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The Build a Better Mousetrap Competition is the perfect opportunity for public works agencies to highlight innovative solutions to everyday challenges that local transportation professionals encounter. While the Mousetrap name sounds like we are seeking mechanical innovations, we are looking beyond that. In addition to equipment modifications, tools, or gadgets, we are looking for processes or systems you have put in place that enhance safety, reduce costs, improve efficiency, or improve the quality of transportation. 

Please don't assume your ideas are not innovative. While a process might seem like common sense to you, it could be something another agency or department hasn't thought of. Small ideas can grow into even bigger ideas, and your approach might be a tweak that someone else hasn't yet considered.

Remember that the purpose of this competition is to transfer technology through collecting and sharing real world examples of best practices and tips from the field. So think about how something you do could help others, and please submit your ideas!


If you would prefer to submit your entry by paper copy, please contact Kim at or 304-293-9924. We encourage you to also include photos - or video clips - that showcase your project. A WV LTAP staff member is available to help with your write-up, should you want.



Many LTAP centers host their own version of an innovation program and submit entries to the National Build A Better Mousetrap recognition program ran by FHWA-CLAS. Click the links below to see the national entries and winners; you might find an innovative approach you can adapt for your agency.


The competition is judged on the criteria listed below within the framework of a five-point rating scale. The winner is the entry that has the highest number of overall points.


  • Cost Savings

  • Benefits to the Community

  • Ingenuity

  • Transferability

  • Effectiveness


5 = Excellent

4 = Very Good

3 = Good

2 = Fair

1 = Poor

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