ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Transportation projects that created economic opportunity with gateways to commerce, helped drivers get to their destinations faster with all-electronic tolling on an expressway, and greatly improved safety in a high-risk interchange through innovative project design were among the recipients of top honors in the southeastern regional America’s Transportation Awards competition.
“State entries into the America’s Transportation Awards this year were among the best we’ve seen for projects that have impacted the traveling public in a variety of positive ways,” said Mike Lewis, AASHTO president and director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. “The America’s Transportation Awards competition shows how state DOTs deliver quality projects with limited transportation dollars and resources. Through this competition we are able to honor these projects for excellent stewardship of our tax dollars and for the outstanding display of innovation they demonstrate.”
Now in its sixth year, the America’s Transportation Awards competition – sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – recognizes the very best of America’s transportation projects in three main categories: Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget, and Best Use of Innovation.
Seven transportation projects from six southeastern states were nominated in those categories.
Two states took home awards in the Ahead of Schedule category. Georgia Department of Transportation won in the small category (projects that cost less than $25 million) for its I-285 & Ashford Dunwoody Divergent Diamond Interchange project. Mississippi Department of Transportation was awarded with the win in the medium category (projects costing between $25 million and $200 million) for its State Route 9-Mississippi’s Road to Toyota project.
The Best Use of Innovation category included three winners: Tennessee Department of Transportation for its I-24 Bridges Rehabilitation project (small category); Florida Department of Transportation for its Dixie Highway Flyover project (medium category); and North Carolina Department of Transportation for Triangle Expressway project (large category, which contains projects costing more than $200 million).
With the announcement of the southeastern awards, winners have been named in all four regional competitions. Next week, the 10 projects with the highest overall scores will be named and compete for the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award. The Grand Prize winner is determined by a panel of transportation experts. The People’s Choice Award goes to the transportation project that receives the most online votes from the public. Online voting begins Sept. 4. The winners of both awards will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Denver in October.