Judging Criteria

Nominations entered are judged at the regional and national level by a panel of judges from all facets of the transportation industry. These are the categories:

1.- Quality of Life/Community Development

The Quality of Life/Community Development category recognizes transportation projects that have contributed to the general quality of life and economic development of local communities. These innovative projects better connect people to businesses, jobs, health care facilities, and recreational activities while encouraging a mix of transportation modes. Priority is given to projects that enhance and support transit and non-motorized transportation. Project nominees should demonstrate community involvement and interaction, and must illustrate the public benefit for customers/users (e.g. – safety, economic development, improved mobility, access to public lands/open spaces).

Judges will look at each overall project and the story that is told. Specifically, successful nominations may include:

  • Project benefits (40 points)
    • What did the community gain from the project? How will it improve the lives of those in the community?
  • Quality process and results (30 points)
    • Cooperation and collaboration with project team (contractor/DOT/others) in all stages of the project (development/design/execution)
    • Demonstration that management promoted quality as part of its philosophy of operations (such as partnership, technical and materials innovations, effectiveness and creativity of public involvement, the teams’ effectiveness in meeting or exceeding deadlines and deliverables, responsiveness to environmental needs and opportunities, etc.)
    • Implementation of effective internal project team and organization communications strategies
  • Customer focus (20 points)
    • Demonstrated public support for the project
    • Magnitude and success of public communications program including early involvement of customers in the planning, design and execution of the final project.
  • Economic benefit (10 points)
    • Examples of economic benefit of the project to local community, regional economy

2.- Best Use of Innovation & Technology

This project category recognizes new and creative technological or other innovative solutions successfully implemented by state transportation departments. These projects focus on improving transportation infrastructure through the use of innovative technology playing a large role in solving a transportation challenge identified by a transportation department.

Judges will look at each overall project and the story that is told. Specifically, successful nominations may include:

  • Benefits (40 points)
    • What was the innovation used in the project and why is that particular technology/policy/process/etc. innovative?
    • Impact/cost/time savings to customer
  • Quality Process and Results (30 points)
    • Cooperation and collaboration with project team (contractor/DOT/others) in all stages of the project (development/design/execution)
    • Demonstration that management promoted quality as part of its philosophy of operations (such as partnership, technical and materials innovations, effectiveness and creativity of public involvement, the teams’ effectiveness in meeting or exceeding deadlines and deliverables, responsiveness to environmental needs and opportunities, etc.)
    • Implementation of effective internal project team and organization communications strategies
  • Customer Focus (20 points)
    • Demonstrated public support for the project
    • Magnitude and success of public communications program including early involvement of customers in the planning, design and execution of the final project
  • Economic Benefit (10 points)
    • Examples of economic benefit of the project to local community, regional economy

3.- Operations Excellence (NEW)

Projects nominated in the Operations Excellence category demonstrate successful strategies and actions that reduce congestion, improve reliability, address maintenance or advance transportation systems management and operations efforts within a state or region. These projects and programs focus on improving operations of the transportation system in order to make effective use of existing transportation assets, address the causes of service unreliability and improve safety.

Judges will look at each overall project and the story that is told. Specifically, successful nominations may include:

  • Benefits (40 points)
    • How did the project increase safety, improve reliability, or reduce congestion within the transportation system to benefit users?
    • What did customers gain from the project and its operations solution(s)?
  • Quality Process and Results (30 points)
    • Cooperation and collaboration with project team (contractor/DOT/others) in all stages of the project (development/design/execution)
    • Demonstration that management promoted quality as part of its philosophy of operations (such as partnership, technical and materials innovations, effectiveness and creativity of public involvement, the teams’ effectiveness in meeting or exceeding deadlines and deliverables, responsiveness to environmental needs and opportunities, etc.)
    • Implementation of effective internal project team and organization communications strategies
  •  Customer Focus (20 points)
    • Demonstrated public support for the project
    • Magnitude and success of public communications program including early involvement of customers in the planning, design and execution of the final project
  •  Economic Benefit (10 points)
    • Examples of economic benefit of the project to local community, regional economy

Direct any questions to Maggie Kasperski at mkasperski AT aashto.org or 202-624-3659.

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