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Awards and recogniTION

The Nevada Department of Transportation strives to excel in providing a better transportation system for Nevada through our unified and dedicated efforts. Many of the Department's efforts have received awards and recognition, including: 

American Society of Landscape Architects- President's Award/Honor Award

Landscape and Aesthetics

Landscape and aesthetic improvements to our highways not only enhance Nevada’s transportation system, but also improve and define cities and tourism.


With the valuable input of stakeholders and community members, NDOT’s Statewide Landscape and Aesthetics Corridor Plan defines fundamental ways of planning, designing, building and maintaining these important landscape and aesthetic improvements as part of NDOT road projects.


The comprehensive plan and its associated road projects received two separate recognitions from the California Sierra Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for enhancing the quality of life of Nevada’s citizens and tourism through roadside aesthetics. 


J.A. Tiberti Spirit Award

malfabon, Rudy

In times of decreasing transportation funding, innovation and collaboration is key to building and maintaining the transportation infrastructure that Nevada needs.


NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon was recognized for the Department’s innovative use of design-build construction and public-private partnerships to build and fund transportation projects for Nevada. In design-build projects, final phases of construction are often designed at the same time as earlier phases are built, reducing project length and cost. In addition, both design and construction are contracted through a single contractor, minimizing project risk and offering greater project innovation and collaboration.


Also recognized was a fostering of industry cooperation that has led to reduced change orders and improved NDOT-contractor relations. 


Award for Excellence in Asphalt Paving

Pavement overlays are a vital part of NDOT’s pavement preservation program. NDOT contractor Granite Construction recently received the National Asphalt Pavement Association’s award for excellence in asphalt paving for a pavement overlay project in northeastern Nevada. The project used cold in-place recycling to resurface 19 miles of U.S. 93 near Currie.

The cold in-place recycle technique reuses the existing pavement surface and smoothes it back down as part of an improved roadway. Using existing road material not only saves the cost of new material, but also minimizes waste.

NDOT partnered extensively with Granite to successfully complete the project on time despite the area’s high elevation and subsequently short paving season.


Transportation Project of the Year 2011: Institute of Transportation Engineers Nevada Chapter


As part of the current West Mesquite Interchange Design-Build Project, NDOT utilized an innovative Accelerated Bridge Construction technique. New I-15 bridges were constructed next to existing bridges. Each existing bridge was then demolished, and new bridges slid into place overnight, reducing bridge construction time by six months while still allowing interstate traffic to flow smoothly using exit and on-ramps.

Recognizing innovative design, construction and partnership between NDOT and the design-build team of Horrocks Engineers and W.W. Clyde, the project was named the state’s transportation project of the year by the Institute of Transportation Engineers, Nevada Chapter. The project also caught the attention of the public and the Federal Highway Administration, who selected it a “Highways for LIFE” national showcase project.

The project is being constructed using the design-build method in which design and construction are more closely linked to produce time and cost efficiencies. Close interaction with local agencies and the public, as well as extensive partnering with the contractor, is also vital to the project. 

Transportation Owner of the Year 2011 (southwest): Engineering News-Record/Southwest Contractor

ENR/Southwest Contractor magazine recognized what they call NDOT’s “design-build revolution” by naming the Department the top “Transportation Owner of the Year” in the southwest U.S.

The honor recognizes the innovation of the Department’s I-15 South Design-Build, West Mesquite Interchange Design-Build and I-80 Design-Build Projects, as well as the I-15 North Design-Build Project. The project successfully completed nearly eight months ahead of schedule to improve part of the I-15 Las Vegas corridor for the nearly 250,000 vehicles and 75 percent of southern Nevada goods movements that travel the route daily.

In design-build projects, final phases of construction are often designed at the same time that earlier phases are being built; reducing both project length and cost. In addition, both design and construction are contracted with a single contractor, minimizing project risk and offering greater project innovation and collaboration between NDOT and construction partners.

NDOT’s partnering, construction manager at risk and electronic bidding innovations, projected to decrease unintentional calculation errors while reducing agency staff time, paperwork and other manual procedures by 70 percent, were also recognized. 

