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Prepared by Andrew Gates 314/453-1808

September 09, 2014 11:28 AM
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is Finalist in National Transportation Awards Competition


St. Louis, MO - The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge in St. Louis, has been selected as one of 10 national finalists in the 2014 America's Transportation Awards competition. A panel of national transportation experts picked the Mississippi River bridge project from 73 projects representing 36 states in the categories of "Best Use of Innovation," "Under Budget" and "Quality of Life/Community Development."

The project was a joint effort by the Missouri and Illinois Department of Transportation. The project was the first major river bridge to be constructed in the greater St. Louis area in over 50 years. Its purpose was to reduce congestion and improve safety by removing one of three interstates from the Poplar Street Bridge into St. Louis. The project symbolizes Illinois' and Missouri's commitment to innovation and partnership. The bridge opened to traffic in February.

"While all 73 projects nominated deserve recognition for their contributions to improving transportation in America, these 10 remaining projects are the best of the best," said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. The awards competition is sponsored by AASHTO, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"This competition recognizes excellence in project delivery." Wright said. "It's about saving time and taxpayers' money and improving the ability of people, manufacturers, farmers and service providers to move themselves and their goods, reliably, every day."

"Being selected as one of the top construction projects in the country is a huge honor.  We owe our success to a great partnership with Illinois, our design team and our construction partners. Constructing a major river bridge over the Mississippi River was challenging, as we faced extraordinarily high and low river levels during construction. We were able to meet and overcome these challenges and many others due to the hard work and coordination in our exceptionally diverse team.  That team ensured that we were able to complete the construction of the $695 million project on time and under budget. More importantly, we were able to provide a needed release to the interstate traffic between St. Clair County Illinois and St. Louis," said Randy Hitt, project director.

Last year, MoDOT's Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program won the national People's Choice Award.

The 10 transportation projects now compete for the Grand Prize, selected by a panel of judges. A People's Choice Award will be decided through online voting. Voting began Monday, September 8 and continues through Friday, October 4 at http://www.americastransportationawards.org/. On the ballot, the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is listed as MO/IL: Mississippi River Bridge. Those interested are welcome to vote up to 10 times per day for their favorite projects. The two awards will be presented November 23 at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in Charlotte.

Winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award will each be awarded $10,000, which must be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT's choice.

To learn more about the Mississippi River Bridge Project, visit the project website at http://www.newriverbridge.org/


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