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AASHTO Journal

Winners Announced in AASHTO Faces of Transportation Contest

An outstanding photograph of a tunnel breakthrough in the cavernous 3,300-foot-long Caldecott Fourth Bore Tunnel Project in Northern California was awarded the Grand Prize in the Faces of Transportation competition, sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials (AASHTO). Seven other impressive photographs capturing highway construction workers and citizens using transportation facilities in their communities also received awards.

A judge selected the winning photographs from a pool of 126 entries in three categories: Building the Future, Taking a Ride, and On the Road.

AASHTO this year opened the competition to the general public for the first time, and 16 private citizens joined employees from 18 state departments of transportation in submitting photographs.

Approximately 6,500 online votes were cast in the People's Choice segment of the competition, which also is new this year.

Grand Prize Winner: Caldecott Fourth Bore Tunnel Breakthrough – Metropolitan Transportation Commission Photographer Karl Nielsen's photograph captures the breakthrough on the Caldecott Fourth Bore Tunnel Project in Northern California, which occurred in late November 2011 when the top portion of the west and east sides of the tunnel met.

People's Choice Winner: Bulldozer Clearing a Landslide on I-73 – Tennessee Department of Transportation Photographer Mark Nagi took his photograph at a location where a landslide closed Interstate 75 in rural Campbell County, in March 2012. Set against the horizon of the mountains of East Tennessee, Nagi's photo includes a bulldozer operator moving rock to the edge of a 180-foot cliff.

Taking a Ride Category – State DOT Winner: Rush to Washoe – Nevada Department of Transportation Photographer Julie Duewel's photograph includes walkers, bicyclists, and vehicles rushing toward the Galena Creek Bridge, as part of the July 2012 fun run/walk/ride event that unofficially opened the Nevada DOT's I-680 Freeway Extension between Reno and Carson City.

Taking a Ride Category – Individual Winner: Cyclists Riding HIS Home 300 – Natalie Smigel, of Peru, Illinois catches a glimpse of a cyclists behind her, in a photograph she took of people participating in the in HIS Home 300, a 300-mile bike ride from Illinois to Ohio, which raised money to support a Haitian orphanage.

On the Road Category – State DOT Winner: Wind in Their Hair – North Carolina Department of Transportation Photographer Katy Warner captured the meaning of the term "wind in their hair" in a photograph she took last spring of North Carolina drivers hitting the road.

On the Road Category – Individual Winner: Wind Tower Transport – Dan Workman of Jacksonville, Florida took his winning photograph of a wind-energy generation tower and turbine on its way from Texas to Illinois.

Building the Future Category – State DOT Winner: I-80 Design-Build – Nevada Department of Transportation Photographer Julie Duewel's winning photo was taken of a highway worker at night on NDOT's I-80 Design-Build Project near downtown Reno. The project will improve travel and safety on a highway serving approximately 100,000 motorists daily.

Building the Future Category – Individual Winner: Caldecott Fourth Bore Tunnel Worker – Metropolitan Transportation Commission Photographer Karl Nielsen. In this photo Nielsen captures a shotcrete nozzleman working on the construction of a fourth bore for the Caldecott Tunnel on State Route 24 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The machine he is holding sprays reinforced concrete on newly excavated rock, forming the tunnel's initial lining.

The photographs were judged by Lindsay Brown of AASHTO's Engineering and Technical Services Division. Brown has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the School of Visual Arts.

To view all of the entries in this year's competition visit the Faces of Transportation blog at

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