Five states win in America’s Transportation Awards western region contest


State department of transportation (DOT) projects that restored essential highways following devastating landslides and improved safety for motorists and wildlife are among the winners in the western regional America’s Transportation Awards competition.

Celebrating its 10th year, the competition attracted 30 project nominations from 12 western states, with eight projects from five of those states receiving top awards. Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the US Chamber of Commerce, the competition recognizes transportation projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology and Innovation; and new this year, Operations Excellence.

Winners in the three remaining regions will be announced throughout the summer, and the three highest-scoring projects from each region will advance to the national ‘Top 12’ competition. Those 12 projects will compete for the two top awards: the Grand Prize, determined by a panel of judges; and the People’s Choice Award, selected by the general public through online voting. The winners of the top two awards will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Phoenix in September, and they also get a donation to a chosen charity or scholarship program.

Two state DOTs took home awards in the Quality of Life/Community Development category. Nevada DOT won in the small category (projects that cost under US$25m) for its Cave Rock Tunnel Extension and Stormwater Enhancements project (bottom). The winner in the medium category (US$25-200m) was Montana DOT’s Kalispell Bypass-US 93 Alternate Route project (top).

Two state DOTs won in the Best Use of Technology and Innovation category. Idaho Transportation Department won in the small category for its US 20 Thornton Interchange project. Colorado DOT’s SH 9 Colorado River South Wildlife and Safety project (above) won in the medium category and the agency’s US 36 Express Lanes project (second from top) won in the large category (US$200m+).

Three state DOTs took Operations Excellence awards: Idaho’s Elk City Slide Cleanup (small) [below]; Colorado’s I-70 Mountain Express Lane project (medium); and Texas DOT’s SH 99/Grand Parkway Segments F&G project (large).

“Every project nominated in this competition represents the hard work and dedication of state DOTs across the country to meet the transportation needs of the communities we serve,” said David Bernhardt, AASHTO president and commissioner of the Maine DOT.

“For 10 consecutive years, the America’s Transportation Awards have given state DOTs the recognition they deserve for providing the essential connections that keep people, goods, and our economy moving forward.”

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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).