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Author Topic: ICC Intercounty Connector  (Read 248191 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #275 on: June 04, 2012, 11:03:26 PM »

TOLLROADSnews follow-up: Washington Post reports how users just Loooove the ICC TR in Montgomery Co MD
Why not just share the Washington Post news article instead of an opinion piece?

Because the comPost publishes opinion as often as it publishes news.

The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism, though it is hardly alone in doing so.  And in my opinion, this may have been the most-fair article to ever run in the Post about the ICC.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #276 on: June 05, 2012, 12:00:36 PM »

The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism…

Sometimes?  :-D
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #277 on: June 05, 2012, 05:50:35 PM »

The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism…

Sometimes?  :-D

Compared to some other media operations (including more than a few with operations in Washington, D.C.), yes, sometimes.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #278 on: June 05, 2012, 11:51:31 PM »

The Washington Post has sometimes engaged in advocacy journalism…

Sometimes?  :-D

Compared to some other media operations (including more than a few with operations in Washington, D.C.), yes, sometimes.

IMO they all intentionally edtorialize in the news, a lot, not just on the "editorial page" where such opionion belongs. IOW, they write the news in such a way as to attempt to influence how I think about issues. Every day, in every edition. Print, TV, you name it.

Which is fine, I suppose. I mean, how can any news source really be objective? News sources are composed of subjective human beings. The provider's opinion can't help but leak into the news. When the reader or viewer knows the slant, they can take it into account.

It's the phony, smug, self-righteous pretending to be objective that gets my goat (especially when the subjectivity is due to a political or philosophical viewpoint). They need to come down off their high horses, admit their subjectivity, and move on. But they think if they do that, they'll lose their credibility. What they seem to not realize is that they've already lost credibility in many quarters precisely because of their pretense to objectivity when the opposite is so obvious.

The Web isn't the only reason newspapers' readership is generally way down. For so many of them, too many people just don't see them as sources of valid information anymore.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #279 on: June 08, 2012, 10:25:20 AM »

IMO they all intentionally edtorialize in the news, a lot, not just on the "editorial page" where such opionion belongs. IOW, they write the news in such a way as to attempt to influence how I think about issues. Every day, in every edition. Print, TV, you name it.

This has been going on for a long, long time. 

The best newspaper to  not engage in that sort of thing was the Wall Street Journal (I subscribed to it for over 30 years even though I disliked nearly everything on its editorial page), but I recently dropped my subscription after the paper clearly started going downhill after Rupert Murdoch took over (a writer at the N.Y. Times called it the "FoXification" of a once-great paper).

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Which is fine, I suppose. I mean, how can any news source really be objective? News sources are composed of subjective human beings. The provider's opinion can't help but leak into the news. When the reader or viewer knows the slant, they can take it into account.

Returning to the subject at hand, I have frequently been dissatisfied with the coverage of the InterCounty Connector in the Washington Post, going back to the 1970's (even though the Post has probably been the best source of news on the project anyway).  They have (in my opinion) given far too much space to the (small and loud) group of hyperactive Montgomery County (and to a lesser extent, Prince George's County) citizen activists (and well-funded anti-highway activists from Northern Virginia) who have opposed the project since the late 1960's. 

And the Post's Dr. Gridlock, while well-informed, spends too much of his time dealing with problems associated with the Metrorail system (which, in the scheme of things, is used by relatively few people in the region) and not enough time talking about problems with the highway network, which serves everyone.

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It's the phony, smug, self-righteous pretending to be objective that gets my goat (especially when the subjectivity is due to a political or philosophical viewpoint). They need to come down off their high horses, admit their subjectivity, and move on. But they think if they do that, they'll lose their credibility. What they seem to not realize is that they've already lost credibility in many quarters precisely because of their pretense to objectivity when the opposite is so obvious.

Newspapers are mostly in trouble because they have lost some of their most-profitable business to the Web - in particular, classified advertising used to be a huge source of revenue for most newspapers, now that has greatly declined.

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The Web isn't the only reason newspapers' readership is generally way down. For so many of them, too many people just don't see them as sources of valid information anymore.

I do not generally regard television or radio stations as a substitute for newspapers (be they in print or online).  Compared to broadcast media, newspapers can (and do) cover a subject much more in depth than soundbite-oriented TV news.  Returning again to coverage of the ICC, broadcast media, even "serious" stations like WTOP and WAMU, simply have not been able to cover the many issues associated with the ICC as well as the Post, the Gazette and, in recent times, the Examiner.
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qguy

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #280 on: June 11, 2012, 10:57:35 AM »

@ cpz: I agree with just about everything you said in your last post.

