State DOTs Win Awards for Drone-Based Hurricane Response, Launching an Innovative Bus Rapid Transit Program and Preserving a Century-Old Bridge
SAVANNAH, GA —Seven southern state departments of transportation won regional awards today for 10 transportation projects credited with preserving a 100-year-old community bridge, expanding transportation options for commuters through a modern, high capacity bus rapid transit program and using drone technology to get transportation systems back up and operating after Hurricane Florence struck the East coast in September 2018.
“For 12 years, the America’s Transportation Awards have recognized state DOT projects for making communities safer, less congested, and better connected,” said Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018-2019 president. “Today’s regional winners demonstrate how state DOTs collaborate with local communities and partners to develop innovative, multimodal solutions that keep people and goods moving by motor vehicle, scooters, bicycle, and on foot.”
Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 12th annual America’s Transportation Awards competition is comprised of three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, which recognizes projects that provide significant benefits to the communities in which they are located, especially in the form of economic growth and the well-being of citizens; Best Use of Technology & Innovation, which recognizes new technology and/or creative solutions implemented by a state DOT; and Operations Excellence, which recognizes projects that deliver a more reliable, well-functioning, and/or safer transportation system through operational solutions. Project categories are also designated by size: small (projects costing less than $25 million), medium (projects that cost between $25 million and $200 million), and large (projects costing more than $200 million).
The winners from the Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) regional competition are:
- South Carolina Department of Transportation —Historic Iron Bridge at Glendale Shoals Project (Quality of Life/Community Development – Small category)
- Virginia Department of Transportation —Pulse Bus Rapid Transit (Quality of Life/Community Development – Medium category)
- Florida Department of Transportation – SunRail Southern Expansion (Quality of Life/Community Development – Large category)
- South Carolina Department of Transportation – Project Lifeline (Operations Excellence – Small category)
- Virginia Department of Transportation—Towing, Recovery, and Incentive Program (TRIP) (Operations Excellence – Small category)
- Arkansas Department of Transportation —Highway 70 Widening Project (Operations Excellence – Medium category)
- Florida Department of Transportation —Krome Ave. Reconstruction and Widening Project (Operations Excellence – Medium category)
- Georgia Department of Transportation —Northwest Corridor Express Lanes Project (Operations Excellence – Large category)
- North Carolina Department of Transportation —UAS Hurricane Florence Response (Best Use of Technology & Innovation – Small category)
- Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development —I-49 Segment K Phase 2 (Interchange with I-220) Project (Best Use of Technology & Innovation – Medium category)
This is the last of four regional America’s Transportation Awards competitions. The three highest-scoring projects from each regional competition earn a place on a “Top 12” list of projects, which will compete for the Grand Prize – selected by an independent panel of industry judges – and the People’s Choice Award, chosen by the general public through online voting. The top two winners also receive $10,000 cash awards, to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing. The Top 12 projects will be announced on Aug. 23 when online voting for the People’s Choice Award will begin. The winners of the top two awards will be announced Oct. 7 at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO. Use this link https://youtu.be/8nWaFArZYQM to watch an AASHTO Transportation TV video about the regional competitions and visit https://americastransportationawards.org/ to learn more about this year’s nominees.