September 14, 2016 - Statewide Transportation Plan - Twelve projects from 10 different states are competing for two prestigious awards

DENVER -- The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is one of the finalists in the 2016 America’s Transportation Awards competition. CDOT’s two projects, the I-70 Mountain Express Lane project and the US 6 Bridges project, are among 12 projects from 10 different states competing for the national Grand Prize and the People’s Choice award.

“We are honored to have two of our projects competing for these prestigious awards,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director. “We want to thank all of the communities and partners involved in both of these projects, focusing on delivering innovative transportation solutions. Let’s vote for our projects to win this year’s People’s Choice Award.”

The America’s Transportation Awards recognizes most outstanding transportation projects in three main categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Innovation and Under Budget. The I-70 Mountain Express Lane project was nominated in the Best Use of Innovation category, and the US 6 Bridges project was nominated in the Under Budget category. It also considers the size of the project: small projects (under $25 million), medium projects (from $26 to $199 million), and large projects costing over $200 million. Both the I-70 Mountain Express Lane project and the US 6 Bridges project were nominated in the medium project category.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) will announce the winners of both national awards on Nov. 14 during its annual meeting in Boston. While the team of experts will choose a winner of the Grand Prize, the winner of the People’s Choice Award will be chosen through online voting.

To vote for the I-70 Mountain Express Lane project or the US 6 Bridges project, go to Online voting will continue through Monday, Oct. 31. Each winner will receive a $10,000 donation from AASHTO. This donation can be used toward a charity or scholarship fund of choice.

About the US 6 Bridges Design Build project: CDOT’s $98 million project along US 6 replaced six obsolete bridges between Knox Court and I-25, and eliminated weaving movements between Federal Boulevard and I-25 to improve travel times and safety. Crews increased mobility and access to neighborhoods by adding a dedicated bike lane on the new Knox Court Bridge and by improving connections between trails and the new pedestrian bridge over 6th Avenue. This vital investment and comprehensive community outreach initiative allowed officials to deliver 10 years worth of improvements in just 21 months, saving taxpayers time and money in user, construction and maintenance costs.

About the I-70 Mountain Express Lane project: CDOT’s $72 million I-70 Mountain Express Lane project reduced congestion and travel time along I-70 between Empire and Idaho Springs by converting the eastbound shoulder into an Express Lane used during peak travel times only. Through this innovative strategy, an extra travel lane can be added during peak travel times, such as weekends and holidays, to guarantee a reliable travel speed. This tactic diverts up to 900 vehicles to reduce congestion along the 13-mile corridor and adjacent frontage roads. With this project, CDOT officials are facilitating commerce, freight movement and access to recreational activities, while helping local mountain communities and saving travelers time.

About Express Lanes: Express Lanes increase roadway capacity and help to manage congestion on the highways. The use of toll pricing during peak travel times reduces delays, manages congestion and maintains reliable travel times. Express Lanes are currently open on I-25 between downtown Denver and 120th Avenue, US 36 between Denver and Boulder, and on I-70 between Idaho Springs and Empire. For more information, visit

For more information about CDOT, visit