APWA proudly announces the 2006 Public Works Projects of the Year

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and the administration of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. The award winners are recognized during APWA's International Public Works Congress and Exposition.

The 2006 Projects of the Year Awards Committee consists of Committee Co-Chair F. Jay Burress, P.E., Project Manager, Shafer Kline & Warren Inc., Overland Park, Kan.; Co-Chair Kevin L. Hill, General Services Manager, City of Henderson, Nev.; James E. Blackwell, Deputy City Engineer, City of Charlotte, N.C.; Larry R. Gilson, President, Gilson Engineering, Draper, Utah; John J. Mercurio, Management Analyst, Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, Concord, Calif.; James Nichols, P.E., Deputy City Manager, City of Goodyear, Ariz.; Melissa A. Gentry, Public Works Director, City of Columbia, S.C.; David D. Griscom, Public Works Director, White County, Ga.; Ronald A. Merriman, Superintendent of Public Works, Borough of Franklin Park, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and William Edward Rhinehart, Public Works Director, DeKalb County, Ga.

Winners of the 2006 Public Works Projects of the Year Award are:

Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair

  • $2-$10 million: Maplewild Avenue Southwest Earthquake Repair
  • $10-$100 million: Beartooth Highway Emergency Repairs

Environment

  • <$2 million: Arlington Reservoir Dam Rehabilitation
  • $2-$10 million: Salt Creek Urban Runoff Treatment Facility
  • $10-$100 million: Duvall Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • >$100 million: Northwest Side Relief Sewer
  • >$100 million: Stormwater Treatment Area  3/4

Historical Restoration/Preservation

  • <$2 million: Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park
  • $2-$10 million: Montgomery County Historical Courthouse
  • $10-$100 million: Main Street Station Restoration

Structures

  • <$2 million: Green Roof is Gr-r-reat for Battle Creek
  • $2-$10 million: Monroe County Public Works Facility
  • $10-$100 million: Loch Raven Dam Rehabilitation

Transportation

  • <$2 million: SE Yamhill Green Street
  • <$2 million: South Side Business USH 51 Reconstruction
  • $2-$10 million: North Torrey Pines Rd Bridge
  • $10-$100 million: General Hitchcock Hwy
  • >$100 million: Dallas High Five Interchange
  • >$100 million: ROC 52


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: DISASTER OR EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION/REPAIR $2-$10 MILLION

Maplewild Avenue Southwest Earthquake Repair

Managing Agency: City of Burien, Washington
Primary Contractor: C.A. Carey Corporation
Primary Consultant: BERGER/ABAM Engineers Inc.
Nominated By: APWA Washington Chapter

Originally constructed in the 1920s, Maplewild Avenue Southwest loops for one-and-a-half miles along the scenic waters of the Puget Sound. At its closest, it runs within 200 horizontal feet and 170 vertical feet of the water's edge, carved into a hillside naturally compacted by glaciers for centuries.

In February 2001, the 40-second impact of a magnitude 6.8 earthquake rapidly shifted and compacted the relatively loose sidecast soil below Maplewild Avenue Southwest. The quake slid houses down the hillside, carrying soil with them. As a result, the soil under the roadbed was lowered by approximately one foot in the most damaged areas, and shifted outward toward the Puget Sound by another foot. The road's nine-inch-thick concrete was too strong to sink along with the soil. Instead, it left a one-foot deep and six- to eight-foot-wide void under the downhill lane that extended for nearly 600 feet. The road was subsequently closed to traffic until the damage could be repaired.

The Maplewild Avenue Southwest repair strategy required an upfront decision regarding the scope of the project: repair the roadway to its preexisting configuration or rebuild the roadway to current standards. The Federal Highway Administration and the City of Burien determined the relative high cost of the repair-only option and the safety advantages afforded by a rebuild justified the somewhat more extensive rebuild option.

As a result of this decision, the main elements of the construction project included the following:

  • a wider roadbed incorporating a pedestrian sidewalk and a less dramatic curve at the north end of the project, necessitating additional right-of-way and construction easements
  • an innovative 600-foot offset, cylinder pile wall on the downhill slope, consisting of a row of structural piles combined with a row of lagging piles
  • a 600-foot-long pile cap (three feet tall and five feet wide) over the structural piles, constructed in a manner sensitive to the adjoining residential architecture that included stairs, garages, parking decks, and utility poles
  • a soldier pile wall along the uphill slope, incorporating cantilever construction, in areas close to existing homes and tie-backs where their use would not endanger the homes' foundations
  • drainage features on both sides of the roadway, plus underground water and gas lines

Despite significant design, construction and site challenges, the Maplewood Avenue Southwest earthquake repair project was completed on schedule and under budget. The goals of the local community were satisfied and commuters now benefit from a modernized roadway and enhanced earthquake protection.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: DISASTER OR EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION/REPAIR $10-$100 MILLION

Beartooth Highway Emergency Repairs

Managing Agency: Montana Department of Transportation
Primary Contractor: Kiewit Western Construction
Primary Consultant: HKM Engineering
Nominated By: APWA Rocky Mountain Chapter

The Beartooth Highway offers a Rocky Mountain experience on a grand scale, with switchbacks leading to an 11,000-foot pass that showcases three National Forests before dropping into Yellowstone National Park. Due to its high elevation, remote location, and the severe climate of the region, it is only possible to keep the roadway open from late May through mid-October. On May 20, 2005, during operations to open the roadway for the season, unprecedented amounts of rain fell on snow, triggering massive debris flows that swept away 13 sections of road, leaving guardrail and culvert pipes shredded and dangling in mid-air.

The highway is a major tourist route used by thousands of travelers to access Yellowstone National Park via the northeast entrance. Immediate reconstruction was of vital importance to recreation-based trade in the region. A United States Congressional resolution stressed the need for "unfettered access to Yellowstone National Park and preserving the economy in Red Lodge." The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) pledged to reopen the roadway in four months and selected the project team and its design-build approach to carry out this ambitious task.

