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Daily broadcasts and updates for all CDOT Employees.

TODAY’S BROADCAST | 7/7/2020 

Tax Assistance for Coloradans

Due to the extension of both federal and state tax filing and payment deadlines until July 15, 2020, there is still time to get free tax help.

Taxpayers were given an additional 90 days to file their federal and state income tax returns and make payments without penalty if they owe.

Free online filing options can be found through Get Ahead Colorado, a program from the Piton Foundation. Tax Help Colorado also provides free, online tax assistance to help Coloradans file their tax returns and claim their tax refunds as quickly as possible.

Taxpayers will be connected to an IRS-certified volunteer who will prepare their return remotely. Filers can visit GetYourRefund.org to get started today.


New State Wellness Program 

Register today for a healthier you

Beginning July 1, 2020, both Kaiser Permanente and Cigna members will have access to the new State Wellness Program via the Cigna wellness platform, MotivateMe. To get you started, Cigna is offering a total of $20,000 in gift certificates and raffles to employees who take a health risk assessment (HRA). Completing a health assessment is 100% confidential, takes minutes and will provide you with a personalized report on your current health. Once you complete your HRA, you will be entered into a quarterly raffle for a $100 Visa Gift Card. The sooner you enroll, the more chances you have to win!

To participate in the new state wellness program, MotivateMe (replaces the previous platform CafeWell), please create an account at mycigna.com. Cigna users can register with their Cigna member ID, found on your new health insurance card (or you can register with your name, birthdate and Social Security number). Kaiser users will also need to create an account on mycigna.com for the wellness program; register using your name, date of birth and Social Security number. Once registered, all users will navigate to the Wellness tab for information on how to earn points, fill out health risk assessments and other wellness items.

Questions? Contact your local Wellness Committee member: Wellness Contacts for CDOT.


Headquarters Blood Drive

Appointment Required - NO walk-ins

July 29, 2020
9 a.m until 1 p.m. -  Headquarters Auditorium
All Blood Types Needed!

Vitalant is now testing all donors for COVID-19 antibodies. Whether you're eligible to give whole blood or have recovered from COVID-19 and can donate convalescent plasma, you are saving lives.

Safe Practices by Vitalant: 

  • Temperature Checks: Upon arrival you will get a temperature check--you must be under 99.5˚F to proceed with your donation.
  • Social Distancing: To create space, donors are required to have appointments and may even wait in their vehicles before they donate. 
  • Continuous Sanitation: We are using sterile, one-time use collection sets for every donation and wiping down all high-touch areas often and after every collection.
  • Masks Required: Donors and staff are required to wear a face covering.
  • Appointments Required:  Please contact Jenni Fogel @ [email protected] to schedule your appointment. 

More information available at https://www.vitalant.org/Home.aspx.


Virtual Leadership Classes

No Registration Required

See course descriptions and add appointments to your own calendar from the new VILT Calendar page on Learning Lane. Yay! This way, you won't forget when to show up for which class. Here's the schedule:

CLASS

DATE/TIME

LINK

Distributed Teams - Part 1

7/8, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

click here

Distributed Teams - Part 2

7/9, 1-2 p.m.

click here

Managing Anxiety & Sustaining Engagement

7/13, 1-2 p.m.

click here

Neuroscience - Fight or Flight

7/16, 10-11 a.m.

click here

The Leadership Compass

7/21, 10-11 a.m.

click here

Kubler-Ross Stress & Change Model

7/23, 10-11 a.m.

click here

The Group Lifecycle

7/30, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

click here

Neuroscience that Athletes Use Positive Self-Talk ...Why We Should Too

8/4/2020, 10-11 a.m.

click here

Questions? Contact [email protected].

 

Connect to vital resources in your community

2-1-1 Colorado has been activated to connect Coloradans with human service resources statewide. Coloradans can reach 2-1-1 Colorado online at 211Colorado.org, by dialing 2-1-1 or texting your Zip Code to 898-211. 

2-1-1 Colorado is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people across Colorado to vital resources in their local community, including housing, rent and utility assistance, child care, food/meals, transportation, clothing/personal/household needs and more. Callers may experience long wait times due to high demand.

CDOT Transportation Engineering Training Program

Please read on for details about this important training, who should take it and how to take it. CDOT Procedural Directive 21.1 authorizes the use of Adobe Sign, an electronic signature software program, on CDOT project records. It may be used to review, acknowledge, sign or professionally seal project records, including contract change orders. Especially now during the current COVID-19 situation, the use of Adobe Sign will expedite the electronic exchange, review and execution of documents.

For more information visit: codot.gov/programs/tetp/adobe-sign-training.


Delivering eSignature with DocuSign

If you’re thinking about converting a manual paper process that requires signature-gathering to a digital one, OIT can help. We can work with you to determine whether DocuSign is the right solution for your electronic signature gathering and document management needs. Get started!

All-Hands HQ Meeting

Thank you to everyone who followed our virtual HQ all-hands meeting on June 4, 2020. A lot of questions and answers were covered in just over 30 minutes, so if you were unable to join this live, visit https://youtu.be/f-vX5PFILQ8 to watch this in its entirety.

All-Hands Maintenance Meeting

View the CDOT All-Hands Meeting held May 1 with Shoshana and the Executive Team here: https://youtu.be/w9vVheq9ON8.

Know The Facts

Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma toward people, places, or things. For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. 

Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.

Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include:

  • Persons of Asian descent
  • People who have traveled
  • Emergency responders or healthcare professionals
  • Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards other people.

Stigmatized groups may be subjected to:

  • Social avoidance or rejection
  • Denials of healthcare, education, housing or employment
  • Physical violence.
  • Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient.

Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.

As our normal eating routines may be disrupted by changes in our daily lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it could become challenging to make healthy eating choices.   

The Basic Bites program is a simple, effective, and inexpensive way to improve your health and shrink your waistline.

This five-week challenge will encourage you to reduce the number of processed foods you consume while increasing the fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, whole grains and lean proteins in your diet.

Learn how to eat better and more healthy. At a time when we have a lot of changes in our life the Basic Bites program can help get you on the right path with your eating habits and help you stay healthy at this challenging time.

Sign up today, the deadline is this Friday, April 3. 

Join Basic Bites Online Today!

Reminder: Open Enrollment

ACTION REQUIRED for all benefit-eligible employees

Open Enrollment Webcast

Mark your calendars to watch CDOT’s live webcast on open enrollment. Monday, April 20, 2020, at 9 a.m.

Join us at https://youtu.be/GQ-C5NXNdFY. Questions can be emailed to [email protected]Go to benefitsolver.com to enroll. The company key is SOC. To learn more, visit https://stateofcoloradobenefits.com.

Open Enrollment will run from April 14 through May 18, 2020. You will need to elect benefits during this time or you will not be enrolled in medical, dental, vision or a flexible spending account (FSA) option for the plan year of July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

Useful Resources:


Commit to Health

You still have time to complete your preventive screening at home! As a UnitedHealthcare member, you can order an at-home screening kit.

It is quick and easy:

  1. Visit my.questforhealth.com and use the registration key: soc2020. When you register, be sure to have your member ID ready (find it on your medical ID card).
  2. Order the at-home kit. 
  3. Conduct the screening at home through a finger stick.
  4. Return it in a prepaid envelope and access the results online in 1-2 weeks. 

Learn more and order your screening now. The best part?  Receiving your preventive screening means you will:

  • Be entered into a Sweepstakes* for your chance to win a $100 gift card
  • Earn points towards your $240 premium credit on CaféWell
  • If you've already completed a preventive screening since July 1, 2019, you're also qualified for the sweepstakes and your CaféWell rewards!

Click here to document that you're up to date on at least one of the qualifying screenings and submit your entry. Be sure to submit the online form on or before June 15, 2020.

*Open to all State of Colorado employees enrolled in either a UnitedHealthcare or Kaiser Permanente employer health plan. Starts July 1, 2019, ends June 15, 2020. NO PURCHASE OR ENROLLMENT NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN ANY PRIZE. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT, INCLUDING ENROLLMENT IN CAFEWELL, WILL NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING ANY PRIZE. ODDS OF WINNING ANY PRIZE DEPEND UPON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE ENTRIES. 


CDOT Employees may be Eligible to Make Changes to their State Benefits

The current COVID-19 situation has most of us making changes in our daily lives — where we are working, how we are working, and, for some, what work we are doing. Thankfully, the security of continued employment has not been a concern for CDOT employees.  Unfortunately, this is not the case for many here in Colorado and around the country.  

If your spouse or child is one of those impacted by a change in employment due to the COVID-19 situation, and as a result, has lost medical or dental insurance, you may be eligible to make changes to your state benefits because of that event.  

See the document below for more information. You can access Benefit Solver from any state computer using the link at the bottom of the CDOT Intranet pages. If you are working from home, you can go www.benefitsolver.com. Remember that the company key for state employees is SOC.

How COVID-19 Can Impact Your State Benefits


Benefits Changes: Open Enrollment

ACTION REQUIRED for all benefit-eligible employees

Here is what you can expect:

Open Enrollment will run from April 14 through May 18, 2020. You will need to elect benefits during this time or you will not be enrolled in medical, dental, vision or a flexible spending account (FSA) option for the plan year of July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.

  • Cigna will be offered alongside Kaiser Permanente as a new medical plan carrier for state employees.

  • More choice with additional medical plans

  • Enhanced vision coverage through EyeMed

  • Additional Paladina Health locations

  • Reduced medical premiums on all plans!

Visit: https://youtu.be/3TNagC1RBQU for more info.

Bikeways

CDOT Maintains/Builds/Funds Bike Paths Across Colorado

We are getting close to the end of June and the end of Bike Month in Colorado, while we await Bike-to-Work Day (which has been moved to Sept. 22, 2020), we wanted to highlight some of our efforts to support and enhance biking in our state. 

As a multi-modal agency, and as part of our Whole System-Whole Safety initiative, CDOT funds, builds, maintains and adds amenities that enhance safety and improve the cycling experience for residents and tourists alike.  Below is just a partial list of paths and trails provided in part or wholly by CDOT. In addition to these trails, there are also miles of bike lanes, widened shoulders, intersection improvements and more, specifically for bicycle safety.  

 

  • U.S. 36 Bikeway - between Westminster and Boulder

  • Wonderland Creek - Boulder (partially funded by CDOT)

  • Longview Trail - between Loveland and Fort Collins (partially funded by CDOT)

  • Interstate 70 Trail - between Genesee and Evergreen Parkway

  • Vail Pass Trail - between Copper Mountain and Vail

  • Glenwood Canyon Trail - between Dotsero and Glenwood Springs

  • Riverfront Trail - between Fruita and Loma (partially funded by CDOT)

  • Blue River Bikeway - Iron Springs – south of Frisco

  • Interstate 25 Business Route (Walsen Ave.)/U.S. 160 (Seventh Ave.) through Walsenburg

  • U.S. 550 through Durango (N. Main Ave.) – at 17th, 22nd and 32nd streets

  • C-470 Multi-Purpose Path - South of Denver from I-25 to Morrison

 

For more information about CDOT's efforts to promote bicycling visit

https://www.codot.gov/programs/bikeped


We have some great news for when we eventually start working from our offices again for those who choose to commute via bicycle.  Biking is a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to go to work.

The Bicycle Commuter Benefit has been updated for 2020:

  1. Employees who have an EcoPass can now apply for the Bicycle Commuter Benefit. 
  2. There is a simplified form (VPN required) that needs to be filled out, which can be found on the Intranet. Additionally, employees will need to fill out the Employee Travel & Other Reimbursement Form.
  3. Employees can apply for the benefit on a quarterly basis, instead of on a monthly basis. Employees will receive $60 per quarter instead of $20 per month. 

 

5 Tips To Relearn to Love Your Bike 


It’s a Great Time to Ride 

Established in 1956 and promoted by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month takes place each June and is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more folks to give biking a try. Our partners at Bicycle Colorado have plenty of resources and activities that can be found on their Guide to Colorado Bike Month 2020. Their site is filled with great information, including a list of several bike routes around the state, a Summer Bike Bingo challenge, coloring pages for kids, and much more. They are also encouraging bike riders to post and tag them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Love to Ride

Overcome Barriers and Boost Your Motivation

As part of our ongoing focus on two-wheeled transport during Bike Month, we wanted to share the work being done by Love to Ride to promote biking. Love to Ride is an online platform designed to encourage riding for transport. It is good for you, your wallet and the environment — plus you could win great prizes by taking part in their challenges!

Whether you're a new rider or an experienced one, Love To Ride has something for everyone, from tips to help you overcome a barrier to riding to ways to boost your motivation. Visit their site here to learn more.

Bike Month

Colorado is a premier bicycling state. To celebrate bicycling for transportation, fun, and health, Colorado has designated each June as Bike Month. At the same time, Colorado joins a nationwide effort to encourage cycling novices and enthusiasts to experience the fun and freedom of safely riding a bike to work, school, errands, and recreation.

While Bike to Work Month is still in June, Bike to Work Day has been postponed due to COVID-19 to Tuesday, September 22, 2020, you can find more Bike to Work Day info here.  We will be covering all the various efforts to promote biking throughout the month of June in our Daily Broadcasts.

Learn more about the benefits of bicycling to work, school and errands.


Trail Education

CDOT Program Educates Trail Users

As we continue Bike Month, we wanted to feature a new educational effort being deployed statewide for bicyclists and other trail users. Recently, the CDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian program distributed trail educational signs statewide in an effort to remind users of recreational trails and bike paths of the “rules of the road” to keep everyone safe.

The signs feature various messages including:

  • Keep Dogs on 6 ft. Leash

  • Bikes Yield to Peds. Limit 15mph.

  • Be Aware. Free One Ear.

  • Masks Aren't Just for Halloween. 6 ft. Distance.

  • Use a Bell. Please Call Your Pass.

  • Be Kind. Share the Trail.

Thirty cities and recreation districts across the state requested and are using these signs.

Trail Education signs on open space trail in Douglas County


Summer Bike to Work Day Postponed

Rescheduled to Sept. 22, 2020

Colorado’s 2020 Summer Bike to Work Day will now occur this fall on Tuesday, Sept. 22 instead of the previously scheduled date of June 24. Concerns over coronavirus led CDOT and the Denver Regional Council of Governments to move the annual event.

“Although this event celebrates physical fitness, social distancing would be more challenging this year if we have additional people traveling in closer proximity to each other on our bike paths and local streets.”

Betsy Jacobsen, CDOT’s Bicycle, Pedestrian, & Scenic Byways Section Manager 

Organizers rescheduled Colorado’s Bike to Work Day Sept. 22 so that it will occur simultaneously alongside the League of American Bicyclists national event of the same name. Fittingly, Sept. 22 is also the internationally celebrated Car Free Day.


Bike Stories

We have had a great response to our request for bike stories as we celebrate and promote Bike Month. Here are a few more CDOT riders and their stories. We will have a site up soon with all the submissions we received, stay tuned for details. We hope these stories inspire you to venture out on your bike or consider riding your bike as an alternative to getting in the car for work or errands. 

 

Lisa Schoch, CDOT’s Environmental Programs Branch

Lisa grew up in Fruita Colorado, where the 1980’s Coors International Bicycle Classic and the stage known as the Tour of the Moon was held.  Lisa also was an extra in the filming of American Flyers (based on the Coors Classic) which was filmed in the area where she grew up. When Lisa visits her parents in Fruita she rides the Tour of the Moon route. Over the years she has ridden most of Colorado’s alpine and iconic bike tours.

 

Simon Logan, HPTE

Simon Logan is originally from Northern Ireland, where he started cycling when he lived in London, England, as a way of avoiding the congested underground and soon realized it was a great way to get around and explore. Simon is a well-traveled cyclist and has explored many places on two wheels – over one year through 13 countries, across three continents with his wife, Olivia.  Whether it is commuting to and from CDOT HQ (rain, shine, or snow) or cycling a mountain pass in the Rockies, Simon thinks there is no better way to enjoy all the great outdoors that Colorado has to offer!

 

Val Stanson Environmental Programs Branch; Water Quality Unit 

Val shared her most memorable ride ever from a time when she was traveling alone in Ireland. She decided to sneak out of her hostel early one morning to rent a bike to see the countryside. Val rode out of the busy Galway streets into beautiful fields of heather and sweet cloudy morning air. Val would not recommend people leave without a  plan or a buddy but it was so refreshing to ride through expansive fields sprinkled with cottages over miles of rolling hills.

Bike Stories

June is Bike Month in Colorado and we want to share stories, comments, quotes, etc. from current and former employees who ride bikes.  We know lots of you ride and we would love to hear from you. 

Below are a few questions to spur your memory and imagination.  Feel free to answer any or all that you'd like -- or some other story about your biking experiences.  These don't have to be long -- a quote, a sentence or two, or a couple of paragraphs -- it's up to you.  If you want to participate and share your stories, please send them to Betsy Jacobsen CDOT’s Bicycle/Pedestrian/Scenic Byways Section Manager, no later than next Wednesday, June 10.  

  • What motivates you to ride a bike?  

  • What's the most memorable ride you've ever taken?  

  • What's your favorite bicycling jersey or outfit? Why is it your favorite? 

  • Tell us about a time you ran into horrible conditions on your bike, but you rode anyway 

  • Any other stories or comments you'd like to share?  

This is a great opportunity to promote bicycling to other CDOT staff, so we hope you'll participate and look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to send photos as well.  We will be sharing your experiences here soon.

Bike Stories

Last week we asked you to share your bike stories as part of our celebration and promotion of Bike Month, and we have gotten some great submissions. We are looking to gather some more but wanted to share some highlights from the submissions we have already received.  

Charles Meyer with CDOT Traffic and Safety tried commuting by bike in Buffalo NY in 1998, twice.  The first time he was drenched by a sudden summer downpour.  The second time he was using a parallel route to the main highway to get home and was suddenly followed by an old beat up car for several blocks. Unfortunately, that ended his attempt at bike commuting, but he picked it back up in Colorado and has never looked back.

 

Charles Meyer  | Traffic and Safety 

Valerie Bartell with R1 ROW is a well-traveled cyclist. She has ridden her bike at various locations around the United States, like organizing a ride with a group of friends in Missouri  and cruising along the shores of Lake Michigan and Mackinac Island. She also has ridden all over Colorado including Evergreen, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and even participated in the Pedal to Plains tour.  Valerie loves cycling and loves to talk to people about their bike experiences.

 Valerie Bartell | R1 ROW 

These are just a couple of the stories we have received. Send your stories and or photos to Betsy Jacobsen CDOT’s Bicycle/Pedestrian/Scenic Byways Section Manager.  We will be featuring more stories/photos during the month here in the Daily Broadcast and we will be sharing all of them via a link soon.  Stay tuned for more bicycle insight, fun and adventures from your CDOT colleagues. 

Bleach 

Safety Precautions

A diluted bleach solution will work well for a disinfectant as other cleaning products become unavailable, but precautions need to be taken to use it safely.  The guidance states using 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water (32 oz.).  If you do not have a teaspoon measuring device, 4 teaspoons equal approximately 2 capfuls of the bleach container. The spray bottles in both of the Regions storerooms are one quart when full.

Please be sure to use all PPE when mixing a bleach solution, including chemical gloves (nitrile gloves), protective eyewear and a face shield.  Always mix in a well-ventilated area and avoid breathing the vapors. As with any chemical, always read the label on the container and follow the manufacturer's guidance.  A stronger than recommended concentration will not be any more effective and can create health hazards as well as possible damage to surfaces it is applied to. If the bleach solution is applied in a small space such as a vehicle cabin, make sure to leave the windows down and be well ventilated before using the vehicle.

  • Never mix bleach with anything other than clean water. 
  • If bleach is mixed with other cleaning products, including ammonia or alcohol, toxic vapors are produced!

