VDOT News - Statewide



Lindsay LeGrand 804-786-2715

July 19, 2018

Entrepreneurs, students and professionals rewarded for innovative, technology-focused solutions at Hackathon competitions across the Commonwealth

ARLINGTON, Va. – As part of its July meeting, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) hosted the new SmarterRoads Hackathon series to highlight innovation in transportation. The event was held in Northern Virginia July 17 and 18. Entrepreneurs, students and professionals developed and submitted technology-focused solutions, using VDOT’s open data sets and the SmarterRoads.com portal to help address Virginia’s greatest transportation needs.

“Hackathons are catalysts for innovative thinking using data and emerging technologies,” said Transportation Secretary Shannon Valentine. “By working collaboratively, teams solve problems, inspire entrepreneurial opportunities and help create a platform for business and investment.” 

Teams submitted driven concepts that included applications for route optimization based on personal preferences, early warning systems, trucking logistics, and a bike-route safety platform based on pavement conditions and crash statistics. Winning teams were awarded cash prizes, mentoring sessions and opportunities for future presentations.  

“These events create fresh inventive solutions, identify potential economic opportunities, enhance public engagement and attract a diverse, talented workforce into a 21st century transportation system,” said CTB member and Innovation and Technology subcommittee chairman, Henry “Hap” Connors. 

  • Overall award winners:
    • 1st Place: FlexiRoute
    • 2nd Place: Truck Parking
  • Idea Jam award winners:
    • Idea Jam – Safety: Jacobs (Safety Aware)
    • Idea Jam – Resiliency: FlexiRoute
    • Idea Jam – Vulnerable road users: Cycle-By

  • People’s Choice: Cycle-By

The first SmarterRoads Hackathon was held in Virginia Beach in April. Additional events are planned this summer and fall in other regions.

Appointed by the governor, the 17-member CTB establishes the administrative policies and approves funding allocation for Virginia's transportation system. Two new appointments and four reappointments to the CTB were announced at the July meeting.

A new member joins the board, representing the Lynchburg District:

  • Bert Dodson, Jr. of Lynchburg, President and CEO, Dodson Pest Control

A former member returns to the board as an Urban-At Large:

  • W. Sheppard Miller III of Norfolk, President & CEO, Trident Utility Contracting

Four members of the board were reappointed:

  • Henry “Hap” Connors of Fredericksburg, Independent Consultant
  • Allison DeTuncq of Charlottesville, President and CEO, University of Virginia Community Credit Union
  • Stephen A. Johnsen of Onancock, Retired Insurance Executive
  • Marty Williams of Henrico, Consultant, River City Strategies LLC

The CTB also approved a $2.6 million Virginia Shortline Railway Preservation and Development grant to the Delmarva Central Railroad to provide programmatic upgrades to improve service reliability, safety and state of good repair for the railroad operations on the northern end of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. These upgrades are the first phase in a process that will return full operational service to the line. The total project cost is $3.9 million, which includes a 30 percent match from Delmarva Central Railroad.

For more information:


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: July 19, 2018