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Former USDOT Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez among Honorees

PHOENIX — The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials today presented awards during its annual meeting to former USDOT Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez and 10 other individuals, teams and programs for outstanding achievement in the field of transportation.

“Every year it is AASHTO’s privilege to recognize the extraordinary people, projects, and programs that are making transportation safer and more reliable for everyone,” said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. “These honorees are truly remarkable innovators who demonstrate the kind of can-do spirit America will need to keep up with the transformational technologies emerging in transportation today.”

The awards and the honorees are as follows:

Victor Mendez, former USDOT Deputy Secretary, received the George S. Bartlett Award given jointly by AASHTO, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and the Transportation Research Board in recognition of an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to highway progress. Mendez began his career with the Arizona Department of Transportation in 1985 as a transportation engineer. In 2001, he was named Arizona DOT director. Mendez served as AASHTO 2006-2007 president and in 2009 he was appointed Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration. As administrator, Mendez approved the launch of the Every Day Counts initiative in cooperation with the AASHTO to speed up the delivery of highway projects and to address the challenges presented by limited budgets.

John Njord, former Utah DOT Executive Director, received the Thomas H. MacDonald Award, which recognizes a state transportation professional who has rendered continuous outstanding service over an extended period or has made an exceptional contribution to the art and science of highway engineering. Under his leadership, UDOT became nationally recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative and best-run state DOTs. During his tenure, John partnered with the Salt Lake Olympic Committee as the director of Olympic Transportation Planning for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Susan Shaw of the Virginia Department of Transportation received the Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Award, which recognizes an outstanding contribution in the field of highway engineering or management. Since joining VDOT in 1997, Shaw has been a department trailblazer leading projects that are delivered through innovation and collaboration. As director of the Megaprojects Office in northern Virginia, Shaw oversees projects worth more than $3 billion.

The Utah Department of Transportation’s Moab Peer-to-Peer Adaptive Signal Control System received the Francis B. Francois Award for Innovation. UDOT signal engineers developed a traffic control system using the latest technology to allow for the most efficient signal timing in the heavily congested center of Moab, Utah. Moab is located near Arches National Park which receives more than 450,000 visitors annually.

The winners of AASHTO’s annual President’s Transportation Awards, by category, were:

  • Administration: Missouri DOT, the Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Funding Project Team.
  • Administration: Michigan DOT, the For-Hire Passenger Transportation Project Team.
  • Environment: Michigan DOT, the Interstate 75 Corridor Conservation Plan Core Team.
  • Highways: Michigan DOT, Jack Rick, the University Region design squad and the I-96/US-23 Interchange Reconstruction Project Team.
  • Highway Traffic Safety: Idaho Transportation Department, the US 20 Thornton Interchange Saves Lives Project.
  • Performance Excellence: Pennsylvania DOT, the Highly Automated Vehicle (H-A-V) Senior Leadership Team.
  • Public Transportation: Michigan DOT, Jonathan Loree, Manager for the M-1 Rail (Q Line) Street Car Project.


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