NEWS RELEASE: SmartLane Project Named a Finalist in 2020 America's Transportation Awards

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.



Contact: Breanna Badanes at 614-452-2825

ODOT's SmartLane Project Named a Finalist in
2020 America's Transportation Awards

Voting for People's Choice Award Begins Today

SmartLane Opening Day

COLUMBUS - After winning the regional award last month, the Ohio Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Interstate 670 SmartLane project has been named a national finalist in the 2020 America's Transportation Awards Competition.

Out of 79 project nominations, the I-670 SmartLane advanced to the 'Top 12' projects in the country, making it eligible for both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award. While a panel of judges will select the Grand Prize winner, the People's Choice winner will be decided through online voting.

"We're excited for the opportunity to champion this groundbreaking use of technology and the remarkable benefit it has provided Central Ohioans," said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. "Not only does the SmartLane save commuters time, but it also saved taxpayer dollars by maximizing the use of existing infrastructure." 

Voting begins today at, and individuals can cast one vote per day through October 25, 2020. 

Both prizes come with a $10,000 cash award, for a non-profit or transportation-related scholarship of the winners' choosing. ODOT is partnering with COSI to build public support for the project, and to receive any prize money for its new program, COSI on Wheels: Curbside Edition, if selected.

“COSI is all about engaging, inspiring, and transforming lives around science and technology and we are proud of our partnership with ODOT to leverage the power of innovation to utilize STEM to improve the lives of Ohio families,"  said Dr. Frederic Bertley, President & CEO, COSI. 

"Congratulations to Director Jack Marchbanks and his team at ODOT.  Their leadership to create the I-670 SmartLane project is a perfect example of what is possible when science and technology are leveraged to solve real-world challenges.  We also appreciate ODOT’s support of bold new programs like the COSI on Wheels: Curbside Edition, which delivers free STEM to under-served youth, while also helping to bridge the digital divide during this unprecedented moment,” Dr. Bertley added. 

Ohio's first SmartLane provides an innovative solution to congestion and safety by opening the left shoulder of I-670 as an extra eastbound lane during peak travel times and times of heavy congestion. When not needed, the SmartLane closes for use by law enforcement, emergency responders, and maintenance crews.

Since opening in October 2019, average travel speeds have increased from 22 mph to 54 mph during the evening commute and average travel times have been cut in half. Additionally, drivers can now consistently rely on a 5-minute commute from downtown Columbus to the city's east side. 

Winners will be announced at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' (AASHTO) virtual annual meeting the week of November 9-13, 2020.