Maintaining municipal roads is complex and expensive for every municipality in Vermont. This workshop will help selectboard members, municipal managers and administrators, highway supervisors, public works directors, and road commissioners learn the important intersections of policy decisions, legal requirements, technical aspects of highway design, and the safety of employees working on roads. Sessions will include how to comply with state and federal laws and regulations, fundamentals in safety, and best management practices. The Vermont Local Roads’ excavator operator simulator will be available for attendees to practice digging skills. VLR Road Scholar Credits Available.
8:30 Registration Opens (light breakfast provided)
9:00 Welcome and Overview
Abby Friedman, Director, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center
Stu Johnson, Branch Manager, Agency of Transportation, Vermont Local Roads Program
9:05 Improving Highway Maintenance, Reducing Long Term Costs, and Keeping Road Crews Safe
Municipalities must comply with state and federal regulations for road maintenance and employee safety. Decision-makers (selectboards and managers) and highway supervisors (road foremen) are all responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations, avoiding costly insurance claims, and spending highway budgets effectively. For example, improving drainage to meet stormwater regulations must be done in accordance with required safety protocols for trench work. This session will review strategies and best practices for complying with the myriad requirements for achieving water quality, effective roadway design, and workplace safety. We will also discuss training programs and cooperative opportunities to support local road crews.
Stu Johnson, Branch Manager, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Local Roads Program
Fred Satink, Manager, Underwriting, Safety & Health Promotion, VLCT PACIF
10:35 Nuts and Bolts of the Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP)
This session will include an interactive demonstration of how to implement the MRGP, which is due to be finalized in January 2018. Presenters will walk attendees through the steps of using the Agency of Natural Resources’ Atlas to complete the required road erosion inventory and describe features of this online mapping tool. Implementation triggers and timelines as well as additional MRGP requirements will also be reviewed.
Jim Ryan, Municipal Roads Program Coordinator, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Dan Currier, Transportation Program Manager, Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission
11:45 Lunch (provided)
12:45 Rules of the Road – Vermont Local Highway Law
This session will cover the basics of local highway law including how town highways are created, the highway classification system, maintenance obligations, seasonal road closures, setting speed limits, and permitting curb cuts and driveways.
Carl Andeer, Staff Attorney I, VLCT Municipal Assistance Center
2:10 The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) offers three grant programs for municipal roadway improvements that benefit water quality. This session will describe the VTrans Better Roads Program, the Municipal Highway and Stormwater Mitigation Grant Program, and the Transportation Alternatives Program and how these funds can be used for numerous road-related erosion mitigation and water quality improvement projects. Presenters will also discuss the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Municipal Roads Grants-in-Aid Program created last summer as a pilot project to help municipalities prepare for the Municipal Roads General Permit (MRGP).
Scott Robertson, Project Manager, Vermont Agency of Transportation
Linda Blasch, Western VT Better Roads Coordinator
Alan May, Eastern VT Better Roads Coordinator
3:00 Presenters’ Panel Q & A
Presenters from the day’s sessions will be available to respond to attendees’ questions during this closing session.
3:30 Workshop Conclusion and Evaluations Completed