From the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) annual meeting:
“The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are proud to announce that the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota has been selected as the 2009 America's Transportation Awards Grand Prize winner. Florida DOT's 95 Express Miami Project won the People's Choice Award.”. (emphasis added)
The competition recognizes outstanding transportation projects in three categories: "On Time," "On Budget," and "Innovative Management." The ten projects that scored the highest during four regional contests competed for both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award.
It is understandable why the reconstruction of the Minneapolis Bridge won the award.
“In the aftermath of the catastrophic, August 1, 2007 collapse the Minnesota Department of Transportation implemented a plan to detour 140,000 vehicles, address public concerns, and begin immediate construction of the new $234 million, I35W Bridge. The massive design-build project, which included 10 lanes for traffic, several local side streets, and interchanges, was completed in 13 and half months; three months ahead of schedule.”
The People's Choice Award winner is the Florida Department of Transportation’s High-Occupancy (HOT) lanes project know as 95 Express Miami Project. A $62.9 million High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes project was the award winner after over 200,000 votes were cast.
HOT lanes are being implemented in many states such as California, Texas, Washington state, Minnesota and Virginia. These are the wave of the future and it is great that the “People’s Choice Award” recognizes the importance of better efficiency in our transportation system.