Do us a favor and show your support for the South Mountain Freeway!

By David Rookhuyzen / ADOT Communications

SMF Award VotingCould we ask for a favor?

We promise it's easier than giving a ride to the airport or housesitting a cat.

You see, we were pretty enthused last month when we learned that three ADOT projects had won first-place honors in the regional awards for the 2020 America’s Transportation Awards competition. What department of transporation wouldn't be honored that the road work it had labored on was making a splash among its peers?

But while telling people about the kudos, we also mentioned there was a possibility for those projects to be considered for the "Top 12," a nationwide competition of – you guessed it – 12 projects vying to win either the Grand Prize or People's Choice Award.

Imagine then how we felt this week to announce the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, the $2 billion construction project that opened to traffic last December and was literally the biggest thing we've ever managed, had been chosen by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (or AASHTO) to go head-to-head with 11 other projects from across the country. These projects were chosen because they make travel in the U.S. safer, better and more accessible to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

And here's where that favor comes in.

The Grand Prize winner will be determined by a independent panel of transportation experts looking closely at each submission, but the People's Choice Award is just what it sounds like – a vote by the general public on their favorite project. So we need your help ensuring that the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway gets the recognition it deserves. 

If you are one of the thousands of people who uses the new freeway regularly or have just used it a few times to get from the east to west Valley (or vice versa!), now's your chance to show your support. You can cast votes for the South Mountain Freeeway through Oct. 25 by going to AmericasTransportationAwards.org. And here's the kicker: It's not a one-and-done thing. You can cast a vote every single day of the competition to help make sure the South Mountain Freeway rises to the top.

To sweeten the deal, we'll also mention the project that takes home the Grand Prize or the People's Choice Award also gets $10,000 to donate toward a charity or a transportation-related scholarship.

So please take few minutes each day to throw a vote toward making the South Mountain Freeway the clear favorite when the winners are announced in November. Even if you can't do it that often, every vote counts!

And after that ... maybe we could talk about getting a ride to the airport?