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Washington, D.C. — State department of transportation projects that revolutionized the way tolls are collected across the state; using high-tech tools like Bluetooth sensors to make work zones safer; and improved pedestrian access to heavily traveled corridors are among the 12 finalists announced in the 2017 America’s Transportation Awards competition, sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The three highest scoring projects in four regional contests became the competition’s Top 12 and are now competing for the national Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award, both of which come with a $10,000 check for a charity or transportation-related scholarship of the winners’ choosing.

“We’re excited about the high level of participation in this year’s competition,” said AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright. “Transportation departments in the District of Columbia and 38 states submitted a record 92 project nominations. Not every nominee takes home a prize but the programs and projects being implemented and constructed across the country such as roads, bridges, bike and pedestrian trails are making communities safer, healthier and more prosperous, so the big winners are the American people.”

Now in its 10th year, the competition judges projects in three categories and sizes: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology & Innovation, and new this year, Operations Excellence. The projects are also divided into three sizes: small projects (less than $25 million); medium projects ($25 million to $200 million); and, large projects (more than $200 million).

The Grand Prize will be determined by an independent panel of transportation industry experts. The People’s Choice Award will be selected through online voting by the public. This year, online votes will be weighted to each state’s population, allowing for greater competition between states with larger and smaller populations. The winners will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Online voting begans on Aug. 21, and continues through midnight eastern time on Thursday, Sept. 21, at http://AmericasTransportationAwards.org. Individuals can vote once a day.

The Top 12 projects in alphabetical order by state are:

  • Arkansas Department of Transportation’s Broadway Bridge over Arkansas River (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium category)
  • Colorado Department of Transportation’s US 36 Express Lanes (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Large category)
  • Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Reconstruction of the I-95/I-91/Route 34 Interchange (Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category)
  • Idaho Transportation Department’s U.S. 20 Thornton Interchange (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Small category)
  • Indiana Department of Transportation’s Ohio River Bridges—East End Crossing (Quality of Life/Community Development, Large category)
  • Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluffs Interstate System Rail Relocation (Operations Excellence, Small category)
  • Kansas Department of Transportation’s Johnson County Gateway Project (Operations Excellence, Large category)
  • Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Ohio River Bridges: Downtown Crossing (Operations Excellence, Large category)
  • Maine Department of Transportation’s Ogunquit Route 1 (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small category)
  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s All Electronic Tolling Project (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium category)
  • Montana Department of Transportation’s Kalispell Bypass-U.S. 93 Alternate Route (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category)
  • Virginia Department of Transportation’s I-66 Active Traffic Management System (Operations Excellence, Medium category)

Learn more about the America’s Transportation Awards and vote for your favorite Top 12 projects at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org.

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