May 2018 Print

President's Report

The section has been busy getting ready to wrap up the year with our annual banquet just around the corner.  This is also the time for voting in new officers at the branch level and also at the section level.  So please watch for an email coming from the Utah section for your chance to vote.

It is also time to vote for the national president elect we are fortunate enough to have one of the candidates that is running from our section.  K.N. Gunalan (Guna) is running for the president elect on the national level.  The Utah section board decided to endorse Guna as a candidate for this position and wish him luck on his endeavors.  Please take the time to go online and review each candidate’s information and let your voice be heard and vote here is a link for the online voting.

 Electronic Voting Site

This year’s annual meeting will be held at Utah State University on Friday, June 8th, 2018 please watch for an email with the meeting information and also a site to RSVP.  We are excited to have Robin Kemper, ASCE President Elect as our keynote speaker. We are also having a technical tour of the Utah State University Water lab.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Anthony Schmid, S.E.

President ASCE Utah Section

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Technical Article

Free Traffic Data for All!

Importance of Transportation & Economic Growth

Since the beginning, transportation has been part of civilization history and development. People would spend their time and resources to travel for many reasons: in search of food, work, exploration, personal fulfillment, and many more. The development of the transportation systems and the availability of the transportation facilities plays an integral role in the growth and economic development of a civilization. The transportation systems provide economic and social opportunities when the systems are efficient such as better accessibility to markets, employment and additional investments. However, the transportation systems may also have an economic cost and lower quality of life when they were poorly planned and constructed.

Providing a reliable transportation system may require several specialties, whether it is by air, ground, or water. For this article, I would like to focus in discussing the roadway system.

All roadway projects need to start from planning phase. Transportation planners have to deal with the selection of projects for design and construction. They also need to forecast the future to define any problems, gathering and analyzing data, and evaluation various alternative solutions. When a solution is selected, transportation designer and contractor will have to look at standards, guidelines, and requirements for the design to be met in order to construct the solution. Traffic engineer is responsible to keep the operation of the highway system in proper working order by involving the integration of vehicle, driver, and pedestrian characteristics to improve the safety and capacity.

The challenge of traffic engineers and transportation planners have to deal with every day is getting the reliable data in order to forecast and to define anticipated problems. Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) acknowledges and recognizes this challenge and they have worked very hard to provide reliable data for an appropriate solution can be selected.

The followings are some of available free data that are provided by UDOT.

Performance Measurement System (PeMS )

PeMS provide freeway point data where the data are collected in real-time from roadway detectors. These sensors span the freeway system across all major areas of the State of Utah. PeMS is also an Archived Data User Service (ADUS) that provides tools for historical data analysis. It integrates a wide variety of the following information:

  • Freeway point speeds

  • Freeway point volumes

  • Freeway point occupancy

  • Freeway point vehicle classification


iPeMS provides an intuitive user interface containing reports and visualizations that effectively summarize massive quantities of historical and real-time third-party speed data to help you monitor and measure the performance of the transportation system. It consists of Utah statewide probe data down to the major collectors. iPeMS provide travel times and speeds data that can be viewed in heat map to indicate the beginning of the congestion as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Speed Heat Map


iPeMS HERE OD Data provides origin-destination (OD) data at the Medium District Level throughout state of Utah. The Traffic Management Division also has a quarterly download of this data available upon request. Figure 2 is an example of OD data from Millcreek City to Salt Lake City during weekday AM peak hour.

Figure 2. OD Data; Millcreek City to Salt Lake City

Planning Traffic Statistics,V:507,

UDOT has a variety of publications for traffic related information. The following are several publications that UDOT publishes periodically.

