Mid-America States win America's Transportation Awards

MAASTO President praises “innovation that improves people's lives"

Release date August 24, 2020

Four midwestern states received 2020 America's Transportation Awards for innovative projects that improved the quality of life in their communities. Craig Thompson, president of the Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO), today congratulated the group's member states who received the award.

“These award-winning projects truly demonstrate that innovative, well-planned transportation projects can have an enormous impact on our quality of life," said Thompson, who is also Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation designee. “What's especially impressive is how planners, designers and builders responded to the voices of local communities in building these projects."

The following are MAASTO member states that received America's Transportation Awards.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation received an Operation Excellence award for its Transportation Asset Management System (TAMS) that increased MnDOT's ability to reduce risks of asset failure and poor performance and increase financial efficiency of the management of highway asset.,

MnDOT also received a Technology and Innovation award for its Connected and Automated Vehicle Challenge, an open procurement process allowing partners to first workshop ideas with MnDOT and then submit proposals in a variety of areas, including work zone safety, automated fleets, autonomous shuttle pilots, traveler alert, connected vehicle technologies, equity and cold weather research.

The Missouri Department of Transportation received a Quality of Life/Community Development award for the Champ Clark Bridge, replacing the narrow and flooding-prone bridge with a project that more than doubles the original bridge's width and eliminates the 40-ton weight restriction, while adding accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists to increase travel options and economic opportunities in the region.

The Ohio Department of Transportation received a Technology and Innovation award for the I-670 Smart Lane, which focused on the application of groundbreaking technology including full-color digital signs, cameras, and radar detectors that collect data on traffic speed and density. The system allows ODOT to open the left shoulder of the highway as an extra lane based on real-time traffic information.

And the Wisconsin Department of Transportation received a Quality of Life/Community Development award for its rebuilding WIS 116 bridge in the village of Winneconne. The new bridge is better able to accommodate vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, and snowmobiles while also providing adequate (and easier) passage for boat traffic underneath, minimizing the impact to the travelers on the bridge. Leaving the existing bridge intact during construction removed the need for a 25-mile detour for local drivers and commerce.

“These innovative transportation agencies are making life better for their citizens while delivering a great return on the taxpayer's transportation investment," Thompson said. “It's a reminder that mid-America states are also on the cutting edge of building our nation's transportation future."

America's Transportation Awards are conferred annually by the American Automobile Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officers (AASHTO).  The awards recognize the projects and programs that make their communities better places to live, work and play. The awards focus on getting more out of the existing system; implementing new technologies and innovations; and projects that improve overall quality of life and enhance community development.

MAASTO's mission is to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated and balanced transportation system that adequately serves the transportation needs of its member states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio. It is affiliated with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officers (AASHTO). To learn more about MAASTO, visit http://www.maasto.net/.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov