Firm awards

April 2007 » Business Briefs
Civil engineering firms’ awards and project recognition, updated April 18, 2007.
CE News Staff

(April 18, 2007 update)
The Banks Group, a property development, mineral extraction, and land reclamation firm, won a 2006 BE Award for its Bowesfield Riverside Community project. The company estimates that its use of Bentley 3-D modeling solutions in this project provided a return on investment of about 30 percent. The design for the $175 million Bowesfield community project, an integrated sustainable development on the banks of a river, converted an 80-acre brownfield site into a vibrant community with housing, office space, and retail businesses. The plan regenerated the degraded riverfront land and set aside 37 acres for a nature conservation area.

A new mile-long extension of the Newark Light Rail system, connecting Newark, N.J.’s Broad Street Rail Station with Newark Penn Station, received the Grand Award in the 2007 Engineering Excellence Awards competition, sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies of New Jersey. Designed by PB in a joint venture with URS Corporation, the new rail segment links Newark’s two multimodal facilities with local businesses, educational institutions, and entertainment and shopping venues. The project featured a number of innovative technologies that saved time and were less invasive, such as the use of secant piles to protect and support adjacent historic structures during construction of the new tunnel. A floating slab track bed, designed to mitigate the impact of vibrations of light rail vehicles was at the time of its design, the first application of its kind on the East coast.

Medina Consultants was awarded the Diamond Award by the New York Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) for its survey efforts on the MTA/LIRR East Side Access Project. The Diamond Award is the highest award a firm can receive from the ACEC. The project was initiated by MTA CC/LIRR to provide new rail tunnels for a direct connection to Grand Central Terminal and increased capacity for Long Island, N.Y., commuters into Manhattan. Medina Consultants, as a subconsultant to the GEC Tri-Venture, selected efficient and accurate surveying and mapping technologies to enhance design solutions. Linking GPS, low-altitude mapping, 3-D laser scanning, conventional surveying, and robotics, numerous survey teams simultaneously located and mapped the project for accurate design.

The Florida Engineering Society and Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers awarded Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise the 2007 Governor’s New Product Award for the Turnpike Enterprise Asset Management System (TEAMS). The Governor’s New Product Award is given annually to a Florida-developed product, machine, process, or material that stimulates the life and growth of Florida industry. TEAMS is a web-based management tool designed to identify and prioritize transportation project needs throughout the Turnpike Enterprise’s entire toll highway network. The TEAMS comprehensive database includes an inventory of all Turnpike assets, layered with reporting and on-line mapping capabilities. The database contains roadway condition data and renewal/replacement prediction information that enables quick assessment of the asset conditions and provides a method to forecast and prioritize periodic and capital expenditures.

Three Gannett Fleming projects were recently honored in the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York’s 2007 Engineering Excellence Awards Program:

  • The Gilboa Dam Interim Stability Improvements Project received a Diamond Award in the Water Resources Category. Built in 1927, the Gilboa Dam is located in New York’s Catskill Mountains. At times, its reservoir provides approximately 12 percent of the water used by New York City. In an effort to improve the dam’s structural stability prior to a major reconstruction project planned for 2008 through 2012, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) elected to implement an interim repair project. The Gannett Fleming/Hazen & Sawyer joint venture led the interim project, which was implemented on an emergency, fast-track schedule to complete work by the end of 2006. The team led the design of the $25 million rehabilitation within a three-month span, and construction was completed in an eight-month time period.
  • The Catskill Turbidity Control Studies also received a Diamond Award in the Studies, Research, and Consulting Engineering Services Category. As part of this project, the Gannett Fleming/Hazen & Sawyer joint venture studied ways to reduce turbidity in NYCDEP’s Catskill reservoirs, located in New York’s Catskill Watershed. The project team identified and developed several conceptual-level designs, including a multilevel intake and curtain baffle at Schoharie Reservoir and the first-ever linked water quantity/turbidity computer model. This custom-designed tool can optimize operations throughout the entire watershed. By effectively controlling turbidity, NYCDEP will continue to ensure that a filtration plant is not required to treat the Catskill supply, which provides 40 percent of New York City’s drinking water.
  • The Village of Northport Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Upgrade Project received a Gold Award in the Water and Wastewater Category. Gannett Fleming led a multidisciplinary team to help the village of Northport, N.Y., upgrade its WWTP, which discharges into the Long Island Sound. These upgrades ensured the village’s compliance with new nitrogen discharge limits set to improve the waters of Northport Harbor. A practical and innovative staged construction plan limited disruption to the plant’s normal operations and enabled the Village to keep its beaches open during the upgrades.

