AASHTO bestows highest award to AHTD’s Scott Bennett

Scott Bennett (center) receives Thomas H. MacDonald Memorial Award.Scott Bennett (center) receives Thomas H. MacDonald Memorial Award.

During its annual meeting in Boston, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) presented Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) director Scott Bennett with the organization’s Thomas H. MacDonald Memorial Award, the highest honor that AASHTO can bestow on an individual, kait8.com reports.

Bennett was recognized for his public service contributions to the transportation industry at both state and national levels.

Bennett has more than 28 years with AHTD, with 22 of those years spent in the agency’s Planning Branch where he was responsible for envisioning and developing planning tools, such as the Arkansas Primary Highway Network. He was also responsible for developing the State’s Four-Lane Grid System, which identified a network of roads that were needed to stimulate economic growth in Arkansas.

Since becoming Director of Highways and Transportation in 2011, Bennett has worked as a liaison between the agency and elected officials at the local, state and national levels. He has worked on legislation for the AHTD and is a strong advocate for finding a solution to transportation funding problems at the state level. Bennett was also a primary author and editor of the Arkansas Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance report, which has served as a framework for highway funding reform in Arkansas. In 2015, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Bennett to be a member of the Governor’s Working Group on Highway Funding.