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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater


Federal Highway Administration
April 15, 1999


Thursday, April 15, 1999
Contact: Virginia Miller
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 25-99

In support of President Clinton’s initiatives to protect the environment, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced the 13 winners of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 1999 Environmental Excellence awards.

"President Clinton set the agenda for strengthening the federal government’s role as a partner with state and local efforts to build livable communities for the 21st century," Secretary Slater said. "I am delighted to recognize the winners—their work on transportation projects and commitment will result in a better environment and more livable communities."

Started in 1995, these FHWA biennial awards recognize environmental leadership, innovative processes and cooperative partnerships. Most of this year’s winners are public/private efforts. One individual won an award for his 28 years of work on a broad range of environmental and transportation projects in Florida.

"These award-winning projects show how local and federal governments, industry and community groups can work together to make a difference in building strong communities," said FHWA Administrator Kenneth Wykle. "As we move into the new millennium, these winning efforts – and others like them – can serve as models for helping to build transportation systems that protect and enhance the environment."

The 1999 Environmental Excellence Award recipients come from 11 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Texas and Washington. Florida and Colorado each had two winners. In addition, the two honorable mention winners came from West Virginia and Rhode Island.

FHWA received 121 nominations from 35 states. Winners were selected by an independent panel for 12 categories: Air Quality Improvement; Community Livability; Non-Motorized Transportation; Water Quality; Wetlands and Other Ecosystems; Vegetation Management; Environmental Leadership; Environmental Research; Environmental Processes; Archaeological Resources; Historical Resources; and Noise Abatement. Two winners were declared in the category for Wetlands and Other Ecosystems.

Wykle and Deputy FHWA Administrator Gloria Jeff will present the awards to the winners at an Earth Day ceremony on April 22 at the Federal Highway Administration.

The FHWA 1999 Environmental Excellence Award Winners, a brief description of the projects, and contacts associated with them are as follows:

State Route 87 (Wetlands and Other Ecosystems), Arizona

Referred to as one of the ten best roadways in the country, State Route 87's environmental mitigation has been so successful that it is now the standard for all future roadway designs within the Tonto National Forest.
Contact: Bill Rawson, ADOT, (602) 255-7356

Long Beach Bikestation (Community Livability), Long Beach, Calif.

The Long Beach Bikestation is more than just a public transit facility; it is a community hub for bicycle advocacy, transit information, and community events. Its success is leading the way for the opening of similar facilities in cities across the United States.
Contact: Georgia Case, Bikeable Communities, (562) 595-0704

 The HOP and the SKIP Transit Services (Air Quality Improvement), Boulder, Colo.

Two easy-access, high-frequency shuttle services are playing the leading role in helping Boulder, Colo., relieve congestion and help clean the air. A 1998 survey indicated that the HOP and SKIP would reduce vehicle miles traveled that year by 3.1 million.
Contact: Scott Reed, Regional Transportation District, (303) 299-2137
                Bob Whitson, Go Boulder/City of Boulder, (303) 441-4164

 Lafayette Bypass (Noise Abatement), Colorado

Through proactive public involvement and early coordination, the Colorado Department of Transportation was able to preserve the community character while mitigating noise levels.
Contact: Dan Hopkins, CDOT, (303) 757-9469

 Leroy Irwin (Environmental Leadership), Florida

This award recognizes Irwin’s distinguished leadership during a 28-year career managing the Florida Department of Transportation’s environmental programs.
Contact: Cynthia Lorenzo, FDOT, (850) 414-4591

Charlotte County-Punta Gorda Metropolitan Planning Office (MPO), (Environmental Processes), Florida

Environmental land acquisition and better distribution of commercial lands, together with a county transit system, will eliminate the need for more than half of the county’s projected new roads. An extensive public involvement process was key to its success.
Contact: Lisa Beever, MPO (941) 639-4676

 Indian Lake Restoration (Wetlands and Other Ecosystems), Minnesota

Once drained out of existence in 1929, this restored wetland, including a portion of the wetland ecosystem that once dominated most of southern Minnesota, is now a lake where aquatic plants and organisms are flourishing.
Contact: Alan Forsberg, Blue Earth County Highway Department, (507) 625-3281

 Going-to-the-Sun Road, Logan Pass Section (Historical Resources), Montana

To correct serious damage to this National Historic Landmark, workers used state-of-the- art engineering to fix this failing road and improve safety without damaging the road’s historical character.
Contact: Larry Frederick, Glacier National Park, (406) 888-7930

 Archaeological Investigation at Eden House (Archaeological Resources), North Carolina

This project shows how effective planning and cooperation can preserve an excellent collection of archaeological artifacts and also lead to increased local enthusiasm for heritage tourism. Contact: Sherri Creech Johnson, NCDOT, (919) 733-2522

 State Route 28 Water Quality Demonstration Project (Water Quality), Nevada

To preserve and protect Lake Tahoe’s water quality, Nevada DOT’s multi-faceted, four-year program to improve water quality on Lake Tahoe roadways resulted in the reduction of pollutants in the lake.
Contact: Scott Magruder, NDOT, (702) 888-7777

 New York City Bicycle Network Development Program (Non-Motorized Transportation), New York

For the first time in history, New York City released a comprehensive master plan for a 900-mile, citywide bike network and accompanying detailed borough bicycling maps. One year after the plan’s release, the total mileage of on-street bike lanes increased by 88%. Contact: Susanne Chasanoff, Department of City Planning, (212) 720-3225

Elements of Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Air Quality Program (Environmental Research), Texas

Research into peoples’ attitudes about ozone’s health impact, commuter options and proper vehicle maintenance led to a successful public awareness campaign that contributed to record breaking increases in METRO ridership.
Contact: Anne Mrok-Smith, HGAC, (713)627-3200

 WSDOT Olympic Region Landscape 3R Program (Vegetation Management), Washington

Government, environmental organizations, community volunteers, and the Squaxin Island Tribe worked together to ensure the protection of native trees during highway construction and highway maintenance activities.
Contact: Anne Briggs, WSDOT, (360) 357-2789

The FHWA also announced that the following received honorable mention in competition for the 1999 Environmental Excellence Awards:

Fayette Station Bridge (Historical Resource), West Virginia

This project reconstructed the historic Fayette Station Bridge, which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Stonington Railroad Depot (Historical Resource), Rhode Island

Working with residents, history-minded agencies, and the town, Rhode Island DOT designed, relocated, and restored the last remaining Stonington Railroad depot.


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