Outstanding state department of transportation projects that tested innovative ways to improve driver safety on winter roads and brought economic growth to communities are among the top winners in the western regional America’s Transportation Awards competition. Thirteen western states nominated 27 projects this year, with nine of those projects receiving top honors at the WASHTO meeting in Rapid City, S.D., on June 13.
“State DOTs are committed to making America safer, better and stronger by improving connections between communities both large and small, urban and rural,” said John Schroer, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. “The transportation projects in this competition are part of a national multimodal network that is moving millions of people and tons of goods where they need to go every day.”
Sponsored by AASHTO, Socrata, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 11th annual America’s Transportation Awards competition recognizes transportation projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology and Innovation, and Operations Excellence.
Four state DOTs took home awards in the Quality of Life/Community Development category. Utah DOT won in the small category (projects costing under $25 million) for its Cottonwood Canyons Public-Private Partnership/Fiber Deployment project. Two winners were announced in the medium category (projects costing between $25 million and $200 million)—Colorado DOT for the I-25 and US24/Cimarron Street Interchange Design-Build project and Nevada DOT for its USA Parkway project. California DOT (Caltrans) won in the large category (projects costing more than $200 million) for its SR-91 Corridor Improvement project.
Three state DOTs won in the Best Use of Technology and Innovation category. Caltrans’ Highway 1/Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Replacement and South Dakota DOT’s High Friction Surface Treatment project shared first place in the small category. Colorado DOT’s Linking Lookout—US 6 and 19th Street project won in the medium category.
Two state DOTs won awards in the Operations Excellence category. South Dakota DOT’s U.S. 14/6th Street project won in the small category, while Caltrans Route 191 Realignment Project: Taming the Curves won in the medium category.
Winners in the three remaining regions will be announced throughout the summer. The three highest-scoring projects from each region will be included in the “Top 12.” Those 12 projects will compete for the Grand Prize, selected by an independent panel of industry judges, and the Socrata People’s Choice Award, chosen by the general 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. Online voting begins Aug. 30. The winners of the top two awards will be announced Sept. 23, at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Atlanta.