The Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) has recognized five state departments of transportation (DOTs) as regional winners for the America’s Transportation Awards.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the AAA motor club and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sponsor the program, which honors the best transportation projects in the categories of Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Innovation and Under Budget. Projects are grouped by small (costing less than $25 million), medium (between $26 million and $199 million) and large (more than $200 million. The program is in its ninth year.
SASHTO is the last of the regional competitions to name its winners, following the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials, Western Association of Highway Transportation Officials and Mid America Association of Transportation Officials.
The top 10 projects from all regions with the highest overall scores will be entered into the National Grand Prize, and the People’s Choice Award will be selected by the most online public votes beginning September 7. Finalists will be announced at the end of September and the online voting will be available October 1-30. These winners will be announced at the American Association of Highway Transportation Officials annual meeting on November 14.
Each national award winner will receive $10,000 for donation to a charity or scholarship program.
“We are building and maintaining a transportation system that enhances quality of life and helps develop communities to strengthen our economy and boost our nation’s ability to remain competitive,” says Paul Trombino, AASHTO’s president and director of the Iowa DOT. “These awards highlight our members’ efforts and showcase best practices that are benefiting communities every single day.”
Forty state DOTs participated and submitted 84 award nominations for all of the regional competitions. For the SASHTO competition, eight state DOTS nominated 16 projects.
SASHTO winners include:
Quality of Life/Community Development
- The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet won the large-project group with a new bridge over the Ohio River that increased traffic flow and improved access between Louisville and southern Indiana. The $220 million Abraham Lincoln Bridge over the Ohio River is expected to have an $87 billion economic impact and support 15,000 new jobs over the next 30 years.
- The Florida DOT earned the other two awards in this category for multimodal projects that improved safety and the movement of freight and pedestrians. Florida’s medium-group award was for a new bridge on Eller Drive over railroad tracks at Port Everglades in Broward County, and its small-group award was for pedestrian access improvements along the US 92 commercial corridor in Daytona Beach.
Best Use of Innovation
- The Georgia DOT won in the small-project group for reconstruction of its Broad Avenue Memorial Bridge in Albany.
- The Tennessee DOT won with a medium-sized project called “Fast Fix 8” that replaced eight bridges on Interstate 40 in downtown Nashville on an accelerated basis. The work was completed seven months ahead of schedule.
- The Georgia DOT won with a small project to rebuild a bridge on Brown Avenue in Columbus.
- The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department received the medium-project award for a five-mile widening of Highway 167 that ran through Ivan in Dallas County and extended into adjacent Cleveland County.