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UGPTI Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Interactive Transportation Event

UGPTI 50th Anniversary

The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University celebrated its 50th Anniversary Aug. 30 by hosting an interactive outdoor event featuring heavy trucks, emergency response vehicles, transportation safety exhibits and highlights of the Institute's history.

"As North Dakota has grown and diversified over time, so has the Transportation Institute—growing from a small staff focused primarily on freight transportation to 41 people, addressing all modes and forms of transportation. While the Institute has maintained its essential focus on North Dakota, it has grown into a nationally-recognized center that is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation," NDSU President Dean Bresciani said in remarks at the event.

The brief program also featured comments from UGPTI officials and Russ Hanson, chair of the UGPTI Advisory Council and executive director of the Associated General Contractors of North Dakota. Representatives from the offices of North Dakota Senators John Hoeven, Heidi Heitkamp, and ND Congressman Kevin Cramer also made comments. A large flatbed designed for moving heavy equipment provided by the Northern Improvement Company served as the stage for the event.

Throughout the afternoon, UGPTI staff greeted students, faculty, staff and visitors to the NDSU campus. Hands-on exhibits included:

  • Informational displays about the history and current research, education and outreach programs of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.
  • A demonstration of impaired driving by the ND Army National Guard that featured impaired driving simulation goggles and large trikes on an obstacle course.
  • A hybrid electric bus and information on routes and services provided by MATBUS.
  • Bike demonstrations and information on biking resources in the Fargo-Moorhead area by Great Rides Bike Share and Bike FM.
  • Information on impaired driving from the ND Department of Transportation.
  • A state-of-the-art ambulance from FM Ambulance.
  • A demonstration of the "no zone" by the FM Transportation Club using a full-size tractor-trailer combination. The demonstration allowed visitors to climb into the cab of a semi so they could see the blind spots that drivers should avoid.
  • A truck-driving simulator provided by MState in Moorhead.
  • A heavy equipment simulator provided by CAT.
  • A display of the Deutscher family vehicle arranged by the NDSU Police and Safety Office. The Deutscher family was killed by a drunk driver in 2012. The display allows viewers to see first-hand the tragic result of drunken driving.
  • A demonstration of the effects of impaired driving through the use of "beer goggles" and a Mario Cart game by the NDSU Police and Safety Office.
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050