Recent projects on I-70 nominated for 2 national awards | VailDaily.com

Recent projects on I-70 nominated for 2 national awards

Daily staff report
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DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation is one of the finalists in the 2016 America's Transportation Awards competition. The two Colorado projects, the Interstate 70 Mountain Express Lane project and the U.S. Highway 6 Bridges project, are among 12 projects from 10 different states competing for the national Grand Prize and the People's Choice award.

"We are honored to have two of our projects competing for these prestigious awards," Shailen Bhatt, the Colorado Department of Transportation executive director said. "We want to thank all of the communities and partners involved in both of these projects, focusing on delivering innovative transportation solutions."

About the awards

The America's Transportation Awards recognizes most outstanding transportation projects in three main categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Best Use of Innovation and Under Budget.

The I-70 Mountain Express Lane project was nominated in the Best Use of Innovation category, and the Highway 6 Bridges project was nominated in the Under Budget category.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials will announce the winners of both of the national awards on Nov. 14 during the group's annual meeting, set to take place in Boston.

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While the team of experts will choose a winner of the grand prize, the winner of the People's Choice Award will be chosen through online voting.

How to vote

To vote for the I-70 Mountain Express Lane project or the Highway 6 Bridges project, please go to http://www.americas transportationawards.org. Online voting will continue through Monday, Oct. 31. Each winner will receive a $10,000 donation from the national group. This donation can be used toward a charity or scholarship fund of choice.

The $72 million I-70 Mountain Express Lane project reduced congestion and travel time along I-70 between Empire and Idaho Springs by converting the eastbound shoulder into an express lane used during peak travel times only. Through this innovative strategy, an extra travel lane can be added during peak travel times, such as weekends and holidays, to guarantee a reliable travel speed.

This tactic diverts up to 900 vehicles to reduce congestion along the 13-mile corridor and adjacent frontage roads. With this project, state transportation officials are facilitating commerce, freight movement and access to recreational activities, while helping local mountain communities and saving travelers time.

For more information about the Colorado Department of Transportation, please go to http://www.coloradodot.info.