2021 Partnering Excellence Awards

The award, established in 2005, recognizes partnership teams who

  • demonstrate a high degree of achievement through the practice of partnering principles.
  • display the application of the partnering processes related to the transportation industry.

The Arizona Transportation Partnering Excellence Awards are sponsored by Arizona Department of Transportation, Associated General Contractors Arizona Chapter, Arizona Public Works Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, Associated Minority Contractors of Arizona, Arizona Transportation Builders Association, Federal Highway Administration and Maricopa County Department of Transportation.

What is partnering?

Partnering is defined as a formal process of collaborative teamwork to achieve measurable results through agreements and productive working relationships.

A creative and innovative edge is critical to business success. Time and resources are valuable. Successful partnerships reduce delays, develop positive and effective relationships and find solutions to problems as early as possible.

The formal partnering process begins with a team charter that includes a mission, goals and guidelines. An issue resolution process is developed along with action plans, evaluation methods, meeting follow-up and reporting. Together, all of these activities contribute to a successful partnership and ultimately, a great product.

Why should your project team apply for this award?

Any team that applies for this prestigious award will be assessed for their current practices and relationships — an extremely valuable learning opportunity!

In addition to being honored at the Roads and Streets Conference the winners will

  • receive recognition from industry partners.
  • be recognized as leaders in partnering excellence.
  • receive feedback regarding strengths and opportunities that will drive improved effectiveness.
  • encompass the opportunity to network with peers in the industry who are committed to partnering excellence.
  • know they have contributed to continuous improvement of partnering as a business practice.

What are the award categories?

Eligible projects include those that have utilized a formal partnering process and will be able to show a relationship to transportation.


  • Roadway (under $5M; $5M-$25M; over $25M): The project included one or more of the following: highways/state routes, freeways, roads and streets - including reconstruction and expansion or widening of existing facilities, bridges, interchanges, overpasses, or road tunnels.
  • Other Transportation Infrastructure (under $5M; $5M-$25M; over $25M): The project contains elements that enhance the transportation system(s) such as: airport, bus/transit, drainage/flood control system, rest areas, tunnels (other than roadway), ports of entry, rail, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), non-recreational multi-use paths (part of an overall system) or pedestrian bridges.


  • Planning/Development/Design: The project can include planning studies; scoping, design and environmental documents; Tier I study; plans complete to the percent stage required in contract. 
  • General Partnerships: Multiple organizations using the elements of partnering processes to achieve positive results related to a work environment that supports the transportation industry. Examples include public and agency partnerships among and between DOTs such as:
    • Local, state and federal agencies
    • Subcommittees and/or work groups under the partnership
    • Counties, tribes
    • Non-government stakeholders such as utilities or private organizations
    • Members and work units of the same organization, internal or external

What projects are eligible?

The Partnership must be transportation related. An organization may submit multiple applications. For example, an organization that has completed multiple projects under separate bids may submit as many projects as they wish as long as each
project meets the requirements. However, a project that includes design and construction in one bid can only be submitted once.


  • Substantially complete and ready for use by December 31, 2021.
  • Previously submitted construction projects are not eligible.
  • Construction Manager at Risk, Design Build and Job Order Contracting are eligible under the Construction category only.


  • Documents and plans completed by December 31, 2021 to the percent stage required by contract.

General Partnerships

  • Partnerships with substantially completed goal(s)/outcome(s) finished by December 31, 2021 are eligible to apply.
  • Subcommittees of a General Partnership are eligible to apply if all requirements are met.

View previous award winners