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Federal FAST Act provides transportation funding

blog-road-FAST.jpg

                                Washington State Department of Transportation / flickr

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, passed by Congress in December 2015, authorizes $281 billion in federal funds for highway, transit and highway safety programs over five years. Combined with state and local matching dollars, the nation now has a substantial sum for much needed transportation improvements.

FAST Act is a fully paid-for reauthorization of federal highway, transit, highway safety, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials and passenger rail programs.

Roads and bridges in need of repair, along with problems in the nation’s transit systems, are not only a safety concern, but a drag upon the U.S. economy as well. While FAST Act begins to address these issues, the legislation’s $281 billion is still a far cry from the $3.6 trillion that the American Society of Civil Engineers deems necessary for repairs by 2020.

Efficiency is key

That is why it is essential that FAST Act funds, as well as state and local dollars to leverage those federal funds, be spread as far as possible. Efficiency in the planning and management of transportation projects is vital to ensure that departments of transportation (DOT) are doing more with fewer taxpayers’ dollars.

geoAMPS, a Columbus, OH-area company that is the premier provider of software solutions to manage land rights and infrastructure assets, stands ready to partner with departments of transportation in the planning and execution of transportation improvement projects.

geoAMPS offers a Web-based software system called dotAMPS that centralizes data storage. The Web platform’s dashboard-focused interface gives transportation department users a centralized repository of information with easy and secure access. dotAMPS is one of the industry-specific software products offered by geoAMPS. It is specially designed to meet the needs of transportation agencies.

Meeting project needs

Widening of a highway is a major undertaking that first requires tracking and acquisition of right of way. In the past, completing right of way work on a project of that magnitude meant many days in the county courthouse and in the field, meeting and negotiating with property owners.

dotAMPS provides the capability for DOTs or their land service partners to manage right-of-way projects and land assets in a real-time, paperless environment. That enables collaboration, efficiency and error reduction. With dotAMPS, the DOT can maintain comprehensive and reliable records of projects, including landowner negotiations. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) requires such records through the course of completing projects.

dotAMPS is a robust software system designed to anticipate DOT needs for projects. Right of way acquisition, property condemnations, landowner relocation and specifications for road projects are just some of the myriad of FHA requirements state departments of transportation encounter. Failure to meet those requirements can result in substantial penalties. dotAMPS equips DOTs with the ability to manage and track compliance.

The Web-based platform enhances efficiencies in project management and organizational processes. It allows field agents to access and upload project information and updates on mobile devices, avoiding the need to wait until returning to the office to perform those tasks. With dotAMPS, the department has a powerful tool to manage workflows. Once the project is completed, dotAMPS can provide automatic reminders of scheduled inspections and maintenance. That capability helps to ensure the longevity of transportation improvements.

geoAMPS customers can also gain the advantage of GIS mapping. GIS delivers an integrated geospatial view of the project area. It provides a wealth of information, including property parcels, land ownership and utility crossings. That information can be useful should utility infrastructure have to be relocated.

By utilizing dotAMPS, departments of transportation will be making an investment that can make the best use of FAST Act dollars.

Want to learn more about dotAMPS? Call 614-389-4871 or visit www.geoamps.com.

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Dan Liggett is Communications and Public Relations Consultant for geoAMPS.

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