NDOT Partnering Program- Silver Award

NDOT’s project to mill and repave 20 miles of U.S. 95 from Hawthorne north, including ADA enhancements to improve and smoothen sidewalks and driveway entrances within Hawthorne and 14 miles of guardrail improvements, received the silver award.

Alongside Walker Lake, construction required diligent coordination of material delivery and maintenance of traffic. Meanwhile within Hawthorne, businesses played a key role by making suggestions on how to reduce impacts to their operations. Daily review and discussion of any construction issues and opportunities yielded improved quality and reduced construction traffic delays.

The quality project completed two months ahead of schedule, under budget, without any safety violations or incidents.


NDOT Partnering Program- Gold Award

Mesquite Interchange Night Photo Small

NDOT’s West Mesquite Interchange Design-Build Project utilized an innovative Accelerated Bridge Construction technique to build new I-15 bridges next to existing bridges. Each existing bridge was then demolished, and new bridges slid into place overnight, reducing bridge construction time by six months while still allowing interstate traffic to flow smoothly using exit and on-ramps.

The nationally-recognized project was a great success in part by closely involving and bringing together stakeholders and subcontractors to develop construction innovations and cohesion.  Innovative project design changes also provided an improved, and more efficiently-constructed, project.

The project was substantially completed within 361 calendar days, or four days ahead of the advanced schedule and six months ahead of the original schedule.


NDOT Partnering Program- Silver Award

NDOT’s I-15 South Design-Build Project widened and improved I-15 south of the Las Vegas Strip. New and reconstructed overpasses were built to help traffic flow and collector-distributor roads constructed to ease congestion and increase safety by taking merging traffic off of I-15.

Structured partnering was outlined in charter to closely involve NDOT, the contractor, subcontractors and multiple stakeholders such as LVCVA, Clark County, NV Energy, UPRR and others. The project also saw Nevada’s first use of a self-propelled modular transporter and vital detours to help reduce impacts of long-term bridge construction road closures.

The award-winning project completed well under budget.


NDOT Partnering Program- Silver Award

NDOT’s I-80 Design-Build project reconstructed Interstate 80 through the heart of Reno, including replacing concrete as much as 40 years old in areas. Additional lanes and signing, striping, ramp and other improvements were also made.

Daily meetings at many project levels, from project managers to trade and craft foremen, helped keep the project on schedule and readily identify potential innovations and improvements.

More than 250 stakeholders were involved in a collaborative effort to lessen construction impacts on local businesses, residents and commuters, including a business patronage program. The project opened to traffic 82 days ahead of schedule and completed with zero potential claims.


NDOT Partnering Program- Silver Award

NDOT’s partnering process also makes for more efficient, effective improvements to rural roadways. When an NDOT project milled and repaved rural U.S. 95 approximately 30 miles north of Winnemucca, core roadway samples were taken to ensure that paving would not delaminate, or separate, from the roadbase. The preventative measure saved an estimated $148,000. Other potential project issues were identified and resolved at the most immediate and lowest level, often between project foremen and inspectors. Another example of collaboration: when the contractor’s pilot car failed, NDOT stepped in to provide temporary pilot car service so work could continue uninterrupted.

The project was completed more than $200,000 under cost, and the traveling public only experienced construction delays for 38 of the project’s 60 working days.


Best On-Time Project in Western States 2011: AASHTO America's Transportation Award

Spring Creek

In 2010, NDOT completed a traffic roundabout on State Route 227 near Elko. Recognizing the project’s extremely successful construction and completion, it was named the best on-time project under $25 million in the western states by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

The roundabout was built to improve traffic flow, access and safety in the area where residential streets intersect into State Route 227. Four schools in the area contribute to the more than 13,000 vehicles travelling on the road daily.

The project was constructed using close interaction with the public and extensive partnering with the contractor. Construction traffic updates were dispersed throughout the community for safer and easier travel. Local media was utilized extensively to keep motorists informed of construction-related lane changes.Not only did the project complete on time amid weather restrictions and plant mix and other construction issues, it was constructed under original budget estimates. 

