Caltrans Receives Four National Awards for Outstanding Public Communications


District: Headquarters
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060

SACRAMENTO — The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Committee on Transportation Communications (TransComm) honored Caltrans this week with four awards for the department’s public information work.

his before/after photo shows the U.S. Highway 101 Interchange at Olive Mill Road where a January 2018 mudslide in Montecito closed the highway for 12 days. 

This before/after photo shows the U.S. Highway 101 Interchange at Olive Mill Road where a January 2018 mudslide in Montecito closed the highway for 12 days.

Photo Courtesy of Caltrans

"At Caltrans, we are dedicated to public service, and these TransComm awards show that we not only work hard to get our job done, but we work hard to let the public know what we're doing."

Laurie Berman, Director, Caltrans

TransComm recognized Caltrans for:

  • The June 2017 Caltrans Mile Marker that explains Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
  • Caltrans’ crisis management communication during the devastating Montecito flood and mudslide this January that buried a portion of U.S. Highway 101 under 12 feet of mud and debris for 12 days.
  • Caltrans’ photo of U.S. Highway 101 showing the highway before and after Caltrans and its contractor cleared the road and opened it to traffic. Caltrans News Flash #162 shows what went into cleaning and reopening the highway.

Caltrans District 5 public information officers Susana Cruz and Jim Shivers were also recognized for their outstanding public communications. Between February 2017 and January 2018, California’s central coast suffered intense weather-related events, including damage to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, slides at Mud Creek, the Thomas Fire, and the Montecito flood and mudslide. The state transportation system in the Central Coast was severely damaged, and these events had tremendous emotional and economic effects on communities in the area. Cruz and Shivers were Caltrans’ public faces for those events.

"Susana Cruz and Jim Shivers were amazing during Mother Nature’s fits. The public, but especially the communities most affected by these devastating events, came to rely on Susana and Jim and their calm demeanor. We're really lucky to have them on the Caltrans team."

Laurie Berman, Director, Caltrans

Caltrans Public Information Officer Jim Shivers.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

Caltrans Public Information Officer Susana Cruz.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

The Spirit of TransComm Award recognizes nonmanagerial state transportation communications staff for their professionalism, expertise in their specialization, and positive effects on identified audiences.

TransComm is made up of public affairs professionals from the 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. It promotes excellence in communications through the exchange of ideas and educational programming, presents annual skills awards and advises other committees on communications issues.