WASHINGTON—Six state department of transportation projects in Maine, New York State, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland won regional awards in the 2022 America’s Transportation Awards competition. The contest honored 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. “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 Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO) region, seven states and the District of Columbia nominated eighteen projects for this year’s competition. As a result, the following six projects won 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)
AASHTO Transportation TV showcases this year’s NASTO 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.