I do not generally regard television or radio stations as a substitute for newspapers (be they in print or online).  Compared to broadcast media, newspapers can (and do) cover a subject much more in depth than soundbite-oriented TV news.  Returning again to coverage of the ICC, broadcast media, even "serious" stations like WTOP and WAMU, simply have not been able to cover the many issues associated with the ICC as well as the Post, the Gazette and, in recent times, the Examiner.

This is why I lament the biased tilt that newspapers so often exhibit.

This has been going on for a long, long time.

I agree. I think that the reason why newspapers and a lot of other so-called mainstream news sources have lost so much credibility in recent years is the increased availability of alternate sources of news and information. People have come to see that just because something appears in print, or is spoken on the air with a tone of authority, doesn't make it so.

This was brought into sharp relief last Wednesday when Les Moonves, president and CEO of CBS (including it's news division), stated to a reporter while waiting in line to enter a fundraiser celebration for President Obama in Beverly Hills, "Partisanship is very much a part of journalism now."

Really? I hadn't noticed.  :rolleyes:

Anyway, you're right that it can be very frustrating when there is reporting on some project you're familiar with and after you read the article you wonder if they were reporting on the same project at all.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #281 on: June 28, 2012, 02:11:38 PM »

Rode on both directions of the ICC a week ago from yesterday and traffic was extremely light. The 55 mph speed limit makes the drive seem too long and I noted at least one cop situated below an underpass near the west end.



What is the deal with the lane control signals at the "deckover"?
h/t C.P. Zilliacus for the nomeclature.

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #282 on: June 28, 2012, 02:18:27 PM »

what is a deckover?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #283 on: June 28, 2012, 11:04:10 PM »

what is a deckover?

In this case at least, it is (what I call) the Winters Run Tunnel - a fairly short cut-and-cover tunnel through which the ICC runs, so the Winters Run community is not sliced in half by Md. 200.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #284 on: July 09, 2012, 07:51:26 PM »

Well, you see them on tunnels and bridges so that lanes can be closed in case of incident, construction, weather, etc. without the need to put out cones and whatnot (since structures need lanes closed more often than surface roadways).

Though, with such a short tunnel, it is rather silly. I'm guessing MDTA probably has a standard that says something like "there shall be lane use control signals before a tunnel entrance", and that that was blindly followed.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #285 on: July 09, 2012, 09:26:16 PM »

Well, you see them on tunnels and bridges so that lanes can be closed in case of incident, construction, weather, etc. without the need to put out cones and whatnot (since structures need lanes closed more often than surface roadways).

Though, with such a short tunnel, it is rather silly. I'm guessing MDTA probably has a standard that says something like "there shall be lane use control signals before a tunnel entrance", and that that was blindly followed.

I wonder if the MdTA maintenance people will bring their Mercedes Unimog-mounted tunnel cleaning brushes and related equipment down from Baltimore to clean the "interior" surfaces of the Winters Run deckover on a periodic basis?

Baltimore Sun (2012) article about cleaning the soot and grime from the tunnel interiors:
Cleaner and safer: Tunnels glisten after year's first wash

Regarding the lane controls, they do remind me of the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry Tunnels to some extent.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #286 on: July 11, 2012, 09:54:11 AM »

WTOP Radio: Why does ICC seem empty?

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The $2.5 billion InterCounty Connector in Maryland won't be full of vehicles for years to come, but that free flow of traffic is by design.

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Since opening to vehicles between Gaithersburg and Laurel last year, wide stretches of the road still remain empty. That's certainly not the norm for a region used to crawling highways.

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"We built a highway that will be there not just for today, but for the future, so of course we built in extra capacity," says Harold Bartlett, head of the Maryland Transportation Authority.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #287 on: August 05, 2012, 11:04:06 PM »

Speed cameras on I-95 just north of the Md. 200 interchange have returned.

The contractor is starting to build the bridge abutments that will carry Contee Road over I-95, and the parallel I-95 C-D roads between Md. 200 and Md. 198 as part of ICC Contract D/E.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #288 on: August 10, 2012, 10:23:26 AM »

WTOP Radio: Leggett calls for higher speed limit on ICC

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Montgomery County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett is renewing calls to raise the 55 mph speed limit on Maryland's InterCounty Connector.

