The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the US Chamber of Commerce have announced the 12 finalists in the 2016 America’s Transportation Awards competition, with voting already underway for the People’s Choice Award.
Now in its ninth year, the America’s Transportation Awards recognizes the best transportation projects in three categories and sizes: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Innovation; and Under Budget. The projects are grouped into three sizes: small for projects costing less than US$25m; medium for those between US$26m and US$199m; and large for those costing US$200m or more.
A total of 40 state DOTs participated in this year’s competition, submitting a record-high 84 award nominations, with the finalists selected during four regional competitions. The public will decide through online voting which of the projects will receive the People’s Choice Award, and a panel of experts will select the Grand Prize winner. The awards will be presented on November 14 at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
The finalists are:
Best use of Innovation category
South Dakota DOT (small project group) The Jackson Boulevard Phase II project that reconstructed a section of Highway 44 in Rapid City;
Colorado DOT (medium project) I-70 Mountain Express Lane project (below);
Tennessee DOT (medium project) The ‘Fast Fix 8’ project replaced eight bridges on Interstate 40 in downtown Nashville on an accelerated basis, with work completed seven months ahead of schedule;
Connecticut DOT (large project) [top] The project replaced the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven;
Texas DOT (large project) Lyndon B Johnson Expressway project north of Dallas (below), a five-year reconstruction of I-635 that added express toll lanes underneath the regular lanes.
Under Budget Category
North Dakota DOT (small project) This project rehabilitated the Sorlie Bridge that connects the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Minnesota;
Colorado DOT (medium project) This project replaced six obsolete bridges along US 6 in Denver;
Idaho DOT (large project) Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle Program, which accelerated the construction of several transportation projects across the state.
Quality of Life /Community Development category
Idaho DOT (small project) This project improved travel conditions and access connecting Bannock Highway to South 5th Avenue, south of Pocatello;
Florida DOT (medium project) This project replaced a bridge on Eller Drive over railroad tracks at Port Everglades in Broward County;
Oregon DOT (medium project) Woodburn Interchange and Transit Facility Project on Interstate 5 in Woodburn;
Washington State DOT (large project) This project replaced a bridge and added high occupancy vehicle lanes on Route 520 across Lake Washington, east of Seattle.
“From a record 84 nominated projects last spring, we’re down to 12 finalists competing to be called the very best transportation project in America,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO’s executive director. “This competition shows the excellence in project delivery we see, year after year across the country, and it demonstrates why the real winners are the American people. These multimodal projects are reducing congestion, improving safety, and stimulating economic growth.”