June 14, 2018 11:30 AM, EDT

AASHTO’s Top Western Members Earn Transportation Awards

California State Route 91 Junction of Interstate 15 and California State Route 91. Caltrans won in the public-private partnership large category for its State Route 91 corridor improvement project. (Ken Lund/Flickr)

Several states representing the western region of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials earned awards for outstanding transportation projects.

Nine projects representing five states — Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California and South Dakota — won America’s Transportation Awards, according to a press release issued by AASHTO June 13. These recipients were selected out of a pool of 27 projects from 13 states.

America’s Transportation Awards honor state departments of transportation that have led projects to improve safety and foster economic growth.

“State DOTs are committed to making America safer, better and stronger by improving connections between communities both large and small, urban and rural,” said AASHTO President John Schroer, who also serves as commissioner of the Tennessee DOT. “The transportation projects in this competition are part of a national multimodal network that is moving millions of people and tons of goods where they need to go every day.”

The awards, sponsored in tandem with Socrata, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, honor projects in three categories: quality of life/community development, the best use of technology, and innovation and operations excellence.

The DOTs for Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California won awards in the quality of life/community development category. The category was divided on the basis of cost, ranging from small projects (less than $25 million) and medium (between $25 million and $200 million) to large (more than $200 million).

Utah DOT won in the small category for its public-private partnership to lay fiber-optic cables in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Two winners, Colorado DOT for an Interstate 25/U.S. Route 24 interchange project and Nevada DOT for its USA Parkway extension project, were announced in the medium class. The second-largest project in the history of Colorado Springs, the I-25/U.S. 24 interchange project involved reconfiguring the highway alignment and widening bridges to improve traffic flow between the two routes.

“The I-25 and U.S. 24/Cimarron Street design-build project is a bright example of CDOT team effort and working with the stakeholders to achieve a great project for the community,” CDOT Regional Transportation Director Karen Rowe said.

Caltrans won in the large category for its State Route 91 corridor improvement project.

Caltrans, South Dakota DOT and Colorado DOT received awards in the best use of technology realm. Caltrans’ Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge replacement and South Dakota DOT’s use of high-friction surface treatment to address curves won in the small category. Colorado DOT won in the medium class for linking downtown Golden, which is 15 miles west of Denver, to a nearby mountain community.

South Dakota DOT and Caltrans won again for operations excellence. South Dakota DOT won in the small category for the reconstruction of U.S. 14, a main route in the city of Brookings, which is about 55 miles north of Sioux Falls. Caltrans won in the medium class for realigning a portion of State Route 191.

The western region is one of four groups that constitute AASHTO’s members. The other three groups encompass Mid-America, the Southeast and the Northeast. Winners from these regions will be announced throughout the summer, according to AASHTO’s press release.