Be sure to label all spray bottles or containers.  A diluted bleach solution will degrade in effectiveness with time after mixing.  For maximum disinfecting, it is suggested that small batches are mixed and replaced daily.

CDOT Can Play a Role in Economic Recovery 

A budget update was provided to the Transportation Commission, at yesterday's April meeting. CDOT’s budget will face some tough challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. To watch the presentation to the commissioners visit: https://youtu.be/COipg4B6rLA

State gas tax (HUTF) is expected to fall dramatically over the next few years, with the steepest drop occurring during the strict social distancing period when people are driving much less. The most recent forecast calls for a loss of $50 million in HUTF revenue to CDOT, although more recent data suggests the impact could be higher.

Nationwide, AASHTO projects declines of approximately 30% in state transportation revenues over the next 18 months (and much higher in some states).  

The new reality is hard, but I know we will tackle it together as Team CDOT.

Shoshana Lew
CDOT Executive Director

Additionally, CDOT’s portion of the state general fund, like all programs supported by the general fund, may be reduced due to decreased revenue. The combined budget impact could be nearly $100 million over the next year and nearly $250 million over the next few years (including loss of general fund plus loss of gas tax revenue). If these funds were lost, CDOT would need to cover debt service costs from base revenues (cutting projects to account for the delta).  

Transportation can play an important role in short-term and long-term economic recovery and, fortunately, CDOT is well positioned to help deliver this support.

Click here to view a 9News Next story about yesterday’s commission meeting.

Happy Campers

Tips for the coming season 

Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial start of camping season all across our beautiful state.  If you or family members are planning to get away here are some helpful tips from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment whether you are looking to use an RV or tent.  Of course it is wiser to stay as close to home as possible  and you can always virtually visit a national park or museum.

Campers

  • Camp only with members of your household in your local region. Do not invite visitors to your campsite.
  • Use personal equipment for camping equipment (no rentals or “loaned” items).
  • Secure food, water, gas, and any other needed camping supplies in your home community. You should not go to a host community grocery store, restaurant, supply store, or gas station except for emergency situations. 
  • Be prepared and plan ahead for extremely limited facilities, as many will be closed or reduced access. You must pack out your trash and waste and follow additional guidance from The Colorado Department of Natural Resources
  • Do not camp if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms such as fever, coughing, or shortness of breath.
  • Do not engage in risky activities and strictly follow any local county fire bans as fire, search, and rescue volunteers are involved in other important public health activities right now.

Campsites

  • Camping by reservation only, at reduced campsite density.
  • All facilities will be cleaned and disinfected per CDC guidelines
  • Signage to be posted in  prominent locations throughout our parks  enforcing social distancing 
  • Provide educational materials enforcing social distancing
  • Visitor Centers and Campground offices will be minimally staffed ensuring social distancing between employees
  • Visitor Centers will be closed to the public

Cannabis Conversations 

Two-year study to reduce traffic crashes and fatalities 

While the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has worked to eliminate marijuana-impaired driving since recreational legalization in 2014, Colorado has continued to see cannabis-involved traffic crashes and fatalities. 

In 2018, 13.5% of drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive for cannabis.

To confront this ongoing challenge, CDOT launched The Cannabis Conversation, a two-year, statewide initiative to engage Coloradans in a meaningful discussion about marijuana-impaired driving and learn more about the public’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors on the topic. The purpose of this first-of-its-kind campaign, which wrapped up in late 2019, was to ultimately help CDOT develop fresh strategies, messages and solutions that would better resonate with cannabis consumers and influence decision-making when it comes to marijuana-impaired driving.

Cannabis Conversations engaged thousands of Coloradans to learn more about cannabis-impaired driving

CDOT connected with more than 18,000 Coloradans through in-depth surveys, public meetings, and focus groups to learn how to best cater messaging, outreach, and education based on consumers’ perspectives.

More states each year legalize recreational and medical cannabis, and CDOT hopes its takeaways from The Cannabis Conversation will help others in transportation, law enforcement, prevention and academia learn how to effectively approach impaired driving education and awareness.

You can view the full report by clicking here.

Make Sure You Are Counted

It’s Important. It’s Easy. It’s Safe

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. In mid-March, homes across the country began receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail. When you respond to the census, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.  

Responding to the census is not only your civic duty; it also affects the amount of funding Colorado receives and how we plan for the future, and it sets the size of our state's Congressional delegation. 

Specifically, data from the 2020 Census are used to:

  • Ensure public services and funding for schools, hospitals, fire departments, transportation and many other critical services.

  • Plan new homes and businesses and improve neighborhoods.

  • Determine how many seats your state is allocated in the U.S. House of Representatives.

For more information visit: demography.dola.colorado.gov/census_2020


Census - get counted!

Colorado ahead of national response rate

Responses to the 2020 Census are on track as more than 60% of U.S. households and 62.8% of Colorado households have responded.   Approximately four out of every five households that responded on their own chose to do so online at 2020census.gov. Nationally internet self-response rates are 9.2 percentage points above Census Bureau projections, as households continue to favor online to phone and mail-in responding to the census.

Gov. Jared Polis is encouraging every citizen to fill out their census so Colorado can achieve 100%. It only takes a few minutes to answer the questions that will impact our state for the next 10 years, visit the 2020 Census today.

You can view the complete state-by-state breakdown here along with data for specific cities and counties.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every decade. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States. Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years.

We Remember

On Friday, June 5, the name of Steven W. Hagemann was added to the memorial stone in front of CDOT Headquarters in Denver. Steven, a member of Region 1 Right of Way, died of his injuries this spring following a work zone crash in January.

The pandemic had delayed the ability to have the engraving done before now. A dedication service is being planned for our next Remembrance Day Ceremony in 2021 when we are hoping to be able to safely gather together to remember our colleague and mark the sad occasion of the addition of another name to the tribute to those CDOT employees who gave their lives in the line of work for the state.


Colorado Remembers

Honor those Coloradans we have lost to COVID-19

Today at 7 p.m., buildings around Colorado will turn red to honor those we have lost to COVID-19, and we will stand together with the families of victims in our fight against this deadly virus. You can join by wearing a mask as a symbol that we will do our part and observe a moment of silence.


We Remember

CDOT Remembrance Day and National Work Zone Awareness Week is even more meaningful to our CDOT family this year, as we recently lost one of our own. CDOT Surveyor Steven Hagemann died earlier this year after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while working on a project to improve pedestrian safety in the Denver area. We thank Steven for his service and dedication to our state’s transportation system. Steven’s death sheds light on the importance of slowing down and giving undivided attention while driving through work zones.  

CDOT Workers Lost In the Line of Duty (photo not available):

Joseph “Dutch” Krouth, 1929, Arthur Dekalb, 1952, Wayne S. Whitlock, 1957, Alfred M. Dunham, 1957, James E. Trimble, 1958, Eldon Misner, 1958, William O. Townsend, 1958, Willard W. Hunter, 1960, Harry “Gus” Nelson, 1962, Donald R. Edison, 1963, Carl L. Hicken, 1964, Roger Pope, 1966, Henry Kahl, 1967, Ernest E. Wich, 1967, Wray N. Roth, 1968, Robert F. Miller, 1969, Melvin A. Jackson, 1973, Ted Wills, 1974, Jerome H. Falk, 1976, Charles V. Hendricks, 1977, Mark Van Wyl, 1977, Rydell Gasler, 1978, Terry L. Kishbaugh, 1978, Harold D. Martin, 1978, Rodney A. Benjamin, 1982, Harland C. Glaser, 1982, Alan E. Losey, 1985, Victor J. Dempewolf, 1985, Milton Walling, 1995,, Richard Gorrell, 1995, Thomas J. Frank, 1996, Rodger Bell, 2006,, Chuck Mather, 2006, David J. Valdez, Jr., 2009, Eric D. Hill, 2019.

If you have a photo of a colleague we do not yet have please contact [email protected] Click here to view the 2020 Remembrance Day Video. 

“We will continue to honor the memory of our departed colleagues each and every year, no matter the circumstances”

Shoshana  Lew-CDOT Executive Director

 

We must protect workers. We must protect road users. We must have safe work zones for all. We can do it!

For More information visit: http://www.nwzaw.org/

Follow the CDOT Facebook page for daily updates this week recognizing the safety efforts by Team CDOT!


Go Orange Day 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

All roadway safety and transportation professionals across the country are encouraged to wear orange to proudly show their support of work zone safety. Go Orange Day and NWZAW is an important time to show your support of the roadway safety industry, especially to the families of victims who have lost their lives in work zones.


CDOT Remembers

We have a backlog of information regarding recently deceased members of the CDOT family. Our thoughts are with all of their loved ones.

Dr. Aziz Khan

From Bibi Khan, Information Management Branch: It is with a heavy heart that I am letting you know that my beloved brother, Dr. Aziz Khan, passed away last Wednesday, March 18th after his long battle with ALS. Aziz recently retired from CDOT; he began his career in the Materials Branch, moved to Staff Traffic and finished out his career in the Research Branch. He was laid to rest last Friday, March 20, 2020.   

Steven Hagemann

There will be a virtual memorial for Steven Hagemann on Tuesday, March 31st. Steven worked in Region 1 for seven years as a surveyor.  Steven started with CDOT in July of 2012 as a land survey intern in Region 6. He spent most of his time in the Central Survey program as a Professional Land Surveyor I and had recently transferred to the North Program. If you would like to be included, please reach out to [email protected] for details.

Tony  Scisneros

Former CDOT motor pool employee Tony Scisneros retired from CDOT in 2015 with 30 years of Service. Those of you who knew him knew how encouraging his humor and humility was. The link to his obituary here.

Google Maps Helps Fight COVID-19

Google has a new tool that is helping global communities respond to and make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.

Google Community Mobility Reports aim to provide insights into what has changed in response to policies aimed at combating COVID-19. The reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces and residential.

Some important due dates for year-end close are fast approaching,  please see the link below for Procurement/Contracting Year-End Close Guidance for 2020, you will also find this guidance online at http://intranet/best-dot/procurement/fy20-year-end-processes_final.pdf. (Note:VPN required to access)


The State of Colorado adopted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on April 1, 2020, as outlined in DPA’s COVID-19 Personnel and Procurement Information website.

Procurement 

Important New Information

  1. Attached to this email you will find a memo from Chief Engineer Steve Harelson and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Sudmeier, titled: TEMPORARY UPDATES TO PURCHASING APPROVAL PROCESS (aka Procurement Clearance Process) outlining the temporary tightening of review levels associated with personal and professional services procurements, new task orders,  and contract modifications.

  2. Follow this link (VPN required) to view important instructions for Procurement and contracts fiscal year end 2020 close process and start up instructions for fiscal year 2021.  Since the Fiscal Year End (FYE) is coming up quickly. It is important to review this document for. everyone who purchases Goods and Services or manages Contracts in your respective areas.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact: Colette DeSonier, CDOT Procurement Official, Division of Accounting and Finance [email protected]


A. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) General Info 

New leave types:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL); and 
  • Expanded Family Medical Leave that includes 
  • Emergency Public Health Leave  (EPHL).

Effective date:

The Act is effective on April 1, 2020, and applies to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Transition:
New SAP leave codes and leave request forms are in process. State employees using COVID-related paid administrative leave beginning 4/1 will have any admin leave recoded to FFCRA leave types.
Eligibility:
State of Colorado full-time and part-time employees, classified and non-classified, and temporary employees are eligible for leave under the FFCRA. Contractors are not eligible because they are not State of Colorado employees. 
Intermittent Leave:
Under certain conditions, intermittent leave may be authorized in compliance with the State of Colorado implementation of the FFCRA and at the discretion of the supervisor.
Refer to the State of Colorado  FFCRA FAQs for Employees for further information.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) Detail

Eligibility:

Effective on the date of hire for State of Colorado full-time and part-time employees, classified and non-classified, and temporary eligible employees.

Qualifying Events:

  1. Quarantine or isolation order

  2. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine

  3. Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis

  4. Caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);

  5. Caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed or child care provider is unavailable (essential and critical employees are not eligible)

  6. Experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Benefit, Reasons #1-4 and 6:

  • Full-time employees who are unable to work or telework are eligible for up to 80 hours of EPSL at their regular rate of pay for reasons 1-4 and 6.
  • Part-time employees are eligible to take the number of hours they would normally work during a two-week period. 

Benefit, Reason #5

Essential and critical employees are currently ineligible. Eligible employees who are unable to telework will be paid 2/3 of their regular rate up to $200 daily and $2,000 total in aggregate for the two weeks. CDOT is exploring options that would balance operational needs with support for working families. Employees may also use accrued leave with approval of their supervisor. Please address needs with your supervisor or Civil Rights Manager with concerns regarding paid leave for reasons outlined under #5 benefit #5 until further guidance is provided distributed.

Emergency Childcare

The Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative has established an emergency childcare system for essential and emergency workers. Employees fill out a survey to provide the family’s child care needs including location, time of day, age of children, and preferred structure of care. They will notify families of potential care providers that meet their needs and provide directions on how best to reach out to the provider to arrange enrollment. 2-1-1 Colorado can also help interested families.

Families who need help in identifying child care and aren’t in need of financial assistance can also reach out to Colorado Shines Child Care Referral for assistance, through any of the below methods: 

Colorado Shines
Phone (toll free): 1-877-338-CARE (2273)
[email protected]unitedwaydenver.org
Text "child care referrals" to 898-211
Complete the child care online intake form  

See Employee Rights poster attached to this email for more information

Recently, CDOT released a survey to all employees to measure the effectiveness of the agency's COVID-19 response, including our employee communications, the changes to workplace safety and the transition to working from home.

Thank you to all of the employees who completed the survey, and special thanks to the Office of Process Improvement for its work on developing questions and analyzing results. Watch for a follow-up survey in the next few weeks. The graphics below share some of the key findings from employees’ answers: 

Helpful tools now available!

A useful free new app and website has just been launched that guides Americans through a series of questions about their health and exposure to determine whether they should seek care for COVID-19 symptoms. The tools provide CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, recommendations on testing and when to contact a medical provider. These helpful guides are the result of a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the White House Coronavirus Task Force and Apple Inc.

Users can download the free app from Apple’s App Store or access the tool online at www.apple.com/covid19. Everyone has a role to play as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. The latest recommendations can be found at www.coronavirus.gov.

Helpful Resources

Childcare: This crisis has created a strain on working parents. While those who can work remotely are adapting to work-life with a child at home, other essential workers who still need to report to work have the added difficulty of obtaining child care. 

Recognizing this need, Gov. Polis called together a group of early childhood providers, advocacy groups, school districts and foundations to partner with Gary Community Investments and the Colorado Department of Human Services to establish a system of emergency child care. Read more about this program, and visit this site for information about how you can take advantage of this collaborative.

Mental Health: The Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP) is standing by to help employees navigate these uncertain times. The program provides resources, both internal and external, you may find helpful.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is releasing data from about 1,000 Coloradans who took a short survey designed to track symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, when people identify that they have symptoms of COVID-19, such as shortness of breath, cough or fever, the symptom tracker will now offer users text messages that help them manage their symptoms. Texts are only sent to users who consent to receive text messages. 

After filling out the symptom tracker and consenting to receive text messages, users will receive text messages daily for seven days asking about their symptoms. From there, they may be connected with information on how to use telehealth to connect with medical advice or how to access resources that can help manage mental health needs. 

To date, about 1,000 Coloradans have filled out the symptom tracker. Aggregate data is available on the symptom tracker dashboard page, which is now linked on the “do you have symptoms?” webpage and at covid19.colorado.gov. There, you can see anonymized survey responses, including what symptoms people reported and the demographic characteristics of respondents. 

The more that Coloradans report their symptoms using this symptom tracker, the more useful the data will be for state and local public health agencies. The tracker will provide local public health agencies with data for their geographic coverage area. This could help public health officials understand when outbreaks are occurring in given locations and, in some cases, follow up with certain individuals who may need additional support. By using symptom tracker, users consent to share this information with and receive messages from their local public health agency. Data is only shared with CDPHE and the local public health agency for responding to COVID-19. Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.


C-SEAP Can Help

As we deal with the COVID epidemic, we encourage you to share your thoughts, feelings and perspective with your coworkers, your supervisor and your family and friends. 

If you are not comfortable with these conversation avenues, remember our valuable connection through the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program. C-SEAP provides access to free-of-charge, short-term counseling services that may help employees manage their mental health and well-being.

Confidential Counseling

Yesterday Gov. Jared Polis sent an email to all state employees about the stressful times we are going through and thanking everyone for their service. The governor also took a moment to remind all state employees that if you need help in managing stress, anxiety or depression, the Colorado Employee Assistance Program is available for free counseling services. 

CSEAP provides short-term, solution-focused counseling to state employees. Call 303-866-4314 or 1-800-821-8154 for more information or to schedule an appointment with a counselor. Click here for information on how they can also serve family members of state employees.


Drop the Distraction

More than 90% of Coloradans surveyed admitted to driving distracted weekly

As many Coloradans get back on the road heading into summer, CDOT is reminding drivers to leave distractions behind and just drive. According to the AAA Foundation, over 95% of drivers in the United States view reading or typing a text/email on a hand-held cellphone while driving to be very or extremely dangerous. 

“When you get behind the wheel, you’re not only in control of your own safety, your actions impact the safety of everyone around you,” 

Shoshana Lew, CDOT Executive Director 

In a 2019 survey of Colorado drivers conducted by CDOT, 91% of Coloradans admitted to driving distracted at least once every week. With handheld technology more prevalent than ever, distracted driving is one of the biggest threats to safety on Colorado’s roads, causing thousands of crashes each year. The latest data from CDOT shows:

15,673 crashes involved a Colorado distracted driver in 2018, amounting to an average of 42 crashes a day.

Overall, 53 (6%) of the 890 drivers in a fatal crash in 2018 were distracted.

Of the 81 drivers aged 15-20 involved in a fatal crash, 17% were distracted, the highest percentage of distracted drivers for any fatal crash age group.

With increasing numbers of Coloradans beginning to leave their homes following the governor’s Stay-at-Home order, CDOT is finding unique ways to remind drivers to stay focused on the road. In its latest campaign, Distraction Reactions, CDOT shines a light on the impact and impression distracted driving leaves on others by harnessing the power of human reactions and social stigma. Coffee sleeves in local shops, videos on gas station televisions, and digital ads on mobile devices ask the question: If drivers saw how others reacted to their distracted driving, would they change their behavior?

“Unfortunately, while the risks associated with distracted driving are well documented, studies show the majority of Coloradans still choose to engage in this behavior — and that’s a very disturbing problem.”

Col. Matthew Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol

Click here to view the Distraction Reactions campaign PSA video and materials.


Bike-Friendly Drivers

Our friends over at Bicycle Colorado have just announced a free upcoming Bicycle-Friendly Driver course. This course is focused on motorists by teaching preventative behaviors to motorists. The class will hopefully provide useful information and tips to contribute toward a reduction in the total number of bicycle-related crashes and keep all road users safe. Feel free to share internally and externally: Friday June 19, noon to 1:15 p.m. Find out more here.

CDOT Campaign Awarded 

One Breathalyzer at a Time wins Awards and Makes an Impact

CDOT’s “Blown Away–Preventing DUIs, One Breathalyzer at a Time” campaign recently won the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Western District Best in the West award. This prestigious award recognizes impactful work carried out from PRSA’s 11 chapters throughout five western states and represents more than 2,200 PRSA members. This breathalyzer campaign — an extension of CDOT’s The Heat Is On high-visibility enforcement campaign — was also the Grand Gold Pick winner from PRSA Colorado’s 2019 annual awards ceremony.

