Project of the Year: Structures Less Than $2 Million

Milham Avenue Pedestrian Overpass

City of Portage, Michigan

Managing Agency: City of Portage, Michigan

Primary Contractor: Robert Bailey Contractors, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Moore & Bruggink Consulting Engineers

Nominated By: Michigan Chapter

The Portage Creek Bicentennial Park Trail has been a highly popular recreational amenity in the City of Portage for more than 15 years. The 12-foot wide paved trail is more than 3.6 miles in length and previously had a northern terminus at East Milham Avenue, a heavily-traveled, four-lane roadway running east-west across the City. In 1998, the City Administration began planning for the widening of East Milham Avenue to five lanes to accommodate increased traffic demands. The roadway carries an average of 16,000 vehicles per day and is an important link in the City's major roadway network.

The challenge of providing a safe, non-motorized crossing of East Milham Avenue was complicated by the restrictions of available right-of-way, wetlands, floodplain, and poor soil conditions. After the Portage Department of Transportation and Utilities analyzed various options, the City Administration decided upon the construction of a pedestrian overpass consisting of a pre-engineered steel structure and subsequent embankment on each side of the roadway to provide the structure with adequate roadway clearance.

The completed design on the structure incorporated design and color features of the adjacent business/office park and also blended with the natural environment of the Portage Creek Bicentennial Park setting. Excellent use was made of precast concrete masonry retaining wall segments to minimize embankment and wetlands encroachment, as well as to provide attractive serpentine landscape areas. The stepped-back segmental retaining wall, which utilized two tiers of walls, provided a landscaped buffer and also minimized the appearance of the 16-foot underclearance. The retaining walls also added texture and color to the project.

A metal roof was designed as part of the structure to promote all-weather use of the trail and protect the structure from the Midwestern snow and ice. The bridge is 12 feet in width to accommodate safe, two-way, non-motorized trail use and light vehicles for maintenance operations. To promote security, trail lighting, structure lighting, and accent lighting were included into the project. Softening the appearance of the bridge was accomplished by planting more than 500 trees, decorative plantings, shrubs, and native grasses. To provide security for trail users, a video monitoring system with four cameras was installed and unobtrusively blended into the structure design.

The structure has proven to be a very popular attraction to the trail, with trail users coming from other areas specifically to use the trail and pedestrian overpass. The overpass has also been positively received by motorists using Milham Avenue and the surrounding emerging business/office community.

Project of the Year: Structures $2-$10 Million

Downtown Water Main and Sidewalk Reconstruction Project

City of Port Angeles, Washington

Managing Agency: City of Port Angeles, Washington

Primary Contractor: Phase I: Strider Construction Co., Inc.; Phase II: Primo Construction, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Phase I: URS Corp.; Phase II: City of Port Angeles - Engineering

Nominated By: Washington Chapter

The City of Port Angeles Downtown Water Main and Sidewalk Reconstruction project has dramatically rehabilitated the downtown district.

Replacement of deteriorated cast iron and asbestos concrete water mains with stable ductile iron pipe allowed the City to increase the size to meet current fire flow requirements. Broken and sagging concrete sidewalk was replaced with aesthetically pleasing brick-like pavers. With street trees, planters, and pedestrian lighting, the project has spearheaded the revitalization of the downtown district.

The bulk of the work occurred on two high-volume arterials. The two main streets in the downtown district are the extension of State Route 101, the main highway in the region. The commercial truck route passed through the project area. The downtown district also hosts the Coho, an international pedestrian/vehicle ferry with daily scheduled service between Victoria, Canada and the City of Port Angeles. With careful design and construction practices, the goal of maintaining a smooth flow of vehicles and pedestrians through the downtown core was met at each stage of construction.

The existing site conditions prior to construction were unusual. The sidewalks had been constructed more than 80 years ago. They were structural concrete supported above a hollow corridor with limited access. Phase I of the project proved that exactly what would be found upon the commencement of construction was impossible to determine.

However, with careful research and attention in the planning stage, the project team was able to anticipate the unpredictable nature of the site and make allowances. The team learned much during Phase I construction and was able to apply these lessons when they prepared the plans and specifications for Phase II. By doing so, they were able to greatly reduce the changes to the Phase II construction.

