BALTIMORE - Projects that improved safety for drivers and pedestrians, eliminated major traffic snarls, and helped communities rebuild and recover from natural disasters were all recipients of top honors in the regional America's Transportation Awards competition.
"Each of the nominated projects is deserving of an award," said Kirk Steudle, AASHTO president and director of the Michigan Department of Transportation. "The America's Transportation Award competition is a great way to highlight those tremendous transportation projects that show just how our state transportation departments are delivering value for those limited transportation dollars. We are proud of the quality of these projects and believe they deserve some attention for their creativity, innovation, and stellar management."
Now in its fifth 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.
Eleven transportation projects from seven northeastern states were nominated in those categories.
Three states earned awards in the Ahead of Schedule category: Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Wellesley Heavy Lift Rapid Bridge Replacement (small project); New Jersey Department of Transportation's I-78 and Garden State Parkway Interchange 142 (medium project); and the Vermont Agency of Transportation's Tropical Storm Irene Recovery (large project).
Maryland State Highway Administration's US 13 Drainage Improvement Project earned the Under Budget award.
In the Best Use of Innovation category, three states took home honors: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's ePermitting Project (small project); Massachusetts Department of Transportation's 93 Fast 14 (medium project); and Maryland State Highway Administration's Intercounty Connector (large project).
Winners in the other regions will be announced at their own regional meetings, held throughout the summer. Once all regional winners are announced, the 10 projects with the highest total judge votes will compete for the Grand Prize and People's Choice Award. The Grand Prize is awarded to the state DOT project receiving the greatest number of points in judging by a panel of experts. The People's Choice Award is presented to the transportation project that receives the most online votes. Online voting begins Sept. 5. The winners of both awards will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh in November.
Learn more about the projects and the competition at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.