Matanuska-Susitna Borough earned recognition this week with the 2017 Transportation Planning Award at the Alaska State Planners Conference. Some 175 planners, elected and appointed officials, planning commissioners, architects, and engineers attended in Anchorage. This award honors the effort to increase transportation choices for all populations, to reduce dependence on private automobiles and to help ease congestion, among other goals. Mat-Su Borough Planning Chief Jessica Smith led the effort with consultants HDR, Murph O’Brien and Laurie Cummings, with support from Eileen Probasco, Director of Land Use and Planning for the Mat-Su. The group's work is called the Long Range Transportation Plan, a 60-page report that lays out short, mid, and long-term roadway improvements over the next 20 years, assuming a $55 million annual investment by Alaska Department of Transportation, as well as local, state and federal grants.