Build a Better Mousetrap

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

New Jersey’s Build a Better Mousetrap Competition provides a great opportunity to share new ideas with others in the State and across the country. We are looking for submissions from employees of local or state public agencies (municipalities, counties, parks commissions, NJ Department of Transportation, NJ Transit) that have developed new 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 5-point rating system. The highest scoring entries will be entered into a Build a Better Mousetrap National competition.

For more information and the entry form, click the Better Mousetrap Competition. Share your innovation and get in the game!

2023 NJ BABM Award Winner

The New Jersey 2023 Build a Better Mousetrap Award was given to Gerald Oliveto, P.E., NJDOT in the Moveable Bridge Unit for the Route 71 Over Shark River Road Diet Project. The Route 71 over Shark River Road Diet project preserved an old historic drawbridge while improving safety and saving money.  After a mechanical failure in September 2021, engineers worked quickly to design and implement a solution that would both preserve the drawbridge and keep it in safe operation. The traffic load needed to be redistributed and balanced properly across the span to keep the bridge opened.  NJDOT implemented a road diet across the bridge, which allowed the Department to address several safety issues. Through this $150,000 project completed in May 2022, the Route 71 over Shark River Road Diet project improved traffic flow, increased safety, and reduced congestion in a busy tourist area and added bike lanes, utilizing an innovative bicycle-safe grid, a first-of-its-kind achievement in New Jersey.

2023 Winner: Route 71 Over the Shark River Bridge, Gerald Oliveto, NJDOT

The Route 71 Over Shark River Road Diet Project in Monmouth County was also the “Bold Steps” Award recipient in the Federal Highway Administration’s National Recognition Program for Transportation Innovation in 2023.

Want to know more about PAST WINNERS of the NEW JERSEY COMPETITION?

Check out these VIDEOS!

2022 Winner: Sawcut Vertical Curb, Gary Liedtka-Bizuga and Henry Jablonski, NJDOT

2021 State Winner: Tire Centerline Bracket, Marc Franco, Technical Specialist, NJ TRANSIT, Bus Material & Technical Support

2021 Local Winner: Inlet Repair Trailer, Art Villano, Montgomery Township, New Jersey

2020 Winner: Anti-Jackknife Device, Scott Ainsley & Mark Crago, NJDOT

2019 Winner: Bridge Fender Navigation Lighting Reflective Backup System, Gerald Oliveto, NJDOT Operations Support and Engineering

2018 Winner: Roncovitz Post Pusher and Post Puller, NJDOT Crew 333

Keep the ball rolling on innovation and join the BABM competition!

Check out our latest social media ready video celebrating the past winners and their ingenious and implemented solutions!

2023 National Winners

Click here to learn more about the WINNERS of the NATIONAL COMPETITION!

Updated: November 30, 2023