AASHTO recognizes transportation leaders for outstanding achievements


The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) presented awards during its annual meeting to Carlos Braceras, AASHTO president and Utah Department of Transportation executive director; former AASHTO executive director Bud Wright, and seven other individuals, teams, and programs for outstanding achievement in the field of transportation.

“These award recipients represent a wide range of backgrounds and expertise,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO current executive director. “But the one thing all these winners have in common is a commitment to bringing new ideas to life in the transportation field through hard work, ingenuity, and perseverance. These are true role models who exemplify what it means to dedicate yourself to public service.”

The awards and the honorees are as follows:

Carlos Braceras received the George S. Bartlett Award given jointly by AASHTO, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, and the Transportation Research Board in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to highway progress. Named Utah DOT executive director in 2013, Braceras began his career with the agency in 1986. He also served as deputy director of Utah DOT for 12 years as well as director of Utah DOT’s Region Three Office, chief geotechnical engineer, chief value engineer, a Legacy Parkway/I-15 North Project team member, and a roadway design engineer.  In addition to serving as AASHTO President, Braceras has also chaired the TRB

Executive Committee and the ITS America Board of Directors.

Tony Allen, state geotechnical engineer at the Washington State Department of Transportation, received the Thomas H. MacDonald Award. This honor recognizes a state transportation professional who has provided outstanding service over an extended period or has made an exceptional contribution to the art and science of highway engineering. Allen has served as WSDOT’s state geotechnical engineer for 28 of the 38 years he has spent at the agency’s geotechnical office.

Tim Keller, state bridge engineer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, received the Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding contribution in highway engineering or management. Keller provides training, expert guidance, and technical assistance to each of Ohio DOT’s 12 districts.

The Ohio DOT’s first distracted driving safety corridor received the Francis B. Francois Award for Innovation. Ohio DOT collaborated with the Ohio State Highway Patrol to create the state’s first distracted driving safety corridor to reduce distracted driving-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities on one of the busiest interstates in Ohio.

Bud Wright

Frederick ‘Bud’ Wright, transportation policy consultant and former executive director of AASHTO from 2013-2019, received the President’s Special Award of Merit. Established in 1979, this award recognizes outstanding and exemplary contributions to the work of the Association. During his tenure at AASHTO, Wright oversaw the development of a new strategic plan and led the organization to overhaul its entire committee structure. Prior to joining AASHTO, Wright worked at the Federal Highway Administration for more than 30 years, including more than seven years as the FHWA executive director.

Several individuals and teams also took home President’s Transportation Awards, which are presented each year to recognize excellence in selected transportation fields. The 2021 winners are:

Administration: Utah DOT, Project Director, Tiffany Pocock

Environment: Idaho DOT, the Building Wildlife Sanctuaries Team

Highway Traffic Safety: Idaho Transportation Department, the I-84 Traffic Corridor Safety, Capacity, and Commerce Enhancement Team

Highways: Idaho Transportation Department, the Pennsylvania Avenue Overpass Team

Performance Excellence: Missouri DOT, Project Manager, Keith Killen

Planning: Texas DOT, the Dallas District I-30 Canyon Team

Research: Michigan DOT, Project Manager Michael Townley


Share this story:

About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).