Illinois Tollway Wins International Award for Social Responsibility

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) today announced the seven winners of its prestigious 2020 Toll Excellence Awards  acknowledging industry leaders implementing transportation projects worldwide focusing on environmental sustainability, advancement of emerging technologies, easing mobility and alleviating congestion. 
 
“This year’s Toll Excellence Award winners have continued to set the bar higher for the transportation industry throughout the world,” said Samuel Johnson, Interim CEO of the Transportation Corridor Agencies and President of IBTTA. “From investing in environmental sustainability efforts to be valued partners in their local communities to the creation of a high-tech testing center to further the development of emerging technologies, our members lead the way in transportation.”
 
The seven award winners will make presentations at 11 a.m. ET on September 10 during IBTTA's Virtual 88th Annual Meeting and Exhibition, September 10 and 14-16, 2020. One of the seven recipients will also be honored with the President’s Award for Excellence, the association’s highest achievement, during the opening session, Monday morning, September 14.
 
“Toll authorities and industry partners demonstrate their continued leadership conceiving, developing and implementing programs and strategies that advance mobility, safety and efficiency for drivers around the world,” said David Machamer, Chair of IBTTA’s Toll Excellence Awards Committee and Assistant Executive Director, PIKEPASS and Toll Operations for the Oklahoma Turnpike. “Against historic, extraordinary circumstances this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these award winners continue to find ways to break new ground that ultimately will mean safer, more reliable and better experiences for our customers, the driving public.”
 
This year’s recipients of IBTTA’s 2020 Toll Excellence Awards are:
·        Administration and Finance: North Texas Tollway Authority
·        Customer Service and Marketing Outreach: Washington State Department of Transportation
·        Social Responsibility: Illinois Tollway
·        Technology: Florida's Turnpike Enterprise (FTE)
·        Toll Operations, Engineering and Maintenance: E-470 Public Highway Authority
·        Private Sector Innovation Award: Egis
·        Private Sector Innovation Award:  HNTB Corporation
 
IBTTA is the worldwide association for the owners and operators of toll facilities and the businesses that serve tolling. Each year, IBTTA presents the Toll Excellence Awards to highlight the very best projects, innovations, and solutions from the international tolling industry. The awards encourage the industry to share and celebrate new ideas and emerging practices. 
 
The Illinois Tollway was selected as the recipient of the 2020 Toll Excellence Award in the social responsibility category for its investments in recreational trails throughout Northern Illinois. 
 
The Tollway works with local communities, county forest preserve districts, regulatory agencies and other environmental groups to provide funding to restore and enhance prairies, woodlands, wetlands, and waterways. The investments by the Illinois Tollway's in recreational trails of approximately 1,000 miles of county forest preserve trails is one of the unsung benefits provided to communities surrounding the 294-mile system of five toll roads in Northern Illinois.

The trails benefit hikers, bikers, runners, horseback riders, bird-watchers, cross-country skiers, snowmobilers, and other outdoor enthusiasts living in the Chicago region's urban and suburban environments. The trails frequently link the forest preserves to longer, regional, statewide, and multi-state trails. Bike trails also serve as an alternative transportation mode for some commuters, enhancing the regional transportation network.
 
As part of the Tollway's commitment to sustainability – from planning and design through construction, maintenance and operations – agency funds are invested in mitigation projects to offset the impacts of roadway construction on local and regional natural resources.

Last year, the Illinois Tollway began participating in the second phase of a large-scale project to help restore Spring Brook Creek, which runs through the St. James Farm Forest Preserve in DuPage County. The first phase, completed in 2015, reconfigured the creek to replicate a more natural, meaning stream. Phase Two of the project will improve habitat and water quality along approximately a 2-mile section of creek, creating better conditions for wildlife. The project also includes relocating the West Branch DuPage River Trail out of a floodplain, improving visitors' views of the surrounding prairies, wetlands, and woodlands. Restoration work on the second phase began in spring 2019 and is scheduled to be complete in 2021.

This project and other efforts are improving quality of life, enhancing the environment, and connecting people to nature. 

You can learn more here about the Tollway’s sustainability efforts here.

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