Grand Prize/People's Choice 2011: AASHTO Faces of Transportation Photo Contest

NDOT photographer Julie Duewel received both the Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award in the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ 2011 “Faces of Transportation” photo contest.

The contest illustrates the vital role transportation plays in American life, and highlights the professionals who perform important work in building, maintaining and operating road and other transportation networks across the nation.

Julie’s photograph of bridge inspector Aleksander Nelson performing a safety inspection of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge situated 900 feet above the Colorado River was the viewer’s favorite and grand prize winner of 87 photographs submitted from 14 different states.

Recognition for Use of Epoxy Coating: Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute

For more than 20 years, NDOT has required the use of epoxy coated reinforcing steel in bridge decks and other structures in snow-prone areas where de-icing salts are used. 

The epoxy coating is a cost-effective method that helps prevent reinforcing steel corrosion and provides increased durability, extended life and lower maintenance needs for these bridges.

The Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute recently recognized NDOT’s long-standing use of epoxy coating for the safety and durability of bridges.


Outstanding Government Agency 2011: Alliance for Victims Rights

Zero Fatalities Logo

Over recent years, Nevada has made great strides in reducing annual traffic fatalities from 431 in 2006 to 243 in 2009. But, one traffic death is too many.

NDOT, the Nevada Department of Public Safety and transportation and safety organizations statewide have joined together to adopt a Zero Fatalities traffic safety goal. Integrated, multi-disciplinary strategies from educational outreach and potential traffic legislation changes to emergency medical response and road engineering enhancements have been developed to save lives and further reduce Nevada traffic fatalities and injuries.

The Alliance for Victims’ Rights recognized NDOT for leading development of the Zero Fatalities goal and helping to prevent Nevada citizens from becoming victims of illegal and dangerous driving behaviors. 

Nevada Strategic Highway Safety Plan Awards

Transportation, safety and public health agencies and groups across Nevada have implemented the Strategic Highway Safety Plan to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries in five primary focus areas. Three NDOT staff members have been named for their efforts in increasing driving safety and saving lives.


Former NDOT Director Susan Martinovich has been named as the emeritus award recipient for years of dedicated executive leadership of Nevada’s life-saving traffic safety initiatives.


Almost 800 people died in a recent five-year period in Nevada traffic crashes in which a vehicle unintentionally left their lane due to unsafe driving or other causes. NDOT safety engineer Jim Ceragioli has been recognized for leading multi-agency efforts to reduce these deaths through engineering and other solutions.


NDOT Public Information Officer Meg Ragonese was named for helping to lead the state’s integrated traffic safety public education campaigns, including the Zero Fatalities traffic safety awareness campaign which has reached more than 85 percent of urban Nevadans with important safe driving information.


Outstanding State DOT Program 2011: Rubber Pavements Association

Crumb Rubber New

In 2011, NDOT repaved Interstate 15 through the heart of Las Vegas from Tropicana Avenue to near the U.S. 95 spaghetti bowl interchange. To extend roadway life, smooth the road and provide better friction surface and a safer, more comfortable ride, NDOT placed a one-inch rubber asphalt overlay over the stretch of interstate.

The asphalt binder used in the overlay was made of approximately 20 percent ground, recycled rubber tires. With the flexibility of rubber incorporated into the new asphalt, ride smoothness nearly doubles and roadway surface deterioration reduces. By covering old striping, as well as joints and grooves traditionally found in concrete roadways, the asphalt rubber also effectively improves safety and cuts road noise by more than half. From an environmental perspective, the equivalent of 56,000 scrap tires was used in the project, preventing the material from filling landfills and helping advance the State’s recycling goals. 

An innovative, aggressive construction schedule and marathon weekend paving session also helped lead to substantial completion of the project ten days ahead of schedule. 

People's Choice Award 2011: Nevada Geographic Information Society

Two maps produced by NDOT mapping and environmental division staff have received recognition in the Nevada Geographic Information Society’s professional map competition.  

The Las Vegas-area map produced by NDOT Cartographer Karl Yonkers received third place in the Cartographic Poster contest. Even more impressively, the map was voted People’s Choice winner as the favorite map of conference attendees.  

