ITD wins pair of prestigious America’s Transportation Awards
for work benefiting Idaho drivers
The Idaho Transportation Department won a pair of America’s Transportation Awards (ATA) June 29. The awards recognized a historic investment in the state’s roads and bridges during the last decade, and a collaborative project in southeast Idaho that improves commerce, safety and the mobility of drivers.
The awards, for Idaho's GARVEE program and Pocatello's South Valley Connector, were announced in Laramie, Wyoming, at the annual conference of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The awards are a joint effort of AASHTO (the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“This is the first time Idaho has won multiple America’s Transportation Awards in the same year, said ITD Director Brian Ness. “This shows that the Idaho Transportation Department is being recognized nationally as one of the best transportation departments in the country, and ultimately this excellence benefits all of Idaho's 1.1 million drivers.”
Idaho’s GARVEE program, which invested $857 million into the state’s roads and bridges during the past decade, was named a regional winner in the Under Budget, Large Project category.
The 59 GARVEE projects statewide were delivered on time, under budget, greatly increased traffic capacity and dramatically improved safety -- all of which are central to the core mission of ITD. GARVEE created or sustained more than 15,000 jobs in a vulnerable economy, increasing economic opportunity for small business and industry.
GARVEE work was also done with no added state agency personnel, and without compromising or delaying ITD’s regular construction program. GARVEE projects were delivered at an accelerated pace and at lower costs than anticipated.
Pictured, from left to right, are: AASHTO Executive Director Bud Wright, ITD Chief Operations Officer Jim Carpenter, Idaho Transportation Board member Jim Coleman, ITD Director Brian Ness and AASHTO President Paul Trombino.
“This award (for our GARVEE program) is a result of how efficiently and creatively staff implemented the most significant investment in the state’s infrastructure since the interstate system came through Idaho in the 1960s," Ness said. "This program transformed our highway system, improved safety, increased mobility and enhanced economic opportunity. We added nearly 120 miles of road, along with rebuilding and adding 41 bridges and 14 interchanges. Just as importantly, at the same time we were able to keep our regular maintenance and construction program going – a huge win for every driver in Idaho.”
Click here to view a video on the GARVEE program overall.
The South Valley Connector project in Pocatello, winner of two “Project of the Year” awards this spring, was selected as the regional winner of the Quality of Life/Community Development in the Small Project category.
First envisioned in the summer of 1968, the project to create a new connection to the south valley area of Pocatello opened to the public as South Valley Road just two days before Christmas 2015.
Click here for a time-lapse drone video of the project.
“The South Valley Connector is a great example of what can happen when government agencies work well together,” Ness said. “The Idaho Transportation Department worked hand-in-hand with the city to produce an award-winning project that will greatly enhance mobility in the Pocatello area and increase economic opportunity for small business and industry, and most importantly, save lives.”
If the regional winners are selected in the top ten of the competition by the judges, those winners move on to The People’s Choice award and a shot at $10,000 in prize money to be designated by the winning state department of transportation to donate to a charity or scholarship program of its choice.
Pictured above, from left to right, are: Bud Wright, ITD Design/Traffic Services Manager Jesse Barrus, Jim Coleman, Brian Ness and Paul Trombino.