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Yesterday, the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) named the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) the 15th winner of the annual Dr. William W. Hay Award at a general session held during Railway Interchange 2013 in Indianapolis. UTA earned the award — which recognizes excellence in rail engineering projects — for its 45-mile FrontRunner South commuter-rail line, which opened three years ahead of schedule and 10 percent under budget, said Amtrak's Michael Franke, AREMA's treasurer who chairs the Hay award committee, during the award presentation. Chosen from among eight submissions this year, the project met the award criteria: innovation, safety and service performance reliability, he said. UTA broke ground on the FrontRunner South project in August 2008 and completed it in December 2012. Located along a 45-mile stretch of an existing Union Pacific Railroad corridor, the line features six stations, 34 public grade crossings and 30 bridges. A Stacy & Witbeck Inc./Herzog joint venture was the project's contractor. An average of 325 people worked at the FrontRunner South job site each day and no lost-time accidents occurred during construction, said Franke. AREMA established the award to honor the memory and accomplishments of Dr. William Walter Hay, an association member and leader who was a professional railroader in the military transportation service and the private rail industry. Hay was a consultant on rail design, construction and operations and, for more than 25 years, was a professor of railway civil engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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