Each year in Colorado, more than 20,000 people are arrested for DUI—an average of 50 every day. To help combat this critical issue, in 2019 CDOT continued its partnership with leading breathalyzer company, BACtrack, to encourage the use of mobile breathalyzers by offering the devices at a 50 percent discount. The goal was to raise awareness and  provide education about the benefits of personal breathalyzers as a tool to prevent impaired driving.

CDOT was able to reach a high volume of alcohol consumers and gather meaningful data about breathalyzer use

The campaign successfully drove awareness and sales of over 1,400 breathalyzers and 245 of those who purchased a breathalyzer agreed to participate in a survey. The survey revealed that using a breathalyzer positively impacted driving decisions and provided education not only to the user but also to their family and friends.

Research also showed promising trends toward changing Coloradans’ behavior when it comes to impaired driving. The campaign’s highlight was its hands-on approach to collecting data while also educating the community about safe driving. 

Congratulations to the  CDOT Comms Team for receiving these recognitions.


Seat Belt Campaigns

Ramping Up for July

As Coloradans get back on the road this summer, CDOT is set to begin a seat belt awareness campaign to ensure drivers are conscious of Colorado’s seat belt laws, heightened enforcement periods and the importance of buckling up starting next month.

The campaign is based on the concept that we live in a polarizing world but can all agree on the importance of buckling up. Whether it’s politics, lifestyle choices, sports loyalties or even the preference of cats vs. dogs, there is no shortage of topics that emphasize our differences. However, there’s at least one thing we should all get behind: seat belts. The Common Bond theme celebrates all Coloradans while bringing “unlikely” pairs together. Regardless of how different our interests, passions or whatever else separating us may be, we’re all united by our choice to always wear a seat belt.

 

 

In addition to the “unlikely pairs” concept, CDOT will also employ a campaign based on people’s reasons for wearing a seat belt. Whether the reason is big or small, funny or serious, the reasons are personal and serve as a constant reminder of why we choose to buckle up. This campaign will launch directly following the “unlike pairs” campaign, reminding drivers and passengers across the state that we all have a reason to buckle up.


#DoingMyPartCO

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Jared Polis’ office launched the #DoingMyPartCO campaign, which calls on Coloradans to share how they are helping keep the community safe during the coronavirus pandemic. While CDOT’s traffic safety campaigns have paused to dedicate attention to important messages from the governor’s office and state health officials, CDOT is supporting our communities and the #DoingMyPartCO by discouraging nonessential travel and encouraging safe driving behaviors. 

CDOT’s #DoingMyPartCO topics include:

  • Partnering with the Colorado State Patrol, asking drivers to follow speed limits and drive safely, even with fewer cars on the road.
  • Partnering with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources to remind Coloradans to recreate in their local neighborhoods, avoid unnecessary mountain travel and stay out of the backcountry.
  • Thanking the trucking community, an essential link in our state’s supply chain.
  • Appreciation posts for CDOT employees in the office and out in the field.

Click here to view the #DoingMyPartCO images and social posts.

Blood Drive Canceled

Please make an appointment at your local center

The May 18th blood drive at CDOT HQ/R1 has been canceled. Please instead make an appointment at your local center. Link: https://vitalant.org/Home.aspx

Blood has a short shelf life and must be continually replenished. It is vital we keep our blood supply strong.

Thank you, lifesavers!


The need is urgent. In health care settings all across the United States, donated blood is a lifesaving, essential part of caring for patients. The need for donated blood is constant, and blood centers are open and in urgent need of donations. CDC encourages people who are well to continue to donate blood if they are able, even if they are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19. CDC is supporting blood centers by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe. Examples of these recommendations include spacing donor chairs six feet apart, thoroughly adhering to environmental cleaning practices and encouraging donors to make donation appointments ahead of time.

We have included a  link to the Vitalant website here in Colorado where CDOT employees can go to get more information about how to donate locally in their area. Vitalant is the new name of the previous blood donation Nonprofit that most of us knew as the Bonfils Blood Center.

50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Today, April 22, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In 1970, more than 20 million people (10% of the U.S. population) participated in the first Earth Day. Here is some fun information compiled by Sarah Mitchell, sustainability program manager with CDOT’s Division of Transportation Development, to help increase your awareness and participation in Earth Day.

Commuting Options

Have you noticed the air is clearer and you have better visibility/views since there are significantly fewer vehicles driving on the roads? Now is a great time to consider alternate commuting options when the majority of folks return to work. Learn more about CDOT’s options here!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Since the stay-at-home order began, have you noticed you have more trash and recycling? What can you do to cut back on your footprint and reduce what ends up in landfills? Click here to learn some ways to save money and minimize your impact on the earth at the same time!

Victory Garden

Do you know what a victory garden is? With some items being in short supply at stores, consider one!

  • Learn more about starting a victory garden here at PBS!

NASA Earth Day Activities

NASA has put together an online toolkit specifically for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, featuring quizzes, videos, posters and much more. Kids and adults alike can even go on a "webquest' to see how NASA helps study the Earth and all its wonders. 

"NASA Science Live" will also host a special show Wednesday featuring NASA experts discussing how NASA plays a big role in understanding and improving the earth. The show airs at 3 p.m. ET on NASA TV and YouTube. 

Southwest & Colorado Plateau Coloring

Want some images for you or the kiddos to color? Enjoy coloring these scenes from nature created as a part of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Connects project, or explore its website for other ideas!

Let’s all do our part to make every day Earth Day!

What You Need to Know 

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has provided the following information on the COVID-19  Economic Impact Payments 

Are you: employed full or part time? Unemployed? A temporary or gig worker? Retired or disabled? Receive public benefits? Have no income? Most U.S. residents — under certain income levels — will receive the Economic Impact Payment if they are not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and have a Social Security number.

Here’s how much the payments will be:

  • Eligible individuals will receive up to $1,200.

  • Eligible married couples will receive up to $2,400.

  • Eligible individuals will receive up to $500 for each qualifying child.

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment.

Payments will also be automatic for people who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits who don’t normally file a tax return. Those receiving these benefits who aren’t claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return or required to file a tax return are eligible for a $1,200 payment. However, people in this group who have qualifying children under age 17 will need to provide information using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool to claim the $500 payment per child.

The IRS encourages people to share this information with family and friends. Some people who normally don’t file a tax return may not realize they’re eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.

For additional and updated information, visit the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov.

More information:

Tax Assistance for Coloradans

Due to the extension of both federal and state tax filing and payment deadlines until July 15, 2020, there is still time to get free tax help.

Taxpayers were given an additional 90 days to file their federal and state income tax returns and make payments without penalty if they owe.

Free online filing options can be found through Get Ahead Colorado, a program from the Piton Foundation. Tax Help Colorado also provides free, online tax assistance to help Coloradans file their tax return and claim their tax refund as quickly as possible.

Taxpayers will be connected to an IRS-certified volunteer who will prepare their return remotely. Filers can visit GetYourRefund.org to get started today.

 


Shout Outs

CDOT employees go above and beyond the call of duty every day in service to the citizens of Colorado. Here is just a sample of the submissions that have come in from across the agency recognizing and thanking CDOT team members for their hard work and dedication.

Dominic Martinez, Region 1 TM III, T2 Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel

“Dominic takes pride in seeing his team complete projects efficiently and accurately; he simply appreciates a job well done. Morale building is on his radar daily, taking time to acknowledge his co-workers, no matter if the individual's position is directly related to his own. He appreciates that all components of operations at the Tunnel integrate to create a safer environment for mountain corridor travelers.”

Eric Medina, Region 2 Admr IV Civil Rights

“He's training me, and while I understand that it's expected he helps me with things I don't understand, I will continue and feel comfortable to call him when I have problems I can't work through myself and appreciate the fact he's diligent about not letting me drown in new information.”

Tim Holbrook, Region 3 TM III

“Tim developed and implemented and improvement which saves a lot of time when loading deicer into the tanks on plow trucks by increasing deicer outflow. This, in turn, allows those plows to get into service faster for clearing our highways of snow and ice during winter operations. Many thanks to Tim for this wonderful enhancement”

Chris Ukowich, Region 4 Safety Spec IV

“Chris has consistently supported the efforts of the Maintenance Training Academy and taught 10 sessions on Safety topics throughout FY20. Chris's expertise in Safety and his ability to engage a classroom audience has served to improve the programs we deliver. Chris, thanks for your continued support and collaboration. Your efforts are very much appreciated by DMO Training Services!”

Kent Baxstrom, Region 5 LTC Ops - Mtc

“Kent has supported the Maintenance Training Academy consistently over the past 3 years and in FY20 he delivered over 20 individual sessions through the MTA. Kent has "owned" the delivery of the TIMs class for New Hires but also taught classes to TM I's, II's, and III's and supported the design process as well.  Thanks, Kent, for your continued support of Maintenance Training!”

Savannah Martinez, Headquarters Admin Asst II Facilities

“Savannah has spent a lot of time researching and locating vehicle cleaning supplies and wipes. When located, she has helped me ship them to all areas of the state that needed them. She always has a positive attitude and is always willing to help. Thank you, Savannah, for all you do.”

Do you know a CDOT employee or team that has gone above and beyond the call of duty? Or, one who just simply deserves recognition for excelling at the incredible work they do to support the CDOT mission and vision? We invite you to give those teams/employees a SHOUT OUT by filling out this form. Stay tuned for future highlights from the submissions here in the Daily Broadcast and for our upcoming website where you can see all the submissions.


Thank Essential Workers 

#OutThereForUs

Now more than ever those on the front lines deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to our well being.  #OutThereForUs is an effort that lets the public thank our critical essential workers during this global pandemic.  The Ad Council is working with leaders across the industry to create timely, critical messaging around the coronavirus with this non-profit initiative.  The campaign utilizes donated outdoor media and social media channels.  Their efforts are aimed at reaching at-risk populations and the general public around social distancing, mental health and more.

Essential workers go out every day, for us. 

Now you can do something out there for them.

The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization that is the nation's leading producer and distributor of public service advertising (PSA) campaigns, addressing critical social issues.  They bring together the top level media, tech, advertising, entertainment and marketing professionals to develop campaigns that inspire action—and change lives.

To learn more and to thank an essential worker click here for more information.


Vail Pass Project Will Receive $60.7 Million

Region 3 wins federal INFRA Grant

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced the latest round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program for nationally significant freight and highway projects. CDOT, in coordination with the Intermountain, Gunnison Valley, and Northwest Transportation Planning Regions (TPR), and the Grand Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)/TPR,  applied for  a grant to make improvements to I-70 between mileposts 180 and 190 in Eagle County.  The funding will be used to make necessary improvements to this vital stretch of interstate including, automatic de-icing systems, the construction of an eastbound auxiliary lane, a variable speed limit system, shoulder widening and dynamic messaging signs, among other improvements.

Congratulations to everyone involved in securing this critical federal support — the full amount CDOT applied for!


Air Aware

Keeping with the aeronautics angle today we wanted to highlight the work that another front line component of our state’s transportation system is doing to keep everyone in Colorado safe. Colorado airports and the general aviation sector have been essential for volunteer groups like Angel Flight West, the Civil Air Patrol, and others like them in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These organizations are using airports and general aviation to ensure that PPE and front line medical workers are transported to where they are needed most in the fight against the disease.

Click here to see a Division of Aeronautics video on the aviation sector’s efforts to help Colorado at this time.


Front Line Salute

Warriors of the 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, will fly F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft around Colorado cities and towns on today, May 6, from 4:30-6 p.m., to salute those fighting on the front lines of the war against COVID-19. Approximate locations & times can be seen on the map below.  We have also attached a more detailed schedule with this email.


Thank You to Our Administrative Professionals!

A big thank you to all our administrative professionals, on the day set aside as Administrative Professionals Day. This special day is celebrated annually on the Wednesday of the last full week of April every year and salutes the unsung heroes that make our work lives run smoothly.

We could not do what we do at CDOT without the support from the people behind the scenes.  Our administrative professionals wear many hats each day and deal with all the “little” things that are actually big things that keep us running smoothly and able to do our jobs. 


On The Front Lines

With the CDOT Hesperus Patrol, Section 3

We found this item from Jim Creek TM I, in Region 5 and wanted to share with everyone at CDOT to underscore the importance of the critical work all our front line staff are performing to keep our essential services up and running during this emergency.

This time is unprecedented in our country as we all deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Please bear with me as I tell a story about the photo above. As we were fixing a fence on State Highway 140, it suddenly dawned on me how important our work is. My patrol and I are really doing our part to keep things rolling in Colorado. As a matter of fact, every TM I across the state is doing its part.

The image above shows Steve Beh, TM I from Patrol 4 out of Hesperus, fixing a fence after a tree fell onto it, knocking it over and putting a hole through it. But there are some things this picture does not show, or that may not be so clear. There is a patch of melting snow that is greening up the grasses. The ranchers are bringing their cows back to the summer pastures to fatten them up and feed our country.  

This photo does not show how the cow could possibly get out onto the highway had we not fixed this fence. That loose cow could get hit by a vehicle, causing an accident. This potential crash would put a strain on our police, fire and local hospitals. If serious enough, the crash could cause a critical traumatic injury to the driver. The patient would need to be flown to Denver where the trauma centers and intensive care units are already being stressed with COVID-19 patients. 

This photo does not show another possible scenario. The cow could get out onto the highway and be hit by a coal truck, fuel truck, or grocery truck carrying supplies to our stores that are in dire need of being stocked. Not to mention, there would also be a monetary loss to the rancher.

So, even though this is a photo of just one CDOT employee fixing one hole in the fence, it truly shows how important a relatively small job can be and how significantly it can potentially impact this unprecedented time in our country and our world as we all deal with the COVID pandemic.

Keeping Our Social Distance

Our Front Line Workers Doing Their Part Across Colorado

 


Extra kudos to all our mission critical plow drivers and others keeping our roads open and safe during this first day of spring snow storm.

Snow Plow

CDOT Crew Goes the Extra Mile to Help

 The CDOT team on Poncha Pass is doing great work. Region 5’s  Section 7 Poncha Pass Patrol #5708’s efforts to assist the public recently inspired a citizen to write in and compliment their good works. Below is a letter we got from a traveler passing through Colorado at the start of the month.  

“Hello! I am from Ohio and was traveling through Colorado on March 8th. There was an accident on Poncha Pass that we were behind for about two hours. In that time, a young man's battery died behind us. A CDOT employee came back to jump him. Right after the accident, we saw a CDOT employee changing the tire for another person. Needless to say, we were very impressed with your department.

A big shout-out to the team and all our crews across the state who go the extra mile to help, even though letters are not sent in every instance. This is evidence that we are doing good work that’s appreciated by the public.

CDOT is working to implement an executive order issued this past weekend by Gov. Jared Polis that temporarily allows food trucks to operate at rest areas along Colorado highways.

“This action will help Colorado’s truckers have access to fresh and affordable meals on the road and help our small food truck businesses continue to support themselves in a way that also supports our critical supply chain needs and our community.”

Gov. Jared Polis

The COVID-19 crisis has made it hard for truckers to obtain meals as they transport critical supplies over long distances. CDOT is in the process of establishing regulations to outline hours of operation, social distancing guidelines, insurance requirements and other details for food truck operations. A web page will be added to the CDOT site for vendors to apply for permits. CDOT hopes to complete the planning and set up by Monday of next week to allow for this needed service during these challenging times.

Community Support

Masks for front-line workers

As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, the Central 70 team would like to come together to support our friends at the Colorado Sewing Coalition. This is a coalition of community members from the Sun Valley and Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea neighborhoods as well as nonprofit and for-profit companies who sew cloth masks for our front-line service workers and community members in need. Together, we can address an urgent need for masks to fight the COVID-19 pandemic while providing much-needed sewing jobs to out-of-work community members. If you would like to purchase masks for yourself, your family, your crew, etc., you can submit a request here

Note, the minimum contribution per mask is $3. Or, if you prefer, you can send your donation to Brenda Tierney with the Central 70 Communications Team  (venmo: @Brenda-Tierney-2) by Wednesday, June 24. Brenda will track donations and then submit one on behalf of CDOT and Central 70 team. 

We will follow up with a note to everyone about how much money was raised.


Advice from a Survivor

Last week Director Lew and Governor Polis shared a story about Mike Clark, a CDOT employee who contracted COVID-19 and survived. In case you missed it, you can see the full message from Executive Director Lew and Mike Clark's entire letter from June 11

Mike Clark, a Civil Engineer with  Region 1 came down with COVID-19 on Sunday, March 15, and spent nine days in bed getting progressively weaker and sicker. He went with his wife to urgent care and the next thing he remembers is waking up nearly two weeks later in the ICU at St. Anthony's Hospital. 

“If there is anything that should prompt you to wear a mask at work, it is the thought of lying in bed, in a hospital, atop a bedpan.”

Mike Clark-CDOT

After 34 days and a terrifying near-death experience in the hospital, Mike was finally able to return home.  Click here to view the Governor's press conference where he shares Mike’s story and reiterates the importance of wearing face coverings.  


Masks 

Our Passport to the Colorado We Love

Yesterday, Gov. Jared Polis introduced a new effort to promote the use of face coverings. The “Our Masks Are Our Passport to the Colorado We Love” campaign will be featured on social media and billboards across the state using various sports and music personalities. The use of masks, along with social distancing, are simple measures that can allow us to continue to enjoy our favorite outdoor spots like parks and open spaces. As we continue to deal with the reality of the virus, we need to protect ourselves and those around us.

You can view the campaign on the Governor's Facebook page here and also at this Youtube link here. Feel free to share on your social media and with your friends and family members and help spread the word about the importance of wearing face coverings to get our state back on track.


Face Mask Order

Extended to June 16

This past weekend Gov. Jared Polis issued Executive Order D-2020-067, which extends the executive order for “Workers in Critical Businesses and Critical Government Functions to Wear Non-Medical Face Coverings.” The extension is in effect for another 30 days and goes until June 16. The order calls for critical government employees to cover their faces while at work and while serving the public. Click here to view the extended executive order


Keep It Covered

 

Gov. Jared Polis is encouraging every Coloradan to wear non-medical face coverings when leaving their homes to do essential activities.

The state is also urging all employees to wear simple face coverings that cover both the nose and mouth, dust masks or masks made with household items when you need to leave your house for essential activities or critical work. The example you set by these actions will reverberate across your communities.

At CDOT, a face mask requirement is in effect for all staff and will continue to be in effect at least until May 16, 2020, or until otherwise directed. 

While you are at work and interacting with fellow coworkers, you must wear a mask, bandana, scarf, or other type of covering over your mouth and nose. 

This includes: 

  • while riding together in fleet vehicles with two (2) or more employees. 
  • working in a control room or other enclosed facility where you are in regular contact with employees sitting adjacent to or near you
  • wearing face coverings in Maintenance facilities and at CDOT worksites where you are interacting with fellow coworkers or members of the general public and cannot maintain at least six feet of separation at all times. 

If you have a health/medical reason why you may not be able to wear a face covering, please consult your supervisor.

When riding in a vehicle alone or working at a facility alone with no other employee contact or interaction, you will not need to wear a mask or similar type of face covering. 

Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to the shape

There are online tutorials available for simple homemade masks, and the state of Colorado is partnering with coloradomaskproject.com, where people can learn how to make masks and order materials.

For more information visit CDOT Safety Office Face Mask Guide and info on Facemask and Coverings from past Daily Broadcasts can be found here  scroll down to Face mask and Coverings Guide in the list at the bottom of the page.

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

Be the example for your community

Applying a face mask - step 1

On Friday, April 3, Governor Polis encouraged every Coloradan to wear non-medical face coverings when leaving their homes to do essential activities.

