Cyber Resilient Documentation Protocols Play Vital Role on Key Deliverables

Project Background

TxDOT Improvements on U.S. Highway 181

Texas’ Department of Transportation (TxDOT) planned to move ahead with the second phase of the project to improve US 181. The aim was to improve safety and mobility for Gregory and Portland by separating local lower-speed traffic from faster-moving highway traffic. Construction work for this $50 Million project included widening the freeway, heavy haul road, frontage roads, and ramps from Spur 202 to FM 3239 in San Patricio County.  

As part of the CEI team, HVJ Associates® provided construction materials sampling and testing services, which included subgrade, base, concrete pavement, concrete structures, and asphalt pavement. HVJ also worked closely with SAM-CS (the CEI Prime) to ensure that Site Manager deficiencies were kept under control in the midst of a ransomware attack on TxDOT’s systems. 

Practice: Construction Materials Engineering and Testing

Sector: Road

Location: Gregory, TX

Services: Inspection and testing for the roadway, embankments, and bridge

US 181 CEI

The Problem

A series of hazardous ransomware attacks in 2020 temporarily crippled TxDOT's Site Manager system preventing the appropriate submission of reports mandated for all TxDOT construction projects. This vital management system, was down for several weeks, forcing HVJ to forego the use of TxDOT's system to track material usage and ensure quality while reconciling the backlog of analyses for the inevitable return of Site Manager. 

The Goal

HVJ Associates aimed to obtain sufficient testing data to accept materials placed during the ransomware attack and subsequent disruption. 


Our Solution

As a result of HVJ's tested operating procedures, our laboratory information management software, QestLab has disaster recovery features (reporting redundancies) built-in. This proved invaluable to the project’s success, allowing HVJ to seamlessly monitor testing during the system outage and quickly catch up on entering all outstanding test results once Site Manager became available.  Our tested processes kept material acceptance on track through impeccable organization and our ability to quickly resolve Site Manager testing deficiencies.

HVJ's cyber resilience  in the face of a critical system failure was key in quickly adapting to TxDOT’s newly implemented security protocol to swiftly regain access to Site Manager. This ultimately prevented avoidable project delays and minimized the consequences of the Site Manager outage to no more than a minor speed bump in the success of TxDOT  and the US 181 Upgrade Project. 

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