Scot63US/Flickr

Guess what kinds of projects the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials decided to honor this year?

Voting began today for America's Transportation Award, the annual infrastructure competition organized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). So what sort of offerings have made the cut? Pittsburgh's new, free section of a subway line? New York City's bike lanes? Dallas' new freeway-capping downtown park? The suspense is killing me...

Wrong and wrong again! All ten projects that AASHTO selected for the final round are highways. And as Angie Schmidt at Streetsblog points out, the success or failure of some of them -- Maryland's Intercounty Connector and St. Louis' I-270 project in particular -- remain up for debate.

Part of the problem is that nearly all of the selections are praised for efficiency and low cost of construction, two things which aren't usually associated with ambitious, innovative infrastructure projects. But having accepted the constraints of this selection, we found a bright spot -- Virginia is up for its use of "pavement recycling" in repairs to I-81, which sounds cool.

So we'll put our money on VA, and hope that the votes don't go to the Silver State, where the "Nevada Department of Transportation widened a northbound 3.2 mile stretch of US 395 near I-80 in Reno to fix the congestion problem that plagued 150,000 commuters each day. The $31.5 million project was completed five months ahead of schedule."

If widening an interstate highway in a city is the best transportation project in America, well, then, I'm going home.

Top image courtesy of Scot63US.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  2. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  3. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  4. Construction workers build affordable housing units.
    Equity

    Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?

    As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

  5. Equity

    Seattle Has 5 Big Pieces of Advice for Amazon’s HQ2 Winner

    Being HQ1 has been no picnic.