CDOT wins national grand prize for Best Use of Technology and Innovation in a transportation project

September 27, 2017 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Award highlights transportation projects that improve travel and quality of life through technology and innovation

 DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation won the Grand Prize for projects that use technology and innovation to move traffic safely and more reliably. CDOT was awarded for the US 36 Express Lanes project under the Best Use of Technology and Innovation, Large Project category (projects costing more than $200 million) and received a $10,000 check for a charity or transportation-related scholarship of the winner’s choosing.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, known as AASHTO, announced the winners at its annual meeting in Phoenix on Wednesday, September 27. AASHTO represents State Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“For 10 straight years, this competition has provided a national platform to recognize the many ways state departments of transportation are making people’s lives safer and better,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. “Everyone relies on transportation and America depends on state DOTs to deliver the projects we need.”

The 2017 competition attracted a record 92 project nominations from state transportation departments in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Four regional competitions were held and the three projects from each region receiving the highest ratings competed for the final two awards. An independent panel of industry judges selected the Grand Prize winner and the project receiving the highest number of online votes earned the People’s Choice Award.

“We are thrilled to receive national recognition for the US 36 Express Lanes project which has greatly improved trip time reliability and the daily lives of commuters in the metro area,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT executive director. “I am proud of our team and would like to thank all the communities and partners involved in delivering this project that improves the efficiency and safety of our transportation system.”

CDOT’s $487 million project along US 36 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 US 36 Express Lanes project has created reliable travel times and a safer drive.   

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

Learn more about the nominees and the competition at

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 To get an ExpressToll account and pass,

About the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE): The HPTE operates as a government-owned, independent business within CDOT. It searches out innovative ways to finance projects to help Colorado fulfill its commitment to increase travel choices through options that include Express Lanes, transit, biking, walking and carpooling. For more information,

For more information about CDOT, visit

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. On Twitter: