Two Bridges Win National Awards for Transportation Excellence

Oct 20, 2008

The coveted America's Transportation Award (ATA) Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award were presented yesterday during a ceremony at the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT. Ten regional award winning projects were up for the top prizes.

The national Grand Prize was awarded to Virginia and Maryland for the construction of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which spans the Potomac River connecting the two states.  Selected by a panel of expert judges, the bridge when complete will unclog one of the worst bottlenecks on Interstate 95.  The old six-lane bridge is being replaced with a modern 12-lane structure that will separate local and through traffic, has room for future mass transit, and ties communities together with hiker and biker trails.

Mississippi's St. Louis Bay Bridge was honored with the People's Choice Award as decided by more than 55,000 votes cast online over the past two months.  After Hurricane Katrina destroyed the original bridge in August 2005, the Mississippi Department of Transportation moved expeditiously to replace the structure that carries U.S. 90 between Henderson Point and Bay St. Louis. MDOT proceeded with the state's first ever "design/build" contract. The $267 million replacement bridge was completed on time by November 2007.

Co-sponsored by AASHTO, the Chamber, and AAA, ATA's purpose is to raise awareness of the extraordinary transportation system we have in America and to demonstrate its vital link to travel, tourism, and commerce.  These national award winners represent the best in "innovative management," "on time" and "on budget" construction and positively impact the nation's economic health and Americans' quality of life by enhancing freight and passenger mobility.  At a time when we constantly read bad infrastructure news and hear about bridges to nowhere, the Chamber is pleased to have the occasion to honor these projects that have gotten it right.

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