Freeway award would mean scholarships for Gila River Indian Community students

Voting open until Oct. 25; $10,000 award would fund scholarships

PHOENIX – There are still opportunities for you to cast daily votes in a national contest to recognize one of Arizona's new freeways and fund student scholarships.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is one of 12 finalists for an award that would celebrate ADOT’s innovations on the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway that saved three years of construction time and $100 million in construction costs. If the freeway wins, ADOT will win a $10,000 prize that will be used to fund scholarships for 10 members of the Gila River Indian Community.

The scholarships could be used at a college, university or trade school.

The $2 billion freeway, which abuts the Gila River Indian Community boundary, is the largest project ever managed by ADOT. It is one of the finalists in the national America’s Transportation Awards competition. It was selected as the first-place winner for innovation and use of technology in the West region judging. 

The project is now among the 12 finalists competing for two separate awards -- the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. Both awards come with a $10,000 prize for a charity or scholarship of the winner’s choosing. 

Anyone can vote for the South Mountain Freeway for the People’s Choice Award. Votes can be cast online through Oct. 25. Voting is permitted once every 24 hours.

An independent panel of transportation industry experts will select the Grand Prize winner. Winners in both categories will be announced in November.

Check out information about other finalists and America’s Transportation Awards, sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by visiting the awards webpage. 

Two other ADOT projects won top honors last month in regional competitions for America’s Transportation Awards, which included 79 projects nominated by 36 departments of transportation across the country. The I-10/SR 87 Interchange Reconstruction including the I-10 Dust Detection System near Eloy won first place for Operations Excellence, Medium Project. The SR 347 Overpass at Union Pacific Railroad in Maricopa took first place for Quality of Life/Community Development.