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Seven Highway Projects Win National Roadway Safety Awards

GARFIELD COUNTY, WA — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Roadway Safety Foundation honored seven highway safety projects in five states with National Roadway Safety Awards as part of a biennial program to highlight successful approaches to improving roadway safety at the state and local level.

“While our roads and vehicles have gotten safer over the years, clearly motor vehicle crashes still take a tremendous toll,” said RSF Executive Director Greg Cohen in a statement.

“These awards honor those who successfully identified dangerous deficiencies in their systems and applied our latest research and technology to implement effective and cost-efficient fixes,” he added. “We salute these winners — the unsung heroes who planned, engineered and implemented these innovative solutions — and urge DOTs across the nation to consider these projects and apply them wherever possible.”

FHWA Executive Director Tom Everett noted that the seven award winners were commended “not only in saving lives on our nation’s roads, but also for maximizing the cost effectiveness of federal, state and local funds that were used.”

Applicants were encouraged to nominate successful programs that were “innovative, cost-effective and could be replicated elsewhere.” Altogether, seven winners and one honorable mention were selected. The following projects won in the Construction area:

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was recently honored with two awards, recognizing the agency’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and Strategic Guardrail Management Program. Both efforts are focused on using research and technology to implement measurable improvements at identified safety challenges.

The Strategic Guardrail Management Program also won a President’s Award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The program improves roadway safety and maintenance efficiencies of the state’s guardrail system by prioritizing improvements at high-risk locations using data, technology and business-process enhancements. The VDOT Guardrail Tracker Tool enables information input and performance monitoring via a single, agency-wide, cloud-based GIS platform.

The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan is a statewide strategy that identifies high-risk areas for pedestrian safety, then develops funding solutions and installs safety improvements at those locations based on the severity and extent of the risk areas. The program’s interactive web-based tool is a national model for analysis to identify project needs for pedestrian safety improvements, then VDOT will quickly fund and install the safety improvements at those locations.

“Both of these VDOT programs are implementing data-driven solutions to make our roads safer for everyone,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “We are building efficiencies and expanding data through these tools, but more importantly, we are directly implementing enhanced safety improvements across the state. Our team’s solutions are keeping Virginia families, friends, co-workers and neighbors safer whether they are traveling by foot or by car.”

The National Roadway Safety Award projects were evaluated on three criteria: effectiveness, innovation and efficient use of resources.

“Safety is always our top priority, and these tools are addressing key safety challenges,” said VDOT Chief Deputy Commissioner Rob Cary. “Our teams are developing innovative, datacentric solutions to address safety and build efficiencies, and I am proud to see them honored for the difference they are making on Virginia roadways.”

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