Planned, ongoing, or recently completed projects and research

July 2013 » Features » PROJECT NOTES

Emergency repairs completed to Long Island roadway and beaches
Long Island, N.Y.'s celebrated South Shore beaches, badly damaged during Super Storm Sandy, were made ready for summer visitors as a result of work to restore Ocean Parkway and the beaches' dunes. A 2-mile section of Ocean Parkway, which provides access to Jones Beach, Robert Moses State Park, and other popular summertime destinations, was reopened to traffic on April 25. Five miles of South Shore dunes also were restored as part of the project managed by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

Restoration work restored dunes on beaches adjacent to Ocean Parkway on the South Shore of Long Island.

Parsons Brinckerhoff contributed civil and coastal engineering services to create new dunes along five miles of beaches. The effort involved dredging more than 800,000 cubic yards of sand and planting new vegetation on the restored dunes. "The new dunes were designed to significantly reduce risk to Ocean Parkway and other physical assets along the coastline," said John R. Boule, a Parsons Brinckerhoff vice president.

Parsons Brinckerhoff performed the coastal restoration design work on an emergency basis under an existing on-call contract with NYSDOT. Stantec performed the roadway engineering. The construction contractor was a joint venture of Bove Industries, John P. Picone Contracting, and Tully Construction.
Information provided by Parsons Brinckerhoff

 

River restoration projects receive federal support
Two years ago a group of local Michigan kayakers approached Colorado-based RiverRestoration to inquire about the possibility of designing a whitewater park in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich. Working together, the boaters and the firm developed a comprehensive plan to revitalize the riverway and restore the rapids to Grand Rapids. In May 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced that the Grand Rapids project is one of 11 newly selected locations added to the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

"The Urban Waters designation is a major milestone for the Grand Rapids project," said Jason Carey, president and principal river engineer for RiverRestoration. "What started out as an idea for a couple of whitewater features has become a huge revitalization project for downtown Grand Rapids, with the support and resources of the federal government."

RiverRestoration's $27 million Grand Rapids, Mich., project was selected for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership is designed to reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts to improve the nation's water systems and promote their economic, environmental, and social benefits. The partnership includes 13 federal agencies working to promote more efficient and effective use of federal resources through better coordination and targeting of federal investments.

The 11 new projects added to the Urban Waters Federal Partnership are:

  • Big River and Meramec River watersheds near St. Louis
  • Delaware River Basin that covers Philadelphia, Camden, N.J., Chester, Pa., and Wilmington Del.
  • Grand River in Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Green-Duwamish River in Seattle
  • Mystic River watershed in Greater Boston
  • Martin Pena Canal in San Juan, P.R.
  • Middle Blue River in Kansas City, Mo.
  • Middle Rio Grande in Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Passaic River in Newark, N.J.
  • Proctor Creek watershed in Atlanta
  • Western Lake Erie Basin near Toledo, Ohio

RiverRestoration has been contracted to envision the Grand Rapids project and provide design and engineering expertise by Grand Rapids Whitewater, a non-profit organization comprised of individuals, paddling clubs, fishermen, and businesses dedicated to putting the rapids back in Grand Rapids. Together they have created a comprehensive plan for the river's restoration that includes the removal of five dams, the addition of recreational enhancements, and improvements to fisheries and the general aesthetic of the river.
Information provided by RiverRestoration

 

Virginia treatment plant completes major design-build upgrades
Two major design-build projects recently were completed at the Noman M. Cole, Jr., Pollution Control Plant (NCPCP) in Lorton, Va. The upgrades, designed by Dewberry and constructed by M.A. Bongiovanni, Inc., include an $8 million flow equalization facilities expansion project that protects the wastewater treatment process from high influent flow rates and a $15.2 million reclaimed water distribution system that enables treated effluent to be reused at the Covanta Energy/Resource Recovery Facility and at nearby recreational areas.

The flow equalization facilities expansion project included design, construction, and start-up of new equalization facilities that reduce peak flows to the plant's biological nutrient removal activated sludge tanks. The facilities pump primary effluent to an equalization tank during influent high-flow conditions, and return the effluent to the primary channel when influent flows decrease. The project included the addition of 9 million gallons per day (mgd) of pumping capacity at the existing equalization pump station, including instrumentation and controls and a new 4 million-gallon equalization tank.