The extensive repairs in the sensitive environment of the National Forest required the team to focus on ways to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the mountain, including special design techniques that blended the repairs with the adjacent terrain, excavated material from a section of road realignment utilized to reclaim the scar left by a historic open pit chromium mine, extensive reuse of debris flow material, and restoration of a major drainage (Quad Creek) and reestablishment of water supply to a wetland.

Due to the short construction timeframe, the design-build team needed to maintain access on the narrow highway during all phases of construction. This prevented the team from using conventional MSE (Mechanically Stabilized Embankments) walls, so the team used new applications of truncated, geosynthetic reinforcement (geogrids). At 26 feet in height, these are the tallest geogrid-reinforced MSE walls on any MDT project. These walls had the dual advantages of being less expensive while using locally available materials, equipment and methods. Further, these walls could be field-fit during construction with no prefabrication time required, which substantially reduced construction time.

The project was substantially complete on October 1, 2005, two weeks ahead of the scheduled completion date of October 15 and $6 million under budget. Even with the aggressive schedule, terrain constraints and challenges of mountain construction, the design-build team achieved a safety record with no OSHA lost-time or recordable accidents.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: ENVIRONMENT LESS THAN $2 MILLION

Arlington Reservoir Dam Rehabilitation

Managing Agency: Town of Arlington, Massachusetts
Primary Contractor: MIG Corporation
Primary Consultant: Weston & Sampson Engineers, Inc.
Nominated By: APWA New England Chapter

In the mid-1990s, the aging mechanical crest gate in the primary spillway of the Arlington Reservoir Dam failed, causing flooding in the downstream residential area of Colonial Village and the downtown Arlington commercial center. Following a subsequent dam safety inspection, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ordered the Town to repair its aging dam to prevent a catastrophic breach and subsequent downtown flooding. However, the rehabilitation project was postponed for several years due to financial constraints and opposition from residents who were adamant that the forested landscape and habitat of this popular recreational site remain unchanged.

In 2002, the project was revived as the Town realized its obligation to rebuild the dam. With the project at an impasse because of resident opposition to tree removal, the consultant identified a solution based on a precedent set by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project in the Midwest. Using innovative technology, the consultant designed a vertical interlocking steel sheetpile wall capped with a reinforced concrete beam (I-Wall) for installation along the length of the dam, including below the existing and new spillways. The I-Wall permitted the majority of trees to remain while protecting against dam breaching and uncontrolled seepage through the embankments.

Assuring that the I-Wall could be constructed was critical to the success of the project. The dam is approximately 1,600 feet long and the crest width varies from about 20 feet to more than 80 feet wide. The wider portion extends from the site access along a public road to the primary and secondary spillways (approximately 1,200 feet in length). The remaining 400-foot length has a crest width of only 20 feet. Construction activities had to be orchestrated to access the narrow area over the open channel of the secondary spillway and to fit erosion and sedimentation controls, trench excavation equipment, excavated material stockpiling, vibratory pile installation equipment, concrete forming, reinforcing steel assembly, and concrete placement on the 20-foot-wide crest of the dam in an efficient manner.

The design included providing an approximately 3,500-square-foot forested wetland replication area adjacent to the auxiliary spillway to offset the approximately 2,000 square feet of wetland areas along the dam that were impacted by spillway renovations and construction.

Construction of the I-Wall involved excavating a trench along the upstream crest of the embankment and driving the interlocking steel sheeting through the embankment soil and into the underlying glacial till foundation soils. The steel sheeting was then capped with a 24-inch-thick and 4-foot-tall reinforced concrete beam that extends to the ground surface as an 8-inch-wide "curb."


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: ENVIRONMENT $2-$10 MILLION

Salt Creek Urban Runoff Treatment Facility

Managing Agency: City of Dana Point, California
Primary Contractor: Metro Builders and Engineers Group, Ltd.
Primary Consultant: PBS&J
Nominated By: City of Dana Point, California

The City of Dana Point has one of the most aggressive urban runoff programs in Orange County. For years the City investigated pollutant sources and methods for reducing beach closures at Salt Creek Beach. Structural and non-structural best management practices (BMPs) were implemented throughout the watershed. The City installed filtration devices on all catch basins within the City limits, and required innovative BMPs on all new developments. While these efforts improved water quality, they did not significantly reduce postings at Salt Creek Beach. Other means of reducing contaminants had to be found to supplement the City's source control programs.

The typical cause of the beach postings had been high bacteria counts. The goal was to radically reduce bacteria levels in the perennial, dry weather urban runoff in Salt Creek. Dry-season flow in Salt Creek is approximately 1,000 gallons per minute, making alternatives involving diversion to, and treatment in, a sanitary system unfeasible. Other alternatives such as disinfection using chlorination/dechlorination processes were discounted because of safety concerns and limited access for trucks delivering chemicals.

Two revolutionary methods of disinfecting the urban runoff were compared: ultraviolet light (UV) and ozonation. Due to the relatively high levels of turbidity, iron and manganese affecting the water quality in Salt Creek, ozone was found to be more efficient and cost effective than ultraviolet light in significantly reducing bacteria levels. Therefore, ozone treatment was selected for the design of the Salt Creek Urban Runoff Treatment Facility.

The project was located in a confined space, between an affluent neighborhood and a country club golf course, with extremely limited access. Beach excavations were conducted 12 feet below sea level, making the dewatering operation a challenge. The location of the work demanded strategic phasing and extensive community interaction. In addition, work was conducted during a complicating and unusual 100-year flood period.

Within days of the initial startup, significant reductions in the bacteria levels downstream of the facility were recorded. Monitoring of additional dry season flows are anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2006.

