Road Research Center Receives Environmental Quality Award: The Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute's Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies at Penn State was selected by the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals (PAEP) to receive the 2013 Karl Mason Environmental Stewardship Award. The award was presented at the PAEP award banquet on May 9, at the Toftrees Golf Resort and Conference Center in State College, PA. FULL STORY
Changes at the Center: Dr. Barry Scheetz has stepped down for the position of Director of the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies. Barry has "semi-retired" from Penn State but will continue to be involved in the center on a part-time basis. Steve Bloser, who has been with the Center since it was created in 2001, has taken over as the new Director of the Center.
QAQC Round 2 Underway: The first three visits of the second round of Quality Assurance Quality Control visits were recently completed. This process visits individual Conservation Districts to evaluate how the Dirt and Gravel Road Program is being run at the local level. Eight additional visits are expected to be held annually over the next few years.
Center Website Update: The Center's home on the web has received a major overhaul. For details on what has changed and been added see the "about website" page.
FY 2011-12 Allocations Approved: The State Conservation Commission approved FY 2011-12 Dirt and Gravel Road allocations to Conservation Districts at their 5/17/2011 meeting. FY 2011-12 allocations are the first year of a three-year phase in of allocations using a revised allocation formula. For more details, contact Karen Ely at 717-787-2103.
New Allocations Approved: A new allocation formula has been approved for use in distributing funds to Conservaiton Districts for the Dirt and Gravel Road Program. The new allocations will be phasd in over three years beginning in FY 2011-12. For more details, contact Karen Ely at 717-787-2103.
Karen Ely Named new Dirt and Gravel Road Program Coordinator: Effective 12/7/2009, Karen Ely is the new Coordinator of the Dirt and Gravel Road Program. Karen, still a DEP employee, will be located at the State Conservation Commission office in Harrisburg. Her contact info in 717-787-2103, Kaely@state.pa.us. Karen has held various related positioin in the past including Conservation District Manager, DEP Field Represenative, and DEP Conservaiton Program Specialist. Welcome Karen!
Program Coordinator Mike Klimkos Retires: Mike Klimkos, Dirt and Gravel Road Program Coordinator for 5 years, retires on June 19th 2009.
Center Moves to "Larson Transportation Institute": The Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies has moved within Penn State University. Formerly with the Penn State Institute for Energy and the Environment, the Center became part of the Larson Transportation Institute this month. The move will give the center better access to transportation related resources. Further details can be expected in the next newsletter.
CEU Credits for ESM training: Beginning in the Fall of 2007, the Center's 2-day Enviornmantally Sensitive Road Maintenance Training will carry 1.3 Continuing Education Unit Credits. The CEUs credits are from the Penn State College opf Engineering. Contact the Center for more information.
DGRoads GIS Training: November 13, 2007 in State College. This training is different from the assessment trainings. It is a walkthrough of the entire DGRoads GIS program for Conservation Districts. Intended for new hires, but anyone is welcome for a refresher. MORE INFO
New Center Director: Kevin Abbey has left the Center and Penn State to pursue other interests. We wish Kevin the best of luck in future endevaors. Dr. Barry Scheetz, long time Cener Co-Director has taken over as Acting Director. The Center and University look forward to the Center's potential with Dr. Scheetz as Director.
Assessment Trainings: Six assessment trainins have been scheduled for Conservation District Staff planning to conduct a new assessment. Training Dates and Locations are listed on the CDGRS Calendar. A detailed summary of the assessment and assesment training can be downloaded HERE.
DSA Approved for Liquid Fuels Spending: PENNDOT has approved the Program's Driving Surface Aggregate for purchase by state and local entities. This means townships can now use their Liquid Fuels money to purchase DSA. Guidance documents are being prepared and will be available soon about the effect this will have on the Dirt and Gravel Road Program.
New Assessment: The State Conservation Commission has given approval for a new assessment to be conducted in 2007 and 2008. Details:
- An assessment involves field inspection of unpaved road to identify and evaluate worksites.
- The voluntary assessment will be conducted by Conservation Districts.Assessment trainings will be held in the spring of 2007.
- Districts will have until the end of 2008 to complete their new assessments.New assessment data will not affect County Allocations unless Program funding is increased.
- Program administration and education funds can be used to cover assessment costs.
- Much more assessment guidance will be provided in early 2007.
New Documents: 3 new Technical Bulletins and a new Worksite in Focus have been added to the RESOURCES listing on this website: TB-pipes overview, TB-Crosspipe installation, TB-"Through-the-Bank" pipes, WIF-Hatch Run Road
Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Eligibility List Now Available On This Website: Searchable database available on Education & Training tab. This is current through 1/30/2006.
Replenishment Contact Information: Tammy Young, who has been handling Dirt and Gravel Road Program allocation replenishments has changed jobs. The new contact at DEP for Conservation District replenishments is: Rob Filipowicz: Bureau of Watershed Management, PO Box 8465, Harrisburg, PA, 17105, phone: 717-772-5648.
Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) Training Policy Change: The following policy was adopted by the State Conservation Commission and goes into effect for 2006: "In order to be eligible for Dirt and Gravel Road grant funding, someone from the applying entity must have completed the 2-day Environmentally Sensitive Maintenance Training within the last 5 years" - Effective 1/1/2006. For a list of all currently scheduled ESM trainings, check our calendar.