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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2005
Contact: Stephanie Roth
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 05-05

Federal Highway Administration Announces 11 Awards for Environmental Excellence

WASHINGTON, DC - A project to improve water quality in Colorado and a course for school children on scenic byways in North Carolina are among the 11 initiatives recognized today by the Federal Highway Administration today for excellence in environmental preservation and protection.

The FHWA's Environmental Excellence Awards highlight federally funded transportation projects, programs and processes that surpass environmental compliance guidelines to achieve noteworthy natural resource preservation goals. Winners of the 2005 awards, presented during an Earth Day ceremony, were selected from among 238 nominations from 38 states and the District of Columbia.

"These winners serve as models of environmental stewardship," said Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters. "They carry forward the Bush Administration's commitment to a high quality transportation system and a healthy environment."

"The award winners have provided fresh and innovative ideas that can lead to greater environmental excellence in the future," said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator J. Richard Capka, who presented the awards.

Following are the award recipients:

  • The Oregon Bridge Replacement Environmental Stewardship Program: The Oregon Department of Transportation's project to repair or replace approximately 350 bridges used environmental streamlining to shave more than a year off construction time, saving taxpayers approximately $55 million.

  • North Carolina's Scenic Byways Program: More than 1,500 elementary school teachers use materials developed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to teach students about scenic byways.

  • SouthWest Station, Minnesota: The SouthWest Metro Transit Commission attracted more passengers by locating a new transit station near major roadways and a bus terminal that serves Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, located southwest of the City. As a result, vehicle trips have decreased by 1,630 per day, reducing carbon monoxide emissions and improving air quality.

  • New Jersey Route 29 Tunnel/South Riverwalk Project: The New Jersey Department of Transportation constructed a tunnel between an historic Trenton community and the Delaware River. By moving traffic underground, the tunnel allows pedestrians to walk to the Delaware River from surrounding neighborhoods and a newly constructed park that commemorates Delaware Valley history.

  • Fisheries Protection Program for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge: The California Department of Transportation tested and used an innovative acoustics system to protect fish during construction of the bridge's east span.

  • North Carolina's Environmental Research Program: Extensive collaboration with regulatory agencies by the North Carolina Department of Transportation's environmental research program leads to better environmental decision making.

  • Central Artery/Tunnel Project, Massachusetts: Community meetings and other public outreach conducted by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority resulted in a project design that enhanced Boston neighborhoods and displaced no residents.

  • Reconstruction of Route 25 in Greenport, NY: The New York Department of Transportation is improving water quality and controlling highway water runoff into the Greenport Harbor by using an improved water drainage system.

  • Reedy Creek Greenway System, North Carolina: The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the City of Raleigh built bike and walking paths to popular educational, cultural and recreational sites.

  • Berthoud Pass Mountain Access Project, Colorado: The Colorado Department of Transportation improved water quality and created a more attractive roadside environment by building a sophisticated system to transport sand, snowmelt and runoff into strategically placed sedimentation basins.

  • Mr. William Ruediger, Montana: Bill Ruediger, recently retired from the U.S. Forest Service, won the environmental leadership award for his service as the agency's first wildlife ecology leader for highways.

For additional information, please visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/eea.htm.

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