After four regional competitions, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has revealed the top 12 USA transportation projects that have made it to the final phase of the 11th annual America’s Transportation Awards.
In April, 35 state departments of transportation (DOTs) nominated 79 projects for consideration in the national competition sponsored by AASHTO, public-sector software developer Socrata, AAA, and the US Chamber of Commerce. The three highest-scoring projects in four regional contests became the competition’s Top 12 and now compete for the national Grand Prize and the Socrata People’s Choice Award, both of which come with US$10,000 for a charity or transportation-related scholarship of the winners’ choosing.
The competition evaluates projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology & Innovation, and Operations Excellence. The projects are also divided into three sizes: small projects (less than US$25m); medium projects (US$25-200m); and large projects (more than US$200m). 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 general public, with votes 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 Atlanta on September 23.
The Top 12 projects are:
Best Use of Technology & Innovation – California DOT’s Highway 1/Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Replacement (Small category); South Dakota DOT’s High Friction Surface Treatment (Small); Pennsylvania DOT’s Pennsylvania Statewide Demand-Response Transit Scheduling Software Implementation (Small); South Carolina DOT’s York Street Bridge Replacement (Small); Florida DOT’s I-75 (SR 93) at University Parkway-Diverging Diamond Interchange (Medium); Illinois DOT’s Interstate 55 and Lake Shore Drive Interchange (Medium) Quality of Life/Community Development – Georgia DOT’s Georgia 400 Trail (Path400) (Small) Missouri DOT’s Route 65: The Rebuild (Small); New Hampshire DOT’s NH Route 125 Reconstruction, Contract G (Small); Utah DOT’s Cottonwood Canyons Public Private Partnership Fiber Deployment (Small); Maryland DOT’s Upgrade of MD 404 (Shore Highway) Improving Safety (Medium); Operations Excellence – Michigan DOT’s US-23 Flex Route (Medium).
“The quality of projects in this year’s competition was truly incredible,” said AASHTO’s executive director, Bud Wright. “We’re also seeing greater variety in the kinds of projects nominated, something we’re very excited about. State departments of transportation are finishing projects every day that improve their communities, whether they be a major highway reconstruction or the creation of a bike and pedestrian pathway. These projects in the Top 12 are just a fraction of the tremendous projects delivered by state DOTs, but they represent the best of the best.”