Virginia will keep "Dashboard"

News AASHTO Journal March 31, 2005
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The board that oversees the Virginia Department of Transportation has voted to continue granting the public access to web infor

The board that oversees the Virginia Department of Transportation has voted to continue granting the public access to web information about the time and cost status of VDOT's transportation projects. The Commonwealth Transportation Board passed a resolution to continue the performance-measurement tool called "Dashboard" even past the current administration, which launched it.


Virginia's governors are limited by law to a single four-year term. The Dashboard program was initiated in 2003 under the administration of current Gov. Mark Warner.


"We want to keep the Dashboard on for good regardless of what happens in future administrations," said Transportation Secretary Whitt Clement. "By passing a resolution to make the Dashboard an official and valuable way of providing information to the public, there is no turning back."


"We opened our doors so the public can monitor our daily project performance," said VDOT Commissioner Philip Shucet. "It's all out there, the good and the bad. The public has a right to know how their money is being spent. With citizens keeping a close eye on us, we will be a better agency in the long run."


Dashboard, which is online at www.VDOT.Virginia.gov, tells viewers which construction projects are on time and which are behind schedule, and offers contract information. Project budgets also are posted and tracked.


The tool will be upgraded in July to show the latest information on VDOT's performance with maintenance projects, plans, studies, finances, safety and operations.


VDOT officials said that Dashboard has served as an "early warning system" for project managers to get their projects back on track. It has contributed to an increase in the number of projects VDOT delivers on time and on budget.


Four years ago, the department was completing fewer than 20% of its projects on time, but in the first half of FY 2005 the department completed 74% of construction projects on time and 82% within budget.


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