SCDOT wins two regional transportation awards

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) has won two regional transportation awards for its work to preserve a 100-year-old bridge in the Upstate and for innovative methods to maintain transportation systems when Hurricane Florence struck the East coast in September 2018.

“For 12 years, the America’s Transportation Awards have recognized state DOT projects for making communities safer, less congested, and better connected,” said Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) 2018-2019 president. “Today’s regional winners demonstrate how state DOTs collaborate with local communities and partners to develop innovative, multimodal solutions that keep people and goods moving by motor vehicle, scooters, bicycle, and on foot.”

SCDOT’s two awards:

South Carolina Department of Transportation —“Historic Iron Bridge at Glendale Shoals Project” (Quality of Life/Community Development – Small category)

Built in 1928, the Glendale Shoals Bridge in Spartanburg County served as the connector for a vibrant cotton mill community but was closed to vehicle traffic in the late 1970s. With the bridge showing signs of deterioration from the elements, SCDOT saw an opportunity to breathe new life into the bridge by making it a space for the community to enjoy and restore it to its former glory. Engineers preserved the iron trusses and were able to reuse much of the existing structure. The deteriorated asphalt bridge deck was replaced with a new timber deck. The design also combined modern steel cable railing. This railing provides a safety barrier along the bridge while maximizing the views of the scenic shoals below. Using appropriate environmental controls, the construction team removed the flaked and rusted lead-based paint, and the bridge now wears a new coat of red paint. Energy-efficient LED light fixtures and power outlets were also installed to extend the bridge’s usefulness beyond daylight hours and facilitate the vision for this gathering place. With a fresh breath of life, this historic landmark was reopened to the public in July 2018.

South Carolina Department of Transportation – “Project Lifeline” (Operations Excellence – Small category)


When Hurricane Florence slammed into the coastline of the Carolinas in September 2018, the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) jumped into action to identify locations that would help keep transportation flowing even as heavy wind and rain posed roadway use hazards. The Project Lifeline initiative led SCDOT officials to identify four critical locations in the Pee Dee area that would help keep transportation open as long as possible: US 501 in Conway, US 378 near Lake City, US 17 in Georgetown and US 521 driving into Georgetown. The construction of a flood barrier wall along the US 501 in Conway took several days to complete. With help from the National Guard and other organizational volunteers, Hesco Flood Barriers were installed and topped with sandbags. This flood barrier wall proved to be successful as the flood waters did reach US 501, but flooded the road and it remained open to traffic. SCDOT also installed Aqua Dams, or water-filled barriers, on US 17 and US 521 in Georgetown. Installation of the AquaDams took just days to complete and proved to be a successful decision. The quick action and operations of the SCDOT allowed for all transportation to continue and prioritized the safety of all residents, ultimately helping save lives.

Flood barrier along US 501 in Conway protected traffic from rising floodwaters as part of “Project Lifeline.”

Sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 12th annual America’s Transportation Awards competition is comprised of three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, which recognizes projects that provide significant benefits to the communities in which they are located, especially in the form of economic growth and the well-being of citizens; Best Use of Technology & Innovation, which recognizes new technology and/or creative solutions implemented by a state DOT; and Operations Excellence, which recognizes projects that deliver a more reliable, well-functioning, and/or safer transportation system through operational solutions. Project categories are also designated by size: small (projects costing less than $25 million), medium (projects that cost between $25 million and $200 million), and large (projects costing more than $200 million).

This is the last of four regional America’s Transportation Awards competitions. The three highest-scoring projects from each regional competition earn a place on a “Top 12” list of projects, which will compete for the Grand Prize – selected by an independent panel of industry judges – and the People’s Choice Award, chosen by the general public through online voting. The top two winners also receive $10,000 cash awards, to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing. The Top 12 projects will be announced on Aug. 23 when online voting for the People’s Choice Award will begin. The winners of the top two awards will be announced Oct. 7 at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO.

Drone videos showing Project Lifeline: