The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) received two awards in the regional America’s Transportation Awards Competition. One, for an innovative transportation planning approach to a bridge replacement project in Philadelphia, another for a bridge rehabilitation project in Pittsburgh.

The “PennDOT Connects- Connecting Communities” initiative won in the Quality of Life Development Small Project category.

“PennDOT Connects” began as a policy issued by PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards to strengthen the commitment of PennDOT to collaborate with Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Rural Planning Organizations, and local governments in the process. The initiative identifies community needs and contextual issues early in project planning through a collaborative process.

Another initiative won by PennDOT, this time in the category of Operations Excellence, was the Liberty Bridge Rehabilitation Project. This project consisted of the complete rehabilitation of the 91-year-old bridge including steel repairs, concrete repairs, full painting of the structure, new exodermic deck, and new lane control system.

“I am so proud of the department and the recognition that we’ve received. These awards are a true reflection of the hard work and dedication that I see everyday,”said PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards.

The America’s Transportation Awards Competition, sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the American Automobile Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, was created to showcase all the tremendous projects delivered by state departments of transportation.

PennDOT claims projects nominated by this competition are making communities stronger, our economy more efficient, and quality of life better, all while utilizing the most innovative technology to get these projects done better and faster.

The competition is in its twelfth year, with 39 state transportation departments participating in the competition, and 81 projects nominated for three categories, Quality of Life/Community Development, Best of Technology and Innovation, and Operations Excellence.