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America's Transportation Award
Website name:
America's Transportation Award
URL: http://www.americastransportationaward.org/

This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering IT. This issue features "America's Transportation Award" project, co-sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Recognizing Projects That Have Made a Real Difference in Their Communities
Symbolized by truckers on the Interstate to commuters on the subway, "America is a nation in constant motion". Accordingly, they want transportation services to keep pace with their busy lives, save time and money, and apply innovative solutions to challenges.

This Website gives some idea of the transportation circumstances in the United States as above.

It also explains from another point of view that American used the nation's highway system to travel almost three trillion miles last year, and that this is equal to nearly six million trips to and from the moon. That is, in order for those people and goods to reach each destination, a safe and dependable highway system satisfying such needs is, needless to say, a prerequisite.

The Award aims to recognize achievement in the development and construction of transportation projects, and spread an appreciation of transportation as a key element of the quality of life. Focusing on transportation as one of the fundamental building blocks of the society, it commends the best of the best in the form of competition.

Presently, new applications are accepted for projects participating in the America's Transportation Awards competition 2009. The deadline is May 15, 2009.

Started in 2008, Winners are Selected in the Categories of "On Time", "On Budget", and "Innovative Management"
This competition was started as part of AASHTO's transportation marketing campaign, a national endeavor to assist transportation at the federal, state, and local levels. The first America's Transportation Award was held in 2008, cosponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Grand Prize winner will be selected by a panel of nationally recognized transportation experts. The winning state will receive funds for a graduate level educational grant in the transportation field. On the other hand, the People's Choice Award will be chosen by the public at large through voting on the Website. The winner will receive funds to support a deserving local community project or charity of the state DOT's choice.

In 2008, there were 41 entries from 28 states. Prior to judging on national scale, awards were presented at four regional meetings (NASTO, SASHTO, Mississippi Valley, and WASHTO) in the categories of "On Time", "On Budget", and "Innovative Management" in Large ($200 million and over), Medium ($26 - $199 million), and Small ($25 million and under) size categories.

"On Time" award honors a project that demonstrates specific measurement, process management and quality assurance methods employed to provide a quality product with effective schedule management from conception to completion. This award also proves involvement and interaction with the surrounding community and shows how much traffic movement was improved.

"On Budget" award goes to a project demonstrating transportation efficiency while promoting economic and fiscal health. The award recognizes an on-budget project that provided the greatest cost savings at the least cost for project outcome.

"Innovative Management" award honors innovative management techniques and use of technology. It evaluates new policies or procedures and creative transportation solutions that enhance the effective movement of people, goods and services; increase transportation efficiency and choices; improve safety, accessibility; and enrich community life.

Through regional competitions, ten finalists have been selected in different regions (including Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State featured in this series in the Late Fall issue of 2007) to compete for the Grand Prize and People's Choice Awards.

As a result, the 2008 Grand Prize was shared by the states of Maryland and Virginia, who built the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The People's Choice Award went to the state of Mississippi, who reconstructed the Bay St. Louis Bridge destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2009 Awards, with a New Plan
At the opening of the Website, "Overview" shows an outline for the "America's Transportation Awards 2009", which is the second competition, along with a video of brief description. Personal memories and favorite stories about transportation are solicited at the same time as a new plan, such as a great road trip, a stunning vista, a fun train ride, and a beautiful bridge.

Among other menu items, "Past Winners" shows a list of projects including the shortlist for each prize as well as the summary videos. "What to Submit " and "Apply Now!" offer instruction of how to apply and an on-line application form.

Home page:
America's Transportation Award
Reception honoring the Award winners
(Image provided by AASHTO)
This article is written based on the above website
and the following: From http://www.transportation.org/, the website for the American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Used by permission.