  • Monthly Traffic Bulletins – Each month the bulletins summarize the average daily data recorded at each of our Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) sites throughout the state.
  • Monthly Hourly Traffic Volume Reports – Each month the reports summarize the average daily data recorded at each of our Automatic Traffic Recorder (ATR) sites throughout the state.
  • Automatic Traffic Recorder Monitoring Station History – there are traffic counting or monitoring stations throughout the state of Utah. These stations provide an average traffic count by weekday (Monday through Friday) and by week (Sunday through Saturday) for each month of the year. They also provide the 1st, 10th, 20th, 30th, 50th, and 100th highest peak hour traffic count and the corresponding percent of the annual average daily traffic count.
  • AADT and truck percentage – the Annual Average Daily Traffic books are available from up to year of 1998.
  • Interchange Ramp Volume – the volumes are presented in the graphical representation where each interchange depicts AADT's for each ramp and through lanes.
  • Vehicles Miles of Travel (VMT) – VMT is reported in daily and annual averages in two formats; ownership by county and functional classification by county. It represents the annual average of vehicles driving on the various roadways in Utah.
  • CCS point speeds upon request

Automated Traffic Signal Performance Measures (ATSPM)

ATSPM show real-time and historical functionality at signalized intersections. The various measures will evaluate the quality of progression of traffic along the corridor, and displays any unused green time that may be available from various movements. This information may give indication of vehicle and pedestrian detector malfunctions, measure vehicle delay, volumes, speeds and travel time of vehicles. These measures are used to optimize mobility and manage traffic signal timing and maintenance to reduce congestion, save fuel costs and improve safety. This also allows traffic engineers to directly measure what previously could only be estimated and modeled and helps tremendously in defining a problem at the intersection to determine the appropriate design solution.

Some of the key uses and benefits of the various measures are:

Purdue Coordination Diagrams (PCD’s) – Used to visualize the temporal relationship between the coordinated phase indications and vehicle arrivals on a cycle-by-cycle basis. The PCD’s show the progression quality along the corridor as shown in Figure 3 and answer questions, such as “What percent of vehicles are arriving during the green?” or “What is the platoon ratio during various coordination patterns?”

Figure 3. Purdue Coordination Diagram

Volumes – ATSPM provides two counts: Approach Volume (Figure 4) and Turning Movement Counts (Figure 5). Approach vehicle volume counts shows arriving upstream of the intersection about 350 ft – 400 ft. The detection zones for approach volume are in advance of the turning lanes, so the approach volumes does not provide turning movement counts. However, there are other detectors located closer to the intersection that provides the total volume of each movement and lane-by-lane vehicles per hour (vph). Though the vehicle counts may not be precise, it is quite accurate to determine the intersection peak hour that allows the traffic engineer to identify the time to collect the peak hour turning movement counts. Also, the vehicle counts may provide the big picture of how the traffic operates at the intersection using traffic model.

Figure 4. Approach Volume

Figure 5. Turning Movement Counts

Approach Speeds – The speeds are obtained from the Wavetronix radar Advance Smartsensor. As vehicles cross the 10-foot wide detector in advance of the intersection (350 ft – 400 ft upstream of the stop bar), the speed is captured, recorded, and time-stamped. In graphing the results, a time filter is used that starts 15 seconds (user defined) after the initial green to the start of the yellow. The time filter allows for free-flow speed conditions to be displayed that are independent of the traffic signal timings. The approach speed measure, as shown in Figure 6, is beneficial in knowing the approach speeds to use for modeling purposes – both for normal time-of-day coordination plans and for adverse weather or special event plans.

Figure 6. Approach Speeds

Purdue Phase Termination Charts – Figure 7 shows how each phase terminates when it changes from green to red. The measure will show if the termination occurred by a gapout, a maxout / forceoff, or skip. A gapout means that not all of the programmed time was used. A maxout occurs during fully actuated (free) operations, while forceoff’s occur during coordination. Both a maxout and forceoff shows that all the programmed time was used. A skip means that the phase was not active and did not turn on.

This measure is used to identify movements where split time may need to be taken from some phases and given to other phases. Also, this measure is very useful in identifying problems with vehicle and pedestrian detection. For example, if the phase is showing constant maxouts all night long, it is assumed that there is a detection problem.

