Gov. Ricketts, Dept. of Transportation Announce New State Operations Center
OMAHA, NE (STL.News) Governor Pete Ricketts, together with the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT), held a press conference to announce the formation of the new State Operations Center (SOC), based in Omaha.
This spring, NDOT’s State Operations Center and the District 2 Operations Center merged to create one centralized command center to monitor and operate the state highway network. The merging of the two centers brings additional efficiency and consistency across the state and provides better management of the entire system.
“The new State Operations Center advances our mission to provide more effective and efficient service to Nebraskans,” said Gov. Ricketts. “The center will improve the State’s ability to update motorists on travel conditions. Providing timely information helps drivers make smart decisions behind the wheel so they can stay safe and avoid traffic. Congratulations to Director Selmer and teammates at NDOT on this achievement.”
“As we look towards the future of transportation, we know effective management of the system is key,” said NDOT Director John Selmer. “Today, we celebrate our teammates whose work is vital to ensuring people reach their destination each and every day with minimal disruption. I’m proud to be part of a team that take such pride in their work, regardless of the day or night.”
The State Operations Center has undergone significant change since being established more than 20 years ago. Back then, one person took calls and updated the 511 system while relying on teammates in each of NDOT’s eight districts to do the same. Initially, the centers did not operate on a full-time basis, but would activate for major events or incidents, such as weather events and major crashes in their areas. Now, the State Operations Center operates around the clock.
As traffic continues to increase, so does the need for consistent management of the transportation networks that Nebraskans use daily for commerce, commuting, school, and recreation. The newly organized State Operations Center brings together the latest technology and resources to be prepared to manage everyday issues in addition to emergency response.
“The evolution of the SOC is a testament to the people who have worked to build this center into what it is today,” said NDOT State Operations Center Manager Jessica Sherwood. “Our response has shifted from individual people constantly being on call on the weekends and evenings, to where we are today in this building. Working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, the State Operations Center’s number one goal and priority is to provide the most accurate and timely information to the traveling public through our 511 system as well as through social media posts and other public outreach. I’m proud to be part of this program and this team.”