The department hosted Take Your Child to Work Day again this year, and it was a big success.
Nearly 60 students participated in District Two’s events, hosted by the Public Information Office. The many activities included a visit to the State Sign Shop in Lake City where the students screen printed a “One Way” sign.
The students, ages 7-12, were also able to ride in a lift truck and sit in other types of equipment used by our maintenance staff.
Lake City Operations were the hosts for the morning and provided a tour through the vehicle maintenance shop with a close-up of DOT 1, the department’s 1929 AA Ford truck. They also got to see a concrete slab under construction for the shop.
Back at the district office, the kids conducted speed checks of vehicles traveling U.S. 441 with Traffic Operations. They learned about the importance of wearing safety belts from the Florida Highway Patrol with Sgt. Tracy Pace providing the rollover simulator truck.
The children designed bridges with the Structures Design team. They also got a firsthand look at the giant lenses and parts of a traffic signal, comparing LED lights to standard bulbs with Traffic Operations. Finally, it was on to Materials where they learned about concrete, asphalt and the underground part of our roadways including taking the ground penetrating radar unit for a test drive. The Employees Benefit Fund (EBF) Committee hosted a hamburger and hotdog cookout for the group and their parents as well as the rest of the District Office employees.
In Central Office this year, one of the activities arranged by the Structures Design Office involved building a 15-foot long model of the I-395 bridge, which is a major project currently under design in Downtown Miami. One of the options being considered for the project will feature a 650 foot long suspended span with a wishbone arch which, when completed, will be a prominent feature of the city skyline. The Structures Design office built a model of the arch bridge option which was sufficiently detailed to allow the structures staff to explain the mechanics behind how this unique structure type works to carry load. The students had a great time assembling key components of the model (the deck and suspension hangers) and tested the bridge’s ability to carry load. The staff was fortunate to be joined by the both the engineer and the architect who are currently leading the Design Team on the real project in Miami. After constructing the bridge, the kids had a chance to ask the project engineer and architect questions.
The children also had an opportunity to learn about drainage engineering, pedestrian crossing safety, and freight transport via cargo ships and airplanes.
This year’s event was a great success as the children learned not only how their parents contribute to FDOT, but also how the state transportation system is designed, maintained, and coordinated.