Reshaping transportation in Utah
As part of developing a statewide transportation plan, federal law required the Utah Department of Transportation to enhance its long-range planning process to incorporate new performance, environmental, and multi-modal planning requirements. In doing this, UDOT chose to produce documentation that reflected industry best practices. Through a week-long workshop, we helped UDOT redesign, update, and enhance its long-range planning process.
In Utah, a statewide, long-range transportation plan is both good industry practice—and a required federal document. The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) had a plan in place, but there were two problems. First, the existing plan and planning process did not meet recent changes in federal requirements. Second, UDOT had never documented its existing process. So, when it came time to update the document, the first thing UDOT needed was a solid, up-to-date process that reflected industry best practices.
Our solution to UDOT’s challenge involved two phases. During the first phase, our team redesigned and enhanced UDOT’s long-range planning process. The focus of the redesign was on the department’s guiding principles and on recognizing community concerns regarding the construction and widening of roads and integration of multi-modal services. Over the course of a week-long workshop using the ICF-developed PlanWorks tool, the team helped UDOT take a holistic look at both building roads and providing transportation services in a more collaborative way with environmental partners, community partners, and state and local partners. The new process also strengthened UDOT’s coordination and partnership with Utah’s urban planning partners, the metropolitan planning organizations, and the Utah Transit Authority. The project’s second phase focused on translating these priority key learnings into an updated, actionable plan.
What UDOT gained was a documented process guide and redesigned plan it could carry forward into the future. The Utah Unified Transportation plan incorporated the new process and the strengthened partnership, reflecting a consensus for both urban and rural needs. With this revitalized long-term plan, UDOT can independently oversee the various consultants executing it.