Washtenaw County Road Commission honored with two IMPRESS Awards

Washtenaw County Road Commission’s new core machine mount.

The County Road Association (CRA) of Michigan honored the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) with two statewide IMPRESS Awards at CRA’s 2020 Highway Conference. IMPRESS Awards recognize county road agencies that demonstrate innovation with special projects in communications, operations and collaboration.

WCRC received an IMPRESS Award in Communications for its project, “Digital Employee News Signs” and an IMPRESS Award in Operations for its project, “Core Machine Mount.”

In its Communications project, WCRC created digital signs to help bridge the communications gap between employees at different county locations. The agency placed 11 TV screens in its garages and offices across the county and now broadcasts a weekly slideshow of employee news. The technology helps keep all employees updated on the latest issues. Additionally, WCRC plans to use the digital signs for employee training and community events.

In addition, WCRC earned an Award in Operations for building a new mount for its coring machine. After a year of use, staff found that they were able to complete each core approximately 75% faster, resulting in less wear and tear on the machine, less time spent in setup and breakdown, and fewer hours that employees were exposed to road traffic.

“These projects show that Washtenaw County Road Commission values innovation and efficiency across the county road network,” said Denise Donohue, CRA director. “Their achievements are an important example of what road agencies can do when they think outside the box.”

An independent panel of communications and operations experts from several of Michigan’s 83 county road agencies judged the projects. Award recipients were honored for projects that solved time restraints, labor costs, communication barriers and fostered collaboration.