BOSTON – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced that the Connecticut Department of Transportation has earned the Grand Prize and the Florida Department of Transportation was voted the People’s Choice Award winner in the 2016 America’s Transportation Awards competition.
Now in its ninth year, the competition attracted a record 84 project nominees from 39 state transportation departments plus the District of Columbia that competed in four regional competitions. The 12 projects receiving the highest ratings in the regional competitions competed for the final two awards. A panel of experts selected the Grand Prize winner and the project receiving the highest number of online votes earned the People’s Choice Award.
“This year’s Grand Prize winner, the new Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge—is another perfect example of what this competition is about,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. “This spectacular new addition to New Haven’s skyline is one of the largest projects in the Connecticut DOT’s history. And it was delivered ahead of schedule and on budget, improving safety, relieving congestion and enhancing travel options for tens of thousands of daily commuters.”
The $554 million, Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge spans 42-hundred feet over the Quinnipiac River, connecting 140,000 vehicles daily to several major Interstates and the Gateway Terminal; one of the busiest intermodal ports in the country.
“America’s Transportation Awards continues to showcase how state and local transportation agencies are using innovative approaches to tackle a broad range of transportation projects,” stated Jill Ingrassia, managing director of government relations and traffic safety advocacy at AAA. “Whether it’s repairing or replacing existing infrastructure, or implementing HOV lanes, this is important work that will help to reduce congestion, improve safety, and increase efficiency.”
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Eller Drive Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Overpass project earned 65,000 of the more than 220,000 online votes cast, making it the winner of the People’s Choice Award. This $42.5 million project improved safety and traffic flow to the Port Everglades cruise and container terminals through upgraded intersections, a new bridge, railroad crossing signals, and other major improvements.
“It is important to recognize the innovative and resourceful transportation infrastructure projects being done across the country,” said Ed Mortimer, executive director of transportation infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Our organization is a co-sponsor of this annual competition because it demonstrates how these award winning transportation projects are the foundation for America’s economy.”
The Grand Prize and People’s Choice award winners were each presented with $10,000 cash prizes to be used to support a charity or transportation-related scholarship program of the agencies’ choosing.