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Two NJDOT projects earn regional recognition in AASHTO’s 2021 America's Transportation Awards

Regional awards qualify projects for the national prize

(Trenton) – The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) today announced two NJDOT projects have been named regional winners in the 2021 America’s Transportation Awards Competition.

The America’s Transportation Awards sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a competition in which state DOTs compete in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development; Best Use of Technology and Innovation; and Operations Excellence. Each category is also designated by project budget size: small (less than $25 million), medium ($25 million to $200 million), and large (greater than $200 million). Projects are judged within their region. NJDOT received awards for two small category projects:

  • Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running Project, which was recognized in the Operations Excellence category
  • Transportation Asset Management System, which was recognized for Best Use of Technology and Innovation

“These awards recognize the outstanding efforts of the men and women of the New Jersey Department of Transportation to deliver projects in a safe and efficient manner,” NJDOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti said. “We are constantly finding new and innovative ways to improve our transportation infrastructure and demonstrate our commitment to the communities we serve.” 

Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running Project in South Brunswick

The $2.9 million Route 1 Permanent Hard Shoulder Running Project improved motorist safety, improved emergency access for first responders, increased capacity and travel reliability, and cut commute times by up to 50 percent. In South Brunswick, Route 1 narrows from three lanes to two lanes in each direction. That reduction in lanes caused travel delays and safety concerns as traffic would bottleneck during peak travel periods for up to two miles.

NJDOT implemented a hard shoulder running (HSR) strategy, which uses the shoulder as a travel lane during peak periods. This allowed for three travel lanes instead of two by using 14 overhead lane-use signals and 4 dynamic message signs. The project also installed 28 cameras to monitor those shoulder lanes. Since project completion, average speed has increased from 13 mph to 31 mph, all while allowing for additional capacity.

Transportation Asset Management System

NJDOT is managing its resources as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible with its new Transportation Asset Management System (TAMS). It allows the Department to ensure greater safety for the public by responding to problems more quickly and efficiently, saving time and money. NJDOT can also provide better information to our partners like contractors, municipal officials and police; coordination that once took days of meetings and phone calls now happen almost instantly.

TAMS technology also proved a “game changer” for NJDOT’s maintenance and operations divisions. It provides an enterprise-level, map-based work and asset management system including a seamless workflow from reporting problems to dispatch, repair, and management reporting. Field crews receive assignments, document their work, and identify potential insurance claims on mobile phones using GPS and photos – increasing the quality of work performed in the field. Comprehensive, real-time dashboards provide insight into maintenance operations, costs, and inventory. TAMS replaced several disconnected systems, allowing NJDOT to address issues on its system faster and more efficiently, keeping everyone safer.

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