Operational data from comparable facilities is practically nonexistent. Therefore, operational flexibility was provided, which allows the treatment level to be adjusted by operations staff to accommodate anticipated changes in influent water quality. Several options for the removal of iron and manganese were incorporated into the design. A granular-activated carbon process can be activated to ensure the removal of any residual ozone prior to release of the water back into Salt Creek.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: ENVIRONMENT $10-$100 MILLION

Duvall Wastewater Treatment Plant

Managing Agency: City of Duvall, Washington
Primary Contractor: IMCO General Construction, Inc.
Primary Consultant: Parametrix
Nominated By: APWA Washington Chapter

The City of Duvall was facing legal challenges to a self-imposed sewer moratorium instituted in response to rapid population growth coupled with limited treatment capacity at its existing oxidation ditch treatment plant. Also, effluent discharge from the treatment plant frequently exceeded permit limits, prompting the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) to issue a compliance order requiring the City to construct a new outfall within the Snoqualmie River. The City's goals for the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Upgrade and Outfall Replacement project were to address these two immediate concerns as well as provide a source of reclaimed water for future use.

In order to bring the effluent discharge into compliance more quickly and to facilitate a quicker permitting process, the new outfall was completed in advance of the WWTP. The outfall allows for two individual acute mixing zones within a larger chronic mixing zone, which increased model-predicted mixing by a factor of up to 20 times as compared to the old sidebank outfall. With Ecology's guidance, the wet and dry weather compliance seasons were redefined to more accurately reflect river flows. The City also began collecting effluent data using clean sampling techniques to better characterize trace metal concentrations. Using these strategies, the City was able to demonstrate to Ecology that the WWTP effluent no longer had the potential to degrade the water quality and characteristic uses of the Snoqualmie River.

Part of the WWTP construction included installation of site drainage adjacent to wetlands. This was monitored closely during installation of the pipes. Construction sequencing of the new facilities was carefully planned and included in the contract to ensure existing treatment facilities remained operable. Weekly, the contractor was required to clean filter socks installed in the existing catch basins so silt would not be discharged into the river. Also, the concrete trucks wash-down area was within a lined basin which was cleaned and maintained regularly.

Although the WWTP had been upgraded in 1992, the treatment system was designed only to provide typical secondary treatment (using oxidation ditch technology). This treatment technology was sufficient to meet discharge permit limits; however, the City desired a treatment process that would meet current limits and potentially more strict limits imposed in the future, as well as provide an alternative to completely eliminate the river discharge. The City's consultant proposed using a membrane bioreactor (MBR) process with nitrification/denitrification, which met existing and potential future discharge requirements while also meeting site size constraints, addressed City concerns regarding limited WWTP operator availability and provided a future source of Class A reclaimed water.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: ENVIRONMENT MORE THAN $100 MILLION

Northwest Side Relief Sewer

Managing Agency: Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
Primary Contractor: Shea-Kenny Joint Venture
Primary Consultant: Black & Veatch Corporation
Nominated By: Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District

Like many U.S. cities, Milwaukee faced a serious and growing problem. Population growth and continuing development produced ever-increasing volumes of wastewater and stormwater. Aging and undersized infrastructure was woefully inadequate to handle the increase, resulting in sewer overflows and basement backups during wet weather.

In 1998, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) formulated a farsighted proposal to accommodate growth, protect water quality and safeguard public health within its 420-square-mile service area. The Northwest Side Relief Sewer was the number-one priority capital improvement project in the District's 2010 Facilities Plan, and its successful completion is a key achievement in realizing the Plan's goals.

It took over $121 million, more than a year to dig, a machine powerful enough to cut a 22-foot-diameter hole through bedrock, and thousands of truckloads of concrete to complete this massive project. More than seven years of planning, design and construction went into the 7.1-mile sewer tunnel, which serves seven northwestern Milwaukee County communities.

The project demonstrates important strategies to confront capital-intensive sewer overflow challenges, where available funding often falls short and pressure to meet regulatory compliance is intense. Approximately 130-180 feet below ground, the large-scale, multi-functional tunnel both transports and stores wastewater. Its design makes shrewd use of the existing system—not a "band aid" approach to the problem, but a carefully considered design that enables the community to prosper through future growth and development.

The Northwest Side Relief Sewer was designed with multiple defenses to greatly reduce exfiltration of wastewater into the surrounding bedrock. The first layer was a high-quality cast-in-place concrete lining that was installed on the tunnel circumference. The second layer of defense was an intensive program of grouting any void spaces between the concrete lining and the tunnel circumference (contact grouting). The third layer of defense consisted of grouting permeable bedrock outside of the concrete tunnel lining. The fourth scheme involved proactively managing the pressure of the wastewater within the tunnel to reduce the potential for exfiltration.

The Northwest Side Relief Sewer is producing notable results for the MMSD and enhancing quality of life in Milwaukee:

  • Greatly reduced wet weather overflows and basement flooding.
  • Relief to existing interceptor sewers with added system capacity for future growth.
  • 88 million gallons of additional storage to accommodate excess flow.
  • An energy-saving design that fills by gravity, eliminating the need for an additional pump station.
  • Operational simplicity, minimal maintenance and limited operations involvement.
  • Designed and constructed for maximum groundwater quality protection.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: ENVIRONMENT MORE THAN $100 MILLION

Stormwater Treatment Area 3/4

Managing Agency: South Florida Water Management District
Primary Contractor: Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure
Primary Consultant: Burns & McDonnell
Nominated By: South Florida Water Management District

At an area of 16,543 acres, Stormwater Treatment Area No. 3/4 (STA 3/4) is the world's largest man-made wetland. The $160 million project is a key component of a much larger system of STAs constructed for the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) as part of the ecosystem restoration efforts underway in the Everglades region of south Florida.

The wetlands work as a natural treatment system for agricultural runoff and discharges from Lake Okeechobee that have been directed to them through a series of levees, canals, control structures and pumping stations. STA 3/4 design features include:

  • nearly 70 miles of canals and levees,
  • two pumping stations with combined capacity of over 6000 cfs,
  • 49 separate water control structures,
  • Five new bridges crossing canals including two multilane bridges on U.S. Highway 27.