Colorado state agencies are working with urgency to procure masks for those state employees performing essential and critical functions at work. The state is also urging all employees to wear simple face coverings that cover both the nose and mouth, dust masks, or masks made with household items when you need to leave your house for essential activities or critical work. The example you set by these actions will reverberate across your communities.

Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face

  • be secured with ties or ear loops

  • include multiple layers of fabric

  • allow for breathing without restriction

  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape

Putting on your face covering:

  • Mask with Earloops: Hold the mask by the ear loops. Place a loop around each ear.
  • Mask with Ties: Bring the mask to your nose level and place the ties over the crown of your head and secure with a bow.
  • Mask with Bands: Hold the mask in your hand with the nosepiece or top of the mask at fingertips, allowing the headbands to hang freely below hands.  Bring the mask to your nose level and pull the top strap over your head so that it rests over the crown of your head.  Pull the bottom strap over your head so that it rests at the nape of your neck.
  • Bandanna Mask: Grab the ends and tie behind your neck/head, pull down the point in front to cover your nose and mouth

How to Remove your Face Covering:

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching your face covering/mask. Avoid touching the front. The front of your face covering could be contaminated. Only touch the ear loops/ties/band.  Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your face covering/mask and wash hands immediately after removing.
  • Mask with Earloops: Hold both of the ear loops and gently lift and remove the mask.
  • Mask with Ties: Untie the bottom bow first then untie the top bow and pull the mask away from you as the ties are loosened.
  • Mask with Bands: Lift the bottom strap over your head first then pull the top strap over your head.
  • Bandanna Mask: Grab the ends that are tied behind your neck/head and remove by pulling away from your face.

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Applying a face mask - step 2

  • Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?
    • Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.
  • How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?
    • A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
  • How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?
    • Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

There are online tutorials available for simple homemade masks, and the state of Colorado is partnering with coloradomaskproject.com, where people can learn how to make masks and order materials.

Face Coverings

The Safety Office has just released a new video to help inform and guide employees on the new orange bandanas that were shipped (2-day shipping)  to your regional storerooms today

Link to CDOT Using Bandana Face Mask Video

Getting Gasolinecar at gas station pumps

  • If available, use gloves or disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before you touch them.

  • After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home or somewhere with soap and water.

Trouble with Meet Grid View

Uninstall and reinstall

A few weeks ago we told you about a new feature in Google Meet called grid view. It’s a great way to give your virtual meetings more personality! Unfortunately, some users recently experienced challenges with the grid view display due to an update Google ran on the Chrome browser. 

If you are experiencing issues with the grid view, you can fix it by uninstalling and reinstalling the extension.

To uninstall grid view:

  1. Open the Chrome browser on your computer. 
  2. At the top right, click More, More tools, Extensions.
  3. On the extension you want to remove, click Remove.
  4. Confirm by clicking Remove.

To reinstall grid view:

  1. Open the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Find and select the grid view extension.
  3. Click Add to Chrome.
  4. Some extensions will let you know if they need certain permissions or data. To approve, click Add extension.

You might also want to check out the new tiled view, which doesn’t require the installation of an extension.

To enable the tile view in Meet:

  1. Join a Meet.
  2. Click the three dots in the bottom right corner of the Meet screen.
  3. Click Change Layout.
  4. Click on Tiled.

Google Meet Shortcuts

 

Next time you’re using Google Meet, don’t scramble to turn your mic or camera on and off. Try these shortcuts instead. 

Windows

  • CTRL+D to mute or unmute your mic
  • CTRL+E to turn the camera on or off

Mac

  • CMD+D to mute or unmute
  • CMD+E to turn the camera on or off

Want more tips like these? 

Drop-in on OIT’s Google Team virtual office hours, available every week to help support the state's remote workforce. Join on the TechU home page. Also, let our team know if the office hours are working for you by taking this short Google Office Hours Interest Survey. 


Google Grid View

Looking to add a little personality to your next meeting? Get the Google Meet Grid View Chrome extension so you can see all the participants in your meeting. You can download the extension by following the instructions below or viewing this video posted on TechU.

  • Click here to access the Google Meet Grid View extension
  • Click the blue Add to Chrome button
  • Click Add Extension 

The extension will show up in the upper right-hand corner of your screen as a grid box icon. When you click on the icon, a drop down contains viewing options.

Now that many state employees have begun working remotely, you may have questions about G Suite apps that you don’t use regularly or want some tips to help you get the most from those apps. The OIT Google Team is here to help with daily virtual open office hours!  

WHEN: The virtual open office hours will start on Monday, March 23, 2020, at 11 a.m. Please use this link to add the event to your calendar. 

DO I NEED TO TAKE ACTION?
No, but if you have questions, join us by URL or by dialing in. Use the link above or you can use this meeting codeIf you have any questions about this opportunity, please email [email protected].

Google 

Drive and Spam updates

Google Drive: Google updated the look and options for Drive sharing yesterday. Whether you are sharing at the folder or file level. You can learn more about this change on the Drive page of TechU or by watching this video.

Spam: OIT also worked with Google this week to fix a glitch that resulted in important emails being sent to spam. Be sure to check your spam folder in case you might have a non-spam email there.


Share Securely in Google 

Google Drive is a group of cloud-based apps available in your state Google account. Drive apps offer easy collaboration but there is the potential you could share too much publicly if you aren’t familiar with the permission settings. The best way to keep data secure while working in Drive is to understand the sharing option available to you and make sure permissions are set appropriately. Here’s a summary of the permissions available. 

Public on the web means that anyone performing a Google search using a keyword that is in your document could come across it in a search and view it. 

Allowing anyone with the link to access it is a good option if you need to share the document outside of the state or if contributors will be sharing the document with others. 

Selecting state executive branch employees means your doc is discoverable by anyone logged in to their state account who searches for a keyword in the doc. 

State executive branch employees who have the link means state employees can’t find it through a search, but if you include the link in an email, anyone logged in to their state account can view it and can share with anyone else who has a state Google account. 

The most limited way of sharing is to select the specific people option which means you will have to directly take the action to indicate who can view or edit your document.  

Click here for more advanced tips on sharing permissions in Drive


Training for Google Hangouts 

Sessions Added - March 31 & April 7 

A wise person once said, "If something's going to go wrong, it's the tech." For so many of us working virtually right now, this class will help you get more comfortable with Google Hangouts so you can have more productive meetings and better connect with coworkers. No registration is needed. Simply join a session!

Available sessions:

What You Will Learn

  • Pre-Trip Your Tech: How to join a meeting, when to use the Google Hangout link or phone dial-in (or both), audio use and headphone use.
  • Passenger Basics: How and when to mute and unmute, video, chat, closed captioning and screen sharing.
  • Taking the Wheel: Scheduling Hangouts, sharing screens, recording and resources.

What You Will Learn

  • Pre-Trip Your Tech: How to join a meeting, when to use the Google Hangout link or phone dial-in (or both), audio and headphone use.

  • Passenger Basics: How and when to mute and unmute, video, chat and screen sharing.

  • Taking the Wheel: How-to meetings and other resources.

Need an Advanced Class?

Stay tuned! We'll be scheduling a few sessions on how to conduct a meeting in Google Hangouts. Email [email protected] with questions.

CDPHE Briefing
 

If you did not have time to catch yesterday COVID-19 briefing from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment on the current epidemiological data yesterday afternoon. You can still watch it at your convenience, at the following link: https://youtu.be/SvB-Opfv6mM.

COVID-19 Update

New guidelines announced by Gov. Jared Polis

Yesterday Gov. Jared Polis outlined a new round of Safer-at-Home guidelines to further relax restrictions on our economy and society in as safe a way as possible. The Protect Our Neighbors phase will provide a framework that will empower local governments that can demonstrate strong public health and health care systems, paired with low virus levels, to make decisions about how they should reopen. The governor also announced additional draft guidelines under Safer at Home and discussed the state’s efforts to prepare for a potential second wave of the virus.

“The message now is that we need to take personal responsibility by wearing a mask when leaving the house and social distancing.” -Gov. Jared Polis

Coloradans can visit www.coloradosaferathome.com to provide feedback on the draft guidelines. The new guidelines will be open for comment for 48 hours and will be finalized on Thursday, June 18.


Governor Jared Polis provided an update this week on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and announced a stay at home guide for Coloradans.

“Everyone is working hard, doing their part, and giving what they can so that we can defeat this virus and get back to normal life here in our great state. This is a critically important time for Coloradans to stay at home to do our part to help save lives,” 

Governor Jared Polis 

The Governor’s administration has released guidance for the upcoming religious holidays Coloradans of different faiths will be celebrating, including Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. The Governor encouraged faith leaders to offer online or drive-in services in order to serve their congregations or safely accommodate worshippers by ensuring a six-foot distance between them.  You can read the guidance here

The Governor also announced new online resources for Coloradans in the form of https://stayathomeco.colorado.gov which includes free resources to support Coloradans while they are at home, from wellness to services, to education, to entertainment and more. Coloradans can also visit covid.colorado.gov to get information from all state agencies, including the Department of Public Health and Environment’s COVID19.colorado.gov which has the most recent available data. 

This week Governor Polis also provided an update on the Help Colorado Now relief efforts. To date, Coloradans have donated nearly $10 million, with $1 million of that coming from more than 5,000 donors. Coloradans can visit www.helpcoloradonow.org to donate their time or money to the relief efforts.


Governor Polis Town Hall | April 7, 2020

Gov. Jared Polis joined Denver 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark for a one-hour town hall on Tuesday, April 7, that focused entirely on questions about the state’s response to COVID-19. The interview begins at 7 p.m., and the town hall will also air on KRDO in Colorado Springs and KKCO/KJCT in Grand Junction.

You can also watch the town hall on 9NEWS.com, 9NEWS YouTube channel, 9NEWS Facebook and the free 9NEWS phone apps and free Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV apps.

For more information on the broadcast and how you can submit questions visit the 9News story on the town hall.


Gov. Polis Provided An Update | April 16

Wednesday, April 16, Gov. Jared Polis outlined three phases for the state’s response to COVID-19: urgent, stabilization and recovery. Colorado is currently in the urgent phase, and the governor discussed how our state will get to the stabilization and recovery stages:

 


The State of Colorado continues working toward a return to a sustainable way of life that protects public health and the economy.
 

“As we reopen our state, we know that things will work differently than they did before, and we must enshrine social distancing in the way we live, work and play in a sustainable way for a matter of months.” ~ Gov. Jared Polis

Within the next five days, the state expects the data and the science to determine what level of suppression the stay-at-home order has achieved. Also, within the next five days, the state expects to be able to determine what level of ongoing social distancing Coloradans need to strive for to effectively manage the future spread of COVID-19. 

Reminder: All CDOT exercise facilities will be closed for use at HQ and in the Regions. In compliance with the statewide order to close all gyms  Employees need to remove personal items as soon as possible.

Take Time to Smell the Flowers

Benefit CDOT Families In Need

CDOT Helping Hand is hosting the 2020 Flower Power Event. For every purchase made the CDOT Helping Hand will get 50%. A great gift idea, these flowers will add color to any garden. Simply visit the site, choose from a wide variety of bulbs that will arrive in time for fall planting, and you will have made a difference to a CDOT family member in need. The deadline to order Spring flowers is May 1. All orders are made online, and bulbs are shipped directly to the purchaser. 

Click on the link for more information, and to place an order.

We're All in this Together! How to Help

Since Governor Polis declared a state of emergency for Colorado early last month, people and organizations across Colorado have jumped at the opportunity to help. The Help Colorado Now website is a site where residents can make monetary contributions or seek out volunteer opportunities to assist during this crisis. To date, this site has generated more than $7 million, and 5,000 Coloradans just like you have signed up to volunteer their time and talents to those who are hurting most. We’re all in this together.

CDOT staff are encouraged to share helpcoloradonow.org with your friends and family members who might be interested in volunteering, offering services, or donating personal supplies.

1918 Spanish Influenza

History Lesson

From our friends at the Durango Herald: a look back at how social distancing made a difference in Southwest Colorado over a century ago.

Link to story here:

Significant dates in the life of CDOT

1909: The first highway bill was passed by forming a three-member Highway Commission to approve work and allocate funds. The commission first convened on Jan. 1, 1910.

1917: The State Highway Fund was created, and a State Highway Department was formed.

1935: Highway Department employees were joined by 44 new coworkers selected from among 7,500 applicants to become the first members of the Colorado State Highway Courtesy Patrol. The patrol became a division of the Highway Department.

1947: The first National System of Interstate and Defense Highways was approved by the administrator of the Federal Works Agency. In Colorado, approved routes included all of I-25 from the Wyoming border to Raton Pass, all of I-80S (now I-76), and I-70 from Denver to the Kansas border.

1953: The state legislature passed a new law reorganizing the Highway Department and renaming it the Colorado Department of Highways.

1956: Congress passed the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways Act (commonly known as the Federal Interstate Highways Act). Among the approvals was the section of I-70 from Denver to the Utah border.

1973: The Eisenhower tunnel on I-70, one of the greatest engineering accomplishments in state history, was completed. The Eisenhower Tunnel took 13 years and $125 million to complete. The eastbound bore Johnson Tunnel, named after former governor and U.S. Senator Edwin C. Johnson, opened in 1979. These tunnels were vital to the completion of I-70 through the Continental Divide.

1991: CDOH became Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)

2006: The $1.6 billion T-Rex project, which expanded I-25 and I-225 and added adjacent light rail service in Denver, is completed. The project was composed of a team that included CDOT, the Regional Transportation District (RTD), Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Transit Administration and was one of the nation’s first Design-Build projects. T-Rex was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.

2010: CDOT celebrates its 100-year anniversary.

Badges cannot be produced currently at HQ. It is unclear at this time when new badges can be issued. Please send your badge requests to [email protected]  and CC: [email protected] New staff working from home do not need a badge immediately.

Get the Word Out

New internal announcement request form

We are rolling out a new online form for CDOTers to use if you have something you would like to go out to a wider CDOT audience. This form is a one-stop shop for any department within CDOT to request information be sent via our internal communications channels. With the form, you can specify an individual region, HQ, HQ/R1 or all of CDOT. Please refrain from emailing such requests moving forward. 

Users can also select their preferred mode for posting their announcements and/or events. All submissions are subject to approval by the Communications team.

  • Employee E-Blasts/Regional eNewsletters (email)
  • FourWinds - TV Screens (only available at HQ and Region 4)
  • Intranet
  • The Loop (email for supervisors only)

Click here to access the new CDOT Internal Announcement Request form.

Intranet Moving to Google Sites

CDOT to launch new Intranet by end of summer 

In an effort to create a sustainable and user-friendly Intranet platform for all CDOT employees, CDOT Communications and the Office of Information Technology will be moving the current CDOT Intranet (VPN required) to a new and improved Google Sites. This will become your one-stop-shop for all internal information and resources.

What does this mean to you? CDOT Communications is currently working on moving over content from the current Intranet platform to a new, approved CDOT template. There is also an approved theme for department/division sites that align with the CDOT web and brand standards. 

Updates on this project will be shared here as the project develops. The goal is to launch the new site by the end of summer 2020. 

Do you currently manage or are you interested in a Google Site for your team? 

  • If your team currently has a Google site you will need to contact Felicia Michael, web & digital experience manager, to ensure your site aligns with the updated CDOT web and branding standards. 

  • Any team that does not yet have a Google Site but who is interested in hosting and managing their own site should also contact Felicia to begin the intake process.

The 9-1-1 resources are being stretched thin with unnecessary calls related to COVID-19. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has put together some tips on when you should and shouldn’t call 9-1-1.

Legislative Wrap Up

OPGR Issues Summary of Session

The Office of Policy & Government Relations has released a memo summarizing the recently completed Colorado General Assembly legislative session.  Here are the bills that passed that will impact CDOT.

Transportation Finance

House Bill 20-1376 (Transportation Funding).  

Impacts to CDOT: For two years, CDOT’s budget will be reduced by $62m/year.  

House Bill 20-1381 (Modify Transportation Funding Mechanisms). 

Impacts to CDOT: The General Assembly transferred almost $100m to the Multi-Modal fund in 2018. The majority of the funding ($80m) went to local governments for dedicated transit type projects. CDOT had $14 million in the fund, and the legislature took $10 million of that to help balance the budget.

Freight Office

Senate Bill 20-118 (Hazardous Materials Transport Permit Issuance).

Impacts to CDOT: This legislation creates efficiencies for hazardous material haulers to get permits. Since freight haulers get overweight and oversize permits through CDOT’s freight office, bringing hazardous material transport permits into this existing CDOT system consolidates the process. 

House Bill 20-1030 (Commercial Vehicle Annual Fleet Overweight Permits). 

Impacts to CDOT: The CDOT Freight Office will incorporate these changes into the existing software permitting system available to freight owners. Owners will be able to apply online.

Senate Bill 20-218 (CDPHE and Hazardous Substances Response).

Impacts on CDOT: The total of the fee revenue to CDOT will be around $1.8m annually for freight safety projects statewide. This funding will be useful for a variety of different projects designed to improve safety and efficiency for freight hauling in Colorado.

Human Resources

House Bill 20-1153 (Colo. Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act).

Impacts to CDOT: The department will work closely with the Department of Law to formalize the new labor practices outlined in the bill.

View the full final legislative memo with bill descriptions from Andy Karsian, CDOT Legislative Liaison.

Limit Weekend Travel

CDOT and DNR remind people to stay local

With the weekend approaching and warm temperatures tempting Coloradans, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are reminding people to keep recreational activities within 10 miles of home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Digital message boards on Colorado roadways across the state will remind motorists about the restrictions and to stay close to home.

This week Governor Polis moved the state from a Stay-at-Home to a Safer-at-Home status. Coloradans are still urged to stay home but continue to avoid unnecessary travel and visiting our mountain communities. Coloradans along the Front Range should not travel to the mountains or foothills to hike, ski, snowmobile or engage in any other recreational activities. Residents are reminded to stay in their local neighborhoods or communities this weekend. 

“We have a responsibility to protect our state and our community by staying close to home during this pandemic. Please follow the public health order and recreate within 10 miles of home. It’s up to us all to keep each other safe.”

Shoshana Lew, Executive Director of CDOT

The virus is still present in Colorado and can re-surge at any time. According to the Center for Disease Control, any travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19 across communities.  Many Colorado counties have extended their local Stay-At-Home orders. Check with your local public health agency for the latest local ordinances: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/find-your-local-public-health-agency.

Campgrounds at state parks and on national forests and other recreation areas remain closed. Picnic areas and facilities at some trailheads are not available and some backcountry parking lots are closed (or have limited capacity). Coloradans are urged to be aware of any local closures or public health orders and avoid busy trailheads.

New Customer Service Tool | Luma

The next time you need IT assistance, log in to the Customer Service Portal and let Luma help. Luma is our new chatbot and is quickly learning about the state workforce needs. 

Right now Luma can help with things like:

  • password resets,
  • submitting a new ticket,
  • accessing your existing tickets,
  • directing you to knowledge articles on a variety of IT topics, and
  • connecting you to a live Service Desk analyst via chat.

You can find Luma in the bottom right corner of the Customer Service Portal. Just click on the icon to get started! Haven’t used the Customer Service Portal yet? Simply click on the reset password link on the login page to give it a try.

Maintenance Q&A with EMT

All-Hands Maintenance Meeting, April 23

As essential workers, we are both fortunate to remain employed and responsible to our team and the public to do our job safely and effectively. Sections and patrols have stepped up to the plate and implemented shift changes, social distancing and additional cleaning procedures to keep ourselves and our team safe. 

