The top 12 winning transportation projects from four U.S. regional competitions will battle it out in this year’s America’s Transportation Awards competition, with two $10,000 cash awards for a charity or transportation-related scholarship of the winners’ choosing at stake.
[Above photo by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.]
The broad scope of the projects in the final round include one credited with using drone technology to get transportation systems back up and operating after a devastating hurricane as well as others that endeavor to incorporate citizen feedback and involvement in project design and development.
Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the competition evaluates projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology & Innovation; and Operations Excellence. The projects are also divided into three sizes: small (less than $25 million); medium ($25 million to $200 million); and large (more than $200 million).
The 12th America’s Transportation Awards competition attracted 81 project nominations from 39 state DOTs this year. The three highest scoring projects from each of four regional contests earned a place in the “Top 12” national finals, competing for the national Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. Both prizes come with the aforementioned $10,000 cash awards.
[To cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award, click here. You can vote up to five times per day.]
“These final projects are just a small sampling of the many ways in which state DOTs are making communities safer and supporting economic development,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director.
[Here’s a look at the winners of the 2018 America’s Transportation Awards event, held last year at AASHTO’s annual meeting in Atlanta.]
“Whether deploying innovations to save time and money or exploring strategies to move more people and goods, state DOTs are delivering projects and programs that create a more efficient transportation system for the movement of goods and services,” he added, noting that they represent a “diversity of transportation options” as well.
“Not only does this year’s Top 12 include highway and bridge projects, but also projects to improve bike and pedestrian access/safety, a transit project, a drone program, and a planning program designed to improve community involvement,” Tymon said.
The Top 12 finalists for this year’s competition are:
- California Department of Transportation – Highway 1/Mud Creek Emergency Restoration – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium category.
- Connecticut Department of Transportation – I-84 Waterbury Widening Project – Operations Excellence, Large category.
- Florida Department of Transportation – SunRail Southern Expansion – Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category.
- Georgia Department of Transportation – Northwest Corridor Express Lanes – Operations Excellence, Large category.
- Maryland Department of Transportation – Dover Bridge Project – Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category.
- Missouri and Illinois Departments of Transportation – Improvements for Downtown City of St. Louis – Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation – UAS Hurricane Florence Response – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Small category.
- Ohio Department of Transportation – I-71 & Martin Luther King Jr. Interchange – Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category.
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation – PennDOT Connects/Connecting Communities – Quality of Life/Community Development, Small category.
- Texas Department of Transportation – US 290 Reconstruction from I-610 to Beltway 8 – Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category.
- Washington State Department of Transportation – I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project, Phases 1 and 2A – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Large category.
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Zoo Interchange Core and Adjacent Arterials – Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Large category.
An independent panel of transportation industry experts will select the Grand Prize winner, while the general public will decide the People’s Choice Award winner through online voting.
Online votes will be weighted to each state’s population, allowing for greater competition between states with larger and smaller populations. The winners will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in St. Louis on October 8.