Four state departments of transportation won six regional awards on August 18 during the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials virtual video presentation.
[Above photo by PennDOT]
Those four Northeastern state DOTs – based in Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania – earned regional recognition for transportation projects that provided safer multi-modal options around a popular state park, allowed for better community access to outdoor recreational activities, and reduced rush hour congestion for people driving home to their families each day, among other benefits.
This is the second of four regional contests within the national America’s Transportation Awards competition. Those four northeastern state DOTs join five southern state DOTs that won regional awards for eight transportation projects on August 3 during the Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials annual meeting.
The three highest-scoring projects from each regional competition earn a place on a “Top 12” list of projects, which then compete for the Grand Prize – selected by an independent panel of industry judges – and the People’s Choice Award, chosen by the public through online voting.
The top two winners also receive $10,000 cash awards, to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic forced many Americans to drastically change work patterns, state DOT employees continued the harrowing work of keeping our transportation systems operating safely and efficiently for those who had to travel, whether by vehicle or other means,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, in a statement.
“The America’s Transportation Awards program highlights just a few of the projects and programs that positively affected the quality of life in communities across the country during an otherwise uncertain time,” he added.
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.
Project nominations fall into one of three categories: Operations Excellence, Best Use of Technology & Innovation, and Quality of Life/Community Development.
“Community Development/Quality of Life” recognizes projects that provide significant benefits to the communities in which they are located, especially in the form of economic growth and the well-being of citizens. “Best Use of Technology” recognizes the use of new technology and creative solutions implemented by a state DOT. Finally, “Operations Excellence” recognizes projects that deliver more well-functioning, reliable, and safer transportation system through operational solutions.
All nominated projects will first compete on a regional level against projects of their own size: “Small” (projects costing up to $25 million), “Medium” (projects costing between $26 million and $200 million), and “Large” (projects costing more than $200 million).
In the Northeast region, seven states nominated 16 projects overall with four state DOTs taking home the following six America’s Transportation Awards.
- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation — Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway project (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small category)
- New Hampshire Department of Transportation — Spaulding Turnpike Improvements (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category)
- New Jersey Department of Transportation — Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running project (Operations Excellence, Small category)
- Delaware Department of Transportation — Margaret Rose Henry Bridge and Approach Roads project (Operations Excellence, Medium category)
- New Hampshire Department of Transportation — I-93 Expansion project (Operations Excellence, Large category)
- New Jersey Department of Transportation — Transportation Asset Management System (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Small category)
AASHTO will announced the “Top 12 finalists” vying for the Grand Prize and People’s Choice awards this September, with online voting for the People’s Choice award beginning at the same time.
The organization will then announce the winners of both Grand Prize and People’s Choice awards in October at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in San Diego.