STA 3/4 is the largest of six constructed wetlands that make up the Everglades Construction Project (ECP). The ECP is a massive undertaking designed to protect a large portion of the Everglades by improving the quality of water entering the Everglades and restoring a more natural flow pattern. In 1994 Burns & McDonnell authored the conceptual design, which was used as a basis for the entire ECP. Since that time, the SFWMD, along with the State of Florida and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, have been involved with the ECP to restore the Everglades to the way it used to be—or as close as a "natural" solution will allow.

In an effort to reverse damage that has occurred in the Everglades, plans were developed for a "green" solution to remove the harmful nutrients entering the Everglades. This solution was much preferred to developing huge chemical treatment plants, but the effectiveness of a "natural" system was uncertain. This application of an emerging technology had never been used on such a large scale like this before.

"The accumulation of peat from cattails and other plants provides a long-term sink for the phosphorus," says Galen Miller, a Burns & McDonnell project manager who wrote the conceptual design for the Everglades Construction Project in 1994. "As the plants die and partially decompose, they create a peat that binds the phosphorus, thus preventing it from entering the Everglades."

Overall, the STAs have exceeded performance expectations, with treated discharges averaging less than 40-ppb instead of the design goal of 50-ppb. In addition, the STAs are designed to reestablish a more natural sheetflow to the Everglades by spreading out the treated water.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: HISTORICAL RESTORATION/PRESERVATION LESS THAN $2 MILLION

Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park

Managing Agency: Calhoun County Parks and Recreation Department
Primary Contractor: Calhoun County Road Commission
Primary Consultant: Calhoun County Parks and Recreation Department
Nominated By: APWA Michigan Chapter

Some call it a bridge orphanage. Others think of it as a truss retirement home. Most know it best as the Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park—a laboratory of living history that is changing the way Michiganians relate to their historic metal-truss bridges.

Located just south of Battle Creek, Michigan, the Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park occupies 14 acres along the Kalamazoo River. During the winter months, drivers on I-94 turn their heads to see the unusual sight of truss bridges stationed in the park.

The Calhoun County Historic Bridge Park has applied a preservation ethic to the entire process of truss bridge preservation, with particular emphasis on metal repair techniques. It promotes a mature philosophy, showing people how to rivet, flame straighten and bring old bent rusty metal back to life. The project has:

  • Empowered several communities to do bridge preservation projects with more complete knowledge of preservation options and ideals.
  • Demystified truss bridge repair by providing a laboratory for experimenting with preservation techniques.
  • Encouraged Michigan's engineers to value preservation of original materials as a type of first-source document.
  • Offered college and university students field experience in metal-truss repair.

The strategy of the project team was simple: "Let's create a workshop-like environment where we can experiment with the practical issues of truss bridge preservation and then let's share our findings with anyone in the country who wants to save an old metal bridge." The park became far more than a "petting zoo" of old bridges. As each bridge is repaired and re-erected, knowledge accumulates and transportation officials, engineers, consultants and bridge enthusiasts from all over Michigan and the country have begun to turn to the Bridge Park for how-to information.

Bridge Park staff convinced skeptics throughout the Midwest that contractors can hot-rivet bridge repairs rather than use modern bolts. Steel experiments have focused on preservation of original material by heat-straightening, splicing and padding. Other efforts emphasize historic research, engineering evaluation, removal and disassembly of trusses and re-erection techniques aimed at refining the preservation tool kit available to bridge owners.

Public outreach remains a primary theme for Bridge Park staff. Living history demonstrations take place at the park, allowing visitors to see hot-riveting, forge work and heat-straightening. Special workshops for engineers and contractors take place at the shop in Marshall, MI. Staff members present papers at conferences and prepare newsletters documenting their efforts.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: HISTORICAL RESTORATION/PRESERVATION $2-$10 MILLION

Montgomery County Historic Courthouse

Managing Agency: Montgomery County Public Works, Engineering & Construction Division, Montgomery County, Ohio
Primary Contractor: Allen Ballew Contractors, Inc.
Primary Consultants: Jeff Wray Architects, Inc.; Schooley-Caldwell Associates
Nominated By: Montgomery County Public Works, Engineering & Construction Division, Montgomery County, Ohio

The Montgomery County Historic Courthouse renovation project was the first complete renovation and restoration of what is regarded as one of the most significant buildings in Ohio. Over the years, the Historic Courthouse has become a symbol of the community. Today it stands at the very hub of urban development in downtown Dayton. It is listed in both the National Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Buildings Survey and is considered a national treasure.

Designed by Howard Daniels of Cincinnati in the popular Greek Revival style, the Historic Courthouse was constructed between 1846 and 1850 from locally quarried limestone at a cost of $100,000. Built in simplified Greek Ionic order, the Courthouse features groin-vaulted interior rooms and a domed, elliptical courtroom with second-level gallery. The exterior doors and shutters are constructed of solid iron. Another prominent interior feature is the cantilevered "flying" stair in the rotunda. While generally intact, deteriorating stone and plaster, contemporary intrusions and inadequate building systems indicated the need for a comprehensive renovation.

The outside stone was cleaned and restored. Original wood double-hung windows were repaired. The original whale oil lamps were restored and converted to gas. An elevator was also added to allow handicap access.

Inside, finishes were renewed and period decorative treatments recreated. In addition, the project included new furnishings, mechanical and electrical systems, lighting, and code compliance improvements. The restoration period is approximately 1850-1880, the most historically significant segment of the building's life.

The stone used to construct the building was locally quarried and commonly known as "Dayton Marble." It is actually a hard limestone exhibiting glacier deposits and fossils. The variegated colors range from a cool gray to a golden brown, giving the building an almost iridescent quality in the evening light. However, long ago the "Dayton Marble" quarries were exhausted. The work scope included cleaning the stone and repairing or replacing many areas, as well as 100 percent repointing of the mortar joints. Matching the stone became a considerable challenge, and was accomplished by using a stockpile belonging to the County of salvaged stone from the Miami and Erie Canal and contracting with an Ohio stone supplier with a limited supply from a recently quarried vein opened for the Ohio Statehouse restoration. Also utilized was a composite stone-patching product that could be hand-mixed onsite to provide a color match.

