FHWA announces 2015 Environmental Excellence Award recipients

Scenic highway

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has named 15 recipients of its 2015 Environmental Excellence Award, a program that recognizes “innovative efforts to preserve the environment while enhancing America’s highways.”

Winners will be recognized in July at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official’s conference on 21st Century Mobility and Passenger Transportation.

“Finding a better balance between the environment and America’s roadways is a key to creating jobs, scaling back our dependence on oil and reducing pollution,” said Gregory Nadeau, FHWA deputy administrator. “Through innovation technologies and other means, this year’s award recipients are shortening project delivery, reducing cost to taxpayers, and helping us make every day count.”

The winners include:

Excellence in Air Quality Improvement and Climate Change

Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

  • Strategic Assessment of Land Use and Transportation Plans for the Corvallis Area

“Through an impressive dedication to reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, the Oregon Department of Transportation and its partners developed a Regional Strategic Planning Model. The model will help ODOT evaluate whether metropolitan areas’ existing transportation plans and other trends achieve GHG emissions and air quality goals.”

Excellence in Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

Vermont Agency of Transportation

  • River Science Climate Resilience Strategy

“The Vermont Agency of Transportation’s River Science Climate Resiliency Strategy advances the state of the practice in climate change resilience by offering a multi-tier river science training curriculum to strengthen agencies’ understanding of river system dynamics and the impacts of transportation infrastructure on fluvial erosion.”

Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership

Barton and Loguidice, D.P.C.; CH2M HILL; New York State Department of Transportation

  • Syracuse Connective Corridor, Phase 1

“The Syracuse Connective Corridor, a complex, multi-phase traffic calming project in Syracuse, New York, relied on strong collaboration among many project partners to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, install green infrastructure features, and create a signature “Complete Street” for the city.”

Excellence in Context Sensitive Solutions

Texas Department of Transportation

  • Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas

“The Texas Department of Transportation showed significant commitment to implementing context sensitive solutions through a shared stakeholder vision in the construction of the Klyde Warren Park over the recessed Woodall Rodgers Freeway. The resulting park revitalized the urban area by connecting Uptown Dallas with the Dallas Arts District and downtown.”

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Excellence in Cultural and Historical Resources

Florida Department of Transportation, H.W. Lochner, Inc.

  • Project Development and Environment Services for US 41, 10th Street to 14th Street in Sarasota, Florida

“The Florida Department of Transportation, H.W. Lochner, Inc., and their partners emphasized the preservation of cultural and historical resources through an evaluation of the construction of roundabouts and bicycle lanes in Sarasota, Florida. By relocating and shifting access points to minimize impacts, the project improved connectivity while respecting the community’s historic landmarks.”

Excellence in Ecosystems, Habitat, and Wildlife

Georgia Department of Transportation

  • Longleaf Pine and Gopher Tortoise Habitat Restoration Project

“The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) applied innovative mitigation practices to restore habitat for the endangered gopher tortoise. GDOT worked with partner agencies to clear an invasive pine species and restore native tree communities at the Long County Mitigation Site, where intensive silviculture practices had adversely affected ecosystems and wildlife.”

Excellence in Educational and Training Programs

Montana Department of Transportation

  • Montana Highway 78

“As part of a highway reconstruction project, the Montana Department of Transportation and its partners organized educational programs and volunteer opportunities related to an important archaeological and cultural site. Project partners developed a creative educational curriculum for students and offered a volunteer archaeological program for community members.”

Excellence in Environmental Leadership

ARC Solutions, Arizona Department of Transportation

  • Animal Road Crossing Solutions

“The Animal Road Crossing project is an interdisciplinary partnership that advances the state of the practice in wildlife crossing structures. Since sponsoring the world’s first wildlife crossing design competition in 2010, ARC Solutions and its partners have worked to promote the study, design, and construction of wildlife crossing structures in North America.”

Excellence in Environmental Research

New Mexico Department of Transportation

  • Right-of-Way Carbon Sequestration Research Project

“The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s innovative Right-of-Way (ROW) Carbon Sequestration Research Project is examining the use of ROW vegetation to remove carbon naturally from the atmosphere. The results of this research will provide a national model for using vegetation to increase carbon sequestration and help slow climate change impacts.”

Excellence in Environmental Streamlining

McCormick Taylor, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

  • Potters Mills Gap Transportation Project

“The Potters Mills Gap Transportation Project resulted in a series of crucial roadway improvements that improved safety and reduced congestion while also protecting local environmental and historic resources. The design team worked closely with resource agencies and the public to achieve a Finding of No Significant Impact in just 16 months.”

Excellence in Nonmotorized and Multimodal Transportation

FHWA Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division, Virginia Department of Transportation

  • Humpback Bridge Replacement and Joyce Street Improvements

“In collaboration with several partners, including the Virginia Department of Transportation, the National Park Service, and Arlington County, EFLHD enhanced access for pedestrians and cyclists to local destinations and filled missing links in the pedestrian/bicycle networks through pedestrian/bicycle underpasses under the George Washington Memorial Parkway.”

Excellence in Programmatic Agreements

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), FHWA California Division

  • Improvements in Historic Preservation

“The amended programmatic agreement between the FHWA California Division, Caltrans, and their partners simplified consultations in California under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The revisions improved the consistency of Section 106 consultations and streamlined the Section 106 review and project planning and delivery processes.”

Excellence in Roadside Resource Management and Maintenance

California Department of Transportation

  • Philip S. Raine Safety Roadside Rest Area

“Caltrans and its partners achieved an advanced, “green” roadside rest area design with the reconstruction of the Philip S. Raine Safety Roadside Rest Area on State Route 99, for which the agency’s environmentally efficient design features secured a Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.”

Excellence in Wetlands, Watersheds, and Water Quality

District of Columbia Department of Transportation

  • Green Infrastructure Standards

“The District Department of Transportation and its partners developed Green Infrastructure standards for vegetation and pavement practices to retain stormwater runoff. The partners’ design specifications for vegetated bioretention areas, permeable pavements, and street trees have led to a host of benefits, including a reduction in the urban heat island effect.”

Excellence in Wetlands, Watersheds, and Water Quality

Maryland State Highway Administration

  • PB-85 Stream, Floodplain, and Wetland Restoration

“The Maryland State Highway Administration and its partners constructed the PB-85 mitigation site to restore wetlands and improve water quality within the Paint Branch watershed in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The project reconnected the floodplain and reduced erosion by converting 12 acres of agricultural land along the streams to natural wetlands.”