we are about halfway through the summer construction season, many Vermonters have become aware that the Agency of Transportation is replacing all the road signs along Vermont’s interstate system. This work has prompted many questions, the most common is why?Understandably, many motorists believe that our old highway signs are just fine and that the money we are using to replace these highway signs could be better spent repairing bridges, expanding public transit and paving roads. I too would prefer to put every available dollar into these kinds of high-priority programs, but we do have to address our other responsibilities as well.The bottom line is that from an engineering and safety perspective, those old signs are not OK and the state must replace them. Here is why.Congress recently directed the Federal Highway Administration to adopt a national standard for retro-reflectivity for traffic signs and pavement markings. These new standards, which were established in 2008, apply to all roads open to public travel. Compliance with these new retro-reflectivity rules is a requirement that VTrans must meet by 2015 to continue to receive the critical federal-aid highway funds that come to Vermont.Federal-aid highway funds make up $250 million of the state’s $595 million transportation budget, and are used in all facets of the state’s highway, bridge and public transportation programs.The goal of this new reflectivity mandate is to provide signs that are legible during all times of day and weather conditions.  This is largely accomplished through the retro-reflectivity of the sign sheeting.  The expected life of this sheeting is approximately 15 years.  Many of the signs on our interstate system are at least 20 years old, and some that were recently replaced on northern portions of I-91 were the original signs from way back in the 1960s and 70s.The posts and foundations for these signs are also being replaced. All new signposts are designed to be “breakaway” if struck by a vehicle. This modern technology is a valuable safety tool that will prevent injury and save lives. On the financial front, these sign projects do not tap funds that could otherwise be used for bridge, public transit or pavement projects, so they are not in conflict with those programs. Instead, the new signs are 100 percent federally funded with money called “Section 148 Highway Safety Improvement Program” funds, which can only be spent on safety-related projects.Sign improvements are one of several allowable project categories under Section 148.  The federal government identified sign retro-reflectivity as an important safety feature, which led to the Highway Administration’s adoption of the mandate requiring states to upgrade their existing signs. As a result, VTrans, over the next few years, will replace all traffic control signs on a system-wide basis, prioritized by sign age, which is why the northern section of I-91 was completed first, followed by the current I-89 projects. The rest of the interstate system will follow so that we complete the work by the federally mandated 2015 deadline.David Dill is the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation8.4.2010last_img read more

Cops: Drunken Driver Seriously Injures Woman, 43, in Brentwood Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An alleged drunken driver crashed head-on into another vehicle in Brentwood early Saturday morning, seriously injuring the passenger of the car, Suffolk County police said. Ronald Cherry, 44, of Bay Shore, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. He will be arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip. Police said Cherry was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu eastbound on Spur Drive North just before 2 a.m. when he was involved in a head-on collision with a 2008 Toyota Avalon driving westbound. The driver of the car, 43-year-old Bernadette Joachim-Baker of Miami, was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore for minor injuries. Her passenger, 21-year-old Melissa Joseph of Brentwood, was transported to Southside with serious injuries, police said. Police earlier in the day incorrectly reported that another passenger had suffered serious injuries. Cherry was treated at the same hospital for minor injuries. Police said the investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call Third Squad detectives at 631-854-8352 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more

