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18 In response to the growing need to fund the maintenance ent and new. As such, a change in paradigm characteristically of their transportation systems, states have developed a meets with resistance and rarely entails smooth transitions. number of innovative approaches to reduce the cost of plan- The paradigm shifts that have occurred at many state DOTs ning, developing, and constructing a facility. From innova- involve progress. This is a fundamental necessity. New discov- tive financing options--such as congestion pricing, Grant eries, new experimental results, and models that do not fit in Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE bonds), Trans- with known theories, or anomalies in data and information, portation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) often set off a chain of events that build momentum toward loans, and freight user fees--to publicprivate partnerships, a cultural shift. Crises often lead to paradigm shifts; more- states continue to look for ways to use tax dollars wisely and over, they force leaders and decision makers to see their economically. The lack of funding has also initiated many world differently. (4) After the Interstate 35 bridge collapse programs such as practical design, performance measures, in Minnesota, for example, federal and state policies regard- asset management, and Merger 01 that address the state's ing bridge inspection cycles changed. Within a month or two, transportation system as a whole and attempt to address the state DOTs across the nation were inspecting their bridges issues using a holistic approach. more frequently. State DOTs are finding that the monumental era of building The DOTs of today and their leaders see the transporta- highways and bridges has given place to an age of maintenance tion environment in a very different light than they did two and preservation. Times of building to the highest design stan- decades ago. First, loyalty in the new paradigm is not as much dard have yielded to a more flexible approach in designing between the agency (DOT) and the client (stakeholder); it has a practical network. Transportation planners used to change shifted more to the problem at hand. Whether it be a capacity the surrounding landscape to allow a road to pass through; issue or a safety concern, a congestion problem or an opera- now they try to change the road to fit into the existing environ- tional challenge, the transformed DOT culture focuses on ment, without trying to alter too much of the canvas. Times solving the problem with swift conviction, within the real of unlimited funding have disappeared, to be replaced by eco- constraints being faced. nomic and financial constraints that cannot meet the grow- Second, the studied DOTS exhibited some form of sus- ing need to address our deteriorating system of highways tained capability that emphasized greater accountability on the and bridges. part of their managers. Accountability was closely linked to a kaizen-like evolution that encourages a continuous improve- ment of processes, materials, and personnel. State DOTs are Shifts in DOT Cultures-- implementing programs that reward individuals who think The Intellectual Revolution outside the box and improve processes to achieve greater effi- The last two decades have brought about many shifts in cul- ciencies and commending those who meet and exceed estab- ture, within transportation departments and in other agen- lished goals. This approach promotes highly motivated indi- cies as well. Changes in the economy, funding levels, the state viduals and fosters a balanced growth environment in which of the nation's infrastructure, organizational structures, and employees can experiment, take prudent calculated risks, management styles--along with the diversity of multiple develop new ideas, and implement practical solutions to solve cultures and languages, and inclusive workforces spanning problems. Principles of ingenuity and accountability are inter- from baby boomers to Generations X and Y--have brought woven into the new paradigm. about shifts in DOT cultures. Many DOTs have experienced Third, this new paradigm values economies of scale in the true paradigm shifts--the result of an extensive process that execution of projects and programs as much as it does paying brings about major revision to methods and ideas leading to individualized attention to the smaller "meat and potatoes" a transformation of vision among their practitioners. (4) type projects that fall under its umbrella. DOTs commonly have long-established processes, identi- Fourth, because most transportation challenges cannot be fied tasks, well-defined roles and responsibilities, and standard solved through singular relationships, today's DOTs seek to ways of delivering their programs and projects. Disciplines collaborate and partner with the many stakeholders involved. and sectors throughout the industry share a comprehensive This collaboration is sought not only for financial stability understanding of this world view that brings forth the worth and leverage, but also for planning and execution. External and value of their work. While minor changes in work flows relationships are cultivated and honored; under the new par- or individual units do not typically shake the foundations adigm, stakeholders are brought in early as participants in a of a DOT as a whole, major paradigm shifts--fundamental partnership set up to solve the transportation problem, rather changes in the way business is done--represent a progression than as "clients" whom the DOT as "vendor" is tasked with from the established framework into something quite differ- satisfying. Transparency and accountability on the part of the