To ensure we are cohesive in our efforts, we will be hosting a Virtual All-Hands Maintenance meeting from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 23 with executive leadership, including Executive Director Lew, Director of Maintenance and Operations John Lorme and directors from Human Resources and the Safety and Risk Management Office. You will be able to watch the live YouTube video feed on a smartphone or computer or watch a playback at any time. Please notify your supervisor if you believe you will have difficulty accessing the meeting. This will be a great opportunity to hear from our senior leadership, get guidance on important questions and procedures and recognize your hard work. 

We would like to ask you to submit any questions ahead of time, so we are able to make the meeting as useful as possible for you. 

You can submit questions using this form Q&A Session with EMT before/by April 15, 2020. 


COVID-19 Workplace Guidelines

Fueling Up

When fueling fleet vehicles, employees are urged to use caution at the gas station. Wear disposable nitrile gloves when pumping fuel, and discard them before getting back into the vehicle. If you do not have gloves on hand, try to use plastic bags, old bread bags or paper hand towels that are sometimes available at the pump. Carry these items in your vehicle to cover your hands when you grip the handle. Always wash your hands (20-second rule) as soon as possible or try to carry hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes with you. These tips can also be used when fueling the personal vehicles you use.


Understanding every maintenance patrol and section is different with its own challenges, and we have developed a (one-page) general plan of action for TMIIs and TMIIIs to refer to while working through the crisis down to the first level supervisor level. 

CDOT has a new video on disinfecting fleet vehicles.  It is more important than ever to keep our fleet clean. Please watch this video if you use a CDOT fleet vehicle. 

Maintenance and operations is all about teamwork, and social distancing can be challenging in this type of setting. These guidelines will help our teams do their best to protect the force and still perform their critical functions. 

Maintenance Patrol Preparedness


Vehicle Cleaning

The Safety and Well-being of Our Employees is a Core Value of CDOT

CDOT has guidance to help keep our fleet clean and safe for our workers. These guidelines will help to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and other seasonal diseases. By employing regular cleaning and disinfecting practices to our maintenance (orange fleet) and light fleet (white fleet) vehicles, we can effectively minimize the transmission of these diseases while using these vehicles and equipment.

Recent studies indicate bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19 (coronavirus), can live on surfaces in excess of 72 hours. This resiliency provides a source of contamination for the next operator or occupants in our vehicles.

Cleaning and disinfecting these surfaces with approved cleaners and disinfectants removes the vast majority of bacteria and viruses that cause flu, colds and other seasonal illnesses reducing the probability of transmission.

Vehicle Cleaning Procedure

We Will Never Forget

Best wishes for a  happy and safe Memorial Day as we pause to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. 

Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 occurs on Monday, May 25. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated following the end of the Civil War in 1865 and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer travel season.  Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades (most parades are canceled this year due to the pandemic). 

For More Information on Memorial Day visit the History Channel site here


Memorial Moment

Governor promotes honoring the fallen

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday urged citizens to be responsible during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.  Polis said it is not the time for large family reunions and massive cookouts and celebrations during a live press conference on his Facebook page yesterday.

“This isn’t exactly a normal Memorial Day weekend. This is a Memorial Day weekend in the middle of a worldwide pandemic -- the worst pandemic that we hope to ever face in our lifetime” 

Governor Jared Polis

The Governor urged Coloradoan to honor this Memorial Day by doing what Memorial Day is all about: solemnly honoring the fallen.  He suggested citizens take a quiet time out to remember why we have this holiday and to honor those who died in our nation’s service.


Travel Forecast

Due to COVID-19 the American Automobile Association (AAA) won’t be issuing its annual Memorial Day travel forecast.  This will be the first time since AAA began issuing travel forecasts 20 years ago, that they will not track holiday travel numbers.  Memorial Day is viewed as the unofficial start of the summer travel season. The pandemic has halted many plans for one of the highest volume travel holidays of the year.   

“With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.” 

Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Trave

The previous record low took place in 2008 during the great recession with only 31 million travelers. AAA noted that just last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend—the second-highest travel volume on record. AAA expects that many Americans are choosing to stay put, or at least close to home this year even as some states begin to reopen from COVID-19 restrictions.

Memorial Day Memo

Memorial Day Weekend traffic counts at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels were down 25% from last year’s totals for the holiday weekend. Traffic was measured over the course of four days from Friday through Monday.

A number of seasonal roadways normally open by Memorial Day have delayed openings this year. Listed dates or time frames are subject to change: 

  • State Highway 5 – Mount Evans. Date to be determined.
  • State Highway 82 – Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen.  Monday, June 1.
  • Trail Ridge Road between Estes Park and Grand Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park). Date to be determined. 
  • Guanella Pass between Georgetown and Grant. Date to be determined.
  • Kebler Pass between Crested Butte and the Paonia area. OPEN.
  • Cottonwood Pass between Buena Vista and Gunnison County. Monday, June 1.

For the current status of the seasonal roads above, please check cotrip.org.

On the Move

Colorado recorded the highest increase of trips over 250 miles or more (for the 49 contiguous states) since the pandemic began this past holiday weekend. This was a 185% increase in these types of trips. Trips between 100 and 250 miles were also up significantly in our state. The data comes from the Daily Travel Index published by Arrivalist, a location analytics company based in New York. The company uses GPS data from personal mobile devices to anonymously track how much people are moving. The index does not track where people are going. They subtract out flights, work commutes, freight traffic and trips less than 50 miles. Other states that recorded large increases in longer trips include: Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and Arizona.

On March 27, Colorado came in with the lowest number of long-distance trips, and for several weeks afterward, the numbers remained very low. Since the lowest numbers in late March and early April, road trips of 50 miles or more in Colorado are up 144%.

A spokesperson for the company noted that Americans used to consider 300 miles a cutoff point for taking a flight versus driving. Five-hundred miles is now the new distance the company has observed, and that could correlate to Colorado seeing more visitors drive rather than fly this summer.

You can read the full travel index here:  Daily Travel Index.


Emotional Wellness and COVID-19 

From the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program

Please read a message from Janeen Haller-Abernethy, CSEAP director, for information about maintaining emotional wellness and the Managing Stress and Anxiety During Uncertain Times Webinar.

Please contact CSEAP if it would be helpful to set up a confidential phone or video support during this unsettling time. They remain available to our state employees and agency partners Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


This is a stressful time, and we are responding to a situation where there are a lot of unknowns. Please take the time to do what you need to do to reduce your stress. Take a walk and get some fresh air, talk with a friend or health care provider, take a break from the news, watch a funny video or do other things that help. 

State of Colorado employees have a free, confidential counseling resource through the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP). CSEAP will be holding recurring webinars for state employees on managing stress and anxiety during these uncertain times. Visit the CSEAP Webinar website for more information.

Managing Stress and Anxiety 

Vital Resources

This is a challenging and stressful time at work and at home. It is very important to take care of yourselves, and fortunately, CDOT has several resources available to employees. Please contact any of these statewide resources if you or a family member needs support:

  • The Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (CSEAP) offers teletherapy for state employees

  • CSEAP is developing a follow-up webinar to “Managing Stress and Anxiety During Uncertain Times.” Visit the CSEAP website for registration details

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless or need someone to talk to, Colorado Crisis Services offers free, confidential and professional 24/7 support. Call 1-844-493-8255 or text “TALK” to 38255" 

  • LiveAndWorkWell — available to UHC subscribers — a virtual mental health and wellness platform

  • The Society for Financial Awareness will provide free webinars to state employees focused on financial stressors associated with the coronavirus pandemic. More details will be available by late April 

  • General information: 211: (Simply call 211) for referrals related to food insecurity, child care, transportation or utility assistance. 211 is a statewide resource

  • Colorado Domestic Abuse Hotline, 800-799-7233

  • Colorado Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline, 844-264-5437 or 844-CO-4-KIDS

  • Teen Dating Abuse Hotline, 866-331-9474


Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle deaths up 24% despite lower traffic volume

As counties in Colorado transition to Safer-at-Home orders, more vehicles, including motorcycles, are starting to return to Colorado roads. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which serves as a reminder for drivers to watch for motorcyclists as the riding season ramps up. Specifically, the Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to use caution when turning at intersections, since motorcycles can be hard to see, and use an abundance of caution when passing or following a motorcycle on the roadway.

Motorcyclist deaths are up 24 percent compared to last year. As of May 7, 2020, there have been 26 motorcyclist fatalities in Colorado, five more than the same time last year, when 21 had occurred.

In 2019, 103 motorcyclists were killed on Colorado roads, which accounted for 17 percent of all roadway deaths for the year. Motorcycles make up only 3% of vehicles on the road.

“Safety on Colorado roadways needs to remain of utmost importance during these challenging times. Motorcyclists and motorists alike should be watching out for one another to keep our roadways safe.”

Shoshana Lew CDOT Executive Director 

CDOT is reminding drivers to use extra caution and follow these recommendations to avoid colliding with a motorcycle:

  • Allow extra space when following a motorcycle, as they can stop and turn more quickly than other vehicles.
  • Allow motorcycles the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Motorcycles can be hard to see at a distance, so use extra caution when turning left at an intersection.
  • Check your mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

CDOT recommends riders complete Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) before returning to the roads. Several MOST schools reopen on May 11 with safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of students and instructors. Class sizes will be limited to 10 students, and motorcycles and helmets will be cleaned thoroughly after each class according to CDC recommendations.

Additional information is available at COMotorcycleSafety.com

Mow Down Pollution 

Lawn Mower Exchange Program

YOU have the power to help clean up the air! Gas-powered lawn mowers emit greenhouse gases and contribute to ground-level ozone pollution. Electric mowers are quieter, start instantly, and don’t require gas, engine oil, fuel filters, and other related maintenance. And, there are no fumes to breathe as you are mowing your lawn!

The Regional Air Quality Council is excited to announce the launch of the NEW Mow Down Pollution – Lawn Mower Exchange Program with The Home Depot! The RAQC is offering $150 vouchers to people who choose to recycle and replace their gas-powered lawn mowers with rechargeable or corded electric lawn mowers at participating Home Depots. 

How Does It Work? Recycle your gas mower to receive a $150 voucher to use towards an electric mower at participating Home Depots.

  1. Apply for a voucher at www.mowdownpollution.org/residential
  2. Recycle your gas mower at an approved metal recycler. 
  3. Receive your $150 voucher to use in-person at the Service Desk at a participating Home Depot.

Visit the Mow Down Pollution program website for more information.


“We will never rest still until every one of our employees gets home safely to their families and loved ones.” ~ 
Shoshana  Lew-CDOT Executive Director

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is celebrating 20 years! This annual spring campaign held at the start of the construction season encourages safe driving through highway work zones. 

The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. We encourage you to take part in #NWZAW this year by using the social media hashtag to recognize a coworker and help remind the public to drive carefully in and around work zones. Also, follow the CDOT Facebook page for daily updates this week recognizing the safety efforts by Team CDOT!

Work zones are a necessary part of the life cycle of our streets, roads, and highways. They provide a safe area for workers and a safe route for road users around needed road work activity (construction, maintenance, utility). Although work zones play a critical role, they can also be a major cause of congestion and delay.

PPE for NWZAW Poster

Earlier this week CDOT Director Lew noticed that the promotional poster for National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) was missing something. Since the poster was created before any of us could have known how profoundly our world would change, the workers depicted on the poster were not wearing face coverings. In light of our new reality, face coverings are an essential part of the way we protect our workers from another threat in work zones, COVID-19. Shoshana asked whether it would be possible to update the poster to reflect our current times. CDOT’s art director, Liz Larter, quickly made an updated version for our own use. The team at NWZSAW recognized the value in adding this important new aspect to the 2020 poster and sent out the following revision to the poster for all DOTs to use when promoting work zone awareness.

Major Projects Observe Work Zone Awareness

  • The Central-70 Project is reconstructing a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between I-25 and Chambers Road, including the lowering of the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards. It is marking the week with social media posts, text message alerts, reminder messaging in the weekly traffic alert and driver reminders via the electronic message signs. Follow https://www.facebook.com/central70project for updates.

  • The I-25 North Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins Project will increase capacity, improve several interchanges, and replace aging bridges. For NWZAW, crews were encouraged to participate in Wear Orange Day on Wednesday, April 22, and take photos for social media, the project website and email updates. A video also was also developed regarding safety messages specific to the I-25 North Corridor. The Link to the video can be found here, and the video can also be found on the  I-25 north website here. 

Crews on CDOT's I-25 North Express Lanes project want to remind Colorado drivers how important it is to slow for the cone zone and drive distraction-free 

Follow the CDOT Facebook page for daily updates this week recognizing the safety efforts by Team CDOT! Visit the CDOT Work Zone Awareness page for more information here.

“Please give road works a brake, slow down, put an end to distracted driving, pay attention to work zone signs, and buckle up.” ~ Tony Milo, Executive Director, Colorado Contractors Association

Know the Facts

Every spring, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and its partners sponsor National Work Zone Awareness Week, to bring attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in and around work zones. Crashes in and around work zones impact everyone.  

 

  • We must protect workers.
  • We must protect road users.
  • We must have safe work zones for all. We can do it!

For More information visit: http://www.nwzaw.org.


2020 Work Zone Awareness Week Coloring Contest

The I-25 South Gap project team is holding a coloring contest for National Work Zone Awareness Week. We are excited to show you the masterpieces  that have been submitted and give you the chance to vote on your favorite picture! Take a look and comment a :) on your favorite by noon on Friday, April 24!!  Visit the I-25 Gap Project Facebook page here to see the submissions.

The picture with the most happy face comments will receive a $50 gift card! The winner will be announced this coming Friday afternoon! 

Follow the CDOT Facebook page for daily updates this week recognizing the safety efforts by Team CDOT!

Visit the CDOT Work Zone Awareness page here.


Help Spread The Word

Here is a great way for CDOT staff to spread the word about the upcoming Work Zone Safety Awareness Week April 20-24, 2020. Add the Work Zone Safety Awareness frame to your Facebook profile photo. 

  1. Hover over or select your profile image, and then choose “Update”  
  2. Go to “Add Frame” 
  3. Search for “Work Zone Safety Awareness”  
  4. Choose the CDOT version

Workzone Awareness Week History 

As we wrap up National Workzone Awareness Week 2020, we take a look back at how this important movement got started. In 1997, a group of Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) staff members wanted to dedicate a week to raise awareness about work zone safety among employees before construction projects picked up during the warmer months. Following the successful promotion of this first event, VDOT brought the idea of raising awareness to other DOTs, and in 1999, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) began its statewide public awareness campaign, “Slow for the Cone Zone.”

In 1998, VDOT first presented the idea to create a national campaign to American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) officials. One year later, ATSSA approached the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to launch the first official National Work Zone Awareness Week with the following goals:

  • Initiate efforts to raise awareness of the need for more caution when driving through work zones;
  • Promote a uniform set of safety tips;
  • Best practices would be promoted among individuals in the private sector, industry and roadway workers;
  • Reach out to roadway workers and contractors to communicate possible effects of motorists’ behavior in response to traffic delays and advise on steps to possibly lessen negative behavior; and
  • Outreach efforts and partnerships with entities involved with work zone safety.

The first official NWZAW kick-off event was held in 2000 in Virginia. The site where the kick-off event is held now alternates each year from being hosted in the Washington, D.C., area to different locations across the United States. This year the kick-off was to be hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation, but that ceremony was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 event will be hosted by the Michigan Department of Transportation. 

“Every six months we lose 17,000 people on our nation’s roads and highways — 17,000 people every 6 months, year after year after year.” ~ John Cater, FHWA Division Administrator for Colorado 

The Office of Employee Development would like to welcome new employees to a virtual version of our New Employee Orientation (NEO)! In these unprecedented times, we are not gathering in large groups, so we're taking our NEO virtual. We will do an abbreviated NEO, covering the basics. If you are new to CDOT be sure to sign up!

  • Tuesday, April 14th, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. 

Enroll by going into My Learning through the SAP Portal.(VPN connection needed)

The last thing hospitals need at this time is more car crash injuries

Our partners in the medical and law enforcement fields are needed now more than ever.  In response to a request from the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), CDOT is using our fixed messaging signs to display “Obey Speed Limits” to help reduce speeds on highways across the state. The request from CSP came after the agency noticed an increase in excessive speeding as a result of greatly reduced traffic during the current COVID-19 situation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a strain on our hospitals and law enforcement. One of the easiest ways we can all help is to reduce hospitalizations from a very preventable cause: car crashes. Excessive speeding is very dangerous and contributes to serious crashes on and next to our roadways.

Car crashes are consistently among the leading injury-related reasons for emergency room admissions in America; when you include cyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users in motor vehicle crash totals, as many as 5.2 million traffic victims visited U.S. hospitals in 2017, 40,100 of whom ultimately died, according to the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Source: CDC

Great tools to use while working remotely

The Office of Employee Development (OED) offers free access to FranklinCovey All-Access Pass and Jhana, both of which are online leadership and self-development tools. Many of you have access, but if you don't, you can request access by emailing [email protected].  

The FranklinCovey All-Access Pass is an online learning platform that gives you:

  • Learning tools that support training (7 Habits, Leading at the Speed of Trust, Project Mgt. Essentials and more)

  • Recorded webinars and on-demand e-learning to continue your development and hone your practice

  • Videos from classes plus bonus modules to expand your knowledge

Jhana is a complementary site that includes:

  • Online references, tools, templates, and tips - Fast answers to help you address common leadership challenges

  • Email blasts - A weekly email of leadership tips and suggestions

Learn More about OnTrack

Visit, Browse, and Bookmark the New OnTrack Site!

You may (or may not) have heard about the OnTrack project. This team-focused, CDOT-wide initiative will better equip our Program and Project Delivery staff with a software platform they will use collaboratively to plan and execute transportation programs and projects with greater transparency.

This collaborative project includes team members from across CDOT who are working together to implement a new, web-based project management information system (PMIS) that is called PMWeb. The first project phase, which focuses on pre-construction projects, will roll out in three major releases - late summer 2020 through spring 2021.

Learn all about OnTrack and check out the new OnTrack website!

Performance Management Plans 

Only a few days left to complete

All supervisors should be meeting with employees to complete their Performance Management plans for the performance cycle year of April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020, no later than June 1, 2020. 

Remember - it's a good idea to provide employees with valuable feedback and set goals sooner rather than later. Consider holding evaluation one-on-ones via Hangouts! Completing the process in Success Factors is a great "at home" work project. 

The revised deadlines, to be completed electronically, for the 2019-2020 and the upcoming 2020-2021 performance management cycles are charted below:

If an employee is unhappy with the final rating, the dispute resolution process is available to employees at the time of the final evaluation only. The dispute resolution process is defined in detail in CDOT’s Performance Management Implementation Plan found at the Performance Management web page (VPN required). Process detail and an instruction video are also available.

Remember, the new performance cycle runs concurrently with the end of the performance cycle. You can manage the end of the cycle and the beginning of the new cycle at the same time. Use your discretion as to what works best for you dependent on number of employees, workload, etc.  Be mindful of the following dates for the start of the new performance cycle: 

Additional information, resources and tools are on the Performance Management web page (VPN required) on the Intranet.  If you have feedback or questions regarding the Performance Management Program at CDOT, please contact Susan Maxfield at 303-757-9793 or [email protected].

You can also access a recent virtual training session below:

Performance Management Refresh: Get details about new PMP dates; learn how to stay connected; and better manage work remotely from a performance management perspective.


Performance Management Cycle - Performance Year 2019-20 Ratings Deadline Extended by DPA 

In order to meet operational needs during this period of a declared emergency, PMP evaluation deadlines have been extended to allow state resources to focus on continuity of operations and delivery of services.

All employees must receive a final written evaluation for the performance cycle year of April 1, 2019, through March 31, 2020, no later than June 1, 2020, a month and a half extension. Note that we are unable to adjust the timeline in SuccessFactors, so you will continue to receive information showing previous deadlines.

