Vote online to help landmark receive national recognition
By Meagan McGone
TITUSVILLE - It's crunch time for supporters of Titusville's A. Max Brewer Bridge, a Top 10 Finalist in "America's Transportation Awards."
Only one week remains in the race for the "People's Choice Award," which goes to the transportation project voted the best by the online general public.
The "People's Choice Award," which is one part of "America's Transportation Awards," will provide $10,000 to the winning project's state Department of Transportation, which must be donated to a charity or scholarship, according to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which hosts the awards, along with AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"The project was submitted to our leadership in Tallahassee to consider for entry," said Steve Olson, public information manager for Florida Department of Transportation. "While the award is $10,000 to a charity of choice, there is also an element of boasting rights if one wins."
"The (A. Max Brewer Bridge) is really a great project," he said. "We have heard the bridge itself has become a destination. Not just something to get across by a car, but a place for walkers, joggers and anglers, since a fishing pier was part of the project."
The Florida Department of Transportation spent $44.8 million to replace the A. Max Brewer Bridge, which was originally built in the 1940s as a low-level swing bridge. The project reached completion in 2011.
"The city of Titusville is very happy with how the bridge is fitting in with redevelopment and development efforts. The bridge also links the mainland to the wildlife refuge and to NASA. It is really striking, especially lit up at night," Mr. Olson said.
As a whole, "America's Transportation Awards" aims to build support for transportation at federal, state and local levels. In addition to the "People's Choice Award," the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials will give a grand prize award to the project of its choice as part of the transportation awards.
A. Max Brewer Bridge is up against transportation projects from nine other states in the U.S., including Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Iowa, Missouri, California, Nevada, Louisiana and Kentucky.
Currently, Florida and California are neck and neck for first place in the competition, Mr. Olson said.
"We wouldn't be pushing so hard for this project to win if we didn't believe in it," Mr. Olson said. "People can vote up to 10 times per day, per email address. We are aggressively using social media to get the word out, and any help, in the form of online voting, from our constituents and supporters is very much appreciated."
To vote, or to learn more about the competition, visit www.americastransportationaward.org and click "vote now." Voting lasts until Oct. 19.