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"The speed limit certainly should increase, especially now, when you have an opportunity to go faster at a safe speed," Leggett tells WTOP.

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ICC drivers notice that at any time of the day the road flows freely and the speedometer easily reaches 55.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #289 on: August 10, 2012, 10:45:40 AM »

I haven't driven on the ICC except for exploratory trips back when it was in the free preview period. Because of where I live and where that road goes, it's simply not a road I'll ever have reason to use very often. So this comment is premised on very limited experience. It seems to me that it would be an ideal road for a variable speed limit system. 55 mph is definitely too slow most of the time on there, but I also noted that the western end between I-370 and that short tunnel has a couple of fairly sharp curves and then the "newer" portion (from Georgia Avenue east to I-95) has a couple of bridges that seemed to have some decent elevation and length to them, meaning in bad weather (and especially winter) a lower speed limit might be appropriate.

The problem with variable speed limits is that people generally don't pay any attention to them, as we saw when VDOT tried them on the Beltway in the Wilson Bridge work zone a few years ago. But I think people might pay more attention to them if states didn't make it standard practice to underpost speed limits. If the speed limit is normally a reasonable one, then I think the average driver might be more likely to pay attention and take notice if the limit is suddenly reduced, especially if the reduction is not done on a routine basis. I know I'd be more inclined to think there might be a good reason for it. But if the speed limit is already posted well below what drivers are doing, then people aren't likely to take an even lower limit all that seriously.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #290 on: August 10, 2012, 02:26:50 PM »

I haven't driven on the ICC except for exploratory trips back when it was in the free preview period. Because of where I live and where that road goes, it's simply not a road I'll ever have reason to use very often. So this comment is premised on very limited experience. It seems to me that it would be an ideal road for a variable speed limit system. 55 mph is definitely too slow most of the time on there, but I also noted that the western end between I-370 and that short tunnel has a couple of fairly sharp curves and then the "newer" portion (from Georgia Avenue east to I-95) has a couple of bridges that seemed to have some decent elevation and length to them, meaning in bad weather (and especially winter) a lower speed limit might be appropriate.

It is not clear to me if Maryland law allows variable speed limits now (a check of Lexis/Nexis did not reveal any reference to it either way).

The problem with variable speed limits is that people generally don't pay any attention to them, as we saw when VDOT tried them on the Beltway in the Wilson Bridge work zone a few years ago.

Yeah, it seemed that traffic moved along at its (usual) high speed through that work zone.  I don't think I ever saw the Virginia State Police enforcing the speed limit in that area while the variable speed limit was in place.

But I think people might pay more attention to them if states didn't make it standard practice to underpost speed limits. If the speed limit is normally a reasonable one, then I think the average driver might be more likely to pay attention and take notice if the limit is suddenly reduced, especially if the reduction is not done on a routine basis. I know I'd be more inclined to think there might be a good reason for it. But if the speed limit is already posted well below what drivers are doing, then people aren't likely to take an even lower limit all that seriously.

Agreed.  More and more, I have come to the conclusion that speed limits on most  freeways in Maryland and Virginia are set much too low.  However, research has shown that when cars are driven at higher speeds, they emit more nitrous oxides (NOx), which is a precursor to ground-level ozone.  That's one of the reasons that speed limits are kept low, even though most drivers ignore those limits.  Vehicle emission controls have gotten much, much better at controlling the emission of all sorts of pollutants, including NOx, which is why we have relatively few "ozone alert" days, even though this summer has been extremely hot.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #291 on: August 10, 2012, 03:10:59 PM »

I don't know what Maryland law is on variable speed limits either, but my comment wasn't intended to be a comment on what Maryland law does or doesn't allow; rather, it was just a general comment that I thought that road would be a good place for it.

Also, I had not seen your comment on the WTOP article's comment page before I made that comment here!
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #292 on: August 11, 2012, 11:47:17 AM »

I don't know what Maryland law is on variable speed limits either, but my comment wasn't intended to be a comment on what Maryland law does or doesn't allow; rather, it was just a general comment that I thought that road would be a good place for it.

No, it's a great idea (IMO, variable speed limits in general on freeways and motorways are a great idea).  Aside from the New Jersey Turnpike, the longest section of freeway (motorway) I have driven with them is E18/Route 1 in Finland, where it seems to work very well.

Also, I had not seen your comment on the WTOP article's comment page before I made that comment here!