If you are able to complete the evaluation cycle earlier, please do so — it's a good idea to provide employees with valuable feedback and set goals sooner rather than later. Consider holding evaluation one-on-ones via Google Hangouts! Completing the process in SuccessFactors is a great "at-home" work project. 

Additionally, the revised deadlines for setting goals for the upcoming 2020-2021 performance management cycle have been extended. See revised deadlines are charted below:

Supervisor develops a final rating March-May 2020
Supervisor and reviewer finalize rating March-May 2020
Supervisor notifies employee of final rating June 1, 2020
Employee acknowledges rating June 8, 2020

The new Performance Management cycle starts simultaneously on April 1, 2020. Please be mindful of the following deadlines, completed electronically in Success Factors:

New performance plan populated in Success Factors March 15, 2020
Supervisor meets with employee to discuss goals and competencies June 1, 2020
Employee acknowledges plan June 8, 2020

Additional information, resources and tools are on the Performance Management web page on the Intranet. If you have feedback or questions regarding the Performance Management Program at CDOT, please contact Susan Maxfield at 303-757-9793 or [email protected].


Performance Management Refresh

Get details about new PMP dates, learn how to stay connected and better manage work remotely from a performance management perspective.

PD 1502.1 Updated

Traffic Control for Planned and Unplanned Work

Procedural Directive 1502.1 “Traffic Control for Planned and Unplanned Work” was recently updated on June 23, 2020, to promote consistency between engineering and maintenance use of work zone traffic control. 

The Updated Procedural Directive (PD) 1502.1 also builds upon the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and goes higher in several requirements for the safety of our maintenance and construction workers, whether CDOT or contractor, as well as travelers. Key updates include: 

  • There is a clearer distinction between the work zones of Short-Term Duration and Mobile Work and the requirements for those respective work zones. 
  • Key decision-making information is provided when responding to unplanned work and emergency roadway situations by including both best practices and prohibited actions associated with increased risk to roadway workers. 
  • Specific guidance specifies the required positive protection between roadway workers and live lanes of traffic, such as shadow vehicles, during unplanned and emergency activities. 
  • A communication protocol is established for unplanned and emergency work by informing the traffic engineer and/or senior foreman upon the detection of unplanned and emergency incidents. 
  • Clear connections have been drawn between this PD and the required CDOT training that influences real-time actions in the field. 

For more information or questions, please contact Natalie Lutz or Wes Maurer. Learn more about this updated PD here. 


Updated PD 704.0

Policy Directive 704.0 (vpn required) “Policy Governing the Efficient Use of FASTER Revenue" was updated by the Transportation Commission on Feb. 20, 2020, to ensure key preventative or systemic safety improvements could be eligible projects in the FASTER Safety Mitigation Program. 

For project eligibility, the scoring criteria were updated to factor all metrics listed in section V(B)(1)(b) of Procedural Directive 1504.1 (vpn required), “FASTER Safety Mitigation Program” rather than the minimum benefit-to-cost ratio as the sole determining criterion. This change allows the funding to be applied toward roadways that have higher risk factors but not necessarily the observed crash history that would meet the minimum benefit-to-cost ratio when evaluated for eligibility. 

Please contact Natalie Lutz for more information or questions.  


Repealed Policy Directive 3.0

“Procurement Policy”: PD 3.00 was repealed by the Transportation Commission on May 21, 2020, because the updated Procedural Directive 3.1 “Procurement Violations” and the new Procedural Directive 3.2 “Statutory Violations” became effective on December 10, 2019. These Procedural Directives outline the respective processes for the two distinct types of violations. As a result, Policy Directive 3.0 was no longer necessary.  For more information on the repealed  PD 3.0 click here. You can view PD 3.1 here, and  PD 3.2 can be viewed here.

For more information or questions contact Natalie Lutz, CDOT Rules, Policies, and Procedures Administrator.


Updates/Repeal Process

Learn about the updated or repealed Policy Directives that the Office of Policy & Government Relations collaborated with internal CDOT stakeholders to have the Transportation Commission adopt: 

Updated Policy Directive 4.0 "Audit Division Policy": PD 4.0 was updated by the Transportation Commission to streamline the wording in the Policy Directive, remove sections that were unnecessary and clarify existing language. Please contact the Division of Audit (303-757-9661) for questions. Learn more here

Updated Policy Directive 80.0 “Employee Safety Program – Excellence in Safety”: PD 80.0 was updated by the Transportation Commission to emphasize that employees are encouraged to report unsafe or unhealthy working conditions without fear of retaliation. The Office of Transportation Safety (OTS) oversees the “Excellence in Safety” statewide program, which creates a consistent and sustainable safe work environment for CDOT employees. Please contact Darrell Lingk ([email protected]), CDOT’s OTS director, for questions about the Employee Safety Program - Excellence in Safety.” Learn more here

Repealed Policy Directive 1400.0 “Surface Treatment Program”: PD 1400.00 was repealed by the Transportation Commission because the funding for the Surface Treatment Program is now approved through CDOT’s Asset Management Program. Find the repealed PD here.  

Cybersecurity Reminders 

Online attackers are expected to try to take advantage of employees working from home and will be attempting to trick them into taking actions, capitalizing on the fact that the employee can’t immediately validate the request face-to-face with coworkers or managers. Validate any urgent requests, whether from a customer, manager, or executive, before providing information, clicking on a link, opening a document, transferring money or downloading/installing something.   

As you do when you are at the office, make sure that the information on your screen is not visible by others in your home and lock your computer when you walk away from it.   Similarly, ensure work discussions cannot be easily heard by others in your home (i.e., shut the door). Use a headset, if available, rather than speakerphone.

Do not allow others, including family members or roommates, to use your work computer. Avoid using public computers and/or public Wi-FI to access, process, store, or transmit data. You can find more guidance on working securely from home here.


Avoid COVID-19 Scams

Cybercriminals are coming up with new ways to get your personal information

To help you steer clear of scams, we put together a list of COVID-19 fraudulent activities and general advice. Click on the “Cybersecurity Tips” button on TechU to learn how to stay safe online during the COVID-19 crisis. 


Beware! Coronavirus as Phishing Bait

When you look for COVID-19 information, cybercriminals may be looking for you

Cybercriminals are finding ways to use the Coronavirus pandemic to their advantage by launching phishing attacks and setting up fake websites. One scam that has been reported uses an email falsely representing the World Health Organization (WHO). The email asks for passwords or instructs the recipient to click on a link that downloads malicious software, or that takes them to a portal designed to harvest credentials. 

A malicious website pretending to be a live map for COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University has also been discovered. If you receive a link to a map with this title, do not click on it! Clicking on the website infects your computer with malware. Take a look at what the website looks like in the image below. If it looks familiar and you think you may have clicked on it with your state computer, please report it to the OIT Service Desk immediately. 

Password Self-Service | Action Required

OIT’s Password Self-Service allows you to manage your network password. This means resetting and unlocking your network password can be done without a call to the OIT Service Desk. As part of this self-service option, you will receive automated reminders when your network password is close to expiring. The notice will look similar to this image:

WHEN:

The automated notices will be turned on starting April 8. If your network password is set to expire within 10 days of April 8, you will receive one of these notifications. 

DO I NEED TO TAKE ACTION?

Yes. Don’t wait until you get locked out of your computer. Take action now and paste this link into your browser: mypw.state.co.us/PMUser. Then follow the steps to manage your password or set up an account if you have not already done so. You can also reference the Password Self-Service User Guide on the security page on TechU. It will only take a few minutes, and then network password management is in your hands. No more calls to the OIT Service Desk!

Questions?  Contact the OIT Service Desk: Call 303.239.HELP, Online at  OIT Customer Service Portal or email.  


Sync Your Password

Network and Windows Passwords 

If you recently reset your network password using Password Self-Service, you may be looking for an easy way to sync it with your Windows password (the password you use to log in to your computer). If you have access to eVPN, you just need to take a couple of steps. Check out this video to learn how. No worries if you don’t have eVPN — your passwords will sync the next time you are in the office and connect to the state network.

Payday Reminder 

June 2020 Payday Will Be July 1

Paid Monthly? Please be advised that employees who are paid monthly will be paid on July 1, 2020, instead of June 30. Employees who have questions or concerns about automatic deductions from their accounts must contact their banks and creditors directly. 

Credit Union of Colorado Members: The Credit Union of Colorado (CU of CO) will honor all pre-arranged, recurring automatic debits for state employee members affected by the June payday change, as long as the employee has a scheduled direct deposit or payroll deduction with the Credit Union sufficient to cover the automatic debit. This means if a member who is paid monthly and has an automatic payment from a Credit Union of Colorado checking or savings account that is scheduled for deduction on June 30, it will be honored even though the July 1 deposit has not yet been credited to the account. No special requests are needed from CU of CO members regarding scheduled payments affected by the pay date shift.

As part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, the CPWR-Center for Construction Research and Training  will be offering a freeVirtual National Stand-Down to Prevent Struck-by Incidents – Q&A Panel scheduled for April 20, 2020 at noon. 

The one-hour webinar will have representatives from ARTBA, OSHA, NIOSH and Kraemer North America. The panel will answer questions about struck-by hazards in work zones and provide practical information that stakeholders can use on their job sites to prevent incidents.

Professional Engineer Exams and Reimbursement

April Professional Engineer (PE) exams have been cancelled.

If you plan on taking the exams at a later date, resubmit your reimbursement application closer to the new date. However, if you plan on taking a PE prep course prior to that, submit for reimbursement now.

If you plan on taking a PE prep course or are currently completing a prep course, please submit for reimbursement now. Per the stipulations governing the program, students must achieve a grade of B or higher, or “pass” for classes graded as pass/fail, to receive reimbursement. Documentation of your grade must accompany the documentation for reimbursement.

Visit the Learning Lane Reimbursement page for program details and forms needed for reimbursement. You can access this Google site from any computer. Contact [email protected] or [email protected] with questions.

Thank a CDOT Team or Employee!

During this week with appreciation being expressed for public service, it is only fitting that we recognize each other. Do you know a CDOT employee or team that has gone above and beyond the call of duty? Or, one who just simply deserves recognition for excelling for the incredible work they do to support the CDOT mission and vision? We invite you to give those teams/employees a SHOUT OUT by filling out the form below.

Recognize a CDOT Team/Employee

Thank You for Your Service

Celebrated the first full week in May since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week is a time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. Throughout the nation and the world, public servants use this occasion to educate others about the work they do and why they have chosen public service careers, as well as the many ways government services make life better for the people of our state and our country.

Now more than ever the vital importance of the work of public servants is underscored by the efforts of selfless service that are keeping our local communities, state and nation running and able to deliver essential services. CDOT is playing a key role in keeping our communities connected and able to function. Everyone from our maintenance crews on the front line to the folks who manage things behind the scenes is playing a vital role. The services that we provide to the public are top of mind now more than ever, and it is not going unnoticed. Thank you for all you do.

For more information visit the Public Service Recognition Week site.


Share Your Appreciation

Public Service Recognition Week Fun for the Whole Family

As a part of Public Service Recognition Week, we are asking you to share the reasons you serve. Use the social media hashtag #PSRW and post a photo on social media. Be sure to send a copy to us at [email protected]state.co.us, and we will post some later this week. 

Use one of the whiteboard templates to write why you and or one of your family members serve or support public servants. Print a copy, fill in the blank, take a picture and share it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

There are also some fun activities for kids. Print out these activity sheets for your kids to enjoy during all of this time at home. We want to see your little ones’ best work, so send a copy to [email protected]state.co.us, and we’ll post some of their masterpieces later this week. 

I Serve Because...

 

julia 2.jpg


State Archives and COVID-19

Why is it important to keep records concerning COVID-19?

The Colorado State Archives exists to preserve our state government's historic and legal records, and this pandemic certainly qualifies as historic!

Everyone in our state has felt the effects of COVID-19, and state and local governments have worked hard to adapt to new challenges while still serving the public. Future historians, as well as future staff of your agency or office, will benefit from the records you keep now. They will reveal how you communicated with the public and how you directed staff to continue their daily service to Colorado citizens while remaining safe and healthy.

Colorado State Archives’ mission is safeguarding the administrative and documentary history of Colorado by managing, collecting, preserving and providing access to state and local government records. These services include the creation and implementation of retention schedules, as well as tracking final disposition of records and advising all entities on what records to keep permanently.

How can you ensure the state’s response to COVID-19 records are kept for posterity? Read more details on how to handle COVID-19 record keeping. Contact [email protected], CDOT Statewide Records Custodian, with questions on what qualifies as what qualifies as COVID-19 records and the retention of those records.  

Reimbursement Reminder

CDOT's Education and Professional Development Reimbursement Program still has money to reimburse you for your school year or license renewal. 

The spring semester is ending. 

Did you submit for reimbursement? 

With the school semesters drawing to a close, there is little time to waste to submit for reimbursement! Click here to go to the Learning Lane for all the forms you need to complete along with other requirements. 

Please email your packets to [email protected] and [email protected] as soon as possible. If you have any questions please email Bryon!

 

 

5 Tips to Succeed at Teleworking

Computer Updates

  1. OIT has replaced McAfee products and must remove all McAfee products from your workstation. 

Beginning Tuesday, June 16, 2020, you will need to connect to VPN for at least one hour. This will allow the automated system to remove the McAfee products. OIT DSS (Deskside Support Services) team is monitoring the progress.  If the products don’t automatically remove, the DSS team will reach out to perform manual removal.

  1. Starting Wednesday, June 17, 2020, through Wednesday, June 24, 2020, OIT will be applying Microsoft workstation patches and security updates

If you are working from home, please connect to VPN for several hours each day from June 17 - June 24. If you are out on leave, please connect to VPN for several hours when you return. There is no need to leave your computer connected via VPN during the night.  

If you are working in the office, please leave your computer connected to the network and turned on for at least 24 hours from June 17 - June 24. This applies to all computers, including those assigned to positions that are vacant. Be sure to log out at the end of the day. 

If the computer is not powered on and connected to the network, from June 17 - June 24 the updates will be automatically installed the next time the computer is powered on. This will cause extreme slowness as the updates are installed and the unavailability of the computer during the reboot.  

If you are in the pilot group, you will have received these updates last week.

Please contact the OIT Service Desk with any questions  on either of these topics.  

If you need to request VPN access, please submit a request through the OIT Customer Service Portal. Email -  [email protected]us  or by Phone - 303.239.HELP (4357)


Cleaning Your Laptop

Whether you are working from home or at the office, it is important to keep your laptop clean and to do it the proper way to avoid damage to your computer. We can all protect our health by keeping your laptop and other devices clean without risking damage. Here are some tips for keeping your laptop clean from the Office of Information Technology.

What You Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Compressed-air can
  • 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water

What to Avoid

  • Household alcohol-, alkaline- or ammonia-based cleaners (Windex and Lysol)
  • Paper towels, rags or T-shirts can damage your screen.
  • Disinfecting wipes are OK for simple keyboard cleanups, but make sure they do not contain bleach and wring out any excessive liquid.
  • Spraying cleaning solutions directly onto the laptop can cause serious damage. Always first spray onto a microfiber cloth.

The Steps

  1. Always power your laptop off and unplug the adapter before cleaning. It’s also best to let it cool first.
  2. Use a compressed-air can to blast out dust, dirt, hair and other hard-to-remove debris from beneath the keyboard, and within vents and ports. Spray away from the laptop to get rid of any condensation and use in short spurts to avoid moisture accumulation inside the laptop.
  3. To clean the keyboard, trackpad and body (not the screen): Pour a few drops of rubbing alcohol onto a microfiber cloth, wring out any excess, and wipe thoroughly.
  4. To clean the screen: Pour a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water onto a second microfiber cloth that is completely clean. Wipe the screen using light pressure and sweeping motions, avoiding circular motions or targeted buffing.

 For more tech tips, visit the OIT Tech U site here. 


iTunes

To help ensure adequate bandwidth for all state employees working in the office or on the state network via VPN, OIT will be restricting access to iTunes media streaming. 

If working in the office or connected to VPN, do not use iTunes media streaming service. The use of streaming services may be done through personal internet connections while not connected to VPN.

 


Start a Video Call With One Click  

A new feature in your state Gmail lets you start a video call using Meet with just one click. Seamlessly keep your work flowing through email, Chat, or Meet all from your Gmail inbox view. Watch this short TechU training video about using Meet in Gmail.


Update Reminder

Make sure to connect to the network

OIT has been pushing Microsoft patches and security updates to all computers from Wednesday, May 20, through tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27.  

Take these extra steps if you have not already done so.

  • If you are working remotely:

    • connect to the state network.

  • If you are working in the office:

    • leave your computer turned on and connected to the network for at least 24 hours during this time period.

  • If you are not working between May 20 and May 27:

    • connect to the network using VPN or directly from your office as soon as you are back to work.

  • If you are working remotely and do not have VPN: 

    • follow your agency process to request VPN access.

For any other questions, submit a ticket using the OIT Customer Service Portal or call the OIT Service Desk at 303.239.HELP (4357).


Survey Email

 

Yesterday, Five thousand randomly chosen state employees received an email from Nathaniel Mildner with Market Decisions Research containing a link to a survey designed to gather feedback on OIT. The email and the survey are legitimate and we ask that if you have received this survey you take a few moments to share your thoughts with us. 

 

DO I NEED TO TAKE ACTION? There is no requirement for you to complete the survey but we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think by taking the survey today!

 

QUESTIONS?   Contact the OIT Service Desk: Call 303.239.HELP, Online at  OIT Customer Service Portal or email.


No Cell Service? 

Try Wi-Fi Calling

This is a tip you may find useful for both your state-issued phone and personal cell phone. If you have spotty or no cell service, try turning on Wi-Fi calling. Most newer phone models offer Wi-Fi calling as an option. Follow these steps to get set up. The link includes instructions for Andriod, LG  and iPhone models.

 


Computer Update Reminder

You may need to take extra steps.

OIT is in the process of pushing Microsoft workstation patches and security updates to all computers now through Wednesday, May 27.

  • If you are working remotely:  Connect to the state network.

  • If you are working in the office: Leave your computer turned on and connected to the network for at least 24 hours during this time period.

  • If you are not working between May 20 and May 27:  Connect to the network using VPN or directly from your office as soon as you are back to work.

  • If you are working remotely and do not have VPN: Follow your agency process to request VPN access.

For any other questions, submit a ticket using the OIT Customer Service Portal or call the OIT Service Desk at 303.239.HELP (4357).


Windows Update

Beginning Wednesday, May 20, and running through Wednesday, May 27

OIT will be pushing Microsoft workstation patches and security updates. Patches and security updates are pushed every month to protect state systems from malware, but with much of the workforce working remotely, laptops are not always connected to the state network. 

This means that you may need to take an extra step this month to make sure your computer receives important updates

If you are working remotely, connect to the state network through VPN for several hours each day between May 20 and May 27. 

If you are working in the office, leave your computer turned on and connected to the network for at least 24 hours during the maintenance week. 

If you are not working between May 20 and May 27, connect to the network using VPN or directly from your office as soon as you are back to work.  

If you are working remotely and do not have VPN, follow your agency process to request VPN access. For any other questions, submit a ticket using the OIT Customer Service Portal or call the OIT Service Desk at 303.239.HELP (4357).


Remote Working Tips

Working from Home? Managing a Remote Team?  How to Maintain Productivity

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has put together a best practices guide.  It is filled with resources and answers to common questions covering remote meetings, skill refreshers, tips for managers, tips for staying focused, team engagement and much, much more.

Working from Home | Maintain Your Productivity Best Practices

Creating a Safe Environment

Working Safely from Home

If you are working from home, we want you to be safe. Below you will find a video created to help our employees properly set up a safe work environment in their homes. This video shows employees how to connect a laptop to a larger monitor or television screen in their homes.