The visible portion of the project was carefully selected to enhance the downtown district. The goal was to increase business traffic by creating a pedestrian friendly environment.

What cannot be seen in a leisurely stroll through the recently refurbished district is what lies just below the surface. Old cast iron water mains were replaced with ductile iron, sized to meet fire flow requirements and the future needs of the downtown area.

Rather than being suspended from the sidewalk, the water mains are fully supported in a structural earthen backfill. The backfill in turn is isolated from the building foundations with a mechanically stabilized earth retaining wall.

Safety was a priority throughout both phases of construction. With diligence on the part of the contractors, as well as City inspectors, construction was completed with no time loss injuries.

Project of the Year: Structures More Than $10 Million

City of Minneapolis Public Works Facilities

City of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Department of Public Works

Managing Agency: City of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Department of Public Works

Primary Contractor: Arkay Construction Co. (Royalston Maintenance Facility); Knutson Construction (Currie Maintenance Facility)

Primary Consultant: Architectural Alliance

Nominated By: Minneapolis Department of Public Works

The Royalston and Currie Avenue Maintenance Facilities are the most recent additions to the Minneapolis Public Works buildings and yards on the northwest edge of downtown Minneapolis. The Public Works Department required over 250,000 square feet of additional space to support repair and maintenance activities.

To accommodate the extensive needs, the architect worked with the City and overall program to group and separate elements to fit onto two nearby parcels. Key buildings in the area were retained and avoided, and the project adopted an infill strategy to create a dialogue with neighboring buildings.

Both buildings share an attitude of openness to the community. Large expanses of glazing located throughout the facilities allow visual connections and provide generous amounts of daylight into buildings. Since the buildings are operational at night, this approach also helps to convey a sense of vitality and safety in the neighborhood.

The Royalston site is located between the large Hennepin County Trash Burner, a linear aluminum manufacturing building, a rail corridor, and Mary's Place, a transitional housing and emergency shelter to the east. The site accommodates a secured lot for police vehicles, building material storage, employee parking, and 70,000 square feet of building.

Roof forms provide distinctive character, with light monitors that bring natural light deep into the building and punctuate the massing. A metal clad light monitor extends above the roof to the east, screening rooftop equipment from view and allowing indirect light into the shops. Burnished block and brick masonry forms anchor the lighter industrial steel and glass elements.

The Currie site is located between the large Northern States Power compound to the west, a rail corridor, and an arterial street into downtown on the north. The 185,000 square foot facility services vehicles and equipment and includes a fueling station, service yard, and employee parking.

The design is organized with a highly transparent front office and dispatch center on the southeast corner with maintenance spaces to the west. The garage and maintenance shops to the west are clad with a wrapping brick wall on the northwest that enhances the sense of entry to downtown. On the south or inboard side of the building, vehicle entrances are organized with a unifying canopy.

While directly responding to the functional aspects of operating, maintaining, and storing vehicles and equipment for the City, the project demonstrates the City's sensitivity to its community through the fragmentation of the large building program into elements that create a dialogue with its neighbors.

Project of the Year: Environment Less Than $2 Million

Baker's Lake Heronry Reconstruction Project

Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois

Managing Agency: Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois

Primary Contractor: Landscape Resources, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.

Nominated By: Chicago Metro Chapter

The Baker's Lake Heronry Reconstruction Project is the largest complete heronry reconstruction in the Midwest. Located on a 0.10-acre island in the middle of scenic Baker's Lake in Barrington, Illinois, the heronry is owned and managed by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and the Village of Barrington. The heronry is home to a breeding colony of great blue herons, great egrets, double-crested cormorants, and black-crowned night herons.

Baker's Lake Heronry was once a lushly vegetated island in the late 1970s, supporting a large nesting colony of the state-endangered black-crowned night heron. At its peak in the 1980s, the heronry contained 225 night heron nests. In 1986, artificial nesting structures were installed to supplement declining numbers of trees and vegetation lost due to high nutrient loads. By the mid to late 1990s, the increasing numbers of other bird species using the island and significant loss of vegetation reduced the black-crowned night heron colony to one nest. By 1998, the island was nearly devoid of vegetation, a majority of the birds were nesting at ground level, and the aging original structures were in need of replacement.

Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. (CBBEL) guided the project from conception through construction. CBBEL's focus was to create new aerial artificial nesting structures that would maintain biodiversity, while opening up the ground level to attract night herons. Utility pole-based structures were determined to be the most practical support structure for the nest platforms. Double and triple utility pole structures were designed to accommodate 20-30 nest platforms per structure. Lumber type and size, utility pole depth and base size, bracing and brackets were determined for each structure to provide stable and structurally sound structures to withstand storms, snow, and birds.

A new artificial nesting platform, resembling a "watchtower" or natural tree fork, was created for this project, providing more than 80 percent of the 180 aerial nesting opportunities. Seventy-two pre-cut Christmas trees were installed into 6" diameter pipes as well as several log and brush piles creating lush ground cover, key to attracting night herons. Overall, approximately 270 nesting opportunities were created.

After the new heronry was completed in March 2000, great blue herons were observed building nests on the highest platforms. By June, a minimum of 315 nests of four species were recorded during the 2000 nest survey. An estimated 1,260 birds used the island.

The Baker's Lake Heronry Reconstruction Project combined science and engineering to create an artificial environment to benefit the natural environment and the surrounding community.

Project of the Year: Environment $2-$10 Million

Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility

City of Santa Monica, California

Managing Agency: City of Santa Monica, California

Primary Contractor: Pacific Mechanical Corporation

Primary Consultant: CH2M Hill

Nominated By: Southern California Chapter

The primary objective of the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility (SMURRF) is to eliminate pollution of Santa Monica Bay caused by urban runoff during dry season (dry weather flows). Secondary project goals included cost-effective treatment and production of high quality water for reuse in landscape irrigation; raising public awareness of Santa Monica Bay pollution through appropriate educational exhibits at or near the treatment facility; and constructing an aesthetically pleasing and functional facility with an appropriate emphasis on art elements.

A baseline Primavera schedule was used for construction of the SMURRF. The project's construction managers used proactive construction management and control techniques. Their approach was results oriented and centered on quality construction, cost-containment, safety, and scheduling. A strong safety program, including weekly meetings, monthly monetary incentives, and the use of a "buddy" system resulted in no lost-time injuries. The "buddy" system encouraged workers to help each other avoid possible safety violations, and a monthly cash drawing during "safe" months encouraged everyone to maintain a safe work site.

A partnering approach to construction helped the team to avoid any owner-contractor conflicts. The construction management team included the designers, construction managers, City staff, a noise and vibration consultant, and a community outreach consultant. Weekly meetings, with and without the contractor, kept the project running smoothly. The contract completion date was initially set as April 1, 2000; however, time extensions were granted extending the date to December 1, 2000. The extensions were requested because of unforeseen utility service conflicts and hidden site conditions.

Buried within the site were railroad bridge pilings, cabana-type structures, and walls from the 1920s, none of which were indicated in City records or on the plans. In addition, live electrical ducts were found within the project's footprint-also not indicated on the plans. The SMURRF had to be built into a steep naturally landscaped slope between two roadways, both always open to traffic-one being a freeway off-ramp, with cars traveling at high speeds immediately adjacent to the work site.

The construction of the SMURRF not only eliminates pollution in the Bay, but also provides a cost-effective source of alternative water supply for the City of Santa Monica. The collaborative design approach between the artist, engineer, and public works transforms a potentially unsightly wastewater facility into a major public destination. The plant can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and allows beach-bound and pier-bound pedestrians a tour that shows them water in its varying stages of treatment.

Project of the Year: Environment More Than $10 Million

Glendale West Area Water Reclamation Facility

City of Glendale, Arizona

Managing Agency: City of Glendale, Arizona

Primary Contractor: Martin K. Eby Construction Co., Inc.

Primary Consultant: Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.

Nominated By: Arizona Chapter

The City of Glendale's West Area Water Reclamation Facility represents the single-most comprehensive planning and citizen participation project in the City's history. In 1993, a citizens advisory committee was formed to study ways to help Glendale meet its water resource needs. After months of research and discussion, the committee recommended that Glendale sell its portion of a wastewater treatment plant in Phoenix and build its own facility.

