October 25, 2020
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The Georgia Department of Transportation snagged top honors as the overall winner of the second annual Transportation Systems Management and Operations or TSMO national awards competition on September 24.

The National Operations Center of Excellence or NOCoE, which sponsors the TSMO award program, originally planned to celebrate the TSMO contest winners at AASHTO’s 2020 spring meeting, but delayed the ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOCoE – a partnership between AASHTO, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, with support from the Federal Highway Administration – said this competition aims to get the most out of the nation’s existing transportation system by managing and operating networks in an efficient manner that emphasizes safety and mobility.

That includes empowering the workforce with the knowledge, skills, and ability to keep improving the country’s transportation system.

The Georgia DOT – selected from among 46 entries and the four finalists, each of whom had already been selected as a category winner in the TSMO contest – was named overall winner for its “Improving TSMO in Georgia Using Data” effort. That project highlighted the agency’s development of a traffic data management and reporting system that saves the state hundreds of hours in staff time and $250,000 per year.

“I’ve often said we have the best operations team in the nation, and so this award is really the result of their passion and their brilliance,” noted Meg Pirkle, chief engineer for the Georgia DOT, in a statement.

“Georgia is definitely a growing state. So many vital sectors depend on safe, efficient, and reliable transportation [that] I don’t see TSMO waning in importance at all,” she added. “It is always going to be the focus of, how do we make the most of our system because of the limited dollars we have to expand.”

“Georgia DOT’s approach to build upon solutions from peers demonstrates the value of NOCoE’s mission to transfer knowledge amongst industry practitioners,” added Patrick Son, NOCoE’s managing director.

“The analysis and decision making capabilities enabled by their solution are crucial to the efficient management of traffic and their collaboration with Utah is exactly the kind of knowledge transfer we’re committed to at NOCoE,” he said.

editor@aashto.org

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