ALBANY - The state Department of Transportation has received the 2012 Public Service Excellence Award for its response to the damage caused by tropical storms Irene and Lee.
The agency received the award from the New York State Academy for Public Administration during a ceremony Wednesday night at the Hotel Albany. The award was given out as part of Public Service Recognition Week.
"Thousands of State DOT employees rose to the occasion last summer, helping to reconnect New Yorkers and their communities when they needed us most," DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said in a press release. "It is that collective effort that makes DOT's response to this extraordinary event worthy of celebration and recognition."
Highways and bridges in the Adirondacks, eastern New York state and the Catskills were devastated by Irene and Lee last August. The two storms wreaked havoc on the transportation system, closing nearly 400 roads and bridges and disrupting rail and air travel across 36 counties - including state Route 73, a main highway into the Adirondack Park. Many of those roadways, including Route 73, were reopened within weeks.
The response was the largest and most sustained DOT emergency response and recovery event in recent history.