Video: State DOT Panels from 2024 TRB Annual Meeting

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently released two videos of panels discussions held at the 2024 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in January.

[Above photo by AASHTO]

In the first session, Craig Thompson – secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and 2023-2024 AASHTO president – outlined key transportation challenges faced by states and the nation as a whole.

He illustrated how his AASHTO presidential emphasis areas – themed “Transportation Together” – could help “make the most out of the extremely exciting and transformational time right now” in the transportation sector.

“I’m looking at how the capabilities of AASHTO as an organization, and the combined resources and expertise of its members, can be best brought to bear and enable us to work effectively together,” he said. “With historic investment in infrastructure across the nation, innovation reaching every corner of the industry, and technology evolving in unprecedented ways, we are paving the way for the future of mobility.”

The second session examined the ongoing development of the “Moonshot Project” by state departments of transportation across the country.

Established in 2021 and approved to move forward by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in October 2022, the “Moonshot Project” is an effort to draft a “cohesive national transportation vision” for the United States.

Spearheaded by Julie Lorenz, former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, this project seeks to establish a national “framework” wherein state DOTs can work “collectively and individually” to develop an over-arching vision for addressing the country’s mobility needs of the future.

“It’s called the ‘Moonshot Project’ because we seek to harness similar ‘aspirational energies’ like the ones that infused the effort to put a man on the moon,” explained Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation and a former AASHTO president, who moderated this session at TRB.

“The ‘Moonshot’ is about restoring national confidence in the benefits transportation provides,” he said. “We’ve engaged with a wide range of partners in this effort – speaking with groups that traditionally we’ve not spoken with before. That, at times, has been uncomfortable, yet in the end it has been really helpful for our work here.”

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