WASHINGTON—Eight state department of transportation projects in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio won regional awards in the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards competition. The contest honored projects benefiting their respective communities in several ways, such as improving bike and pedestrian facilities and safety along the shores of Lake Superior, finding a way to keep necessary and lifesaving goods moving seamlessly during emergencies and disasters, and making all travelers safer through innovative signal technologies.
“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. “The America’s Transportation Awards program shows just how they’re doing that. 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.”
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.
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 $25 million and $200 million), and “Large” (projects costing more than $200 million).
In the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) region, eight states nominated 18 projects for this year’s competition. The following eight projects took home top regional honors in the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards contest:
- Minnesota Department of Transportation — Trunk Highway 61 Grand Marais Reconstruction (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small category)
- Michigan Department of Transportation — I-75 Freeway and I-75/M-46 Interchange Design-Build Project (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category—TIE)
- Ohio Department of Transportation — Opportunity Corridor Section 3 (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category—TIE)
- Iowa Department of Transportation & Illinois Department of Transportation — The Memorial Bridge (Interstate 74 Mississippi River Crossing) (Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category)
- All MAASTO States (nominated by Iowa Department of Transportation) — Emergency Divisible Load Management (Operations Excellence, Small category)
- Ohio Department of Transportation — Dorr Street Interchange and Widening of I-475 (Operations Excellence, Medium category)
- Iowa Department of Transportation — Council Bluffs Interstate System Dual, Divided Freeway (Operations Excellence, Large category)
- Michigan Department of Transportation — Adaptive Signal Control Technologies in Traverse City (Best Use of Technology and Innovation, Small category)
AASHTO Transportation TV highlighted the 2022 MAASTO nominees and winners in this video.
The three highest-scoring projects from each regional competition earn a place on a “Top 12” list of projects that will compete for the national Grand Prize – selected by an independent panel of industry judges – and the People’s Choice Award, chosen by the public through online voting. In addition, those top national winners each receive $10,000 cash awards to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing. The 12 finalists will be announced and online voting for the People’s Choice Award will begin in September, after all regional winners have been announced. AASHTO will reveal the winners for the People’s Choice Award and the Grand Prize this October at its 2022 Annual Meeting in Orlando.