Event Recap: 2019 Colorado Transportation & Environmental Professionals Training

By Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC Colorado), in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the American Public Works Association, Colorado Chapter, hosted the 2019 Colorado Transportation & Environmental Professionals & Training (TTEP19) on March 5 – 6, 2019 at the Westin Westminster. This year’s training was entitled, Navigating The Future Together, and included several breakout sessions that encompassed this theme from Technology, Workforce and Organizations of the Future to The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be: Going Global with Smart Cities.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis welcomed participants during the Opening Session on the first day of the conference, emphasizing the importance of transportation in our growing state of Colorado. “We have $9 Billion in Tier 1 [transportation] that needs to be fixed,” stated Gov. Polis. He conceded that although several local municipalities are making headway to address transportation issues, that the state must collaborate to find a broader resolution. “We have convened a fiscal working group to address a statewide transportation solution,” Gov. Polis assured the crowd of participants. “You are doing an amazing job, especially considering the fiscal constraints here in Colorado, and my administration and I look forward to partnering with you.”

With more than 300 industry professionals in attendance, from design and consulting engineers to transportation and public works officials, attendees were able to receive not only Professional Development Hours (PDHs) from the educational sessions, but also several networking opportunities from the 22 Exhibitors and Speed Networking sessions. One educational track of note that was new this year included the Colorado 811/Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) series that focused on the ramifications of Senate Bill 18-167 concerning increased enforcement of requirements related to the location of underground facilities. This bill has had a major impact on the consulting engineering, transportation and public works communities, and each session regarding SUE was filled to capacity during pre-registration.

Attendees also heard from the newly instated Executive Director of CDOT, Shoshana Lew. According to CDOT, she is “charged with leading the department in planning for and addressing Colorado & transportation needs and overseeing 3,000 employees statewide and an annual budget this year of approximately $2 billion.” She addressed the participants during the Welcome Breakfast Session on the second day of the conference, sharing her perspectives and insights regarding transportation.

“We need to accommodate a changing landscape…and have a public conversation about transportation,” stated Shoshana Lew. She expressed her honor in being the first woman appointed as the Executive Director of CDOT and her goals to bridge the various generations and backgrounds of CDOT to benefit the entire state of Colorado.

Photos courtesy of The Unfound Door

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