In Caltrans News Flash episode 156, the California Department of Transportation featured Calsense technology in their outdoor Stockton Training Center. The Training Center was built recently as a safer way for maintenance crews to learn new procedures, as previously most training took place on the side of highways. It has everything you would normally find roadside, without traffic safety concerns, or the loud and distracting noises.

Currently, the Training Center focuses on use and repair of Calsense remote irrigation control systems and other irrigation work, such as repairing broken pipes. In the future, Caltrans sees the potential for other skills to be taught here, varying from electrical work to pruning and planting.

In the video below, Caltrans maintenance workers learn how to repair a pipe break at the Stockton Training Center. When learning such exercises road-side, there is no second chance to review the process or exercise again if needed. The Training Center allows for a true educational experience, creating a more diligent workforce for Caltrans. The Training Center provides several educational stations to learn from, including flow sensors, pumps, and cisterns. Staff morale is improved through this new form of training, as it increases skills and confidence of the maintenance staff. In 2016, almost 1,500 Caltrans maintenance staff were trained at the Stockton Training Center, learning how to operate, maintain and repair the new smart irrigation technology.

This is all made possible due to Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which was signed into law last April. The bill provides $54 billion of funding over the next decade, split evenly between local and state investments, which will serve to meet four critical needs: congestion relief, trade corridor improvements, improved transit/rail travel, and pedestrian/cyclist safety projects. The investment is made more trustworthy and transparent through the implementation of a new, independent inspector general as well as increased program oversight responsibilities for the California Transportation Commission.

Over the next decade, Caltrans will replace or repair:

-17,000 miles of pavement

-55,000 culverts or drains

-7,700 signs, signals and sensors

-500 bridges

The Stockton Training Center is solution fit for the growing needs of Caltrans’ labor force as they undertake the next decade of projects across the state. The video above was the 156th episode in the Caltrans News Flash Series, which showcases the various and crucial work of Caltrans in boosting California’s economy and livability.

Beyond training, Caltrans utilizes Calsense Resource Management Technology in districts 3, 5, 8, 10 and 11, which helped Caltrans reduce 65% of water usage since 2013. This goes far beyond Governor Jerry Brown’s 20% water reduction order in 2014, even pushing past the stricter 50% reduction requested from Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. In 2013, Caltrans made a goal of converting all irrigation controllers into ‘smart’ controllers, growing its inventory from 2,358 to 3,268 controllers in 2017 throughout all its districts. With these upgrades, Caltrans was able to sync watering schedules with weather forecasts, identify leaks and problem valves, as well as the ability to transmit information from the controllers through communication software directly to Caltrans district water managers’ mobile devices and more.

 

Be sure to read about Calsense’s commitment towards achieving Caltrans conservation goals in our article featuring district 3 in Marysville/Sacramento.

To read more on recent Caltrans water conservation efforts, check out  “Strategy to Cut Water Use Pays Off Big” (PDF) in the September 2017 issue of MileMarker, a Caltrans Performance Report. For more information on the new Stockton Training Center, visit the Press Release on the News Flash episode here.