The water reclamation project conserves and recycles wastewater with a 4.6-mile pipeline that originates at the NCPCP. From there, approximately 560 million gallons of treated water each year will be distributed for reuse at the Covanta plant, one of the largest waste-to-energy facilities in the country. Approximately 24 million gallons a year will be distributed to the county's Laurel Hill Golf Course and Lower Potomac Ball Fields for irrigation purposes.

Dewberry's services for the "purple pipe" project – reclaimed water is distributed in purple color-coded pipes in the United States to distinguish it from potable water – included reclaimed water pumps, storage, chlorination, and pipeline design; application of 3D civil engineering technology; surveying; environmental engineering; permitting assistance; and utility coordination services. The Dewberry team used advanced design and visualization technology including AutoCAD Civil 3D, AutoCAD Map 3D, and Autodesk 3ds Max Design. The technology aided in modeling the pipeline corridor's existing conditions, creating initial alignment studies and visualizations, facilitating public hearings, and communicating design intent to the county and contractors.

Dewberry has completed extensive work at NCPCP in previous years, including engineering a new 100-mgd raw wastewater/equalization pumping station, a 16 million-gallon concrete equalization basin, and several thousand feet of piping, along with associated site development services. The previous expansion work was completed in association with CH2M HILL.

The NCPCP opened in 1970 as an 18-mgd plant and has undergone three major upgrades to bring it to its current capacity of 67 mgd. The plant serves approximately half of Fairfax County's 340,000 households and businesses.
Information provided by Dewberry

Reclaimed water is distributed in purple color-coded pipes to distinguish it from potable water.
Photo: Dave Huh, courtesy of Dewberry

 

Swine waste-to-energy project wins national award
The Loyd Ray Farms Swine Waste-to-Energy Project, designed by Cavanaugh & Associates, P.A., was recognized as one of the top 24 Engineering achievements in the United States. The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) pays tribute to exemplary member firm achievements and honors the year's most outstanding engineering accomplishments at its annual ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards Gala. Cavanaugh & Associates, P.A., received an award for its role in conception, design, and operation of the project.

Cavanaugh collaborated on this project with Duke Energy, Duke University, and Internet giant Google. The team leads the state with its first-of-its-kind waste-to-energy system, and the project is the first pig farm in North Carolina to generate Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from its waste. The project also reduces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 900 cars from the roads annually. The anaerobic digestion process converts organic carbonaceous compounds to methane, which combusts in a microturbine to generate electricity. Electricity generation from the microturbine generates more than 0.5 Megawatts of power per year, captures methane, and reduces greenhouse gases that would otherwise be emitted from the lagoon-and-sprayfield system that the system replaced.

More information about the project is available at www.pigpower.net
Information provided by Cavanaugh & Associates, P.A.

 

Researchers use aerospace carbon fabric to repair bridges
The Kentucky Transportation Center's (KTC) research team, in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Federal Highway Administration, recently determined that a product originally intended for aerospace technologies could be used successfully to repair damaged concrete bridges. The product, QISO Braided Triaxial Fabric, is a single-layer quasi-isotropic carbon fabric that was developed by A&P Technology (Cincinnati, Ohio). QISO drastically improves damage tolerance and energy absorption, and has been applied to jet engine fan cases, aircraft control surfaces, and radio dishes.

Issam Harik, Ph.D., Manager of the KTC Structures Program at the University of Kentucky, decided to use QISO to restore the capacity of a bridge pier in Louisville, Ky. The pier's steel reinforcement was severely rusted in the vertical and transverse directions. The concrete cover also had multiple pieces that had deteriorated and fallen off, which exposed the pier core.

"A single layer of QISO Triaxial Fabric can be applied to the bridge pier in place of two orthogonal layers of fabric having unidirectional fibers. This fabric has cut the application time in half, which reduces the repair costs," said Harik.

In October 2012, the QISO fabric also was used to repair a concrete bridge located in Simpson County, Ky. This bridge had multiple cracks on several beams near the abutments and at the center pier. Most of the cracks were diagonal, but vertical and horizontal cracks also were identified during inspection. The retrofit required a fabric having multidirectional fibers. Abheetha Peiris, Ph.D., a research engineer in the Structures Program at KTC, supervised the project that involved KTC staff members completing the repairs.