NDOT Environmental Services received second place for a poster which successfully combined 3D and other images with various types of data. The poster illustrated how laser-facilitated LIDAR mapping is used to safely and effectively map archeological sites in Nevada. 

Top 25 Newsmakers of 2011: Engineering News-Record

Former NDOT Director Susan Martinovich was recognized as one of Engineering News-Record magazine’s top 25 newsmakers of 2011.

The accolade recognizes the Department’s construction innovations, including the use of design-build construction to complete the I-15 North Design-Build Project ahead of schedule. Another innovative Nevada project recognized was the Interstate 15 Mesquite bridge slides. New I-15 bridges were constructed next to existing bridges. Each existing bridge was then demolished, and new bridges slid into place overnight, reducing bridge construction time by six months.

NDOT’s pursuit of public-private partnerships and construction manager at risk partnering, as well as the Department’s leadership in the I-15 Corridor System Master Plan to further enhance mobility on the multi-state corridor which is lifeline to a $75 billion tourism industry, were also recognized. 

Truitt-Felbinger Award: American Society for Public Administration

Former NDOT Director Susan Martinovich was recognized with the Truitt-Felbinger Award. The award is presented to practitioners with exemplary contribution to transportation in public administration.

The award is presented by the American Society for Public Administration’s Section on Transportation Policy and Administration. The section is committed to national, regional, state, and local transportation policy, research and infrastructure development. 

Certificate of Appreciation - Whitney Elementary School

 For several years, NDOT employees have generously assisted Whitney Elementary School by providing food, clothes, school supplies and moral support to its students and dedicated staff. NDOT, along with other entities and individuals, were recognized with a certificate of appreciation during the school’s annual, year-end community recognition celebration.

White House Champions of Change

Former NDOT Director Susan Martinovich was recognized by the White House as a Transportation Innovators Champion of Change.  The honor recognizes leaders who spearhead innovative ways for transportation to help their community reach new heights.


The honor specifically recognized Nevada Department of Transportation project delivery innovations such as the accelerated delivery program, which is accelerating nearly 30 road projects to completion to immediately benefit Nevada roads and economy. Also highlighted was the state’s Zero Fatalities traffic safety goal and public outreach campaign, which has brought agencies, groups and individuals across the state together to save lives on Nevada roads.


Telly Awards - Bronze Award

With traffic safety a top priority, NDOT has joined with partnering agencies to oversee the state’s Zero Fatalities traffic safety outreach campaign to save lives by educating motorists to drive safely. To date, the campaign has resulted in more than 63 million impressions and has reached over 85 percent of urban Nevadans.


One extremely successful campaign element is television public service announcements. One of these TV ads features footage that reminds drivers to always drive safely by recreating the emotional impact of driving through a traffic crash scene.


The TV spot received a bronze Telly Award. The awards are a competition honoring the very best film and video productions and outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs.


Best Intelligent Transportation System Awards

Winds are frequently high in Washoe Valley between Reno and Carson City. For traveler safety, NDOT has had a wind warning system in place since the early 1980s to prohibit high-profile vehicles during high winds. A recent two-year study that developed enhancements to the system’s wind thresholds and expanded it to the new I-580 freeway was named the best product or application in the Intelligent Transportation Society of Nevada’s “Best Intelligent Transportation System” awards. Automation to provide more flexibility and coordination of individual wind zones and thresholds was recognized in particular.


Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) such as traffic cameras, travel time signs and flow detectors that helped improve mobility and manage traffic through the I-80 Design-Build work zone were also recognized as the ITS project of the year under $2 million. The temporary, construction-related intelligent transportation system was used to create a permanent system providing traveler-friendly traffic cameras and more for Reno motorists.


Bicycle and Pedestrian Awards


The Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board recognizes the efforts of individuals, agencies and organizations related to bicycle and pedestrian planning, infrastructure, safety and advocacy.

NDOT Transportation Planner Tim Rowe received the lifetime service award for his work on the Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board. NDOT District Engineer Thor Dyson and NDOT planner Rebecca Kapuler were recognized for improving bicycle and pedestrian connectivity and safety in Nevada.