Department recognizes projects, staff in annual awards ceremony          

Award-winning projects that were submitted in the annual Excellence in Transportation Awards were recognized for contributions to environmental stewardship, construction, public participation and other categories.

Each year, the transportation department accepts submissions in seven project categories, and submissions in a career achievement category, engineer of the year category, and professional of the year category.

The winner in the public participation category is the Goose Creek Grade Improvement Project on Idaho Highway 55.

The department widened shoulders, removed loose rock and improved visibility on the section of ID-55 that runs from Last Chance Road to just north of Brundage Road.

The project included several evenings when the highway was closed in both directions. Because of this, it was necessary to communicate closely with local communities. Outreach included extensive notification through postcards and regular email updates.

The winner in the Maintenance and Operations category is the Elk City Landslide Cleanup. The slide unleashed 47 million pounds of mud, rock, and debris on Idaho Highway 14, cutting off access to Elk City. A video of the slide went viral, and national media called to do stories on it.

ITD crews worked tirelessly on the clean up, and maintained access through the site.

The Broadway Bridge in Boise won in the Environmental Stewardship category. This was a highly visible project on a busy commercial corridor. The project team decided a full closure was the best approach, and would allow for a new bridge to be built in 9 months, instead of 18 months. The team is pictured above, from left to right: RBCI's Kate Reed, ITD Communication Specialist Jennifer Gonzalez, D3 Environemental's Scott Rudel, Dave Butzier of Aecom, and ITD Director Brian Ness.

The new bridge includes wider sidewalks, bike lanes, curved railing with night lighting and belvederes that overlook the river.

The winner in the Construction category is the US-20 Thornton Interchange project. It improved safety for travelers, improved access to the Snake River for pedestrians, and preserved two historic buildings, among other improvements.

In the Transportation Planning category, the winner is the Lake Lowell Area Bicycle and Pedestrian Access Plan. This plan improves bicycle and pedestrian mobility, connects Caldwell and Nampa to the Lake Lowell area, preserves environmental quality and reduces traffic congestion.

The Canyon Highway District Number 4 and the Nampa Highway District Number 1 were the lead agencies.

The Professional of the Year for 2017 was Joel Drake (pictured above and right, with Director Ness), who is a senior auditor at Headquarters. Joel joined ITD in 1993. He serves on the ITD Budget Council as the lead, and on the ITD Research Advisory Committee. His contributions to the department have improved credibility, improved cost savings and employee engagement.

The Career Achievement award went to Ryan Day, a transportation staff engineer assistant in District 6. Day is pictured at left.

Ryan joined ITD in 1988, and has mentored several designers, drafters, staff engineers, project development engineers and construction staff. Ryan made significant contributions to many high-profile and award-winning projects. One is the Howard and Targhee Fish Passage Bridge project. It won a coveted AASHTO Environmental Stewardship award in 2008.

Published 01-12-18