The N.C. Department of Transportation is conducting a unique exchange program with the Russian Ministry of Transportation. As the Russians move more toward a capitalist marketplace, they want to learn more about America's road construction.
On Thursday, officials took an up close and personal look at I-540 in Wake County.
"It helps us to understand each other better on the one hand, and on the other hand meaning that the contacts between the professionals, we try to be in the same direction," says Oleg Bezrodnyi of the Russian Ministry of Transportation.
The five Russians are from Krosnodar, a city 700 miles south of Moscow. They work for the Russian equivalent of our DOT.
Each Russian representative received a DOT safety vest and a lesson on roadbuilding, North Carolina-style. While the DOT has a tough job keeping state residents happy, the Russians seemed pretty pleased.
The bridges and the roads, in particular, are the way to unify, to unite our souls and to unite people all over the world," Bezrodnyi says.
The DOT has also educated transportation workers from Malaysia and Puerto Rico.