12 Road Projects Named Finalists for America’s Transportation Awards

Brent Spence Bridge emergency repair
Two trucks crashed and caused an explosion and flames on the lower portion of the Brent Spence Bridge in Covington, Kentucky, on November 11. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet moved quickly to restore the span that carries 160,000 vehicles a day into Cincinnati.
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

After months of regional competitions, 12 road construction projects have been chosen as finalists for America’s Transportation Awards.

The awards, sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, include projects in Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Utah. Along with AASHTO, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AAA sponsor the awards program.

“This competition recognizes just a few examples that highlight the ways in which state DOTs are improving quality of life and economic vitality of our communities, saving time and money through new innovations and technologies, and making better use of assets already in place,” says Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director.

The grand prize and People’s Choice winners will be announced October 26. Each winner receives $10,000 cash to donate to the charity of its choice. The competition evaluates projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology & Innovation; and Operations Excellence.

Finalists are also categorized by project size: small (projects costing up to $25 million); medium (projects costing between $26 million to $200 million); and large (projects costing more than $200 million).

Here are the 12 finalists:

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet – Brent Spence Bridge Emergency Repair Project (Operations Excellence, Small project group) (Photo above.)

I-40 bridge project award Arizona DOTSafety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians was improved with the $13.9 million widening of the Fourth Street Bridge over Interstate 40 in Flagstaff, Arizona.Arizona Department of TransportationArizona DOT – Fourth Street Bridge over Interstate 40 (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium project group)

Margaret Rose Henry Bridge DelawareThe Delaware Department of Transportation alleviated traffic congestion and created more transportation options for a Wilmington community by constructing the $82 million Senator Margaret Rose Henry Bridge.Delaware DOTDelaware DOT – Margaret Rose Henry Bridge and Approach Roads (Operations Excellence, Medium project group)

Florida Gateway to Keys project wins awardThe Florida DOT deployed a SMART Work Zone System that included a temporary traffic signal, three closed circuit cameras and nine Bluetooth devices on its project to improve the Cow Key Bridge.Florida Department of TransportationFlorida DOT – Leveraging Innovation: How FDOT Transformed the Gateway to Florida Keys (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Small project group)

Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge Indiana DOTThe Indiana Department of Transportation opened the Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge on June 15, 2020, in Martinsville. Replacing a section of four-lane State Road 37, the bridge gives drivers and pedestrians a safe connection to neighborhoods, schools and businesses.Indiana Department of TransportationIndiana DOT – Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small project group)

Turner Diagonal interchange Kansas CityOriginally designed as a toll road in the 1960s but toll booths were never installed, the Turner Diagonal Interchange in Kansas City had three miles of obsolete and hazardous ramps. The Kansas Department of Transportation's $30.3 million project increased safety and economic development.Kansas DOTKansas DOT – Turner Diagonal: Partnering for Growth (Operations Excellence, Medium project group)

New Jersey road shoulder installation Route 1The $25 million Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running Project overseen by the New Jersey Department of Transportation improved safety, increased emergency access, increased capacity and travel reliability, and cut commute times by up to 50 percent.New Jersey DOTNew Jersey DOT – Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running Project (Operations Excellence, Small project group)

NCDOT Salem Parkway project wins awardThe $101.6 million Salem Parkway improvement project in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The project included 10 bridge replacements, two new pedestrian bridges, a walking and biking path and extended sidewalks.NCDOTNorth Carolina DOT – Reconstruction of Salem Parkway (U.S. 421/I-40 Business) (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium project group)

Oregon snow safety project I-84 awardOregon Department of Transportation developed a $15.6 million automated system that posts real-time weather, traffic flow and surface condition readings on digital billboards on Interstate 84 in northeastern Oregon.Oregon DOTOregon DOT – I-84 Snow Zone Safety Improvement Project (Operations Excellence, Small project group)

Ohiopyle park road project Pennsylvania awardTo improve accessibility and safety for motorists, bicyclists, boaters and pedestrians along SR 381, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation launched a $12.8 million multimodal gateway project at Ohiopyle State Park.PennDOTPennsylvania DOT – Ohiopyle Multimodal Gateway (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small project group)

SCDOT rural road project wins awardThis stretch of scenic S.C. 61 in the Charleston area underwent a $4.4 million improvement project to add new lanes and widen shoulders while reducing the number of trees cut.SCDOTSouth Carolina DOT – C. 61 Phase 1 (Rural Road Safety Program) (Operations Excellence, Small project group)

I-15 reconstruction Lehi UtahThe Utah Department of Transportation completed a $415 million project that widened I-15 to six lanes in each direction, reconfigured two interchanges, replaced 15 bridges, built a new bridge, and created a new flyover ramp to address traffic congestion in rapidly growing Lehi.Utah Department of TransportationUtah DOT – I-15; Lehi Main to S.R. 92, Technology Corridor (Quality of Life/Community Development, Large project group)

An independent panel of transportation experts will choose the Grand Prize winner, while the public will select the People’s Choice Award winner through online voting weighted to each state’s population, AASHTO says.

The online voting ends at 11:59 p.m. October 25. Votes can be cast at AmericasTransportationAwards.org.

AASHTO will announce the winners during its Annual Meeting October 26-29 in San Diego.