WASHINGTON, DC — The Central I-70 Project in Denver, the nation’s largest consolidated rental car center at Los Angeles International Airport, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Build America Bureau Executive Director Dr. Morteza Farajian, and Yale University graduate Ali Lauzon have been recognized as models of excellence in innovative transportation finance and leadership by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).
The awards were presented July 18 during ARTBA’s 31st Annual Public Private Partnerships (P3s) in Transportation Conference, held in the Nation’s Capital.
Trailblazer of the Year: Dr. Morteza Farajian
This award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to, and advocacy for, the forward progress of P3s in the U.S. transportation industry.
Before becoming executive director of U.S.DOT’s Build America Bureau in 2019, Farajian spent five years with the Virginia Department of Transportation procuring and delivering some of the highest profile and most beneficial P3 projects in the country, including the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project, I-395 Express Lanes Extension project, and I-95 Express Lanes Extension project.
Emerging Leader of the Year: Ali Lauzon
Lauzon has already made a significant impact in the first 10 years working in the U.S. transportation P3 sector. A recent Yale University School of Management graduate, she is a “leader of emerging leaders,” the awards committee noted. In Virginia DOT’s P3 Office, Lauzon helped build the next generation of leaders by co-organizing the annual emerging leaders track at ARTBA’s P3 conference and serving as co-president of Young Professionals in Infrastructure. Her efforts have encouraged many young professionals to consider transportation construction as a career path, grown the technical capacity of those in the industry with informative workshops on a range of topics, and facilitated networking events that connect diverse parts of the industry. She will continue these efforts in her upcoming role as an advisor with McKinsey.
Innovation of the Year: Consolidated Rental Car Center at Los Angeles International (LAX) Airport, Nossaman
The award spotlights an idea within a P3 project that demonstrates how the development and/or application of new, innovative, and unique concepts help provide value for users.
The nation’s largest consolidated rental car center at LAX, ConRAC, will relocate and centralize 23 existing car rental facilities scattered around the airport away from the central terminal and provide direct access to major freeways. Ultimately the facility will connect to an Automated People Mover (APM) to provide travelers with quick access to terminals. The combined projects, with a collective contract value in excess of $7 billion, will transform the airport and dramatically improve the experience for travelers at the world’s fifth busiest airport beginning in 2023. They are also part of the airport’s modernization program and represent the city’s first two P3s.
Community Impact of the Year: Central I-70 Project Denver, Colo., Kiewit Meridiam Partners, LLC
This year’s recipient demonstrates economic, philanthropic, or humanitarian benefit to the public and an improved quality of life for the community and/or users of the asset.
As part of the $1.2 billion Central 70 project, contractors Kiewit Meridiam Partners will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70, one of Colorado’s “economic backbones.” A new express lane in each direction, removal of an aging 54-year old viaduct, a lowered interstate between major boulevards, and a 4-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate near an elementary school are all part of the project’s plans. When completed in 2022, the project will reduce congestion, improve safety and better accommodate future growth along the vital transportation corridor.
In keeping with the community impact of the project, partners held a school supply drive for a local elementary school, built a sound barrier directly behind another school and included “playful art” for the children to look at while playing outside, partnered with high schools to teach the younger generation about careers in construction, and worked with a resident-led area non-profit to increase and expand educational paths for at-risk students to complete high school and college.