A second citizens committee assisted city officials on the site selection process. Fact sheets, public meetings, a website, and newspaper articles kept residents informed during the entire process. Newsletters were mailed to those who remained interested in the design and construction of the facility.

The $66.3 million facility, which opened in the summer of 2000, actually includes two operations. The centerpiece is a state-of-the-art reclamation facility that treats 4.3 million gallons of wastewater per day. It can be expanded to treat 15 million gallons per day as Glendale's demand for treatment increases.

A 35-acre Aquifer Recharge Facility, which includes a pump station and pipelines, is where the treated water is placed in the ground to help replenish the region's groundwater supply. The reclamation facility is part of Glendale's Environmental Campus, which also includes the Glendale Municipal Landfill, the Glendale Materials Recovery Facility, and the APS/Glendale Solar Power Facility.

Not only does the facility help the City reuse our most precious natural resource, the treatment plant itself was constructed using recycled material wherever possible. The "green building" design helps conserve environmental resources and energy. For example:

  • Photovoltaic panels on buildings and walkways and vacuum heating tubes on the roof capture the sun's energy to light and heat the facility.
  • A recirculating outdoor waterfall assists with the facility's evaporative cooling system.
  • Floors are covered with glass tiles made from recycled airplane and automobile windshields.
  • Large, north-facing windows light the lobby, while continuous roof-mounted skylights bring reflected natural light deep into building interiors, thus conserving energy.
  • Concrete masonry block enclosures and desert plants blend the water reclamation facility with the surrounding environment.

The facility treats wastewater to meet or exceed high USEPA and state standards for non-potable reuse, and returns more than four million gallons daily of reclaimed water to the dwindling groundwater aquifer. Besides enabling the City to comply with water quality requirements, the aquifer recharge program will help meet increasing future demands by using available, renewable wastewater resources.

Project of the Year: Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair Less Than $2 Million

Emergency Repair of the Blue River Sewer

City of Kansas City, Missouri

Managing Agency: City of Kansas City, Missouri, Water Services Department

Primary Contractor: Garney Construction Company

Primary Consultant: Burns & McDonnell

Nominated By: Kansas City Metro Chapter

Heavy rains in October 1998 and the spring of 1999 caused erosion along the right bank of the Blue River in Minor Park in the southern section of Kansas City, Missouri. The erosion caused a 120-foot-long section of 60-inch diameter sanitary interceptor to be left unsupported and exposed. The City's Water Services Department contracted with Kansas City-based engineering consultant Burns & McDonnell to evaluate the sewer's condition and recommended needed repairs.

The repair took part in two stages: emergency action to support the pipe temporarily; and design and construction for a long-term solution. The Water Services Department and Burns & McDonnell worked together during both phases to make the repairs. As a result, the entire process of conceptualization, design, and construction took less then five months.

The surveying and geotechnical investigations at the site occurred over a month-long span in the spring of 1999. Design of the bank repair and production of bid documents were accomplished over the period of one month. The goal was not to just cover and support the pipe, but to ensure that this pipe would remain covered in the future.

The location of the project produced inherent problems with the project. The project was located near a frequently used portion of a public park. The area houses tennis courts and a radio-controlled airplane field. Construction access to the project site had to be provided with as little disruption to park activities as possible. This was accomplished by constructing a separate access road for construction vehicles and locating the access road so that it encroached on only a portion of the parking lot, leaving the rest for park patrons and staff.

After evaluating several options, the project team chose to leave the sanitary line where it was, protect the sanitary sewer, and armor the channel to prevent future problems. The immediate concern was to stabilize the sewer line and prevent it from failing during construction. H-piles were driven on either side of the pipe at each pipe joint, and a sling was then fastened under the pipe and attached to a cross-member. Once the pipe was supported, sheet piling was installed on the river side of the pipe. The sheet piling served a dual purpose: It provided protection from additional erosion and large rainfall events during construction, and served as forms for the concrete used to encase the pipe. The sewer line was then encased in concrete, and the channel graded and armored with riprap.

The project was completed in less than five months, and there was no down time due to injuries.

