Colorado wins five awards in the ENR’s Mountain States competition


The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) received five awards from the 2016 Engineering News-Records (ENR) Mountain States Best Project competition for various transportation projects.

Known as the ‘bible of the construction industry’, ENR’s Best Project awards are judged based on design and construction quality, contribution to the community and the industry, and how a project overcame unusual challenges through teamwork and collaboration. The Mountain States region includes Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The Mountain States projects will be eligible for ENR’s Best of the Best Awards, a national competition among the best in category winners of all nine ENR award regions.

Awards that CDOT received were:

• Best Highway/Bridge Project: Twin Tunnels Expansion Program, a US$106m project that added an eastbound lane and provides for future westbound capacity and mobility improvements, with added infrastructure that will enable managed lane operations in the future. The project finished on schedule and US$3.5m under the final contract budget;

• Award of Merit Highway/Bridge: CDOT US 6 Bridges Design-Build, a US$98m project along US 6 that replaced six obsolete bridges between Knox Court and I-25, and eliminated weaving movements between Federal Boulevard and I-25 to improve travel times and safety;

• Award of Merit Highway/Bridge: US 36 Express Lanes, a US$306m project along US 36 from Federal Boulevard to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder that built an express lane in each direction, in addition to the two free general-purpose lanes. The Express Lanes accommodate high occupancy vehicles (HOV), bus rapid transit (BRT), and the project also replaced several bridges, built a commuter bikeway, and installed intelligent transportation systems for tolling, transit and traveler information, and incident management;

• Best Project: SH 133 Paonia Reservoir Rockfall Mitigation, a US$2.73m project (above) that was designed to reduce the risk of rockfall in an area known for daily incidents, as well as provide measures to capture some material in the event of a rockfall;

• Best Project and Excellence in Safety Award of Merit: Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels Fixed Fire-Suppression System (FFSS); a US$20m scheme, which is the country’s first design-build project developed to help protect the traveling public, as well as the entire tunnel itself, which is a critical asset to the I-70 highway system, in the event of a fire. Major project elements included a water-only deluge fire suppression system capable of suppressing a large fire (up to 35MW) in the first two minutes of the event, a system capable of providing water for 60 minutes with two deluge sprinkler zones as well as 500 gal/min from the existing standpipe system, a new drainage system, and a fiber optic linear heat detection system.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for several different projects that work to improve the safety of motorists in Colorado,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT’s executive director. “CDOT thanks all those who teamed up with us to deliver the best transportation solutions that promote efficiency and excellence.”

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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).