The Ohio River Bridges – East End Crossing project won top honors in the large project division of the Quality of Life/Community Development category. The approximately $760 million project, completed in December 2016, is increasing cross-river mobility in the Southern Indiana-Louisville metro area by improving safety, alleviating traffic congestion and connecting highways. The centerpiece of the East End Crossing is the Lewis and Clark Bridge, connecting the east end of Louisville to Southern Indiana. The Kentucky approach to the new bridge extends I-265 adding a new, four-lane 1.4-mile section. The Indiana approach also has a four-lane section that extends S.R. 265 four miles. The overall Ohio River Bridges project is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $87 billion on the region over the next 30 years.
The U.S. 31 Hamilton County project won in the large division of the Operations Excellence category. The $350 million project, completed in the summer of 2016, upgraded 13 miles of existing U.S. 31 between I-465 in Carmel and S.R. 38 near Westfield, including 11 new interchanges. With these improvements, a total of 13 traffic signals have been removed from the segment, reducing travel time and the risk of crashes along the corridor.
“INDOT works every day to improve Indiana’s economic competitiveness and the quality of life for all Hoosiers,” Joe McGuinness, INDOT Commissioner said. “The East End Crossing and the new U.S. 31 in Hamilton County are prime examples of our commitment to those goals. Both projects are making travel safer and more convenient for motorists and promoting development and job growth by enhancing the transportation networks in two of Indiana’s fastest growing regions.”
Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the competition recognizes transportation projects in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Technology and Innovation and new this year, Operations Excellence. Winners are chosen by an independent panel of judges from within the transportation industry.
“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 and commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation. “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.”
INDOT’s two winning projects will now compete for the America’s Transportation Awards “Grand Prize” and “People’s Choice” awards. The Grand Prize is determined by an independent panel of expert judges, and the People’s Choice Award is selected by the general public through online voting beginning August 21. The winners of the top two awards will be announced in September.
Learn more about the nominees and the competition at www.AmericasTransportationAwards.org.