More than 150 years of soot and grime needed to be cleaned from the building surface, all while doing no harm to the limestone. The project team settled on a specially formulated limestone cleaner and a low-pressure water wash to reach the desired results.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: HISTORICAL RESTORATION/PRESERVATION $10-$100 MILLION

Main Street Station Restoration

Managing Agency: City of Richmond, Virginia
Primary Contractor: Daniel & Co., Inc.
Primary Consultants: Gensler Architecture, Design & Planning, P.C.
Nominated By: City of Richmond, Virginia

Main Street Station was designed in the 1890s and built in 1901 by a union of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) and the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (C&O). It included the head house, which was Romanesque revival style, and included the ticket sales, waiting room and all support required for the operation of an active train station. It served the train shed which was accessed from the rear of the head house. Both the station head house and shed are designated National Historic Landmarks.

Main Street Station operated as a train station until it was closed in 1975. The upper floors were under renovation for office use when a fire completely destroyed the entire roof structure and upper three floors. The City's Building Commissioner was poised to issue a condemnation order that would have required razing the entire facility; however, at the last minute, it was determined that the structure could be saved. When the restoration project was started, the State of Virginia contributed the train shed, head house, including all of the surrounding parking areas and minor structures, in a phased transition to the City. The majority of funds for the project were provided by the Federal Transit Administration.

The project team reviewed all photographs that could be found of the head house to determine finishes and color tones. Period paints were researched, buildings from the same time period visited, appropriate candidate paint colors identified and numerous combinations applied for visual evaluation purposes. The final result was received enthusiastically both by the public and the historic preservation authorities. The effect relates successfully with similar buildings from that time period, and it is widely endorsed as an excellent representation of the era in general and of the building specifically.

There is a formal staircase connecting the first and second floors. The walls at the oval landing of the staircase are faced with marble, and the original installation incorporated sconce lights. The sconce lights violated provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and required replacement. Large holes in the marble walls required something to be installed, and there was no other source for artificial light at the landing. No sconce fixtures that were sensitive to the period and style of the building could be found that also complied with the requirements of the ADA. The consultant rendered pierced versions of the symbols of the two railroad companies that were responsible for erecting the facility as sconce lights. The symbols were developed as three-piece bronze fixtures that comply with ADA requirements, and provide a beautiful solution to a problem that could have actually been installed as part of the original construction.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: STRUCTURES LESS THAN $2 MILLION

Green Roof is Gr-r-reat for Battle Creek

Managing Agency: City of Battle Creek, Michigan
Primary Contractor: Christen Detroit
Primary Consultant: Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc.
Nominated By: APWA Michigan Chapter

Move over Kellogg's Tony the Tiger—you're not the only star in town. Now the city made famous for cereal has something new to shout about. The City of Battle Creek just replaced a conventional 18,000-square-foot roof atop the Public Safety Building with a vegetated green roof, which City officials believe is the first of its kind in southwest Michigan.

Green roofs are lightweight, layered systems that cover waterproofed roof surfaces with growing medium and plants. The simplest green roofs (extensive) are shallow: three or four inches of growing medium planted with drought-tolerant succulents or grasses requiring minimal maintenance. Deeper, more elaborate green roofs (intensive) can be landscaped with flower and vegetable gardens or even trees. Construction of the green roof on the Public Safety Building incorporates both extensive and intensive elements.

Beneath every green roof, a roofing membrane provides the critical waterproofing layer. For this project, the contractor used a 90-mil EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) waterproofing layer with 30-year warranty details. A unique, root-resistant membrane prevents plant roots from penetrating beneath the waterproofing layer. A drainage layer draws excess moisture away from the roofing membrane. Lightweight, specially formulated soil absorbs and retains water in a controlled manner to nourish the plant life. A surface layer of plants was selected to meet specific functional and aesthetic requirements.

The consultant and the City of Battle Creek selected Xero Flor vegetated mats which were cultivated at ground level, and then transported to the site as a complete system. The contractor lifted pallets of vegetation onto the roof by crane and then placed the vegetative mats. An instant green roof was created. This method was less labor intensive compared to establishing the vegetation directly on the roof.

The roof drains are also equipped with electronic instrumentation (Hach Tee-Mount Flow Sensors) to measure stormwater runoff volumes with the option of measuring water quality. Sensors are located on the green roof, as well as on a control area—a 900-square-foot EPDM water-resistant rubber membrane. The City plans to measure runoff after rain events and record the information on a datalogger that can be downloaded onto a laptop computer. The purpose of the monitoring phase is to compare the amount of stormwater runoff from a green roof versus a conventional roof. The City is confident the results will encourage building owners and the design/build community to consider using the green roof technology.

The City is looking forward to showcasing and providing guided tours of the green roof with local developers and the design/build community, as well as students and the general public. They anticipate another green roof project next year.

The project team hasn't asked Tony the Tiger for his opinion of Battle Creek's new green roof, but they are pretty sure he'd say it's "GR-R-REAT!"


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: STRUCTURES $2-$10 MILLION

Monroe County Interagency Public Works Facility

Managing Agency: Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, Rochester, New York
Primary Contractor: Crane-Hogan Structural Systems, Inc.
Primary Consultant: Passero Associates, P.C.
Nominated By: Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, Rochester, New York

Monroe County, located in western New York State, recently completed the first two phases of a new Interagency Public Works Facility (IPWF) complex located on the site of a former wastewater treatment plant. While the fifty-acre site of the former Gates-Chili-Ogden Sewage Treatment Plant (GCOSTP) presented design challenges that had to be overcome, it also presented opportunities that enabled the adaptive reuse of the plant. A total of 145,700 square feet of new building space was developed, including 107,610 square feet of space that was "reclaimed" from the former treatment plant structures.

Prior to completion of the IPWF complex, County public works operations were scattered across the County. The consolidation of operations at one central location provides cost savings to the County by virtue of materials and equipment sharing that can now occur more easily between departments. The new IPWF also addressed the County's lack of adequate enclosed storage space which forced the County to store equipment outside, increasing maintenance costs and decreasing equipment life.

