The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) presented seven states with 12 Environmental Excellence Awards, which are the agency’s highest recognition for states that develop innovative solutions for reducing the environmental impact of the nation's highways.
"Finding a better balance between the environment and America’s roadways is a key to creating jobs, scaling back our dependence on oil and reducing pollution," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Projects like the urban wildlife refuge in Wilmington and the streetcar project in Portland show how we can improve the environment, our economy and the lives of people in surrounding communities all at the same time."
An independent panel selected the winning entries in 10 categories. The winning projects each used innovative methods to promote environmental sensitivity and sustainability without sacrificing mobility. FHWA announced the winning entries at the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation.
"These winners are setting the standard for the way the transportation community meets environmental challenges," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "By shortening project delivery and advancing innovative technology, the people behind these projects are helping make every day count."
Paul Wagner of the Washington State Department of Transportation received the 2011 Environmental Excellence Award for Environmental Leadership for significantly reducing the impact of surface transportation on wildlife over a career spanning 20 years. Other winning entries this year came from the following states: California, Delaware, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington.
More information about the winning projects is at www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/eea2011/index.htm.