The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials presented several awards during its annual meeting in San Diego to Carlos Braceras (in middle of above photo) – 2018-2019 AASHTO President and Utah Department of Transportation executive director – former AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright, and seven other individuals, teams, and programs for outstanding achievement in the field of transportation.
“These award recipients represent a wide range of backgrounds and expertise,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director, in a statement.
“But the one thing all these winners have in common is a commitment to bringing new ideas to life in the transportation field through hard work, ingenuity, and perseverance,” he added. “These are true role models who exemplify what it means to dedicate yourself to public service.”
The awards and honorees are:
- Carlos Braceras: He received the George S. Bartlett Award given jointly by AASHTO, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, and the Transportation Research Board in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to highway progress. Named Utah DOT executive director in 2013, Braceras began his career with the agency in 1986. He also served as deputy director of Utah DOT for 12 years as well as director of Utah DOT’s Region Three Office, chief geotechnical engineer, chief value engineer, a Legacy Parkway/I-15 North Project team member, and a roadway design engineer. In addition to serving as AASHTO President, Braceras has also chaired the TRB Executive Committee and the ITS America Board of Directors.
- Tony Allen: The state geotechnical engineer at the Washington State Department of Transportation, Allen received the Thomas H. MacDonald Award. This honor recognizes a state transportation professional who has provided outstanding service over an extended period or has made an exceptional contribution to the art and science of highway engineering. Allen has served as WSDOT’s state geotechnical engineer for 28 of the 38 years he has spent at the agency’s geotechnical office.
- Tim Keller: The state bridge engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, Keller received the Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding contribution in highway engineering or management. He provides training, expert guidance, and technical assistance to each of Ohio DOT’s 12 districts.
The Ohio DOT’s first distracted driving safety corridor received the Francis B. Francois Award for Innovation. This annual award – which honors the memory of Francis “Frank” Francois, who served as AASHTO’s executive director 1980 to 1999 – recognizes state DOTs that developed innovative projects.
Ohio DOT won the award for its collaboration with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to create the state’s first distracted driving safety corridor to reduce distracted driving-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities on one of the busiest interstates in Ohio.
Frederick ‘Bud’ Wright, transportation policy consultant and former executive director of AASHTO from 2013-2019, received the President’s Special Award of Merit.
Established in 1979, this award recognizes outstanding and exemplary contributions to the work of the Association. During his tenure at AASHTO, Wright oversaw the development of a new strategic plan and led the organization to overhaul its entire committee structure.
Prior to joining AASHTO, Wright worked at the Federal Highway Administration for more than 30 years, including more than seven years as the FHWA executive director.
Finally, several individuals and teams also took home President’s Transportation Awards, which are presented every year to recognize excellence in selected transportation fields. The 2021 winners are:
- Administration: Utah DOT, Project Director, Tiffany Pocock
- Environment: Idaho DOT, the Building Wildlife Sanctuaries Team
- Highway Traffic Safety: Idaho Transportation Department, the I-84 Traffic Corridor Safety, Capacity, and Commerce Enhancement Team
- Highways: Idaho Transportation Department, the Pennsylvania Avenue Overpass Team
- Performance Excellence: Missouri DOT, Project Manager, Keith Killen
- Planning: Texas DOT, the Dallas District I-30 Canyon Team
- Research: Michigan DOT, Project Manager Michael Townley