Projects that restored major roadways in just weeks after extreme flooding, tackled crash-plagued intersections to make citizens safer, and made deteriorating roadways both functional and beautiful were all recipients of top honors in the Mid America regional America's Transportation Awards competition.
"All of the projects entered into the competition deserve recognition for their creativity, innovation, and management," said Kirk Steudle, Michigan Department of Transportation director and president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). "The America's Transportation Awards competition is a great way to highlight tremendous transportation projects that demonstrate how state DOTs continue to deliver value with limited transportation dollars. Our state DOTs should be proud of the projects they complete to keep our communities safe, make our commutes easier, and become more efficient."
Now in its fifth year, the America's Transportation Awards competition – sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – recognizes the very best of America's transportation projects in three main categories: Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget, and Best Use of Innovation. The categories are then split up by size: small (less than $25 million), medium (between $25 million and $199 million), and large ($200 million or more). The winners in the Mid America region were announced at the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials 2012 Meeting.
Fourteen transportation projects from nine Mid America states were nominated. Four states earned awards in the Ahead of Schedule category:
- Missouri Department of Transportation's kcICON project (large project).
- Michigan Department of Transportation's I-75 Pinconning Project (medium project).
- Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's William H. Natcher Parkway Extension Project (medium project).
- Missouri Department of Transportation's I-270 Dorsett-Page Project took home the same award in the medium category.
- Iowa Department of Transportation's Interstate 680 Reconstruction project (small project).
- Michigan Department of Transportation's M-25 Bridge Replacement over the White River took home the Under Budget award in the small category.
In the Best Use of Innovation category, three states took home honors.
- Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's U.S. 68 Double Crossover Diamond Interchange and Iowa Department of Transportation's U.S. 6 Keg Creek Bridge ABC Project tied in the small project category.
- Department of Transportation won for its Interstate 55 Reconstruction Project (medium project).
Other nominees are:
- Minnesota Department of Transportation's Highway 169 Triangle Project.
- Minnesota Department of Transportation's Highway 61 Split Rock Rehabilitation Project.
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation's WIS 47 Project.
- Indiana Department of Transportation's INDOT Propane Vehicle Program.
- Kansas Department of Transportation's I-135/47th Street Improvement Project.
Winners in the other regions will continue to be announced at their own regional meetings, held throughout the summer. Once all regional winners are announced, the 10 projects with the highest total judge votes will compete for the Grand Prize, awarded to the state DOT project receiving the greatest number of points in judging by a panel of experts, and People's Choice Award, presented to the transportation project that receives the most online votes. Online voting begins Sept. 5. The winners of both awards will be announced at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh in November.