We have also included a link to a guidance document employees can use that goes along with the video. The document discusses proper ergonomic work postures to help prevent soft tissue injuries and minimize eye strain and neck pain while working from home.  

Links:

Tech Updates/Tips

We also want to acknowledge the fact that many workers are unable to work remotely and face additional challenges due to COVID-19 and that these resources do not address those needs.

Helpful resources from OIT on working remotely:

As the OIT Service Desk is working hard to keep pace with higher-than-normal call volume and hold times due to the unprecedented demand from an increasingly remote workforce. They have sent along some tips to help everyone who needs assistance.

  • To reduce the amount of time it takes to work on each request, please submit only one ticket through either the OIT Customer Portal, by phone, or by email.

  • To get you the answers you need quickly use the  Tech Kit for Remote Workers. It is full of resources covering a wide range of nonemergency needs. Please explore this valuable resource before reaching out with a nonemergency issue.

Some highlights include:

  • Password self-service
  • Two-factor authentication setup for eVPN
  • Google tips & tricks
  • How to conduct virtual meetings
  • New Process For Hardware Help: In light of social distancing the Deskside team is no longer offering walk-up support. Deskside Support is now by appointment only. The Deskside team will then reach out to schedule an appointment and provide the day and time to drop off your computer.

If you are having an issue with your computer and need in-person assistance, please submit a ticket. 

The Deskside team will follow our established protocol for sanitizing your device(s) before giving it back to you. 

  • VPN / Remote Access Tutorials: If you are new to working remotely, you may need to take an extra step to log in to certain state applications. Check out the video tutorials in the remote access section of the Tech Kit to help you get started. 

Applications used on a daily basis such as Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Google Drive can be accessed directly from the internet, some applications require the use of a VPN (virtual private network) tool to gain remote access to the state network. 

Internet Issues Working from Home?

Please notify your supervisor if your internet at home is not keeping up with your work needs. Include details such as whether you have a state-issued cell phone or receive a stipend for a personal phone. We are building an inventory of internet needs and want to be sure people's situations are addressed. 

Don’t Settle for Weak Wi-Fi 

If you’re having trouble getting the quality Wi-Fi connection you need, when you need it, there may be a few simple steps you can take to improve your service. You can work directly with your internet service provider, but before you do, try:

  • checking your internet speed
  • moving your router
  • managing your Wi-Fi demand

Learn more about these suggestions and others on TechU. You’ll find some simple ways to improve weak Wi-Fi without increasing your costs. 

OIT Backlog 

Due to the increase in remote work support requests, OIT is experiencing a support backlog that they are working to get through. Please do not send your request through multiple channels as it increases the delay in OIT’s ability to respond to requests. If your issue requires immediate attention, we recommend you call the OIT Service Desk at 303.239.HELP (4357) and say you’ve submitted the request via email as well. This will allow OIT staff to process the email request and avoid duplicate tickets being created.

You are encouraged to submit tickets using the Customer Service Portal. If you're looking for information on an application or system that isn't working, you can find it on the Major Incident Management Dashboard.

Many employees have asked how to complete their e-learning. Awesome! Here’s what you need to complete and how:

See What You Need to Complete

You can see what e-learning you still need to take by following these steps:

  • Go to CDOT’s SAP LMS (interns/temps: Use this LMS link (you will need to be on VPN to access these)

  • All required e-Learning is listed on your My Learning page

  • To take an e-Learning, simply click Start

Required for All Employees

Required for All Supervisors

  • Affirmative action

  • Active shooter prevention, response and safety

  • Ethics

  • Workplace violence prevention and response

  • Workplace harassment prevention and response

  • Intro to SAP Time Entry Monster Course

  • Cyber security (four lessons and Acceptable Use Policy/quarter) - But you can complete this all now! you will need to be on VPN to access these 

Refer to the Employee Curriculum on Learning Lane for details.

  • What Makes a Great CDOT Supervisor
  • Supervisor Online Performance Management Process
  • Employment Law: Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Employment Law: Family Medical Leave
  • Employment Law: Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Employment Law: Worker's Compensation 
  • Employment Law: Civil Rights Legislation
  • Introduction to Purchasing

Refer to the Supervisor Development Curriculum on Learning Lane for details.

NOTE: If accessing via VPN, only log in for the course and log out immediately after you have finished.  

Transportation Engineering Training Program (TETP)

Engineers, there is a LOT of e-learning you can take as well. Get all the details on the TETP page on Learning Lane. 

Questions?

Email [email protected].  


Traffic Control Supervisor Training 

Multiple Dates Available 

Now Virtual: 

Colorado Contractors Association (CCA) Traffic Control Supervisor training has gone virtual! These classes will be virtual until further notice.

Traffic Control Supervisor - 2-Day Training

This course is for those who supervise traffic control technicians and other field personnel. It provides comprehensive training on work zone standards, guidelines, installation and removal procedures, inspection, documentation, and supervisory skills. You’ll gain the knowledge needed to interpret and implement temporary traffic control plans in the field. You’ll also learn the skills necessary to become an effective supervisor of field personnel.

Multiple dates are available, including: 7/9-10; 7/23-24; 8/13-14; 8/27-28; 9/10-11; 9/24-25; and 10/22-23.

Traffic Control Supervisor - Refresher Training

This one-day refresher course will recertify supervisors on the contents of the two-day course. It is intended for individuals who supervise traffic control technicians and other field personnel. It provides comprehensive training on work zone standards, guidelines, installation and removal procedures, inspection, documentation, and supervisory skills. You’ll gain the knowledge needed to interpret and implement temporary traffic control plans in the field. You’ll also learn the skills necessary to become an effective supervisor of field personnel. IMPORTANT: You must have already attended the two-day course to qualify for attendance in this course.

Multiple dates are available, including 7/8; and 10/21.

How to Register
Instructions to register are here.

Questions?

Contact [email protected] or [email protected].

IMPORTANT: Cancellation Policy

Once you are registered, all cancellations must be requested at least 72 hours (or 3 days) in advance to avoid your unit being charged the full course fee. Contact Natasha Crayton at [email protected] or Anthony Vu at [email protected] to cancel. Do not contact CCA to cancel.

Safer at Home & In the Vast, Great Outdoors

On Monday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis issued a new executive order that moves the state from the Safer-at-Home order to the new "Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors."

The order, which is in place until July 1, eases various restrictions enacted in response to COVID-19 and encourages citizens to enjoy the many beautiful outdoor opportunities our state has to offer — as long as they observe and practice proper social distancing.

“Our state has some of the most beautiful natural open spaces in the world and we want Coloradans to enjoy our vast, great outdoors. While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice greater social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces”

Gov. Jared Polis

The governor also noted that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will be releasing draft guidance on houses of worship, outdoor recreation and personal recreation as well as updates to child care and personal services guidance.

You can view the full executive order here


By now you have probably heard that Colorado’s Stay-at-Home Order will expire on Monday, April 27, 2020. However, the new Safer at Home plan maintains the current processes and procedures CDOT has implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis: 

  • teleworking
  • social distancing
  • facility equipment and vehicle disinfection 
  • restriction of large gatherings 
  • PPE use (face coverings) 
  • symptom-reporting to management

During Safer at Home, if there is a critical need to return small numbers of employees back to their reporting locations, CDOT managers and supervisors must seek the approval of their department director or RTD who will review and provide sufficient justification to warrant approval to return.  

Click here for detailed information and specific requirements. The CDOT Safer-at-Home guidance shall remain in place until further notice.

Working Safely 

The Michigan DOT  has but put together a video that we wanted to share with everyone here at CDOT. This short two-minute video highlights why our work is essential and critical, even while people are still at home. The video underscores that during these uncertain times critical infrastructure workers are working safely, clearing debris from roads, patching potholes, inspecting and making repairs, and constructing projects. The video also reminds everyone that DOT workers are using extra personal protective equipment and deploying additional safety and cleaning protocols. You can see the MDOT video here.


Hand Sanitizer

As a token of the Wellness Committee’s wishes for your excellent health and wellness, we are offering a bottle of hand sanitizer to every CDOT employee. Thank you for all you do and continue doing for the health and safety of all CDOT employees and for the public. You are truly appreciated!

Reminder: To limit the number of employees in any given building, you must have prior approval to work in a CDOT facility. 

  • R1  Boxes at the admin desk for North Holly, KOA, Golden Corp Circle, the Tunnel West Engr Mtc. All other R1 employees will receive an internal CDOT package with their hand sanitizer. 
  • R2 Has been hand-delivered to each employee in the HQ building and sent the remainder out to the various sections with their supervisors for delivery.
  • R3  Has already been distributed.
  • R4  Distribution is being coordinated through the storeroom and is in process.
  • R5  Being packaged according to the number in the office or on the patrol and distributed. Our RLT team is helping with the distribution for the region.
  • HQ: Sanitizer will be available by the front desk on an honor basis (one bottle per employee only please), starting today. 

Hand Sanitizer Warning 

FDA Advisory for Eskbiochem Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory to consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)

  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)

  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)

  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)

  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)

  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)

  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)

  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)

  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. FDA reminds consumers to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol.

To learn more about this recall visit the FDA Advisory on Eskbiochem at this link.


Can Do Colorado

Across Colorado, small businesses have turned "can't" into "can do" during the COVID-19 crisis.  They're doing their part to keep us safe, and to keep Colorado's economy going. See what you can do here including nominating innovative businesses that are thinking outside the box in these challenging times.


Our Values

In these challenging times, everyone was recently thrown into a life-altering era that enacted behavioral changes. From working remotely and social distancing to wearing masks. These prescribed behaviors were to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and they proved to be effective.

Recently, our Governor began taking steps to allow non-essential businesses to re-open. Safer at Home is a phased plan, it will gauge how we are maintaining the behaviors that were instituted with the “Stay at Home” mandate. COVID-19 is still among us and it will be here for a while.

What can we do to prevent another spike in cases that could result in fatalities? 

  • social distancing
  • handwashing 
  • cleaning and sanitizing and 
  • wearing masks 
  • staying at home when you are sick

Our medical industry is working diligently to develop treatments and a vaccine; however, life must move forward.  It is up to all of us to coach and mentor each other to safely navigate through our current situation. If we allow our “north star” to be defined as our CDOT Values: Safety, People, Integrity, Customer Service, Excellence, and Respect, this will be easier to achieve.

This article was adapted from a recent Region 1 Safety Newsletter


Coronavirus Rumor Control 

The Federal Emergency Management Administration and the National Centers for Disease Control are  helping the public to distinguish between rumors and facts regarding the response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Do your part to the stop the spread of rumors by doing three easy things:

  1. Find trusted sources of information.
  2. Share information from trusted sources.
  3. Discourage others from sharing information from unverified sources.

To find trusted sources, look for information from official public health and safety authorities. You can find many official sources at coronavirus.gov. Check our state of Colorado COVID-19 page and local government or emergency management websites and social media accounts for trusted information specific to your area.

On social media, be sure to check for a blue verified badge next to the account name. This tells you it's an official account.

CDOT is faced with unprecedented changes to how we are now performing our jobs — whether you’re working from home, maintaining our roads or running payroll for the agency. During this time, as always, CDOT is dedicated to protecting the safety and the well-being of our employees. 

We want you to feel safe in your new work reality, and to help ensure this is the case across CDOT, we are instituting a mechanism that allows employees to highlight any COVID-19 safety concerns,  sensitive personal situations or questions that are more appropriate for the Safety or HR offices to handle. As always, we hope you can find a sensible solution with your supervisor, but it is important to us that you have a way to communicate any concerns you may have without fear of retaliation. These submissions will be managed out of the Office of Transportation Safety and Risk Management and will be held confidential. If you have concerns visit:

COVID-19 Concern Form

Please provide your contact information so your concerns can be directly addressed. Without contact information, the safety office will not be able to follow up with you. You can expect a response within 24 hours, but it may take longer in some situations.   

Interesting facts for Winter 2019/20

It’s easy to forget we can still have snow in Colorado with all the Spring-like weather we’re having. While Spring officially lasts until June 20, 2020, and no major spring snowstorms are headed our way yet, here is a look back at the winter season that ended on March 19.

  • Boulder is the  No. 1 snowiest city in the country
  • Lakewood is the No. 3 snowiest city in the country
  • Fort Collins is the No. 6 snowiest city in the country
  • Denver is the No. 7 snowiest city in the country
  • Colorado Springs is the No. 13 snowiest city in the country minimum Population of 100,000 
  • Denver is the No. 1 snowiest "major" city in the country minimum population of 500,000

Source: https://goldensnowglobe.com/current-top-10-snowiest-cities/  

October 2019

  • No. 3 snowiest October on record in Denver (Stapleton)
  • No. 4 snowiest October on record in Boulder
  • No. 5 snowiest October on record in Colorado Springs

Source: https://www.weather5280.com/blog/2019/10/30/third-snowiest-october-for-stapleton-4th-boulder-5th-colorado-springs/  

Nov. 25-26 Storm

  • No. 2 snowiest November day on record in Boulder
  • No. 2 snowiest November day on record in Fort Collins

February 2020

  • No. 1 snowiest February on record at Copper Mountain Resort
  • No. 1 snowiest February on record at Breckenridge Resort
  • No. 8 snowiest February on record in Colorado Springs
  • No. 11 snowiest February on record in Denver
  • No. 12 snowiest February on record in Pueblo

CDOT 2019/2020 Winter Maintenance in Review


Stay Home

CDOT Employees across Colorado are doing their part to keep their social distance and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Please remember that no one should be going to the office on any type of a regular basis (even if for a limited number of hours or days/week). We should only go to the office for necessary trips and tasks.  Doing this might be putting yourself and others at risk. If you have been approved to work from home the expectation is you work from home and not work at the office for non-essential reasons. 

All employees should avoid entering their office during this crisis unless absolutely necessary.

If you do go into the office: 

  1. Wear a face covering
  2. Limit your time in the facility
  3. Wash your hands frequently
  4. Maintain distance from others
  5. Do not go in if you feel sick 
  6. Did we mention frequent washing of your hands?
  7. Avoid touching your face

CDOT employees across Colorado are doing their part to keep their social distance and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part. It has been trying on all of us, and we all need to practice social distancing to keep each other safe and healthy. 

Thank you for doing your part-it has been trying on all of us and we all need to practice social distancing to keep each other safe and healthy.  

Stay-at-Home Order Extended

Gov. Polis announced on Monday, April 6, an extension of Colorado’s stay-at-home order until April 26. It is hoped that by this date, the state will have reached a point where we can successfully test and contain the virus, and our medical infrastructure can safely treat those who fall ill. If there is any way to end this stay-at-home order sooner, the governor announced that he will.  

You should continue to follow the guidance of your supervisors on when or how you should report to work. Transportation is considered essential and our front line workers are keeping the state’s transportation infrastructure and network functioning and able to allow for essential travel and the movement of goods and supplies to help combat this pandemic.


Six-Foot Rule 

Please be respectful of the personal space of others. If you need to be in the presence of another employee (at the office or in the field), please stay at least six feet apart from each other.


Stay-at-Home Order Explained

The Data Behind the Decisions

The governor recently gave a presentation to discuss some of the predictive modeling guiding the public health decisions he and public health experts are making. A copy of Governor Polis' presentation is online.

This data explains why the governor issued the Stay-at-Home Order. The more we can do to increase social distancing, the more time we have to build additional intensive-care capacity, secure medical equipment, build ventilators and produce more protective equipment while fewer patients show up in hospitals all at once. Watch the update on COVID-19 press conference on Facebook here.

Pictured: A Region 1 crew practicing Social Distance while doing critical highway work.


Initial Executive Order
Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order in March 2020 directing all of Colorado’s noncritical employers to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%. In accordance with the executive order, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has also issued a
public health order. The intent of this order is to reduce the number of people congregating in workplaces at one time and reduce the proximity of people in the workplace, and to enable the services, businesses, and travel necessary to protect public health and safety and preserve the continuity of social and commercial life as we save lives.

Explore Our Great State without Leaving Your Home

For a little Friday fun, here are 14 interesting facts about Colorado that you can enjoy and research while staying “Safer at Home” this summer.

  1. “America the Beautiful” was inspired by a climb up Pikes Peak.
  2. The term “cheeseburger” was originally trademarked by Denver’s Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in 1935. A stone monument marking this fact is located on Speer Boulevard at Firth Court in the parking lot of the Key Bank where the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In used to be.
  3. There were once more than 1,500 ghost towns in Colorado following the mining era. Today, a little over 600 still remain.
  4. Mesa Verde National Park is one of the richest archaeological sites in the world and contains more than 4,000 protected areas, many from 600-1,300 A.D.
  5. Nederland is home to a body that has been frozen cryogenically for decades. It’s the namesake for the annual “Frozen Dead Guy Days” festival.
  6. Colorado is home to the Four Corners Monument, the only place where the corners of four states meet.
  7. Colorado has one the largest sets of dinosaur tracks in the world at Picketwire Canyon. You can find more than 1,300 steps across roughly one-quarter mile.
  8. Dove Creek in Dolores County is the “Pinto Bean Capital of the World” due to the many beans grown in the area.
  9. Colfax Avenue in the Denver metro area is the longest continuous street in the United States.
  10. Pagosa Springs is home to the deepest geothermal hot spring in the world. All attempts to measure an official depth have failed. It is at least 1,002 feet deep.
  11. Glenwood Springs is home to the world’s largest hot springs pool.
  12. The tallest sand dunes in the USA can be found at Great Sand Dunes National Park, the highest dune is over 750 feet.
  13. The highest suspension bridge in the country can be found in Cañon City above the Royal Gorge at 955 feet.
  14. The road to the top of Mount Evans is the highest paved road in America at 14,238 feet.

MORE...Staycation ideas

Culture, music, thrill-seeking — channel your inner beast

  1. Watch a Broadway play

  2. The curtain may have closed on Broadway in New York City, but it can rise again in your home thanks to the many live versions of popular Broadway musicals that are available via streaming services. Netflix is home to many popular musicals. You can stream your favorite Broadway hits with BroadwayHD, which is offering a seven-day free trial. The platform contains more than 300 titles. You can also watch the talents of Broadway royalty like Billy Porter and Kristin Chenoweth on The Actor's Fund YouTube each day for free (donations are encouraged to help fund coronavirus relief). This is a great way to introduce your kids to the magic of live theater — with the ability to pause for bathroom breaks.
  3. Attend a virtual concert
    COVID-19 has ushered in the availability of many musical performances from the likes of Diplo, Tinashe, Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus, Questlove, and more while social distancing. Austin City Limits (ACL), the longest running music series on TV, opened its online archives for free streaming. ACL concerts include popular artists such as Billie Eilish, Janelle Monáe, Mitski and Vampire Weekend, to name a few.

    Or maybe introduce the kids to opera with some of the Met's nightly opera streams. If classical music is more your thing, you can stream any of the 600 orchestral concerts from The Berlin Philharmonic free of charge for 30 days with the code BERLINPHIL.

  1. Ride a virtual roller coaster 
    Forget the hour-long waits in line, videos on The Coaster Views or The Sharp Productions (both on YouTube) let you take virtual roller coaster rides from some of the best amusement parks including Disney World, Universal Studios, Cedar Point and Six Flags (puke bags not provided.).

  1. Visit a zoo 
    Zookeepers across the U.S. are live-streaming animals from some of their most popular exhibits. Panda lovers can spend hours checking out pandas across the states while viewing the Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta, two different panda cams at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., or the Panda Cam at the San Diego Zoo. For an up-close look at giraffes, gorillas or elephants, check out the Giraffe Cam at the Houston Zoo

For more behind-the-scenes videos, stories and virtual tours, visit the San Diego Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo's daily live stream, The Smithsonian National Zoo, or the Minnesota Zoo. Go local and visit our very own Denver Zoo

CDOT’s Summer Work Plan 

COVID-19 Response

Earlier this week, Executive Director Lew provided an update to what the next few months will look like for CDOT. She also stressed the need for us to stay focused on managing the risk of COVID-19 to protect each other and our communities.