Trojans only missing leadership

first_imgLeader of the Pac · Sophomore wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Pac-12’s leading receiver, had eight catches for 143 yards against Utah. – Tal Volk | Daily TrojanUSC is the most frustrating football team in the country. Saturday’s dominant win against Utah further reinforced that notion. A 42-24 blowout over the No. 3 team in the country shows just how good the Trojans are but is also a painful reminder of what could have been.USC left everything out on the field on Saturday, and everyone played to his potential. This was a huge contrast to the last time the Trojans were in the Coliseum when they suffered a loss to unranked Washington.These two games best represent the Trojans and why they’re a 4-3 team instead of the 7-0 or 6-1 team they’re capable of being. There seems to be no in-between for USC. Either everybody struggles and commits a handful of mistakes, or the team as a whole plays each position flawlessly and is capable of beating nearly any team in the country.Against Washington, senior quarterback Cody Kessler, who is typically poised and controlled, threw two interceptions and no touchdowns. The blame can’t be placed entirely on Kessler, however, as all seven of his receivers, including Pac-12 leader sophomore JuJu Smith-Schuster, combined for a total of only 156 yards.The run game seemed to be the only thing that Washington couldn’t stop, but the stalled offense reached all the way up to the coaches, as the play-calling kept revolving around passing, despite the fact that Kessler had been picked off multiple times, and the rushing game looked unstoppable.Against Utah, it seemed the Trojans could do no wrong. Kessler threw for a touchdown and even kept the ball on a fourth down to dive into the end zone. Smith-Schuster had a phenomenal game, tallying 143 yards and a touchdown, not to mention a stiff arm that electrified the Coliseum as he picked up more yards after the catch.The defense looked strong through all four quarters, something it has struggled to do this season. Freshman linebacker Cam Smith picked off Utah quarterback Travis Wilson three times, the most interceptions by a USC player since 1991. From the first score of the game, there was nothing the No. 3 Utes could do to stop the Trojans.In the losses to Stanford and Notre Dame, the Trojans were certainly outplayed. The Cardinal and the Irish were the better teams that night. I don’t think Stanford or even Notre Dame has more talent than USC, however. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a roster with more talent than USC’s.So if the problem is not a shortage of talent, it has to be tied back to leadership. The only thing standing between USC and a national title is a solid head coach.Interim head coach Clay Helton has obviously revitalized the Trojans after a sluggish start to the season under former head coach Steve Sarkisian and has said he hopes to be the next head coach at USC. However, Athletic Director Pat Haden’s job is likely riding on the next coaching hire, and Helton might not be a big enough name to satisfy Haden’s critics. Helton would likely have to win out in dramatic style to earn the job.Kyle Whittingham, Mark Dantonio and Kevin Sumlin are all names that keep coming up, but whoever Haden gives the reins to is the only thing stopping USC from winning a national title.Regan Estes is a junior majoring in public relations and Spanish. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Wild Wild Westes,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more

Predators’ Filip Forsberg (upper-body injury) out for Saturday’s game unexpectedly

first_imgFilip Forsberg will miss tonight’s game against Carolina and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. #Preds | #CARvsNSH— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) March 10, 2019He is listed as day to day.Now, missing one game isn’t that big of a deal, but what was odd was how it happened. Forsberg definitively told reporters he was planning to play.”Yeah, that’s the plan,” he said, via The Athletic.“Yes, that’s the plan,” Filip Forsberg said when asked if he’s going to play tonight.— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) March 9, 2019So what changed in seven hours? Is the injury more serious than he first thought? The Predators (83 points) are currently in a battle with the Jets (84 points) and the Blues (79 points) for the top spot in the Central Division.This team isn’t going to give away a win to give a guy a rest right now. So we’ll see what happens in the next few days. Predators forward Filip Forsberg told reporters he was planning to play against the Hurricanes on Saturday but something changed.Nashville announced Forsberg was out minutes before the game with an upper-body injury.last_img read more

Twelve new fire starts reported in Prince George Fire Centre

first_imgPRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — In light of a weekend weather forecast is calling for mainly dry and warm conditions, with temperatures above seasonal averages throughout the region, the BC Wildfire Service is encouraging the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning.Since April 1, 12 fires have burned 88 hectares in the Prince George Fire Centre — covering an area from the Northwest Territories and Yukon to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, Cottonwood River and Robson Valley in the south, and to the Alberta border in the east as well as Skeena Mountains in the west.Crews and local fire departments have extinguished four of them, but eight others are still on the patrol stage.- Advertisement -“All of these fires are suspected to have been caused by people and resulted from grass burning or pile burning,” a press release from the government states. “No fire of any size should ever be left unattended.”Anyone wishing to light an open fire has to watch for changing weather conditions and follow all burning regulations to reduce the number of preventable wildfires. Those planning to do any large-scale industrial burning, larger than a fifth of a hectare, must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time.People are also required to check venting conditions before conducting an open burn. If venting conditions are poor or fair, open burning is restricted.Advertisementlast_img read more