Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News Release

Aug. 1, 2017

Two MnDOT projects earn regional transportation recognition

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Two Minnesota Department of Transportation projects were among the winners last week in the Mid- America Association of State Transportation Officials’ regional America’s Transportation Awards competition.

The Interstate 35E MnPASS project won Best Use of Technology and Innovation in the category for projects costing between $25 and $199 million. The $120 million I-35E MnPASS Express Lanes marked a first-of-a-kind lane approach to having High Occupancy Toll lanes through an interchange commons area to keep traffic moving and increase motorist safety.

Several technological innovations are associated with the lanes, most notably the use of the nation’s first fully digital price signs. The 18-foot signs allow greater flexibility in posting messages and allow MnDOT to provide motorists the information they need, when they need it.

The second project was the Highway 61/Main Street project, which was recognized in the Quality of Life/Community Development category for projects costing less than $25 million. The $9.7 million project illustrates how a collaborative partnership between MnDOT and the city of Red Wing met the needs to improve a road while also giving pedestrians easier access and additional safety protection across Highway 61.

“Every project nominated in this competition represents the hard work and dedication of state DOTs across the country to meet the transportation needs of the communities we serve,” said David Bernhardt, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “For 10 consecutive years, the America’s Transportation Awards have given state DOTs the recognition they deserve for providing the essential connections that keep people, goods and our economy moving forward.”

The competition attracted 22 project nominations from nine mid-America states. Five of those states received awards for nine projects at the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials’ annual meeting July 26 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The final regional winners will be announced in August. The three highest-scoring projects from each region will advance to a Top 12 competition with those projects competing for the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. The top two willing entries win $10,000 to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing. Online voting begins Aug. 21. The winners of the top two awards will be announced at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ annual meeting in Phoenix in September.

Learn more about the nominees and the competition at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org.