Figure 7. Purdue Phase Termination Chart

Split Monitor – Figure 8 shows the amount of split time (green, yellow and all-red) used by the various phases at the intersection. Greens show gapouts, reds show maxouts, blues show forceoffs and yellows show pedestrian activations. This measure is useful to know the amount of split time each phase uses.

Figure 8. Split Monitor

Approach Delay – Figure 9 shows a simplified approach delay by displaying the time between detector activations during the red phase and when the phase turns green for the coordinated movements. This measure does not account for start-up delay, deceleration, or queue length that exceeds the detection zone. This measure is beneficial in evaluating over time the delay per vehicle and delay per hour values for each coordinated approach.

Figure 9. Approach Delay

Arrivals on Red – Figure 10 shows the percent of vehicles arriving on red (inverse of % vehicles arriving on green) and the percent red time for each coordination pattern. The Y-axis is graphing the volume (vph) and the secondary Y-axis graphs the percent vehicles arriving on red. This measure is useful in identifying areas where the progression quality is poor.

Figure 10. Arrivals on Red


Certainly, there are other ways to collect traffic data. Getting the right and reliable traffic data is the key toward getting the right answer for the problems exist at the roadway. I hope this article may have provided you with starting point for which and where you can collect the traffic data. Also, I hope it may be the right tool in assisting to define the problems and to determine the right solution for the problems exist at the roadway. Last, but not least, I would like to give a special thanks to Kelly Burns, P.E. from UDOT TOC in helping me to write this article.

Imanuel Aswandi, P.E., PTOE.

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Wasatch Front Branch Update

Another month has flown by, and the ASCE election season has begun.  I want to encourage everyone to vote both in their local elections as well as in the national elections.  As I look at the candidates for the new year, I begin to reflect on my past year as president of this Branch.  I want to thank my leadership.  Mark Chandler has been an excellent President Elect taking on tasks and assignments and completing them to a level often above expectations.  Sara Albano has been the Secretary/Treasurer, and has been a fantastic support to our leadership team.  I also want to thank our outgoing Past President Jeff McBride.  I have always felt that he has done a great job lending his leadership skills to this branch.  Thank you to all that have helped in the past, and those that will continue to help in the future.

In April we heard from Ashley MacMillan, P.E. of TENCATE who presented case studies done with several DOT’s on “Hydraulic Stabilization of a Road Section Using a Wicking Geotextile to Provide Long Term Moisture Reduction”.  It was very cool to see how this fairly new technology is being used in current civil engineering applications.  I particularly enjoyed seeing samples of the product work right in front us.  It was a great presentation.

The May luncheon will be held Friday May 18th from 11:30 to 1:00 at WesTech Engineering Offices, (3665 South West Temple).  We are privileged to be hearing from K. N. Gunalan, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F.ASCE (Guna) Vice President AECOM, who is also a President Elect Nominee for the national ASCE leadership.  He will be speaking about Ethics and the new ISO 37001.

We have filled all of the luncheon speaker slots before the summer, but are always looking for additional speakers to help us fill our remaining luncheons through the fall and into the next. If you or anyone you know are interested in helping us out by presenting, please contact us at [email protected]


J. Darren Burton, President, ASCE Wasatch Front Branch

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Northern Utah Branch Update

The Northern Utah Branch (NUB) supports three individuals seeking election to hold office this year. Look for future emails announcing the candidates. Don’t miss your opportunity to vote for your favorite.

Keeping in line with the branch’s outreach efforts, last month’s meeting was held in Ogden Canyon at the Ogden water treatment facility. Located just under the Pineview reservoir dam, participants had the unique opportunity to tour the plant. Plant personnel gave first hand insight to the plant’s chemical flocculant application, sediment, and microfiltration processes. A great time of learning was had by all that attended.

Also in April, the NUB participated with the USU Student Chapter (USUSC) at their closing social. The event was well attended by future engineers. The NUB branch spoke on the value of ASCE membership with an emphasis on retention of current student members as they transition to professional members. There was also great interest by students in participating in Young Members Forum events.  During the social dinner, the NUB awarded two scholarships to deserving members of the USUSC. Congratulations to Samuel Odd, the recipient of the $500.00 scholarship, and to Jake Goodsell who received the $250.00 scholarship.