Just proof that great minds think alike! ;-)
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #293 on: August 14, 2012, 08:32:05 AM »

Discussion on variable speed limits split off into: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=7476.0
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #294 on: August 14, 2012, 09:05:53 PM »

Discussion on variable speed limits split off into: http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=7476.0
No wonder someone in that thread asked a mod to split it, and I couldn't figure out why.

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #295 on: August 20, 2012, 11:46:58 PM »

Op-ed by Chris Core in the D.C. Examiner:  THE TOLL OF THE TOLLS

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My friend Bob lives near the Inter County Connector in Rockville.  He was vehemently opposed to building it.  He thought the new road would make his neighborhood noisy and polluted.  Not anymore.

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Ever since the ICC opened, Bob has been singing its praises.  His commute to downtown Bethesda has been cut in half and the road has had no negative impact on his neighborhood’s environment.

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One reason Bob is loving his commute these days is that the ICC is way underused.  This is  verifiable, just drive on Maryland Route 200 and see for yourself.  Not many cars.  Hmmm, wonder why.

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There are only two reasons for the ICC’s lack of traffic.  One is that drivers really don’t want to save time and fuel costs by using the short-cut between I-270 and I-95.  The other is that the toll is too high.  I’ll let you figure out that part of the puzzle on your own.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #296 on: August 24, 2012, 09:27:33 AM »

WTOP Radio: Drivers ask: Where's the ICC bill?

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If you drive on the InterCounty Connector in Maryland without an E- ZPass, you are supposed to be sent a bill in the mail for the toll.

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But some may be asking, "Where is my bill?"

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Several drivers tell WTOP they are surprised at how long it takes to actually receive a notification in the mail from the all-electronic toll road.
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #297 on: August 24, 2012, 10:41:53 AM »

WTOP Radio: Drivers ask: Where's the ICC bill?


Well they are sending them out.   :camo:

My sister got a bill for someone else' vehicle back in the spring. It was for $1.50 and she was able to call and have it rectified. Funny enough, she has no idea of where the ICC is or would ever need to take it.

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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #298 on: September 11, 2012, 04:52:43 PM »

WTOP Radio: Cracks found on ICC bridges

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More problems with bridges over the brand-new Intercounty Connector have been discovered.

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Two new bridges have cracks in them.

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Inspectors found new hairline cracks on the bridge that carries the ICC over U.S. 29 in Briggs Chaney and a ramp near U.S. 29.

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Earlier this year, inspectors found cracks in three other ICC bridges.

The WTOP report above is based on this article in the D.C. Examiner: Two more ICC bridges have cracks
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 05:14:11 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: ICC Intercounty Connector
« Reply #299 on: October 01, 2012, 02:45:37 PM »

Maryland DOT/SHA News Release: MARYLAND STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION AND MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY EARN SIX NATIONAL AWARDS FOR INTERCOUNTY CONNECTOR PROJECT

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ICC Has Now Garnered 16 Major National Awards in Past Two Years

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(September 25, 2012) – The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), the Intercounty Connector (ICC) project team, and several ICC contractors recently earned six additional national awards for innovative design, environmental sensitivity, exceptional craftsmanship, and commitment to safety.


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With the addition of these six new honors, the ICC project has now garnered a total of 16 major national awards since the first segment of the roadway opened to traffic in February 2011.

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Most recently, Engineering News Record (ENR) magazine selected Contract B of the ICC (from MD 97 to US 29) as the 2012 Best Transportation Project as part of the 2012 'Best Projects' competition in the Mid-Atlantic region. An independent jury focused on projects “that overcame significant challenges, adopted innovative approaches, executed exceptional design and craftsmanship, and maintained safe sites,” ENR said in its public announcement of the awards.

[snipped]

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ICC Also Recognized by AASHTO and DBIA

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Earlier this month, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) named the ICC a Top 10 Finalist as part of that organization’s 2012 America's Transportation Awards competition.

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The Top 10 finalists received the highest number of overall points during four regional contests, representing each part of the country. A total of 49 projects from 34 states were judged in three categories: "Ahead of Schedule," "Under Budget," and "Best Use of Innovation." The 10 projects are now competing for the America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize, to be selected by a panel of judges, and the People's Choice Award, which will be decided by popular vote of the general public.

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Public on-line voting will continue through Friday, October 19 at the following web site link: www.AmericasTransportationAward.org.  Individuals are welcome to vote up to 10 times per day for their favorite projects. The winners of both the Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award will be awarded with $10,000 each, which will be donated by those state DOTs to a charity or scholarship of their choice.
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