The Southwest Missouri Council of Governments was awarded a 2019 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for the Low Water Crossing Inventory and Prioritization — Dade, Dallas and Polk Counties. 

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based association that promotes programs and policies to strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies. The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards showcase organizations for noteworthy projects and practices in rural and small metropolitan transportation planning, program delivery and special initiatives. Award winners received national recognition at the 2019 National Regional Transportation Conference on June 17 in Columbus, Ohio.

According to NADO President Scott Koons, executive director of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council in Gainesville, Fla.: “The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards highlight the important results of programs and projects like the Low Water Crossing Inventory and Prioritization — Dade, Dallas and Polk Counties. Such initiatives are central to fostering quality of place, facilitating economic vitality and improving mobility in our nation’s communities by promoting effective transportation planning and networks.”

SMCOG’s project, Low Water Crossing Inventory and Prioritization — Dade, Dallas and Polk Counties, collected data for more than 900 low water crossings. SMCOG performed on-site reviews, measurements, photographs and notations of other characteristics, such as aquatic life barriers. 

“This data was then presented to the county commissioners to help prioritize the replacement of low water crossings for disaster mitigation, public safety and conservation efforts,” said Jason Ray, executive director of SMCOG.

Two grants funded this project: the Disaster Resiliency Community Development Block Grant and a Missouri Department of Transportation Transportation Planning Grant. TREKK Design Group assisted by creating an online data collection form and allowing SMCOG the use of its user-friendly mobile application. MoDOT and the Missouri Department of Conservation also helped with technical assistance and GIS base map layers. 

SMCOG is an association of local governments in the 10-county area of southwest Missouri. SMCOG serves Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties. SMCOG is one of 19 active regional planning organizations throughout Missouri.

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