The long-range master plan developed for the site included the construction of nine new/reused buildings totaling more than 200,000 square feet. Phase I, which addressed the County's most immediate needs and was completed in 2003, consists of three buildings. The largest building, the Fleet Building, is a 52,900-square-foot pre-engineered metal building built on top of the existing aeration tank structure. This building houses primarily light and heavy vehicle maintenance operations, a vehicle body shop and paint booth, vehicle wash bay, small engine repair shop, parts storage, and administrative offices. The second building included in Phase I, the GRIA Building, totals 36,000 square feet and is also a pre-engineered metal building. The GRIA Building houses four separate shops (a carpentry shop, sign shop, traffic signal shop and traffic striping shop for County DOT). Also included in Phase I is the renovation of an existing building (former sludge thickener building) to accommodate four Monroe County Sheriff's Department Special Operations units.

Phase II was completed in 2005, and included a new County-wide Energy Center and a Vehicle/Equipment Storage Building for the Department of Environmental Services. An area in the former treatment plant administration and control building was renovated for the Energy Center, an integral component of the County's Energy Master Plan to control the costs associated with the procurement and use of energy.

A total of 18 concrete tanks and buildings were taken down to grade, while maintaining the existing foundations. All demolished concrete was crushed onsite, generating approximately 4,000 CY of usable granular subbase material that was later incorporated into the new construction.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: STRUCTURES $10-$100 MILLION

Loch Raven Dam Rehabilitation

Managing Agency: City of Baltimore, Maryland
Primary Contractor: ASI/Cianbro Joint Venture
Primary Consultant: Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Nominated By: City of Baltimore, Maryland

Loch Raven Dam was originally built in 1914, then raised in 1922 to its present height. The dam impounds water within the Loch Raven Reservoir, one of the primary water sources for the Greater Baltimore area. Modern dam safety studies classified the dam as "high hazard," meaning that failure of this structure would likely result in loss of life, significant property damage, and elimination of the drinking water supply for nearly one million people.

Because of its high hazard classification, the dam was subject to the highest standards of performance, but a detailed study determined that the 90-year-old structure did not meet these standards. Accordingly, and with support from Baltimore County, the City of Baltimore undertook this major dam rehabilitation project.

First and foremost in development solutions, the Loch Raven Reservoir could not be "taken out of service" as a water supply by this project. However, building a new structure downstream was not an option—the existing structure would have to undergo major renovation, one half at a time, while impounding roughly 23 billion gallons of water.

Further, as construction began, above-average, even record-breaking rainfalls kept the reservoir overtopping the dam throughout the three-year project, and the work area was forced to accommodate the Gunpowder River for the duration. Finally, all work took place in a pristine watershed environment, in compliance with stringent regulations and under close scrutiny from the surrounding communities.

Major construction activities included the following:

  • Rock anchors measuring up to 150 feet in length were installed, grouted, and stressed to secure the original structure to the underlying bedrock.
  • Addition of mass to the dam in the form of 55,000 cubic yards of roller compacted concrete (RCC) makes this the largest RCC dam in the state of Maryland.
  • RCC and 25,000 cubic yards of conventional concrete were manufactured onsite. A one-quarter-mile conveyor system delivered the material to the worksite for placement.
  • Extensive bulkhead and cofferdam systems were built to control unusually heavy reservoir levels overtopping the dam.
  • 150 feet of 10-foot-diameter pre-cast concrete cylinder (PCCP) water supply piping was replaced.
  • 4,000 feet of 10-foot-diameter PCCP piping was cleaned, inspected and repaired as needed.
  • 6-ton mitered gates were installed to avoid relocation or closure of Loch Raven Drive.
  • Miscellaneous gatehouse refurbishments were made, including controls, screening and debris removal systems.

Despite constantly evolving challenges, the Loch Raven Dam Rehabilitation was successfully delivered five months ahead of schedule and $500,000 under budget.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION LESS THAN $2 MILLION

SE Yamhill Street "Green Street" Improvements

Managing Agency: City of Gresham, Oregon
Primary Contractor: Westech Construction, Inc.
Primary Consultant: City of Gresham, Oregon
Nominated By: APWA Oregon Chapter

The SE Yamhill Street Improvement Project has improved urban SE Yamhill Street between SE 190th Avenue and SE 197th Avenue with facilities for motor vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and the disabled. The roadway improvements consist of overlaying and widening the existing roadway, sidewalk installation, drainage facilities and landscaping. The project implemented "Green Street" strategies that minimize impacts to the environment, and was funded with a $450,000 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Plan Grant and a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant.

The improved Yamhill Street cross-section now consists of a 42-foot roadway in a 60-foot right-of-way. Adjacent to the roadway, a 4-foot-wide planter strip and 5-foot-wide sidewalk was installed on each side of the street. The planter strip was constructed as a filter-strip/bio-filtration swale that provides water quality for any stormwater runoff generated by the hard surfacing.

The 42-foot roadway section is now divided into an 18-foot, two-way travel lane with two 12-foot parking bike lanes on each side. The narrowness of the two-way travel lane is intended to work as a traffic calming feature, requiring opposing vehicles to slow when passing one another or parked vehicles.

The 18-foot two-way travel lane was paved with standard Class "C" asphalt concrete. The adjacent parking and bike lanes were paved with an open-graded pervious asphalt concrete. The sidewalks were paved with pervious Portland cement concrete. The extensive decision to use pervious paving materials on this project minimizes the impacts to the environment resulting from concentrated runoff and necessary drainage. The variety of pervious materials installed in a single project, such as Yamhill Street, allows city engineers and planners to observe and compare these materials side by side and further evaluate their effectiveness.

The pervious surfacing and underlying soil was designed to absorb rainfall up to a 25-year rainfall event. Larger events will generate some runoff to the roadside filter-strip. Runoff not infiltrated in the vegetated areas will have an opportunity to infiltrate into infiltration trenches under each of the driveway crossings. Lastly, in the event concentrated runoff accumulates at low points, it will enter sedimentation manholes and drywells. During the past year concentrated flows have not been observed accumulating in the swale or inlets. This indicates the pervious hard surfaces are accepting the precipitation without generating excess runoff.

