The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has announced the 12 projects that are now competing for the national Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award, in the 2017 America’s Transportation Awards.
Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and now in its 10th year, the competition judges projects in three categories and sizes: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology & Innovation; and new this year, Operations Excellence.
The projects are also divided into three sizes: small projects (less than US$25m); medium (US$25-200m); and large (more than US$200m). The Grand Prize will be determined by an independent panel of transportation industry experts and the People’s Choice Award will be selected through online voting by the general public. This year, online votes will be weighted to each state’s population, allowing for greater competition between states with larger and smaller populations. Online voting is open until September 21, and the winners will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Phoenix on September 27.
The three highest scoring projects in four regional contests became the competition’s Top 12 and are now competing for the main prizes, which both come with US$10,000 for a charity or transportation-related scholarship. The Top 12 projects are:
Best Use of Technology & Innovation
Idaho Transportation Department’s US 20 Thornton Interchange (Small);
Arkansas Department of Transportation’s Broadway Bridge over Arkansas River (Medium);
Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s All Electronic Tolling Project (Medium) [above];
Colorado Department of Transportation’s US 36 Express Lanes (Large);
Quality of Life/Community Development
Maine Department of Transportation’s Ogunquit Route 1 (Small);
Montana Department of Transportation’s Kalispell Bypass-US 93 Alternate Route (Medium);
Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Reconstruction of the I-95/I-91/Route 34 Interchange (Large);
Indiana Department of Transportation’s Ohio River Bridges-East End Crossing (Large);
Operations Excellence –
Iowa Department of Transportation’s Council Bluffs Interstate System Rail Relocation (Small);
Virginia Department of Transportation’s I-66 Active Traffic Management System (Medium);
Kansas Department of Transportation’s Johnson County Gateway Project (Large); and
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Ohio River Bridges: Downtown Crossing (Large) [top];
“We’re excited about the high level of participation in this year’s competition,” said AASHTO’s executive director, Bud Wright. “Transportation departments submitted a record 92 project nominations. Not every nominee takes home a prize, but the programs and projects being implemented and constructed across the country, such as roads, bridges, bike and pedestrian trails, are making communities safer, healthier and more prosperous, so the big winners are the American people.”