The NUB service project and closing social will be held on May 18 at the Denzel Stewart Nature Park located at 698 East 100 South in Logan. Participants will be revegetating the park and riverbanks that were affected by a recent river restoration project and construction of a small regional stormwater detention pond. Plantings will begin at 3:00 with a small closing observance of last year’s events and dinner at 5:15.

The board continues to work on providing diverse monthly training topics and is trying to find ways to expand reach to extended areas within the branch. Our next board meeting is scheduled for May 11th where we will finalize our season closing events and discuss upcoming branch and section elections.

Ogden water treatment plant tour                          

USUSC scholarship award (left to right) Tyler Munk (NUB President-elect) Samuel Odd, and Jake Goodsell

-Tom D.

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Younger Member Forum

Let ASCE YMF be your medium to extent your network. ASCE YMF holds our social night once a month every last weekday of the month. The recent one we had was in a Bar Named Sue. There was approximately 15 people attended the event. If you missed it, don’t worry. ASCE YMF is organizing a fundraising event of Corn Hole Tournament in May 26th (see details below) and a BBQ in summer. Visit our website ( or join our Facebook to keep up-to-date with our activities.

Also, join us in ASCE Utah Annual Meeting on June 8th. It is a great venue to know what ASCE is and what you are able to contribute in your community. All of members throughout the state will be attending this meeting.

The ASCE national officers election is open now, with votes accepted through 11:59 p.m. ET, June 1. Members at the grade of Associate and above in good standing as of April 1 will be eligible to vote via online balloting ( ASCE Utah YMF endorse one of the candidate, Kancheepuram (Guna) N. Gunalan, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE, from Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been actively engaged with the organization and its activities at the local, national and international levels.  In addition to serving on the Board of Direction, one of the highlights of his ASCE tenure was being Chair of the 2014 Global Engineering Conference in Panama City, Panama that was held in conjunction with the 100th anniversary celebration of the Panama Canal.

We definitely want YOU in ASCE Utah YMF! Other than your vote in national level, we also need your vote for our next ASCE YMF officers for the year of 2018-2019. Vote is open now and our current nominations are the following:

President-Elect – Lingkun Li, EIT

Lingkun received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from China and graduated from the University of Utah in 2017 with a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. During his graduate career, Mr. Li successfully completed 4-year coursework within 2 years, and spend one year to improve his leadership/communication skills as the President of ACI (American Concrete Institute) Student Chapter. He recruited new members, coordinated monthly officers’ meetings, coordinated with ACI Intermountain Chapter Executive Director for local engineer and student events, and introduced speakers at ACI Utah Spring Symposium. For his Master’s degree, Lingkun was a Research Assistant and his research, concrete shrinkage for bridge deck with UDOT and smog-eating concrete have given him profound knowledge in concrete (made him a mud-man). Currently, Mr. Li is employed with Western Technologies, Inc. as a Materials Engineer/Special Inspector, where he learned more engineering knowledge from different engineers, superintendents onsite, and city/county building officials. He loves to learn new things and take more challenges, just like when he decided to come to United States from his hometown, Urumqi, a small town in China located 6,500 miles from Salt Lake. Mr. Li has resided in Utah since 2014, where he fulfilled his dream, shredding “the greatest snow on earth”. Recently, Lingkun is pursuing his next dream, professionally licensed engineer, and taking the next challenge, the President of Utah ASCE-YMF.

Secretary – Abraham Lopez, P.E.

Abraham is an Engineer for Perigee Consulting, his main focus is on commercial and residential site development projects. Abraham graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in 2012 and obtained his P.E license in 2016. He has been an active YMF member since 2016 and believes that the YMF is a great way for young engineers to get involved with ASCE and in their community.

