Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE) recently announced that its SunTrax testing and research facility won the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association’s (IBTTA) 2020 President’s Award for Excellence.  SunTrax is being developed in collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to test tolling and other emerging transportation technologies in controlled environments.

The centerpiece of SunTrax, situated on 475 acres between Tampa and Orlando in Polk County, is the Bergeron-constructed 2.25-mile-long oval test track around a 200-acre infield which was completed in 2019. The multi-lane track replicates typical Florida highway conditions with a design speed of 70 mph.  According to IBTTA, SunTrax provides access for simulations, relieving the need to close active lanes. Truck platooning, autonomous vehicles and toll transactions have all been successfully conducted at the facility.

FTE also won IBTTA’s Toll Excellence Award for technology alongside six other recipients from the tolling industry who were recognized in other categories for providing the best projects and solutions. In addition to the 2.25-mile track, Bergeron was also responsible for the construction of four toll equipment buildings and associated toll gantries which can also be adapted to test equipment from different vendors.

But this is not the first award for this high-profile project.  In August of this year, The FDOT received the regional Best Use of Technology & Innovation (Medium Category) award for SunTrax Phase 1 from the Southern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO).

Bergeron’s work on the site has been recognized with a Best in Construction Special Significance Award by the Florida Transportation Builders Association and a Specialty Construction Award of Merit from ENR Southeast.