HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Friday that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is in the running for a national award for its quick response to the 2021 tornado that hit Mayfield.

“Our Transportation Cabinet crews responded rapidly when that devastating and unprecedented tornado outbreak swept down upon Mayfield and many other communities throughout Western Kentucky,” Gov. Beshear said. “Streets and roads had to be cleared – and quickly – before any other recovery effort could begin. Recognition of the cabinet’s efforts is gratifying, though no one was thinking about awards at the time.”

KYTC says the cabinet’s Mayfield tornado response project was one of 12 projects that emerged from four regional competitions to compete for two national 2023 America’s Transportation Awards. Kentucky’s project was recognized regionally for “Operations Excellence, Small Category” – meaning $25 million or less – by the 10-state Mid-America Association of State Transportation Officials.

Officials say the “Top 12” finalists announced by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) then compete for two national prizes – the Grand Prize, decided by an independent panel of judges, and the People’s Choice Award, which is decided in online voting from the general public.

A news release says the two winners will be announced in November at the AASHTO annual meeting in Indianapolis. The Grand Prize and People’s Choice Award winners will receive $10,000 each toward their preferred scholarship or charity.

People can vote here.