Treasurer 1 - Vince Willis

Originally from Central California, Vince moved to Utah in 2007 for the outdoors and snow. Vince has been an active YMF member since 2013, and has held the Treasurer position since June, 2016, and is running for his third year as treasurer. Vince studied for a few years at the University of Utah and earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of North Dakota in 2014. He is currently a Sewer Maintenance Inspector/Operator IV at Mount Olympus Improvement District, where he inspects, fixes, constructs and maintains sanitary sewer lines. He has been with the Improvement District for 6 years. Vince has lots of enthusiasm and loves to give back to the community through volunteering, outreach, and social activities. Vince loves the outdoors and in his free time you can find him riding bikes, riding motorcycles, hiking, golfing, snowboarding and helping manage a mountain bike race team.

Treasurer 2 – Treven Edwards

Treven is currently an Associate Drainage Engineer at Parsons with one year of experience in the industry. He completed his degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Utah in May of 2017 and took course work specifically in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering. While obtaining his degree, he was actively involved in the University of Utah ASCE Student Chapter as Vice President in 2016, and head of the steel bridge planning for regional competition in 2017. He is hoping to continue his involvement with ASCE by becoming a board member of the YMF and share his experiences with everyone involved; as well as, gain new experiences that can help him grow as an engineer.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to sign up on our email list (


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Central Utah Branch Update

In April we had the pleasure of meeting at BYU and viewing student CAPSTONE engineering projects.  It was great to interact with the students and as practicing engineers give them some feedback.

The time to elect new Branch Officers is upon us.  We appreciate those who have volunteered to run.  Look for official notice from the Section with the ballot in you inbox soon. New officers will be sworn in at our annual ASCE Utah Section meeting in June at Utah State University.  Please plan on attending.

For the month of May we are finalizing plans for a tour of the Millsite Dam on May 24th.  

As always we would love feedback on speaker ideas from our members so let us know if you have a suggestion or are willing to speak on a project you are working on.  If you are not receiving our emails with meeting date and time information please contact our Secretary, Steven Lord [email protected] to make sure we have a correct email address for you.

Jeff Egbert, 2017-2018 President, Central Utah Branch

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Southern Utah Branch Update

Our April luncheon was held at SUU in Cedar City.  The guest speaker was Mark Harris, Reaveley Engineers, who discussed the structural engineering design challenges associated with the new SUU School of Business building. We had a nice turnout, including students in the General Engineering program emphasizing in Civil Engineering.  Thanks to all who came. 

Our event in May will be a Geotechnical Workshop held on Thursday, May 24, at the St. George City Water and Power Building, 811 Red Hills Parkway, from 12 to 5 pm. Lunch will be provided and the cost will be $80 per person.  There will be four presenters so you will be able to get 4 CE hours.  Look for a flyer soon with presenters, topics and sign-up information.  We hope to see you there.    

Our June event is the annual Utah Section Meeting, which will be held in Logan on Friday, June 8.  We encourage you to attend.

Southern Utah Branch

Kirt McDaniel, P.E.

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Utah Geo-Institute Chapter

Utah Geo-Institute (G-I) Chapter  By Ryan Cole and Ryan Maw

We encourage our members to participate in the ASCE election process this month.  The Utah Geo-Institute has endorsed the candidacy of K. N. Gunalan, Ph.D., P.E., D.GE., F.ASCE for the office of 2019 ASCE President-Elect.    We encourage our members to learn more about Guna’s candidacy by visiting the website: and engaging in the process by voting by June 1st.

As we move towards the busy months of summer, we also wanted to provide you an update on the following upcoming activities:

  • The Utah geo-institute will be supporting the ASCE southern branch as part of a part day symposium by presenting on May 24th. Presentation topics will include interpreting and understanding geotechnical reports and regional geologic hazards specific to Southern Utah.
  • The Earthquake and Engineering Soil Dynamics (EESD) committee will be sponsoring the 4th annual Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics (GEESD) Conference in Austin, Texas starting on June 10th. Additional information on the event can be found here:

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