WSRTTIF Update - February 2nd, 2024


UPDATE: Friday, February 2nd, 2024

2023 Western States Forum Review

The 2023 Western States Forum hosted 49 attendees from eight states (Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington), six state departments of transportation, two universities, a research organization, and five out of the twelve Caltrans districts. Participants also attended from multiple Caltrans Offices and Divisions. You can review the technical content and images from this year’s Forum on the 2023 Forum Page on the Forum's website.

An audience is seated at tables arranged classroom style, looking to the front of the room.

Photo by: Leann Koon

Caltrans District 2 started the technical program with a three part presentation on Broadband communications design for ITS applications. Jeremiah Pearce first discussed the evolution of system architecture and the support of emerging technologies, while presenters Keith Koeppen and Kenneth Shipley provided information on the project’s wireless expansions.

Jeremiah reviewed the state and district communication plans and the overall strategy, design, implementation, and evolution of their Field Element Network communications systems. He’s shown here providing background on the size, scope, and operations of the ITS network in rural District 2.

A man holds a microphone while standing beside a projector screen. Text on slide is Size, Scope, and Operations, image on slide is a burning semi-truck.

Photo by: Doug Galarus

Keith Koeppen continued Caltrans District 2’s presentation on broadband communications design strategies. He discussed the wireless expansion project at the Red Bluff site. Here, Keith is showing the project sites.

A man points at a map image displayed on a projector screen.

Photo by: Doug Galarus

Kenneth Shipley, pictured below, concluded the broadband communications design presentation with a discussion of the Sacramento Canyon wireless expansion project.

A man holds a microphone while standing beside a projector screen.

Photo by: Doug Galarus

Andres Chavez and Jared Sun delivered a presentation on playbook CMS messaging, which streamlined the road condition alerting process in Caltrans District 3. In the image below, Andres Chavez describes the playbook standardization.

A man walks in front of an audience while presenting material displayed on a projector screen.

Photo by: Leann Koon

Jared Sun continued Caltrans District 3’s presentation on Playbook CMS messaging. Here, he discusses the system's utilization of an Apache HTTP Server.

A man stands behind a podium and gestures at a projector screen behind him. Text on the slide includes Apache HTTP Server.

Photo by: Leann Koon

Ernesto Fermin, a member of the Caltrans Office of Radio Communications, presented on Caltrans Satellite Communications. He provided a general overview of satellite communications and discussed the need for the program, as well as the design and deployment of the mobile communications trailer. The presentation concluded with a tour and demonstration of the mobile communications truck and trailer based in Caltrans District 1. District 1 staff (Aaron Holcomb, Steve Giuntini, Michael Ortiz and Gareth Ehrhardt) provided details during the presentation and guided participants through the trailer.

Here, Ernesto (left) and Aaron Holcomb (right) describe the components of the mobile CTSATCOM trailer.

Two men stand on either side of a projector screen. The man on the left behind a podium is presenting to an audience.

Photo by: Leann Koon

The Forum encourages presenters to provide live demonstrations in addition to presenting technical material. This year, Caltrans Satellite Communications provided a tour of the District 1 mobile communications truck and trailer, where they demonstrated the use of their systems and equipment.

A line of people enters a large white trailer labeled 'Highway Emergency Response Center.' The trailer is located in a parking lot behind a large truck. Two antennas are deployed on either side of the trailer.

Photo by: Doug Galarus

In the image below, Jeff Williams (left) and Cody Oppermann (right) discuss the Utah Department of Transportation’s wildfire and debris flow response. They described how the Utah Weather Operations group evaluates wildfire burn scars, analyzes burn severity, and predicts debris flow probability.

Two men stand on either side of a projector screen. The one on the left is speaking into a microphone.

Photo by: Leann Koon

Eric MacGill (left) and Kevin Maxwell (right) presented their work on a managed lighting control system. They reviewed the basic components of a generic system, discussed project goals, and described the pilot project sites. The presentation included a live demonstration of the calculation and design processes for required minimum lighting levels.

A man presents to the left of a projector screen. Another man is seated across from him.

Photo by: Doug Galarus

Kerry Palmer presented on the Nevada Department of Transportation’s 3 GIS ESRI-based telecommunications intrastructure management tool. Here, he’s showing an overview of the system as he introduces his project.

Photo by: Doug Galarus

Scott Mercer closed the technical presentation series with a discussion on the C-Street Wrong Way Detection System in Washington State. Mercer described the constraints of the budget and implementation site and provided detail on each of the systems tested during the project.

A man stands to the left of a projector screen speaking to an audience. The screen is titled 'C-Street Wrong Way Detection System.'

Photo by: Doug Galarus

The Western States Forum is organized by a Steering Committee, which chooses and reviews presentations in addition to planning the Forum event. From left to right, members of the Steering Committee include: Sean Campbell, Caltrans Division of Research, Innovation, and System Information (DRISI); Jeremiah Pearce, Caltrans District 2; Leann Koon, Western Transportation Institute; and Doug Galarus, Montana Tech. In the images below, Steering Committee members welcome attendees to the Forum and introduce and recognize event speakers.

A man holds a microphone and speaks to an audience in front of a projector. A man holds a microphone and speaks to an audience in front of a projector. A man holds a microphone and presents to an audience. A woman holds a microphone and speaks to an audience.

Photos by: Caltrans District 2

Marlene Woodard runs the event check-in table in the image below. Marlene has provided event planning support for the Forum for the past 18 years, and has been integral in coordinating event logistics and ensuring the Forum runs smoothly. Thank you, Marlene!

A woman poses for a picture while seated at a table with a registration sheet in front of her.

Photo by: Leann Koon

The Forum included time for meals and networking as well as presentations. In the images below, participants network before a meal while looking at some of the equipment displays brought by the Forum speakers.

Groups of people talk to one another while seated at tables.

Photo by: Doug Galarus

Small groups of people talk to one another while standing near equipment and seated at tables.

Photo by: Leann Koon

This Forum was also in the news! Read the article from the Western Transportation Institute’s newsletter on the WTI website's news page.

Thank you to all the participants and speakers who contributed to the successful 18th annual Western States Forum! Be sure to check out the 2023 Past Forum page to review the agenda, technical presentations, and images from the event.

Registration for the 2024 Western States Forum will open in March. Check back soon for more information!