CDOT Projects Recognized Among Best in the West for Transportation Technology, Innovation and Operations

DENVER—CDOT's use of technology and innovation to move traffic safely and more reliably earned top honors in the 2017 America's Transportation Awards competition this month.

Celebrating its 10th year, the competition attracted 30 project nominations from 12 Western states. CDOT received three awards:

  • The I-70 Mountain Express Lane project won in the Operations Excellence, Medium Project category (projects costing between $25 million and $200 million).
    • In its first year of operation, the project reduced travel time by nearly half from the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels to top of Floyd Hill, resulting in an average 30-minute time savings.
    • The project upgraded 13 miles of eastbound I-70 from Idaho Springs to Empire, creating a wider shoulder that operates as a third travel lane during peak travel periods.
    • Travelers have the option of taking the express lane in exchange for paying a toll to get to their destination faster or ride in the regular lanes for free.

  • The US 36 Express Lanes project claimed victory in the Best Use of Technology and Innovation, Large Project category (projects costing more than $200 million).
    • The project resulted in reliable travel times and a safer drive on U3 36 following this multi-modal work that reconstructed the roadway from Federal Boulevard to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, providing an express lane in each direction in addition to free regular lanes.
    • The project included a commuter bikeway, Bus Rapid Transit improvements and Intelligent Transportation Systems for tolling, transit, traveler information and incident management.

  • The CO 9 Colorado River South Wildlife and Safety project won in Best Use of Technology and Innovation, Medium Project category.
    • CO 9 is a major traffic route between Kremmling and Silverthorne in Summit and Grand counties. There were numerous wildlife collisions and human fatalities.
    • To improve safety, CDOT rebuilt an 11-mile segment, including wildlife underpasses and fencing, highway realignment and shoulder widening.
    • This section of roadway saw a 90 percent reduction in wildlife-vehicle collisions from previous seasonal averages.

"Every project nominated in this competition represents the hard work and dedication of state DOTs across the country to meet the transportation needs of the communities we serve," said David Bernhardt, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation.

"On behalf of CDOT, I am proud of the achievements our team has made in using technology and innovation to make transportation better and safer for all of Colorado," said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt. "The awards are a strong testament to the dedication and smart work by CDOT and our collaboration with local governments, residents and the traveling public to constantly improve our transportation system."

Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the competition recognizes transportation projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology and Innovation and new this year, Operations Excellence.

Winners in the three remaining regions of the country will be announced throughout the summer. The three highest-scoring projects from each region will advance to the "Top 12." Those 12 projects will compete for the grand prize, determined by a panel of judges, and the People's Choice Award, selected by the general public through online voting.

The top two winning prizes also come with a $10,000 check, to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT's choosing. Online voting begins Aug. 21. The winners of the top two awards will be announced at the AASHTO annual meeting in Phoenix in September.

Learn more about the nominees and the competition.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials represent state Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving as a catalyst for excellence in transportation. Visit AASHTO on Twitter.