The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has received two national awards from the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO.) Both honors were for key construction projects completed this past year in California. Each year, AASHTO names high-profile winners in a number of categories. These awards went to Caltrans in the “On Time Project Delivery” and “Innovative Management” categories.
The Interstate 15 - Express Lanes in San Diego County received the organization’s “On-Time Project Delivery Award,” for outstanding accomplishments involving design and construction efforts with special features such as moveable median barriers, advanced traffic control devices, intermediate access points and direct access freeway ramps. All of the effort has greatly improved traffic flow, capacity and provide additional transportation options along the I-15 corridor. Caltrans was the lead agency for the highway project; and, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) led the transit and tolling projects.
The Fix I-5 Sacramento Project won an “Innovative Management Award.” The work repaired drainage systems and replaced pavement for the well-traveled “Boat Section,” a three-quarter-mile section of I-5 in downtown Sacramento, near the State Capitol, where more than 190,000 vehicles travel alongside the Sacramento River, which was previously known to have flooding problems. The construction focused on an innovative approach to replace the roadway and complete construction in less than two months.
Caltrans paired the construction efforts with regional public information campaigns that proved to be pivotal to the success of both projects. Public workshops, community presentations, press events, and an interactive Web site also helped inform the 130,000 affected drivers. Caltrans partnered with the city of Sacramento and the Sacramento International Airport for a successful community outreach effort. During the work, more than 3.8 million trips were detoured and delays averaged only five to 10 minutes, far shorter than anticipated.