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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 39-11
Monday, August 22, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

Seven States Receive FHWA Environmental Excellence Awards

SEATTLE – The Federal Highway Administration today presented seven states with 12 Environmental Excellence Awards, which are the agency’s highest recognition for states that develop innovative solutions for reducing the environmental impact of the nation's highways.

"Finding a better balance between the environment and America’s roadways is a key to creating jobs, scaling back our dependence on oil, and reducing pollution," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Projects like the urban wildlife refuge in Wilmington and the streetcar project in Portland show how we can improve the environment, our economy and the lives of people in surrounding communities all at the same time."

An independent panel selected the winning entries in 10 categories. The winning projects each used innovative methods to promote environmental sensitivity and sustainability without sacrificing mobility. FHWA announced the winning entries at the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation.

"These winners are setting the standard for the way the transportation community meets environmental challenges," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "By shortening project delivery and advancing innovative technology, the people behind these projects are helping make every day count."

Paul Wagner of the Washington State Department of Transportation received the 2011 Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Leadership for significantly reducing the impact of surface transportation on wildlife over a career spanning 20 years. Other winning entries this year include:

California: Bizz Johnson Trail Bridge No. 9 Repair Project
Excellence in Nonmotorized Transportation
Award recipient: Bureau of Land Management and FHWA’s Central Federal Lands Division.

Delaware: Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge
Excellence in Wetlands, Watersheds and Water Quality
Award recipient: Delaware DOT, Riverfront Corporation and FHWA’s Delaware/Maryland Division.

Illinois: New Mississippi River Bridge Project
Excellence in Cultural and Historic Resources
Award recipient: Illinois DOT and Illinois State Archaeological Survey.

New York: Route 347 Project
Excellence in Context Sensitive Solutions
Award recipient: New York State DOT -Region 10.

North Carolina: Wetland Assessment Method
Excellence in Ecosystem, Habitat and Wildlife
Award recipient: NCDOT, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), NC Division of Coastal Management, NC Ecosystem Enhancement Program, NC Natural Heritage Program, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Wilmington District, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Atkins North America, Inc., and Axiom Environmental.

North Carolina: GIS-based Wetland and Stream Predictive Models
Excellence in Environmental Research
Award recipient: NCDOT, NCDENR and NC Division of Water Quality

North Carolina: Wilkes County Rest Area
Excellence in Recycling and Reuse
Award recipient: NCDOT, Innovative Design, Inc., and Vannoy Construction Co.

Oregon: Portland Streetcar Loop Project
Excellence in Air Quality Improvement and Global Climate Change
Award recipient: Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Streetcar Inc.

Oregon: Delta Ponds Bridge
Excellence in Nonmotorized Transportation
Award recipient: Oregon DOT, City of Eugene., Mowat Construction and OBEC Consulting Engineers.

Washington: Washington Connected Landscapes Project
Excellence in Ecosystem, Habitat and Wildlife
Award recipient: Washington State DOT, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, USFWS, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Conversation Northwest, The Nature Conservancy and the University of Washington.

Washington: I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project
Excellence in Environmental Streamlining
Award recipient: Washington State DOT and USFS.

Additional information about the 2011 Environmental Excellence Award recipients can be found at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/eea2011/index.htm.

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