State departments of transportation are no longer just held accountable for the transportation system, but for how the transportation network supports and improves the quality of life for communities. With this idea in mind, GeoDecisions has partnered with its parent company, Gannett Fleming, to help the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) evolve its PennDOT Connects project. Aimed at involving community stakeholders earlier in an infrastructure project’s lifecycle, PennDOT Connects improves planning and engineering collaboration throughout design and delivery.
Gannett Fleming is helping to evolve the PennDOT Connects, including participation in its staff training component, Planning and Engineering 360, for PennDOT and regional planning organizations. GeoDecisions is redesigning PennDOT’s Linking Planning and NEPA (LPN) application for project proposals and environmental scoring.
The PennDOT Connects initiative will provide a framework and process for outreach and cooperation between PennDOT districts, planning partners, and municipalities. Meeting with and gathering data from local project representatives to ensure that relevant factors are reviewed and included as part of the project planning process is at the heart of the program.
Expected to go live in January 2018, the new PennDOT Connects application also includes plans for a mobile piece. Using smartphones, tablets, or PDAs, onsite users will have the ability to collect information and meeting notes for study areas during PennDOT Connects outreach.