Northeastern State DOT Projects Win Regional Awards

Six state department of transportation projects in Maine, New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland earned regional recognition as part of the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

[Above photo by the Maine DOT]

The award contest honored those projects for benefiting communities in several ways, such as revitalizing a neighborhood cut off from downtown Pittsburg in the 1950s due to Interstate construction, utilizing a strategy known as a “road diet” to make a busy traffic corridor safer, and using cutting-edge technology to make a bridge replacement less costly to taxpayers.

“State DOTs are overwhelmingly focused on innovative solutions to address the transportation issues of today and tomorrow, meeting challenges involving climate change, equity, resiliency, and safety,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, in a statement.

Jim Tymon (at right) with PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian (at left). Photo by AASHTO.

“The America’s Transportation Awards program shows just how they’re doing that,” he added. “Whether on foot, in a vehicle, on two wheels, or by rail or transit, state DOTs are continuing to advance a safe, multimodal transportation system.”

[Editor’s note: In June, eight state DOTs projects in Alaska, California, Idaho, Texas, and Washington earned regional recognition as part of the same competition.]

Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the competition serves as a way to recognize state DOTs and highlights the projects they deliver that make their communities a better place to live, work, and play.

For 2022, the America’s Transportation Awards contest also tasked participating state DOTs to discuss the role equity played in the developed of their projects.

Photo by the New Hampshire DOT

Project nominations fall into one of three categories in this competition: Operations Excellence, Best Use of Technology & Innovation, and Quality of Life/Community Development.

All nominated projects first compete on a regional level against projects of their own size: “Small” (projects costing up to $25 million), “Medium” (projects costing between $25 million and $200 million), and “Large” (projects costing more than $200 million).

In the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials or NASTO region, seven states and the District of Columbia nominated 18 projects for the 2022 competition, with six projects taking home the following regional America’s Transportation Awards:

  • Maine Department of Transportation — Gardiner Downtown Bridges and Trail Project (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small category)
  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation — I-579 Urban Open Space Cap Project (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category)
  • New York State Department of Transportation — State Route 5S and North Genesee Street Multi-Modal Safety and Connections Enhancements Project (Operations Excellence, Small category)
  • New Jersey Department of Transportation — Route 495, Route 1&9/Paterson Plank Road Bridge (Operations Excellence, Medium category)
  • Maine Department of Transportation — Grist Mill Bridge Replacement Project (Best Use of Technology and Innovation, Small category)
  • Maryland Transportation Department — Customer Connect System Modernization (Best Use of Technology and Innovation, Medium category)

After all regional meetings have taken place over the summer, the three highest scoring projects from each region will be named the “Top 12” and will go on to compete for the top two national prizes in the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

Image by AASHTO

An independent panel of industry judges selects the Grand Prize winner, while the project receiving the highest number of online votes from the public earns the People’s Choice Award.

AASHTO will reveal the winners of those top two prizes – which each receive $10,000 to donate to a charity or scholarship of their choice – at its 2022 annual meeting this October in Orlando, FL.

Visit to learn more about this year’s NASTO nominees.

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