"The QISO Braided Triaxial Fabric provided us the unique opportunity to strengthen the deteriorating beams and halt the crack growth in multiple directions by using a single layer of fabric. This carbon fiber fabric is lightweight and can be easily applied to the concrete surface," said Peiris.

KTC was the first to use QISO for civil engineering infrastructure purposes. To date, four bridges in Kentucky have been repaired using this technology.
Information provided by University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

QISO Triaxial Fabric was used to repair a concrete bridge in Kentucky that had multiple cracks on several beams near the abutments and at the center pier.

 

Road reconstruction named state 'Project of the Year'
Reconstruction of Drexel Avenue in Oak Creek, Wis., received a Project of the Year award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). The Drexel Avenue project involved upgrading nearly one mile of roadway from a two-lane rural to a four-lane urban cross section with a median and turn lanes. An innovative aspect of this project that became a "first-of-its-kind" use in Wisconsin was the design and installation of a Rammed Aggregate Pier (RAP) system to stabilize organic soils through the wetland area. The final design included installation of 3,600 RAPs through the wetland section.

Additional considerations important to the project's success were removing the roadway from the floodplain, accommodating water movement under the roadway, minimizing disturbance to the adjacent wetlands, determining and addressing the impact of the Butler's Garter Snake habitat, and incorporating a separate bicycle/pedestrian path on the north side of the road. The reconstruction project was completed in December 2012.

Matt Sullivan, design engineer, City of Oak Creek, said, "There were a number of roadway design and environmental challenges that the project team met head on, including the design of a unique system to stabilize the wetlands which contained poor soils; shifting the centerline of Drexel to avoid disturbing Milwaukee County park lands; constructing the project simultaneous to the reconstruction of the I-94 interchange; and protecting important habitat including wetlands and the Butler's Garter Snake habitat."

The project team included R.A. Smith National (engineering design), Ground Improvement Engineering (RAP system consultation), Super Western (primary contractor), and Strand (construction management services).
Information provided by R.A. Smith National, Inc.

Final design of the Drexel Avenue Project included 3,600 Rammed Aggregate Piers to stabilize organic soils in a wetland area.

 

CH2M HILL achieves energy independence at wastewater facility
CH2M HILL announced that the Ejby Mølle Wastewater Treatment Plant (EMWWTP) in Odense, Denmark, won a Water and Energy Exchange (WEX) Global Innovation Award in the water and energy category. The project began in early 2012 when VCS Denmark, which provides water and wastewater services for Odense, selected the team of CH2M HILL and Ramboll Denmark to execute a project that would make the EMWWTP energy self-sufficient. EMWWTP has a treatment capacity for a population of 385,000 and is the largest treatment facility in Odense.

"VCS Denmark is a very progressive utility, striving to become a model for incorporating sustainability principles in its operations," said CH2M HILL Vice President and Technology Senior Fellow Julian Sandino. "The energy project was aimed at identifying additional energy optimization opportunities that would further facilitate the achievement of their sustainability goals."

A series of energy optimization options (EOOs) were identified for the EMWWTP through analysis of historical operational data, use of an advanced mass/energy balance simulation tool, and adoption of a collaborative workshop-based approach in identifying and evaluating alternatives. Implementation by plant staff of some of the recommended operational-oriented EOOs succeeded in making the plant essentially energy self-sufficient. This year the facility began co-digestion of high-strength organic industrial waste, which will enable it to reach a positive net energy condition.

Other facility enhancements such as providing side stream treatment and improving oxygen transfer efficiencies in its bioreactors also are being applied, which will further convert this plant into an energy resource recovery facility. Implementation of all of the project's recommendations will significantly reduce operational costs while providing the added environmental benefit of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing commercial energy consumption.
Information provided by CH2M HILL

Submit news and photos of planned, ongoing, or recently completed projects and research to Bob Drake at bdrake@zweigwhite.com. In September, "Project Notes" will highlight transportation and mining/energy projects; in October, geotechnology and geosynthetics are the focus.


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