Highlights Include:

The need to maintain current COVID-19 protocols through at least Labor Day, Sept. 7, as fully as possible

It is strongly encouraged for employees who are able to work from home to continue doing so, through at least Labor Day, Sept. 7. 

You are required to work with your supervisor if you wish to return to the office

The CDOT safety team will be providing more details on a “return to work safely” plan in the weeks to come.

CDOT will continue to be responsive to your needs to balance work with family or other personal responsibilities. 

Employees may be asked or provided the opportunity to continue to work from home beyond  Labor Day as we will continue to monitor recommendations.

We must maintain the ability to pivot and respond to rapid change for some time to come.

To see the full update from Director Lew check your email or click here.

USDOT | Learn about the Federal Agency that Oversees Transportation

Did you know the USDOT employs almost 55,000 people across the country, in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) and its operating administrations and bureaus, each with its own management and organizational structure? The top priorities at the USDOT are to keep the traveling public safe and secure, increase mobility and have our transportation system contribute to the nation's economic growth.

Here are the various components of the USDOT

  • Office of the Secretary (OST)

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

  • Office of Inspector General (OIG)

  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

  • Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)

  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

  • Maritime Administration (MARAD)

Learn more about USDOT and its operating administrations and bureaus here.


USDOT COVID-19 Response

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) plays an active part in the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). As a member of the federal Coronavirus Task Force, USDOT helps support efforts to contain and mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 and ensure the continuation of critical infrastructure support and relief for the American people.

Below are links to resources demonstrating how USDOT is responding to COVID-19. The safety of our transportation networks is vital to maintaining economic durability and the free flow of essential supplies, food, fuel, and medical equipment. Response measures implemented by the department to date have included stakeholder outreach and guidance, expanded federal assistance and regulatory relief. These pages will be updated by the USDOT on a regular basis as new information and resources become available.

Recent Updates & Resources

 

Visit Coronavirus Resources at the Department of Transportation for more information. 

Use of Personal Devices

Tips and Advice from OIT

When using a personal device to conduct state business, you must comply with the guidelines found in the Statewide Acceptable Use of State Data & IT Resources Policy (also known as the AUP). It is incumbent upon you to read the AUP in its entirety to ensure you understand your responsibilities.

Before using a personal device make sure:

  • All of your software is up to date. This includes the operating system, antivirus and security software, etc.
  • It is free from malware infection and running anti-malware protective software.
  • It is protected by strong authentication, such as a password or PIN.
  • It is set to automatically receive security and operating system updates.
  • Do not save any work-related documents to your personal device.

In accordance with the AUP, the use of personal computers is not allowed when using a remote access tool such as eVPN.

Personal Phones

  • You may use your personal phone to participate in meetings or to conduct state business in general.
  • You may also download Google apps onto your personal smartphone and log in using your state credentials to access Gmail, Docs and your Calendar. You can download each of the apps from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
  • Do not download or save work-related documents to your personal smartphone.

Good for Kids at Home

It’s easy to get cabin fever, and you do the same walk around the neighborhood only so many times. When you need a trip to a new and interesting place, check out these video tours of Open Heritage Sites from around the world… and how to go to the bathroom in space

Virtual museum tours include:

Cyber Security E-Learning

June 30 deadline

OIT requires all state employees to take cyber security e-learning every year. If you have not already done so, please complete your required Q2 training, which is due 6/30/2020.

How to Take Cyber E-Learning

  • Go to CDOT’s SAP LMS (VPN required) 

  • Log in with SAP Portal user ID, password.

  • Navigate to Employee Self Service then go to Learning In My Learning Assignments courses that are due can be found on your page. You must complete each module in sequence.

7 Habits & Speed of Trust Classes

Now Virtual > Enrollment Required

Leadership Journey classes are converting to virtual format! The first two are available for enrollment. We're converting more classes to virtual and will continue to teach Leadership Journey virtually until we can return to in-person delivery. With that said, post-COVID, we envision offering the Leadership Journey both in-person and virtual formats.

Available for Enrollment

Classes are open to anyone statewide. Enrollment in the LMS is required for long-format virtual training. Enrollment is first-come, first-served.

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: 7/16-7/17 and 7/28-7/29

  • Leading at the Speed of Trust: 7/21-7/22

How to Enroll

  1. Log into the SAP LMS. (Interns/temps: use this SAP Portal link.)

  2. Under Find Learning, search for the course by name.

  3. Click the date you want, then click Register Now.

  4. Have your supervisor approve your seat in the LMS. (Instructions are here.)

You do not have a seat in this class until your supervisor approves you in the LMS!

Future Classes

We'll soon announce additional virtual classes for July-September, so keep an eye on Public Announcements.

Leadership Journey Evolution

The Leadership Journey program continues to evolve in many ways! From adding virtual sessions that allow us to engage statewide as one Team CDOT to making additional changes to the courses and program structure, our goal is to make sure this program best serves you.

Questions?

Email [email protected].

See the full schedule here.

NEW! 

Kubler-Ross Stress & Change Model

6/24, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

click here

Distributed Teams - Part 1

6/25, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

click here

The Leadership Compass

6/30, 10-11 a.m.

click here

The Group Lifecycle

7/1, , 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

click here

Distributed Teams - Part 2

7/2, 1-2 p.m.

click here

The Outward Mindset - Focus on People

7/6, 1-2 p.m.

click here

Google Meet - Working Remotely

7/7, 10-11 a.m.

click here

Distributed Teams - Part 1

7/8, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

click here

Distributed Teams - Part 2

7/9, 1-2 p.m.

click here

Managing Anxiety & Sustaining Engagement

7/13, 1-2 p.m.

click here

Neuroscience - Fight or Flight

7/16, 10-11 a.m.

click here

The Leadership Compass

7/21, 10-11 a.m.

click here

Kubler-Ross Stress & Change Model

7/23, 10-11 a.m.

click here

The Group Lifecycle

7/30, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

click here

 

NEW! Distributed Teams

NEW! Project First

CDOT’s Project First Program is a partnering program for construction projects across the state. Drawing on the strengths of CDOT and our contractors, Project First identifies mutual goals that we can achieve together to ensure we complete projects on time and within budget. 

Who should attend? Resident Engineers (PE) and anyone acting in the PE or Assistant PE role on a CDOT project, including PE Is, CEPM IIs and Consultant Project Engineers as well as Contractor Project Superintendents and Project Managers 

When and where is the course offered? This instructor-led course is now being offered online, using Adobe Connect software. Installation and login instructions and course materials will be emailed before the session. Computer audio (microphone and speakers or a headset with a microphone) is required; a webcam is optional. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2020, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

This is NOT a lecture. It is intended to be a shared learning experience. There will be some presentation sections. But there will also be group activities and discussions of project issues. We hope that everyone will participate, ask questions, and share their experiences. Go here for more information and to register in the LMS.


NEW! Excel Level 2 (6/3) & Excel Level 3 (6/4)

Two virtual Excel classes are now available to CDOTers statewide. Each session is limited to 20 attendees. Registration in the CDOT LMS required. You are welcome to sign up for both sessions. Attendance is first-come, first-served.


NEW! Microsoft Excel 2016 - Level 2

  • Date: 6/3/2020, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • Attendance: Virtual – After your attendance is approved in the LMS, you’ll receive a calendar appointment with a link to attend

  • Course description: This course is for people with a foundational knowledge of Excel 2016. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to leverage the power of data analysis and presentation in order to make informed, intelligent organizational decisions. Topics include Excel functions, lists, data analysis, visualizing data and charts, pivot tables and pivot charts.


NEW! Microsoft Excel 2016 Level 3

  • Date: 6/4/2020, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • Attendance: Virtual – After your attendance is approved in the LMS, you’ll receive a calendar appointment with a link to attend.

  • Description: This course is for people with strong Excel 2016 experience. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to perform advanced data analysis, collaborate on workbooks with other users and automate workbook functionality. Topics include: multiple worksheets and workbooks, Lookup functions and formula auditing, sharing and protecting workbooks, automating workbook functionality, creating sparklines and map data, and forecasting data.


NEW! Trauma and Resilience Foundations and CDOT Peer Support Program 

As employees of CDOT, we are proud public servants who help the traveling public in myriad ways. However, sometimes we experience the stress of high-stakes situations that can be dangerous or even deadly. Many of us have witnessed traumatic events, regularly work in high-pressure situations and have experienced the loss of colleagues on the job. In this virtual training, you’ll learn more about the foundations of trauma and resilience, as well as learn more about the CDOT Peer Support program (VPN required) that is available to all CDOT employees.

About This Training

Nicole Weis from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) will discuss trauma and traumatic experiences, the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and resilience and coping through trauma and stress. Nicole will also discuss the CDOT Peer Support program (VPN required) that launched in 2018; this program, which was developed by CDOT and UCCS, supports CDOT employees who have experienced trauma or a stressful work or life event. Training attendees will hear from current CDOT Peer Supporters who will share their experiences serving in this role.

Session Dates & How to Sign up

Available sessions include:

  • 6/2/2020 9-11 a.m.

  • 6/9/2020, 9-11 a.m.

  • 6/16/2020, 9-11 a.m.

  • 6/25/2020, 9-11 a.m.

Sessions are limited to 100 participants. To sign up, please complete this registration form. Once you sign up, you will be added to the calendar appointment with the session link.

For more information, view this article.

About CDOT’s Peer Support Program 

CDOT’s frontline employees frequently respond to and deal with traumatic events on a scale that is unknown and unimaginable to most people. The CDOT Peer Support Program provides support and understanding of how continuous job stressors, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma profoundly impact the employee, their personal lives and CDOT. As a CDOT employee, should you need the assistance of a peer supporter, please contact a CDOT Peer Supporter. There are Peer Supporters in each region. Their support is confidential. Learn more about the Peer Support Program here: http://intranet.dot.state.co.us/employees/cdot-peer-support-program.


NEW! Tuckman's Group Lifecycle: Did you know that when a team forms to do something, whether it's an intact work team, a cross-functional team, your family, a group of kids or any group, they go through four stages? The stages are: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Understanding these stages is a great tool because it helps you navigate team breakdowns and help move your team along toward Performing — which is where you want to be. Learn all about this diagnostic tool and how to use it effectively for greater team performance!

5/27/2020, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: meet.google.com/dhx-jmhw-xee


NEW! The Leadership Compass: The Leadership Compass has four directions, or ways in which people approach work. We call these North, South, East and West. Many of us work in all of the directions at different times. Many of us have a resting place where we tend to be most comfortable. What is your compass point? 

6/1/2020, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: meet.google.com/gpg-tnaj-zdc  


NEW! Google Suite Top Tips & Hangouts Meet

We've added a new training called Google Suite Top Tips. In this class, you'll learn more about Google Suite (a.k.a., GSuite) and the cool ways you can use this suite to be more productive both while working virtually and when we're back in the workplace.  You'll learn lots of great tips about Gmail as well as Google Drive, Forms, Hangouts Meet, Slides, Sheets, and much more.  Don't miss this session!

4/29/2020, 9-10 a.m.: meet.google.com/cgj-fazs-ywx


NEW! Self-Care Tools and Tips

If we can't care for ourselves, we can't focus on what's truly important: our families and our jobs. Learn three tools and a bunch of tips to help ourselves so we can help others.

4/30/2020, 11 a.m. to noon  meet.google.com/vfz-hucz-dee


How Do I Get Reimbursed for Tuition, Licenses and Certifications? 

Learn about the program and how it works. Learning Lane has what you need!

Video recording now available. This video recording of a Hangout held on April 23 outlines this opportunity that is available to all CDOT employees. Spend an hour learning about the possibilities and resources that are out there!

Many more virtual training classes are available; see the full list here (VPN required)


CANCELLED > Two CFR 200 Uniform Cost Principles, Admin & Audit Requirements for Federal Aid Awards

Please note that all upcoming sessions of this training for CDOT engineers and external partners are canceled.We will reschedule them, so stay tuned.

The session on 5/13-14 at the CDOT HQ in Denver and the session on 5/19-20 at the CDOT R2 HQ in Pueblo are both canceled. We will notify you when they are rescheduled.

Questions? Please contact Gina Sanchez of DAF at [email protected].


Get in the Learning Lane!

Ever wonder what CDOT Training Services are available to you? From required training to Leadership Journey, Business Professional Skills, HR training, All-Access Pass and Jhana, TETP, Maintenance & Ops training, SAP Time Entry & Approval, e-Learning, the LMS and more. Learning Lane has what you need!

This video recording of a Hangout held on April 16 outlines LOTS of training opportunities that are available to all CDOT employees.  Spend an hour learning about the possibilities and resources that are out there!


Managing Anxiety and Sustaining Engagement

In these challenging times, we're under unique stress. How can we effectively deal with it so it doesn't impact our performance and our teams? Find out the four main causes of anxiety plus five simple tools to help ourselves and our teammates stay engaged and keep moving forward.


The Outward Mindset: Focus on People

We all know the big picture purpose of CDOT. But when we get stressed, we get so focused on work that we forget why we’re doing what we do. Join this session to learn how to keep focusing on what’s really important: the people who need, and are the customers of, our best work.


Performance Management Process Refresh - 1 p.m., April 9

As you know, the Performance Management Process (PMP) deadline was extended by DPA. (See details here.) With a little extra time, you're invited to attend a virtual session so you can be sure to follow the process accurately. This session will cover: details about the new PMP dates; staying connected as many of us work remotely; and managing work remotely (both as supervisors and as employees). This session is open to all employees — including both supervisors and employees. 

No registration is required; simply join the session to participate

Session Details

Please mute your microphone in Hangouts when you dial in. This moderated session will include informal polls, discussion and Q&A.


Neuroscience & Fight or Flight - 4/8, 1 p.m.

Everyone knows that there some instinctual reactions to threats. It could be anxiety from standing too close to the edge of a cliff, or a flinch from a physical threat. But did you know that the neuroscience of fight or flight advises almost every reaction we have, all day long? 

In the transportation industry, understanding fight or flight is key. Overreacting -- or underreacting -- could mean the difference between getting injured vs. staying safe in our physical working environments. But fight or flight also advises our interpersonal reactions. How exactly? Attend this webinar to find out. This is important stuff to understand, especially in our current environment with COVID-19. No registration is required; simply join the session to participate.

Session Details

Please mute your microphone in Hangouts when you dial in. This moderated session will include informal polls, discussion and Q&A.

There's no need to sign up for virtual sessions (except where otherwise noted). Simply join the desired session.


The Outward Mindset - Focus on People: Learn about stress and how to keep focused on what’s important: people who need and are customers of our work.


Kubler-Ross 5 Stages: Learn about the 5 stages and how you can more effectively manage yourself and your team through each stage.


New Employee Orientation: We proactively invite all new hires. However, If you know of a new hire who hasn’t been invited, they can attend the session (via the link below). Contact [email protected] with questions.


THINK! Fostering Inclusive Relationships (REGISTRATION REQUIRED): Explore unconscious bias in how we interact with others as well as in hiring, development, coaching and supervising. Here's how to register in the LMS (instructions at the end).

  • 5/7/2020, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.: Session will be virtual

  • 6/8/2020, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.: Session will be virtual OR at CDOT HQR1, Snow Plow Training Rm. 414, depending on our work situation by this date


Google Hangout Tips/Meet

New to Google Hangouts? Take our virtual training (schedule here) and refer to these Google Hangout training slidesLearn all about Hangouts: how to join a meeting, audio, video, best practices, scheduling, sharing screens, recording, etc.

Wifi Security

If you are having difficulty with your home Wi-Fi, contact your service provider. The OIT Service Desk will not be able to assist with this issue. 

The default username and password of home routers are freely available and known to attackers. Change the default password to a complex password or an easy-to-remember passphrase. OIT’s password standards can be found here

Before you log into a site, and if your transaction contains sensitive information (e.g., password, credit card, etc.), confirm that connections are secure (HTTPS). The “s” in “https” stands for “secure” and indicates that communication with the webpage is encrypted. Alternatively, look for the lock symbol (it’s sometimes green) in the internet address bar. If you do not see the “https” or lock, do not enter a password or any other sensitive data on the website. 

Note: There are different levels of protection on Wi-Fi networks. WPA2 and WPA3 provide the strongest protection, followed by WPA. WEP is the least secure, and if possible, should not be used. Depending on your router, you may be able to turn on WPA2 encryption for your wireless networks. If you don’t know which level you have, refer to your router manual, contact your internet service provider, and click here to learn more on TechU.

VPN Connection 

Password Reset Needed

Following yesterday’s resolution of technical issues with VPN, users will need to log into the Password Self-Service Portal online at https://mypw.state.co.us/PMUser to set a new password.

Use this link to learn more about using Password Self-Service: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gtKWOZAuqUqhQ4CYr0L40cP51oyAWln09bkBshMWSlg/edit

If you have issues with Password Self-Service please submit a ticket from the self-service portal (https://oitservicedesk.state.co.us/) or email the service desk at [email protected] or call 303.239.HELP.

Video Streaming

Limits began Monday, March 30, 2020, at 7 p.m.

To help ensure adequate bandwidth for all state employees working in the office or on the state network via VPN, OIT is restricting access to all audio and video streaming services not used for business purposes. 

Many of CDOT's working parents are juggling childcare and at-home instruction with business and operational needs while working on-site or at home. Employees are encouraged to keep talking to their supervisors about options to balance the needs of their work with that of caring for their children during the day, including flexible or adjusted schedules, continued remote work and intermittent FFCRA leave. Additionally, the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative emergency childcare system for essential and emergency workers still has spots available, and 2-1-1 Colorado can help interested families. For at-home instruction, here are some best practices from the Colorado Department of Education that may help with keeping children on task https://www.cde.state.co.us/learningathome/bestpracticesfamilies.

Childcare

Talk to Your Supervisor About Options

Many of CDOT's working parents are juggling childcare and at-home instruction with business and operational needs while working on-site or at home. Employees are encouraged to keep talking to their supervisors about options to balance the needs of their work with that of caring for their children during the day, including flexible or adjusted schedules, continued remote work and intermittent FFCRA leave. Additionally, the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative emergency childcare system for essential and emergency workers still has spots available and 2-1-1 Colorado can help interested families. For at-home instruction, here are some best practices from the Colorado Department of Education that may help with keeping children on task.

CDOT & Zoom

CDOT utilizes Google meet for most video conferences, but CDOT does have a Zoom account that can be utilized for free 40 minute meetings and a limited number of licenses for unlimited meeting length. Employees who want to hold a free meeting (40 minutes in length or less) can use this service by finding the Zoom icon on your desktop. If it does not work, and you need a free zoom account tied to your email, please contact Gregg Miller: [email protected]

The limited number of Zoom Pro licenses (unlimited meeting length) CDOT uses have been reserved for “significant events” (transportation commission, board meetings, large trainings, etc.) If your meeting needs fall into one of these categories, please send a request to Gregg Miller, and he will try and accommodate your request.

If your meeting does not meet this criteria, you should use Google Hangout/Meet for your meeting. CDOT has used this meeting method for many years and has found that the majority of time, issues with this meeting tool can be resolved with training. If you are having issues with Google Hangout/Meet and need some assistance in solving those issues, please reach out to Gregg Miller. Another option is to take the Google Tips and Tricks class that the Office of Training and Development offers. Check out their website for all the class offerings: Full Training Schedule


Colorado: The Official State Web Portal