Cleveland — State department of transportation projects that swiftly addressed a spike in wrong-way driving fatalities and that used safety improvements to encourage pedestrian and bicycle travel were winners in the southern regional America’s Transportation Awards competition.
Now in its 10th year, the competition attracted 21 project nominations from 10 southern states. Six of those states received awards for eight winning projects at the Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Annual Meeting in Norfolk, Va.
“Every project nominated in this competition represents the hard work and dedication of state DOTs across the country to meet the transportation needs of the communities we serve,” said David Bernhardt, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. “For 10 consecutive years, the America’s Transportation Awards have given state DOTs the recognition they deserve for providing the essential connections that keep people, goods, and our economy moving forward.”
Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the competition recognizes transportation projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology and Innovation and new this year, Operations Excellence. Winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges from within the transportation industry.
Virginia DOT won in the small project group (projects costing under $25 million) for its Route 50 Traffic Calming project through Middleburg. The winner in the medium project group (projects costing between $25 million and $200 million) was South Carolina DOT’s Broad River Road Bridge project.
In the Best Use of Technology and Innovation category, three winners were named. Florida DOT won in the small project group for its Wrong-Way Driving Mitigation Initiative. Arkansas DOT won in the medium project group for the Broadway Bridge over Arkansas River project. And Georgia DOT’s I-75 South Metro Reversible Express Lanes project won in the large project group (projects costing more than $200 million).
Three state DOTs won awards in the Operations Excellence category. South Carolina DOT’s Lexington Roundabout project won in the small project group while Virginia DOT’s I-66 Active Traffic Management System won in the medium project group. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Ohio River Bridges: Downtown Crossing project won in the large project group.
This is the fourth and final regional competition. The three highest-scoring projects from each region have advanced into the “Top 12.” The Top 12 projects will now compete for the Grand Prize, determined by an independent panel of expert judges and the People’s Choice Award, selected by the general public. Online voting for the People’s Choice Award begins Aug. 21. The two top prizes come with a $10,000 check, to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing. The winners will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Phoenix, September 27.
Learn more about the competition and vote online at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org.