RALEIGH — The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has recognized North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Gene Conti with its highest honor, the Thomas H. MacDonald Memorial Award, for his outstanding leadership and innovation. Conti was presented the award on Nov. 18 during AASHTO’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh.
The award was established in 1957 to honor the former chief of the Bureau of Public Roads. It is given to an individual that has “rendered continuous outstanding service over an extended period of time or has made some exceptional contribution to the art and science of highway engineering.”
In 2009 Governor Beverly Perdue appointed Conti Secretary of NCDOT, an agency with 12,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $5 billion. Under Secretary Conti’s leadership, NCDOT earned 2011 Engineering News Record Southeast Owner of the Year for completion of the first phase of a $1 billion tollway, use of alternative-project delivery methods to accelerate several major projects and responding rapidly to the damage wrought by Hurricane Irene; Roads and Bridges magazine named the NCDOT I-485/85 turbine interchange project in Charlotte the number one road project in North America for 2012; and NCDOT’s Turnpike Authority received AASHTO’s President’s Award for its success in delivering the Triangle Expressway, the state’s first modern toll road.
According to AASHTO, Secretary Conti has demonstrated a personal commitment to serving as a transportation advocate and has worked tirelessly to advance transportation on the federal, state and local levels during his years in public service.
AASHTO, which represents state Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving as a catalyst for excellence in transportation.
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