(March 30, 2007 update)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division of St. Paul, Minn., won a BE Award (sponsored by Bentley Systems, Inc.) for its extensive deployment of ProjectWise software involving collaboration on more than 17 projects, including improvements to navigation and ecosystem sustainability on the upper Mississippi River and other waterways, an evaluation of the New Orleans hurricane and flood protection system and its performance during Hurricane Katrina, and major modifications to the Bayou Sorrel Lock in Louisiana. The award category was "Geospatial Managed Environment."

Medina Consultants, an engineering and land surveying firm headquartered in Hackettstown, N.J., received a Distinguished Award in the the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 2007 Engineering Excellence Awards competition in Special Projects in the Land Development category, for its work as a prime consultant on the Blairstown Municipal Building Project. Medina was also a sub consultant on project teams for four other ACEC award winning projects:

  • The Newark Light Rail Extension Project, which received a Grand Honor Award. Medina contributed as a sub consultant to PB Americas (in joint venture with URS Corporation).
  • The Driscoll Bridge Widening Project, which received an Honor Award. Medina contributed as a sub consultant to DMJM Harris/URS.
  • The Southern Bridge Lengthening Project, which received a Distinguished Award. Medina contributed as a sub consultant to Edwards & Kelcey.
  • The Park Avenue Bridge Project in Essex County, N.J., which received a Distinguished Award. Medina contributed as a sub consultant to Lichtenstein Engineers.

AMEC won the 2007 Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence in the Construction category from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The national award, named for the president under whose administration the SBA was founded, honors large federal prime contractors that have excelled in utilization of small businesses as suppliers and subcontractors. Only one contractor is chosen for the award in each of five categories (construction, research and development, manufacturing, services, and utilities) from a pool of 2,500 eligible large contractors. AMEC’s Earth & Environmental Division provides a full range of environmental, engineer-design, and construction-management services at U.S. military installations. Construction-management services have included overseeing demolition, renovation, and construction of projects ranging from airfield hangars and runways to military barracks.

(March 22, 2007, update)
HDR is celebrating its 90th year of providing architectural, engineering, and consulting services. Founded in 1917 by H.H. Henningson, the Henningson Engineering Company got its start as a civil engineering firm in Omaha, Neb., where HDR’s headquarters remain today. The company’s first project was designing a power house for the city of Ogallala, Neb. During the 1930s, Henningson Engineering became a leader in rural electrification. It also gained key personnel in Charles Durham and Willard Richardson, who would become the "D" and "R" in HDR. The company officially became known as Henningson, Durham & Richardson, Inc. in 1950, and the name was later shortened to HDR. The company added an architectural department in the mid-1950s, which quickly developed a specialty in healthcare design. Growth continued as the firm expanded into areas such as renewable energy, justice and civic architecture, nanotechnology, master planning, and coastal and port engineering. HDR also has evolved its traditional engineering offerings to address such 21st century needs as sustainability, financing and risk management. Today, the employee-owned firm has more than 5,800 professionals—an increase of more than 4,000 in the last decade alone—in more than 140 locations worldwide.

Higgins Associates received a Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California (CELSOC) 2007 Engineering Excellence Award (small firm) for preparing traffic control plans for the inaugural Tour of California Bicycle Race. The firm used a new moving closure technique and GPS technology while also incorporating Caltrans requirements for traffic control plan standards for the seven-day, San Francisco-to-Los Angeles event.

CELSOC also awarded RBF Consulting (RBF) a 2007 Engineering Excellence Merit Award for the Chino I Desalter Expansion and the Chino II Desalter Project. The Chino Basin Desalter Authority (CDA) hired RBF to design an expansion of the existing Chino I Desalter and to create a second desalter, Chino II. The new water treatment plant and expansion design uses a parallel reverse osmosis treatment system and an ion exchange treatment system to treat groundwater from local wells high in total dissolved solids and nitrate. The RBF team designed 11 new wells to increase the system’s groundwater pumping capacity, along with additional piping systems, to deliver the water to the desalters. Additionally, the RBF team designed multiple water-distribution systems, including three remote pump stations and more than 20 miles of pipeline, to deliver the treated water. The project increased the CDA’s water-delivery capability to more than 15 million gallons per day, helping alleviate the area’s dependency on imported supplies.

