America’s ten best transportation projects unveiled

America's ten best transportation projects unveiledStates vie for “People’s Choice” and National Grand Prize

Ten states are in the running to be called “best of the best” in transportation. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the Top 10 finalists in the 2010 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

The Top 10 projects scored the highest number of overall points during four regional contests. A total of 43 projects from 29 states were judged in four categories: “Best Recovery Act,” “On Time,” “Under Budget,” and “Innovative Management.”

The Top 10 winners will compete for America’s Transportation Awards’ Grand Prize – to be selected by a panel of judges – and the People’s Choice Award, which will be decided by popular vote. Online voting is underway and will continue through October 18, 2010 at

The two remaining awards will be presented October 31, at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi.

“These projects are making travel smoother, safer, and less congested for millions of motorists every day,” said John Horsley, AASHTO executive director. “We know that taxpayers understand the value of quality transportation and this contest shows how wisely and how well states are investing their limited resources.”

Top 10 finalists by region:

Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officials winners

1) Under Budget/Large Project
Missouri Department of Transportation
The I-64 St. Louis Project involved limited funds, an expedited construction schedule, and a coordinated public outreach campaign to allay public concern and minimize the potential impact on motorists. In December 2009, I-64 reopened to traffic nearly one month early and $11 million under budget.

2) On Time/Small Project
Iowa Department of Transportation
The 24th Street Council Bluffs Project employed innovative design, creative contracting, and accelerated construction techniques which allowed the bridge to be replaced while keeping the busy interchange open. Well-planned construction staging and intelligent transportation systems ensured that traffic capacity was maintained throughout the process, minimizing the effects on the surrounding community and businesses.

3) On Time/Medium Project
Kansas Department of Transportation
The Wichita Central Corridor Project was a $105 million project which involved the raising of two miles of railroad track and providing five new bridges to carry trains over the arterial streets below. Vehicles can now pass freely below the tracks, improving safety and reducing vehicle emissions, traffic congestion, and crashes.

Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials winners

1) Best Recovery Act Project/Small Project
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
The Spring Road Bridge Replacement Project in Central Pennsylvania replaced a deteriorating 188-foot steel plate bridge, originally constructed in 1930.

2) Innovative Management/Small Project
New York State Department of Transportation
The US Route 62 Hamburg Project addressed severe safety, capacity, and infrastructure deficiencies. After just six months of operation, accidents have dramatically reduced in the project corridor and congestion has been minimized.

Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials winners

1) Best Recovery Act Project/Medium Project
Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
The Arkansas DOT’s Recovery Act Rehabilitation Project improved 170 miles of roadways at 52 locations statewide.

2) Under Budget/Medium Project
Mississippi Department of Transportation
The Laurel S-Curve Reconstruction Project reconstructed and realigned an elevated segment of I-59 through Laurel, Mississippi, eliminating a notorious S-shaped curve which had one of the highest vehicle crash rates in the state.

Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials winners

1) On Time/Medium Project
New Mexico Department of Transportation
The San Mateo Interchange Project in central New Mexico involved the replacement of two interchanges and the resurfacing and widening of 1.4 miles of interstate. Construction time was slashed from 540 to 390 calendar days. With this, the I-40 widening and San Mateo Interchange was completed ahead of time, saving the community a year of inconvenience, over $140 million in road user costs, and $2 million to $5 million in traffic control costs.

2) On Time/Large Project
Nevada Department of Transportation
The I-15 Las Vegas Design Build project was the first such project in the state’s history. Completed 20 months early, the project located north of the Las Vegas Strip added four interchanges, along with bridge structures, lighting, landscaping, sound walls, and intelligent transportation systems.

3) Innovative Management/Small Project
Washington State Department of Transportation
The Nile Valley Landslide Prevention Project used innovative management to respond to a massive landslide that destroyed a half-mile of State Route 410 in October 11, 2009. The project involved re-channeling a river away from the landslide, monitoring for additional landslides, and the design and construction of a 4,000-foot detour road that could withstand anticipated winter floods. WSDOT and an emergency contractor worked 14 hours a day, seven days a week to construct a new river channel and detour.

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