Five Western States Receive Top Honors in National Competition
JUNEAU, AK State department of transportation projects that restored essential highways following devastating landslides and improved safety for motorists and wildlife are among the winners in the western regional America's Transportation Awards competition. Celebrating its 10th year, the competition attracted 30 project nominations from 12 western states. Eight projects from five of those states are today receiving top awards.
"Every project nominated in this competition represents the hard work and dedication of state DOTs across the country to meet the transportation needs of the communities we serve," said David Bernhardt, President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. "For 10 consecutive years, the America's Transportation Awards have given state DOTs the recognition they deserve for providing the essential connections that keep people, goods and our economy moving forward."
Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce the competition recognizes transportation projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology and Innovation and new this year, Operations Excellence.
Two state DOTs took home awards in the Quality of Life/Community Development category. Nevada DOT won in the small category (projects that cost under $25 million) for its Cave Rock Tunnel Extension and Stormwater Enhancements project. The winner in the medium category (projects costing between $25 million and $200 million) was Montana DOT's Kalispell Bypass-US 93 Alternate Route project.
Two state DOTs won in the Best Use of Technology and Innovation category. Idaho Transportation Department won in the small category for its U.S. 20 Thornton Interchange project. Colorado DOT's SH 9 CO River South Wildlife and Safety project won in the medium category and CDOT's US 36 Express Lanes project won in the large category (projects costing more than $200 million).
Three state DOTs won awards in the Operations Excellence category. Idaho Transportation Department's Elk City Slide Cleanup won in the small category. Colorado DOT's I-70 Mountain Express Lane project won in the medium category and Texas DOT's SH 99/Grand Parkway Segments F&G project won in the large category.
Winners in the three remaining regions will be announced throughout the summer. The three highest-scoring projects from each region will advance to the "Top 12." Those 12 projects will compete for the Grand Prize, determined by a panel of judges, and the People's Choice Award, selected by the general public through online voting. The top two winning prizes also come with a $10,000 check, to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT's choosing. The winners of the top two awards will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, in September.