Olympia— The Washington State Department of Transportation's campaign to warn commuters of massive lane closures on Interstate 5 in Seattle has won the National Partnership for Highway Quality's 2008 Gold Award for Public Communications.
The "Making A Difference" Award recognizes WSDOT's successful efforts to get the word out to drivers and transit riders about the I-5 Spokane Street to I-90 Bridge Repair Project in downtown Seattle. In August 2007 WSDOT reduced northbound I-5 to just two to three lanes around the clock for two weeks while crews replaced failing expansion joints and resurfaced lanes on a one-mile section of the freeway.
Despite the extensive closures, backups rarely extended more than two miles from the I-5/I-90 interchange, a location renowned as one of the worst bottlenecks in the country.
"High-profile projects on busy urban corridors like I-5 in Seattle depend on effective public communications for their success," said NPHQ Executive Director Bob Templeton. "WSDOT showed how public communications can keep traffic moving despite significant weekday closures."