Two ITD communication projects earn awards at national DOT gathering

A pair of unique communication efforts by the Idaho Transportation Department was among the nation’s best projects recognized by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) at a recent gathering in Scottsdale, Ariz.

More than 100 communication professionals representing 35 states attended TransComm 2014, where AASHTO’s Subcommittee on Transportation Communications honored outstanding communications work from departments of transportation across the country at the group’s annual skills contest.

ITD earned Honorable Mentions for a news release about unusual methods for spreading wildflowers along Idaho highways and its Aeronautics App for providing critical safety information to pilots accessing Idaho’s many backcountry airstrips.

District 3 Public Information Specialist Reed Hollinshead wrote the Operation Wildflower news release about an ITD program to beautify areas along state highways and at rest stops. The department’s Webmaster Tony Garcia, Mark Lessor of ITD’s Aeronautics Division and Technical Writer Rik Hinton developed the Aeronautics App in-house. Wendy Bates and Tom Marks of the department’s GIS Mapping section were also heavily involved.

At the time of its release, the app was believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. It is available as a free download for Apple and Android devices. The app has won several awards, and numerous other states have contacted ITD about it.

ITD’s Aeronautics App also was one of nine communication projects submitted from across the U.S. that was selected for discussion with representatives from other state DOTs.

Deemed the premier communications competition in the transportation industry, the annual Skills Contest recognizes state DOTs that represent a high standard of public-relations excellence.

Published 10-10-14