Post-22 – Presentations in Texas & Louisiana
The FHWA SUE Promotion Team wound up its tour of State DOTs with stops in Texas and Louisiana. We arrived at the TxDOT headquarters in Dallas on Monday morning. Getting tired I guess; we had combined the morning and afternoon sessions into just one. We made our usual presentations and visited some with the attendees. After lunch we headed on to Baton Rouge for our last presentation on Tuesday morning at the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (Louisiana DOTD).
My favorite story from the trips to region 6 took place in Louisiana. Jim Anspach was presenting, and we noticed an older gentleman in the room who was sleeping soundly. As Jim was winding up his presentation, the sleeper woke up, raised his hand, and said, “We won’t be using your SUE in Louisiana because we don’t have any utility problems.” With that, bedlam broke out in the room. It seems there were three young construction guys sitting in the back and they began laughing, stomping their feet, and even pounding on the tables. Soon others in the room joined them. It must have been very embarrassing to our sleeper being contradicted in such a manner. Soon thereafter Trey Jesclard became the State Utilities Engineer and Louisiana began using SUE.
We ended our trip in New Orleans. We had a few hours to kills before our flight out that evening, so Jim Anspach drove Joe and me to the French Quarter. He told us he was leaving us there because he had a time share in the French Quarter and was going to spend the rest of the week there. Before leaving us though, he put us in a buggy (similar to the one in the picture), paid the driver, and told us he hoped we would enjoy the ride through “his city.” We did. We flew home that night, Joe to BWI, and me to DCA.