(WASHINGTON)—Seven individuals from recognizable names in construction, the government and academia were honored for their significant contributions to transportation construction safety on America’s roadways by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA).
The lifetime achievement awards celebrate the 40th anniversary of the association’s “Traffic Safety Industry Division” (TSID). The awards were given out Sept. 23 at an ARTBA Foundation luncheon, part of the association’s National Convention in Savannah, Ga.
Dave Dostaler, Kraemer North America, LLC – Contractors Division
Dostaler’s career as a safety professional spans 29 years and includes projects in 47 states and a dozen countries. His significant contributions to transportation safety include training and development, implementing innovative safety programs to protect workers and motorists, and outreach events to increase awareness around roadway safety. As an innovator and champion of creating a safety-focused company culture, Dostaler developed and implemented an internal training program that includes new hire orientation in English and Spanish, entitled “Kraemer University.” The program significantly improved understanding and communication among his company’s diverse workforce. As a certified trainer, ARTBA Safety Certified Transportation Project Professional, and engaging public speaker, Dostaler has spent thousands of hours educating the construction industry on topics including work zone safety, fall protection, trenching and excavating, emergency response, task planning, and job hazard analysis.
Ken Eberle, High Steel Structures LLC – Materials & Services Division
Eberle recently retired from High Steel in August, after more than 20 years leading safety programs at the company’s Lancaster and Williamsport, Pa., facilities. Eberle’s dedication to his coworkers’ safety resulted in significant improvements in the company’s safety performance as measured by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incident rates. High Steel ended 2018 approximately 50 percent below the three-year average Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry incident rate. His engagement and care for fellow workers helped create a positive safety culture across High Steel facilities, as evidenced by the most recent survey showing 87 percent of employees “feel their company is a safe place to work.” Eberle served as an active member of the High Steel First Aid team for more than forty years, and was actively involved in High Steel Lancaster’s on-going participation in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), originally certified by OSHA in 1983.
Daniel Lukasik, Parsons Corp. – Planning & Design Division
Lukasik has been an intelligent transportation systems (ITS) engineer his entire 30-year career, the majority of which was focused on the design, development, deployment, and operations of advanced transportation management system (ATMS) applications on freeways, highways, and arterials. The sole purpose of ATMS deployments is to improve the safety, mobility and environment associated with America’s transportation systems through implementation of advanced technology. Lukasick has led, supervised or provided technical design leadership for over 40 ATMS, Active Transportation Demand Management (ATDM) or Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) solutions, all with a heavy focus on improving safety for traveling motorists. Key safety-focused strategies that Lukasick designed include: variable speed limits; dynamic shoulder use; queue end warning; dynamic lane use; junction control; adaptive ramp metering; adaptive traffic signal control; and connected vehicle dynamic mobility applications.
Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Aty, University of Central Florida – Research & Education Division
Dr. Aty serves as Pegasus professor – the university’s highest honor – and chair of the department of civil, environmental and construction engineering at the University of Central Florida. He has been a preeminent traffic safety scholar, researcher, educator, leader and practitioner for 30 years, as evidenced by his many innovations, applications, publications, and mentoring of students who are now leaders themselves in safety. Recently Dr. Aty developed a real-time safety visualization system that was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation as an innovative solution for road safety. The same system was selected as the most successful innovation by a White House initiative for Smart Cities. Aty is a pioneer and well-recognized nationally and internationally for his work and research in real-time safety analysis, proactive traffic management, and integrating road safety and transportation planning. His extensive body of work across the U.S. includes smartphone applications, state highway safety manuals, weather safety and visibility, and intersection safety, among many others.
Frank Julian, U.S. Federal Highway Administration (retired) – Transportation Officials Division
Julian’s 32-year career with FHWA embodies the personification of roadway safety. He has been at the forefront of advances in roadside safety, including the use of cable median barriers and rumble strips. His efforts to raise the awareness of treatments such as the SafetyEdge, high friction surface treatments, and horizontal curve delineation ultimately led to their inclusion in FHWA’s Every Day Counts program, a state-based model that identifies and rapidly deploys proven, yet underutilized innovations to shorten the project delivery process, enhance roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion, and integrate automation. While at FHWA, Julian was considered an “encyclopedia” of safety knowledge. His reputation led officials from coast from coast to call him at all hours of the day and night, and the calls never went unanswered. His leadership, commitment, enthusiasm, innovation and dedication within the safety community has inspired many.
Art Dinitz (posthumous) – TSID
Dinitz spent a lifetime working to improve safety for all road users. In 1968, he founded Transpo Industries and built it into one of the premier manufacturers and distributors of safety equipment for roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways. Dinitz led the development of such products as: omni directional breakaway supports for signs and luminaires; crash cushions; glare-screens; bridge overlays and crack-sealers; precast polymer safety barrier panels incorporating retroreflective stripes for all weather visibility; high-friction pavement surfacing materials; and durable colored surface materials for bicycle and bus lanes. In addition to product development, Dinitz was the past chair of, and represented traffic safety manufacturers on Task Force 13, a joint effort of ARTBA, the Associated General Contractors (AGC), and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to develop, recommend and promote standards and specifications for bridge and roadway hardware for use on the nation’s roadways. Dinitz has been recognized with ARTBA’s TSID Jake Landon Highway Safety Award, its highest division honor, and as a “Safety Pioneer” among “America’s Top 100 Private Sector Transportation Design & Construction Professionals of the 20th Century.”
Donald Elisburg, Labor/Industry/Government Liaison
Elisburg has been an occupational safety and health leader in the U.S. for over 45 years, with senior positions in the U.S. Senate, Department of Labor, CPWR-the Center for Construction Research and Training, and several law firms. Early in his career as senate staff counsel, Elisburg was deeply involved in legislation that created OSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, among other agencies. He has consulted with a range of organizations including the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the Worker Education and Training Program National Clearinghouse and the National Asphalt Paving Association, where he facilitated cooperation between industry, government and organized labor that resulted in ground-breaking agreements to protect workers from dangerous exposures to asphalt fumes and silica. Elisburg is also a master instructor and subject matter expert through ARTBA’s work zone training cooperative agreements.
Safety concerns have been paramount at ARTBA since its founding in 1902. In the late 1970s, as the nation’s highway network expanded and the number of motorists grew, protecting transportation construction workers and the public required more attention from industry and government. In turn, ARTBA and its members formed the TSID in 1979. Its primary goals include:
- Promoting traffic safety awareness at the national level and encouraging the development and use of “hard” safety solutions, which protect the health and welfare of the public.
- Advocating for the interests of the transportation construction industry safety sector and assuring public resources are available to meet these needs.
- Monitoring regulatory activity at all levels of government that may impact transportation safety.
Established in 1902, and with more than 8,000 public and private sector members, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation infrastructure to meet the public and business community demand for safe and efficient travel.