All aspects of the project centered on a "green" theme. Many of the native elements unique to the project area were used in the planning and design of the project. The soils native to the site were draining well and proved to be a major factor in the design incorporating stormwater disposal facilities.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION LESS THAN $2 MILLION

South Side Business USH 51 Reconstruction Project

Managing Agencies: City of Stevens Point, Wisconsin; Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Primary Contractors: Quest, LLC; S & N Incorporated
Primary Consultant: Becher-Hoppe Associates, Inc.
Nominated By: City of Stevens Point, Wisconsin

The South Side is a long-established, older part of the City of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. It had become evident that the historic street layout of Stevens Point—the acute angles of intersections that occurred in the South Side—was crimping safe and efficient movement of vehicles among the growing communities.

As with those public works projects that propose significant changes to the environs of a community and its citizens' established patterns of behavior, the South Side Business USH 51 project had to overcome a long history of resistance that was based in part on the fear that neighborhood businesses would not survive during construction.

First and foremost from the public works point of view, this was a safety project. It resulted in a marked improvement in efficient traffic movement, increased lines of sight and visibility by realigning what had been an acute jog in the road, and enhanced safety by the addition of a traffic signal at a critical intersection.

The project was constructed without entirely closing off local traffic access to neighborhood businesses. This was accomplished through a detailed construction phasing and traffic control plan designed by the consultant, and organized and implemented cooperatively by the City of Stevens Point, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the contractors.

For general improvement of public health and operational efficiency, the City replaced old sanitary sewer pipes that had numerous leaking joints where infiltration and exfiltration occurred. The size of water mains was increased and the system was looped to improve flow characteristics and provide greater fire protection. The upgrade served both the project area and the entire water main system.

The project design improved surface water drainage management through grade and slope design. Green spaces were developed, top-soiled and seeded to promote sidewalk drainage, infiltration through the turf areas and percolation through the existing soils to the water table. Soil disturbance was minimized by using proper erosion control methods at all the stormwater inlets, to control noise and to minimize dust-creating activities.

The project practiced beneficial reuse by recycling the concrete for base course material. The new concrete pavement structure is thicker to accommodate heavy-design vehicle loads and extend the road's useable life.

The City designed and provided driveway access and parking lots to serve the businesses on Strongs Avenue, and Division, Monroe and Park Streets. The design included new sidewalks with paver-brick accents, green space and park-like features that improved on and enhanced the character and charm of this southernmost portion of the historic South Side neighborhood.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION $2-$10 MILLION

North Torrey Pines Road Bridge at Los Penasquitos Creek

Managing Agency: City of San Diego, California
Primary Contractor: FCI Constructors
Primary Consultant: T.Y. Lin International
Nominated By: City of San Diego, California

The North Torrey Pines Road Bridge is a haunched, 3-span, cast-in-place, prestressed box girder with an overall length of 340 feet. The superstructure depth varies from 13 feet at the bents to an ultra-thin 3.5 feet at mid-span and at the abutments. The structure has a width of 69-feet-two-inches, which accommodates two traffic lanes, shoulders, a median, and a sidewalk along one side. The bridge was designed to be constructed in two stages so that vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic would be maintained throughout construction.

Maintaining traffic along North Torrey Pines Road during construction was a design challenge. The eastern half of the bridge was constructed first, while maintaining traffic on the existing bridge. Traffic was next shifted to the newly-constructed first half of the bridge and the existing bridge demolished. The westerly half of the bridge was then completed.

The construction of the bridge required overcoming the challenges of building a bridge over water, a constant threat of wave storm surges and during the third rainiest year on record. Measures such as rip-rap and sheet pile retaining walls were implemented to protect the bridge falsework during construction from wave, tidal, and stream flow forces. Temporary sheet pile retaining walls allowed most of the bridge to be constructed in the dry with only a short span over the inlet.

The bridge also used complex, state-of-the-art design and construction techniques. Among those are the use of nine-foot-diameter cast-in-drilled-hole (CIDH) piles. These piles extend to depths of over 110 feet. While use of CIDH provided much less noise during construction compared to driven piles, which was very important in minimizing environmental impacts and local resident disruptions, it also allowed for a very seismically robust structural system. However, even though these are among the largest and deepest CIDH piles installed on the coast, surge and safety chambers, along with stay-in-place casings, allowed the work to be completed without incident.

The graceful convex curvature of the box girder fascia merges the functions of the exterior girder and deck overhang, providing a smooth monolithic appearance. For pedestrians passing beneath the bridge, this form creates a Gothic arch shape between the left and right structures that very subtly references the adjacent bridge over the railway to the north; a goal established through community outreach. The one-of-a-kind hand railing along the edge of the walkway is a reminder to engineers of the infinite number of possible design variations that can provide interest while maintaining safety.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION $10-$100 MILLION

General Hitchcock Highway

Managing Agency: Federal Highway Administration
Primary Contractor: Hunter Contracting Company, Inc.
Primary Consultant: R S Engineering
Nominated By: APWA Arizona Chapter

More than one million visitors drive Pima County's General Hitchcock Highway (also known as the Mt. Lemmon Highway) each year. The route begins at the edge of Tucson in the Sonoran Desert and climbs 9,000 feet through the Coronado National Forest, providing access to hiking trails, campgrounds, a lake, the Mt. Lemmon ski area, private cabins and the communities of Summerhaven and Ski Valley. It's often said that driving the entire length of this National Scenic Byway, which begins among towering stands of saguaro cacti and ends in a cool conifer forest, is like driving from Mexico to Canada in just 25 miles.

The original highway, built between the late 1930s and early 1950s, was a narrow corridor with steep curves. It had minimal shoulders, lack of sight distance and substandard horizontal and vertical alignment. With traffic volumes and accidents increasing, something had to be done.

