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Build A Better Mousetrap

People involved in the transportation industry often find better ways to do their jobs. Whether it’s through a new gadget that improves the quality and safety of a project or an innovative process that reduces costs and improves efficiency, it is often the people on the front lines who discover the latest and best practices.

Mousetraps are unique solutions to common problems—they can include the development of tools or software, equipment modification, and/or a new process or approach. They might increase safety, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and/or improve transportation quality.

Illinois’s Build a Better Mousetrap Competition provides a great opportunity to share your new ideas with others! We are looking for submissions—see the instructions below—from employees of Illinois’s local public agencies (e.g., cities and counties) who have created different solutions to problems or found better ways of doing things.

We will gather the best ideas from around the state and judge them using a five-point rating system. The criteria are listed below.

  1. Cost savings/benefits to the community
  2. Ingenuity
  3. Ease of transferability to others
  4. Effectiveness
  5. Spotlight videos also receive extra points

Based on these criteria, a state winner will be selected from all of the local public agency entries, and that entry will be submitted to the National Local Technical Assistance Program/Tribal Technical Assistance Program (LTAP/TTAP) Build a Better Mousetrap Competition. National winners will be announced at the annual National LTAP/TTAP Conference in the summer.

The State of Illinois Winner will be announced in the Illinois Interchange Newsletter and receive a framed certificate. The 2019 Illinois State Winner and submission can be found under the Newsletter tab by clicking on Illinois Interchange Newsletter issue Vol 2019-02.

Submission Instructions

If you have something you think would qualify for this competition, submit your entry by June 1. The competition is open to all Local Public Agencies including Municipalities, Counties, Road Districts, Townships, etc.

You can submit you entries online using the form below, or, if you prefer, you can submit your entries by mail.

  • Online Entry
  • Bureau of Local Roads and Streets
    Illinois Department of Transportation
    2300 S. Dirksen Parkway, Room 208
    Springfield, IL 62764 

Release form: In addition, FHWA requests that you obtain a release form for each person you photograph, record, or video. Please include a copy of all release forms with your entry.

Photo and video guidance: FHWA provides some guidance for any photographs and Spotlight Videos.