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Innovative Interchange Wins National Recognition
FRANKFORT –The innovative and cost-saving U.S. 68 Double Crossover Diamond Interchange in Lexington has been recognized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials as one of the 10 best transportation projects in the United States.
AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce co-sponsor America’s Transportation Awards, an annual competition to recognize the best transportation projects in three general categories – Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget, and Best Use of Innovation.
Ten finalist projects emerged from four regional contests involving 49 projects from 34 states, according to a news release from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The top 10 will now compete for America’s Transportation Awards’ Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges.
A People’s Choice Award will be decided by the general public in online voting that begins Monday, Sept. 10, and continues through Oct. 19, at www.AmericasTransportationAward.org. The two awards will be presented Nov. 16 at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.
“It’s an honor to have this project recognized for excellence in a prestigious, national competition,” Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said in the news release. “It’s a great credit to our very innovative engineers, who work day in and day out to produce high-value roadways that increase safety and mobility for the traveling public.”
The U.S. 68 Double Crossover Diamond won the Mid-America regional competition for a project under $25 million in the Innovation/Small Project category. The project transformed a meandering, congestion-prone interchange on one of Lexington’s busiest thoroughfares into a modern interchange with improved traffic flow and safety at a fraction of the cost of a traditional interchange rebuild.
By using existing infrastructure, project cost was held to $5.5 million, as opposed to $15 million or $20 million to completely rebuild the interchange. Construction was completed in less time, which minimized the impact on the traveling public.
Finally, the project team was able to provide a shared-use path that allows for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely pass through the interchange area.
Panelists representing the American business community, police and/or emergency workers and transportation experts from university transportation centers judged entries at both the regional and national levels.