An improvement project of the entire 25-mile highway began in 1988 and was completed in June 2005. The final 4.7-mile phase was perhaps the most challenging and certainly the most successful portion of the project for a number of reasons. Those challenges arose from precisely what makes the area attractive to users: abundant wildlife (including several endangered species), beautiful vistas, delicate rock pinnacles and other rock formations such as natural bridges and unique vegetation. The contractor was responsible for protecting and preserving these sensitive features; damages were punishable by large fines that were written into the contract. Not only did the contractor avoid any damage, it also achieved all of its milestone incentive dates and met the maximum scheduling bonus for each. As a result the project was completed four months ahead of schedule, and just in time for the beginning of the area's peak tourist season.

Many of the challenges presented during the final phase of the project required expertise in areas where there simply wasn't much information available. To overcome these challenges, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) brought in experts from all over the country to consult on everything from rock blasting to the natural oscillation frequencies of the rock pinnacles. Bringing in the best knowledge available led to a tremendously successful project and an improved body of knowledge for similar projects in the future.

To determine the project's visual impacts to the surrounding forest, the team created a formal system called a Visual Prioritization Process or VPP. The system was used to evaluate the project's visual impacts and develop a strategy for mitigating those impacts. It has since become a state-of-the-art approach used on all linear corridors under FHWA's jurisdiction.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION MORE THAN $100 MILLION

Dallas High Five Interchange

Managing Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
Primary Contractor: Zachry Construction Corporation
Primary Consultant: HNTB Corporation
Nominated By: APWA Texas Chapter

Rising 120 feet above the ground below, the Dallas High Five Interchange is as tall as a 12-story building. The first five-level interchange in Dallas's history is relieving a bottleneck that has strangled city traffic for years. The massive concrete structure consists of just under 60 lane miles of new roadway, which is equivalent to the width of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Stretching 3.4 miles east and west, and 2.4 miles north and south, the length would get you from Wall Street to Central Park in Manhattan, which is about 100 New York City blocks.

The new Dallas High Five Interchange, at the intersection of Interstate 635 (LBJ Freeway) and U.S. 75 (North Central Expressway), is designed to improve traffic flow, driving conditions and safety for more than 500,000 commuters each day.

Completed 13 months ahead of its original aggressive 60-month construction schedule, the Dallas High Five Interchange replaces an outdated three-level modified partial cloverleaf interchange built in the 1960s. The previous facility narrowed to two lanes in each direction on U.S. 75 through the interchange. Discontinuous frontage roads and obsolete left-hand direct-connection exits further compounded traffic congestion issues.

The new and improved facility features:

  • Five main lanes and two barrier-separated HOV lanes in each direction of I-635
  • Four lanes in each direction through the interchange for U.S. 75
  • A reversible HOV lane on I-635 to connect to a single HOV lane on U.S. 75
  • A five-level interchange that includes main lanes of U.S. 75 on the first level, a rectangular junction of the two frontage roads on the second level, I-635 lanes on the third and direct connection ramps that eliminate left exits on the fourth and fifth levels

Through its four years of construction, the project required more than 2.2 million cubic yards of earthwork, 40,000 linear feet of drilled shafts, 350,000 cubic yards of concrete produced onsite, 300,000 square feet of retaining walls and 75,000 linear feet of drainage pipe. The effort also included construction of 37 permanent bridges and six temporary bridges, encompassing 2.3 million square feet of bridge deck.

Designing over 500 unique piers for this project would have used up too much valuable design time. To simplify this effort, piers were designed in groups of similar loading and geometric characteristics. Only six unique column sizes were used in order to streamline design and construction. A similar method was applied to the foundation design. Instead of modeling and designing a foundation for each pier, six standards were used where applicable.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION MORE THAN $100 MILLION

ROC 52

Managing Agency: Minnesota Department of Transportation
Primary Contractor: Fluor Daniel
Primary Consultant: URS
Nominated By: APWA Minnesota Chapter

ROC 52 is an 11-mile-long, $240 million design-build project on TH 52 in Rochester, Minnesota. The project includes a mainline, widened from four to six lanes, a system of frontage roads to accommodate the wider highway and 26 bridges (two of them over the Zumbro River). Rochester is the center of commerce and agriculture in southeastern Minnesota and, as the home to the Mayo Clinic, is host to over 1.5 million Clinic patients each year. TH 52 passes through the heart of Rochester and is adjacent to the Clinic. The TH52 corridor is the principal route between Rochester and the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The ROC 52 project was significant for several innovations it introduced to the Minnesota design and construction industry, including visualization, machine control, subsurface utility engineering and aesthetics.

Visualization was used in two ways on ROC 52. First, a before and after "fly-through" was created to show Mn/DOT how moving the key bridge at the TH 52 and Civic Center Drive interchange saved the project one construction year. That visualization has since been shown at several public meetings and the project website.

The second use of visualization was on the 19th Avenue SPUI bridge. To alleviate concern that the bridge would solve congestion at the intersection, the consultant created a visualization that showed actual traffic flowing through the interchange, which convinced Mn/DOT and the City of Rochester. The use of visualization was a significant factor in generating the strong public support that ROC 52 has maintained.

Another significant innovation on ROC 52 was machine control. Machine control, which is the guidance of construction equipment using GPS based upon engineering design files, was tested and implemented on ROC 52 for rough and for final grading. It eliminated a significant amount of field survey time, and eliminated several months of construction time.

As a result of utility conflict issues on the project, Mn/DOT instituted requirements of a subsurface utility engineering survey to precisely locate underground utilities (in x, y and z coordinates) in order to minimize utility conflict on all future design-build and on most large Mn/DOT projects.

Aesthetics are important on Minnesota projects. An aesthetic design guide was created by a citizen group during the project planning stage and it was implemented during the design and construction of the project. Each of the noise and retaining walls and the bridge structures showed the results of the guide. Aesthetic ramifications were shown in the materials, the colors and the shape of each structure. The citizen group saw the implementation of the guide in artist renderings during the design stage and during actual construction.