Southeastern states DOT projects win regional awards

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 5, 2015

State transportation departments in Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina are winners in this year’s southeastern regional contest in the America’s Transportation Awards competition. The announcement was made at the 2015 Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials annual meeting. Eight projects won in each of the competition’s three categories: Best Use of Innovation, Under Budget, and Quality of Life/Community Development.

“Ultimately it’s the American people who are the big winners,” said John Cox, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation. “These projects are a small example of how state DOTs are saving taxpayer dollars while building innovative projects to meet community needs.”

The America’s Transportation Awards – co-sponsored by AASHTO, AAA and the US Chamber of Commerce – annually recognizes the best of America’s transportation projects in four regional competitions.

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The 10 regional winners with the highest overall scores will compete for the National Grand Prize, the People’s Choice Award and $10,000 prizes to be given by the winners to a transportation-related charity or scholarship program. The top two national winners will be announced in September at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Learn more about the projects and the competition at:

Winning in the “Under Budget” category: Florida Department of Transportation’s $1.22 billion I-595 Corridor: large project designation. This project relieved congestion and created a multimodal transportation network along I-595 in South Florida. Through a public-private partnership, design and construction teams completed the project on time and $275 million below the original estimated cost.

North Carolina Department of Transportation’s $92 million I-485/85 Interchange: medium project designation. The completed project provides travelers along I-77, I-485, and I-85 with direct access to each of these interstates, optimizes access to the city, and completes the Charlotte Outer Loop.

South Carolina Department of Transportation’s $3.5 million Cypress Gardens Road Bridge: small project designation. This project was a quick and cost-effective solution to restore access to a local bridge destroyed by a derailed train. The project was completed three weeks ahead of schedule and 19 percent under budget.

Winning in the “Quality of Life/Community Development,” category: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department’s $25.2 million State Aid Street Program: medium project designation. The project provided municipalities with necessary funding to preserve, update, and maintain vital roads in their communities.

More than 250 projects have received funds, with 64 projects completed in 2014.

South Carolina Department of Transportation’s $4.5 million Assembly Street Improvement project: small project designation. The project enhanced pedestrian and transit safety with improved sidewalks and transit shelters and was completed more than three months ahead of schedule and $1.5 million under budget.

– Submitted by Tony Dorsey