Portsmouth, N.H. — State transportation department projects that are improving safety on all travel modes, expanding mobility for communities, reducing congestion on roadways, and providing additional transportation options, all while saving taxpayer dollars, were named recipients of top honors in the northeast regional America's Transportation Awards competition at the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials 2014 conference.
"The America's Transportation Awards competition showcases the outstanding, innovative and diverse range of transportation projects that are improving travel and the quality of life in America, even during a time of funding uncertainty," said Mike Hancock, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials president and secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. "We hope these awards not only give state DOTs recognition for their hard work and incredible results, but also highlight the need for stability as the Federal Highway Trust Fund continues its decline toward critical levels. These projects reflect a commitment to the nation's future and the need for continued investment in the transportation systems all of us depend on."
Now in its seventh 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 categories: Under Budget, Best Use of Innovation, and Quality of Life/Community Development, a newly created category which honors projects that better connect and contribute to the general quality of life and economic development of communities. It is a record-breaking year for the America's Transportation Awards, as more state DOT members than ever are participating (37 in total), entering more projects than ever before (73).
Fifteen transportation projects from seven northeastern states and the District of Columbia were nominated in those categories.
Three states were named winners in the Quality of Life/Community Development category: Maine Department of Transportation's Naples Bay Bridge and Causeway Project earned an award in the small project category (less than $25 million); New Hampshire Department of Transportation's Memorial Bridge Project took home top honors in the medium project category ($26 million-$199 million); and the District Department of Transportation's 11th Street Bridge Replacement Project – Phase I won in the large project category ($200 million and up).
Two states received awards in the Under Budget category: Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Bay Street Bridge, Morey's Dam and Fish Passage (small project) and Rhode Island Department of Transportation's Pawtucket Bridge Replacement Project (medium project).
In the Best Use of Innovation category, two winners were named: New York State Department of Transportation's I-84 Bridges over Dingle Ridge Road Replacement Project (small project) and District Department of Transportation's New York Avenue Bridge over Rail Tracks Rehabilitation Project (medium project).
The winners in the three remaining regions will be announced at their regional meetings, held throughout the summer. The 10 projects with the highest overall scores will compete for the National Grand Prize and People's Choice Award. The Grand Prize winner is selected by a panel of transportation experts. The People's Choice Award is presented to the transportation project that receives the most online votes from the public. The America's Transportation Awards Top 10 will be announced on Sept. 4, when the online voting will also begin. The winners of both national awards will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Charlotte, N.C., in November, where each winning state DOT will receive a $10,000 check to be given to a transportation-related charity or scholarship program of their choice.
Learn more about all of the nominated projects and the competition at AmericasTransportationAwards.org.