State-of-the-art training, research, and testing facility will address the transportation safety and operational needs of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic Region

PITTSBURGH (September 15, 2023) – Michael Baker International, a global leader in engineering, planning and consulting services, announced today that the firm has been selected as the program manager for the  Pennsylvania Safety Transportation and Research Track (PennSTART) by the Regional Industrial Development Corporation (RIDC). PennSTART will be a comprehensive test track and research facility for traffic incident management training and for the research and testing of emerging transportation technology, such as automated vehicles. As the program manager, Michael Baker will develop a master plan for the facility, determine a project phasing and implementation strategy, prepare procurement documents for each of the project phases and provide design and construction oversight services.

PennSTART is a unique partnership that was created among the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), Carnegie Mellon University, Westmoreland County and RIDC. The program management project team led by Michael Baker also includes engineering consultants HDR, Inc. and BRPH, aviation specialist uAvionix, and mobility testing service provider Transportation Research Center, Inc.

“Michael Baker is a leader in advanced transportation technology solutions, and our firm knows that new technologies are evolutionary solutions to improve safety, mobility and sustainability. PennSTART will be a state-of-the-art facility to explore these new technologies,” said Jim Katsafanas, P.E., PTOE, National Connected & Automated Vehicle Technology Director, at Michael Baker International. “After partnering with PennDOT and PTC to perform aspects of the initial feasibility work for the PennSTART concept, our entire team looks forward to the next step in addressing the transportation safety and operational needs of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic Region and bringing the vision of the facility to fruition.”

PennSTART will be located at RIDC’s Westmoreland Innovation Center in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and will feature a high-speed track, in-field testing and several proving ground areas for testing and training under various scenarios. The facility will address safety training and research needs in several key areas: traffic incident management; tolling and intelligent transportation systems technology; work zones; commercial vehicles; transit vehicles; advanced air mobility; and connected and automated vehicles. PennSTART will benefit emergency and first responders, technology developers, public agencies and research institutions.

About Michael Baker International
Michael Baker International is a leading provider of engineering and consulting services spanning five distinct Verticals: Infrastructure, Design-Build Services, Federal Programs and Services, Consulting and Technology Solutions (CTS) and Sustainable and Resilient Solutions (SRS). The firm’s Practices encompass all facets of infrastructure, including design and civil engineering for diverse bridge, highway, water, rail and transit and aviation projects, as well as planning, architecture, environmental and construction and program management. For more than 80 years, the company has been a trusted partner to clients, providing comprehensive services and solutions, delivering expertise and quality, and embracing emerging technologies and the latest innovations – like intelligent transportation, engineered models and public safety software as a service (SaaS).

The firm’s 3,900 employees more than 85 office locations are committed to Making a Difference for clients and communities through a culture of innovation, collaboration and technological advancement while Reimagining Michael Baker to become a full-service engineering and consulting firm over the next five years.

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Contact: Julia Covelli