DIRECT FROM THE DIRECTOR: ITD Director Brian Ness
SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
ITD Projects in America’s Transportation Awards
I am pleased to announce that a pair of our projects are in the top 12 nationwide and are in the running for the “People’s Choice” category of the America’s Transportation Awards.
The winners will be determined by votes cast from around the country. Online voting starts today and runs through Oct. 31 at http://www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org
I encourage every employee to visit the site and vote. Go to our Facebook page and share it with your friends and family, too!
Idaho is one of the least-populated states, so every vote really does make a difference.
For two projects to be considered is a testament to the great employees we have here at the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD). Even outside of the department, people are recognizing your hard work and effort.
The first America’s Transportation Award finalist is Idaho’s GARVEE Program in the Under Budget, Large Project category. The second is Pocatello's South Valley Connector in the Quality of Life/Community Development, Small Project category.
The two projects already won regional America’s Transportation Awards honors in late June.
It is the first time Idaho has been nominated for multiple America’s Transportation Awards national People’s Choice finalists in the same year.
Idaho was one of only two western states to be recognized with multiple “People’s Choice” projects.
Project judges acknowledged the historic investment in Idaho’s roads and bridges during the last decade through GARVEE.
Idaho’s GARVEE program invested $857 million into the state’s roads and bridges during the past decade.
The 59 GARVEE projects statewide were delivered on time, under budget, greatly increased traffic capacity and dramatically improved safety. These are all 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.
The GARVEE program transformed our highway system, improved safety, increased mobility and enhanced economic opportunity. We added nearly 120 miles of road, and rebuilt and added 41 bridges and 14 interchanges.
At the same time we were able to keep our regular maintenance and construction program going – a huge win for every driver in Idaho.
Judges also rewarded the collaborative project in southeast Idaho that improves commerce, safety and the mobility of drivers.
The South Valley Connector project in Pocatello already won two “Project of the Year” awards this spring.
ITD served as the resident engineer on this local project. It is a one-mile-long route connecting Bannock Highway to South 5th Avenue.
It creates a new connection to the south valley area of Pocatello. The connector opened to the public just two days before Christmas 2015.
The roadway now crosses beneath Interstate 15 with two overpass bridges. It includes two travel lanes, bicycle lanes, and a 10-foot-wide multi-use pathway separated from the road.
The South Valley Connector is a great example of what can happen when government agencies work well together. We worked hand-in-hand with the city to produce an award-winning project. It will greatly enhance mobility in the Pocatello area and increase economic opportunity for small business and industry, and most importantly, save lives.
Idaho’s two regional winners were selected by the judges to move on to the “People’s Choice” award (and/or Grand Prize) and a shot at $10,000 in prize money to be designated by the winner to donate to a charity or scholarship program.
The only other time Idaho had a project advance to the “People’s Choice” stage of the America’s Transportation Awards, the U.S. 95 Sand Creek Byway finished second in national voting in 2013.
Let’s all go out to the America’s Transportation Awards site and vote, and bring home first place this time!
Winning a “People’s Choice” award would show that ITD is one step closer to its vision of being the best transportation department in the country.
Brian W. Ness