Civiltech Engineering was recognized by the Chicago Metro Chapter of the American Public Works Association for the Rollins Road Extension Project, which won the Public Works Project of the Year Award in the Transportation $2 to $10 million project category. The project extended Rollins Road on a new alignment, improving traffic safety and operation at two major intersections.

Spalding DeDecker Associates (SDA) received a Michigan Concrete Pavers Association award for its work as the prime consultant for the Michigan Department of Transportation’s I-94 Overlay Project. The project rehabilitated 3.7 miles of the freeway in St. Clair Township, Mich., and was the first unbonded concrete overlay on an interstate freeway in Southeastern Michigan. An unbonded concrete overlay design utilizes the existing pavement as a stable base, eliminating the need and cost for the total removal of existing pavement. Without a removal stage, more traffic maintenance options become available and the construction schedule can be expedited. SDA was responsible for complete design, including concrete overlay, reconstruction of under-bridge areas, guardrail upgrades, replacement of existing culverts, ramp rehabilitations, and geometric improvements. SDA also developed the traffic and construction staging plan to accommodate all work in the corridor. The project opened to traffic on schedule, taking only six months to complete, and within budget.

(March 14, 2007, update)
The Conner Creek CSO Control Facility in Detroit received the second highest possible recognition—the Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award—presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan and the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers at the annual Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards. The Conner Creek Facility is owned by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and was designed by consulting engineers Hazen and Sawyer, Inc., supported by a design team that included Tucker, Young, Jackson & Tull, Inc.; Sigma Associates, Inc.; NTH Consultants, Ltd.; Multi-Tech Resources, Inc.; Hamilton Anderson Associates; Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.; and Moffa Associates. This facility, which stores and treats combined wastewater/stormwater, ends the discharge of untreated overflows into Conner Creek. It features a storage capacity of 30 million gallons, contained within a 250-foot-wide-by-550-foot-long-by-40-foot-high storage basin. Another 32 million gallons of storage is provided in existing outfalls.

Dewberry of Fairfax, Va., is a finalist in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 41st annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition for developing the GeoFIRM Enterprise: FEMA Engineering and Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) Mapping Environment. GeoFIRM is a multi-user geodatabase that automates production of maps used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other agencies to delineate community flood risks. Integrated toolsets for terrain, survey, hydrology, and hydraulics help engineering teams expedite the process of map updates. Winners of 24 specific engineering categories, including the Grand Conceptor Award for the best overall engineering achievement, will be announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, to be held Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Texas Council of Engineering Companies is awarding its prestigious Gold Medal Award for Special Projects to the planning, engineering, and program management firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN). The award recognizes the firm’s work on the Greenspoint Waterline and Grid Extension Project in Houston. The Greenspoint Waterline and Grid Extension project is part of the city of Houston’s Surface Water Transmission Program, and was adopted on a fast-track design and construction schedule to meet the January 2006 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency groundwater quality mandates. It includes 46,000 linear feet of 66-inch water transmission line and several distribution extensions of approximately 5,000 linear feet of 12-, 16- and 20-inch waterlines. LAN provided full program management in all project phases including design, bidding, right-of-way acquisition, and construction. The entire project was completed in 18 months with more than $5 million in savings.

Geotechnology, Inc., won a Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies-Missouri for its innovative geotechnical engineering solutions for Ameristar Casino St. Charles’ 25-story hotel and 9-story garage. The design challenge was to provide a seismically safe, economical foundation system for the hotel and garage. In the event of an earthquake, post-liquefaction settlement was calculated to be approximately 14 inches. The project posed additional constraints, including wetlands protection, construction adjacent to the existing facility, flood protection, and river bank stability. Geotechnology and the project team (Ameristar, PGAV, Walter P. Moore & Associates, EDM, Walton Construction, and Hayward Baker Geotechnical Construction) evaluated foundation options and construction methods and chose the ground-improvement package of vibro-compaction, compaction grouting, and micropiles.

Spalding DeDecker Associates (SDA) received a Surveying Honorable Conceptor award, presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan and the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers, for its work on the Maumee River East Side Watermain Phase II Project. SDA’s surveyors were responsible for ensuring that the tunnel under construction connected with an existing construction shaft on the far side of the river. The location and scope of the project introduced a number of constraints on typical surveying tools. Digging below the riverbed, lack of sight line to satellites and not enough area underground to effectively back-sight the tunnel all rendered instrument choices such as GPS, ground probes, transits, and theodolites useless. Using a gyrocompass, SDA’s surveyors were able to ensure that the work proceeded correctly and on schedule.


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