Project of the Year: Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair More Than $10 Million

Grand Forks Water Distribution System Improvements

City of Grand Forks, North Dakota

Managing Agency: City of Grand Forks, North Dakota, Engineering Department

Primary Contractor: Wagner Construction, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.

Nominated By: North Dakota Chapter

During the early 1990s, the City of Grand Forks faced many of the same problems as many other communities in North Dakota and other areas of North America. While the City continued to provide potable water to its residents, an aging water distribution system with flow and pressure deficiencies caused problems and made current future expansion of the community a challenge. Despite these problems, the City operated the system as efficiently as possible and scheduled the replacement of older water mains when funding allowed.

The history of Grand Forks changed forever when Red River flood waters breached the levee systems and flowed into the City in the spring of 1997. The flood of 1997 caused an estimated $1 billion in damages within the community, and forced the City to address a number of critical issues. In addition to flood recovery efforts and assisting residents, the City needed to repair damaged infrastructure and provide for expansion and improvements of the water distribution system.

As a result of hydraulic modeling and planning performed by the consultant, the Water Distribution System Improvements Project was developed. The project addressed each of the critical areas needed to improve the state of the City's water distribution system.

The overall project is a combination of 23 separate sub-projects constructed over a three-year period at a total cost of $21.4 million dollars, and included the following key components:

  • 3.4 miles of 16, 36, and 42 inch transmission mains
  • 10.1 miles of 8 to 24 inch water main replacement
  • 4.1 miles of new 12 and 16 inch water main
  • Two new 500,000 gallon water towers
  • Control valve and metering improvements at four existing water towers
  • Construction of a 7 million gallon reservoir recirculation system
  • Replacement of 13,000 radio read residential/commercial water meters
  • SCADA system updates
  • Water Distribution System Hydraulic Modeling
  • Design and implementation of a City-Wide Geographic Information System (GIS)

The Grand Forks water distribution system has been improved dramatically since the flood of 1997. In the aftermath of the flood, the improvement of the numerous problems facing the water distribution system seemed to be an insurmountable challenge. After carefully analyzing and prioritizing the challenges, the many problems were categorized and prioritized.

The City now has a water distribution system capable of meeting the challenges of the future. The new infrastructure and upgrades will serve the City well into the future and allow the City to focus more on further expansion and development instead of continual maintenance and repairs.

Project of the Year: Historical Restoration/Preservation Less Than $2 Million

Poynette Municipal Building and Police Department Renovation

Village of Poynette, Wisconsin

Managing Agency: Village of Poynette, Wisconsin

Primary Contractor: Bauer & Raether Builders, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Strand Associates, Inc.

Nominated By: Village of Poynette, Wisconsin

The Poynette Municipal Building and Police Department Renovation project is an example of adaptive reuse and renovation in concert with a new addition. The circa-1924 Village Hall suffered major water damage after a section of the roof collapsed and flooded the entire building with an estimated 10,000 gallons of water in 1998. The Village Hall, Police Department, and Senior Center were forced out of the building for a period of several months while roof repairs were done and the building was dried out.

The need to upgrade the entire facility was recognized by the Village even prior to the collapse of the roof. Strand Associates worked with the Village staff and the Village Hall Ad Hoc Building Committee to examine the space needs of the Village and establish recommendations. A building directly adjacent to the Village Hall became available and efforts were directed to acquire the structure and to purchase another residential lot on the west side of the building to provide for building expansion and parking space.

The project vision developed by the Village Hall Ad Hoc Committee and the Village Board was to build a facility to serve as a village hub. The stated objective was to serve municipal functions and to provide an accessible environment for senior citizens, youth activities, and public events. The construction schedule that was developed required that the project be complete in a year and that the schedule be phased to allow the Village Hall and Police Department services to remain on-site.

Construction work was coordinated to allow the Village Hall and Police Department to remain in the original Village Hall building until the adjacent former auto repair shop was remodeled into the new Police Department. Work was also able to proceed on the second floor of the original Village Hall, and the new addition to the west, until the Police Department spaces became available.

The exterior of the original Village Hall fronting along Main Street and visible from the Downtown Historic District has been maintained. The Police Department office area has been clad in matching brick after metal siding was removed. The entire project fosters good community relations by creating a vital center for the Village of Poynette.

All in all, the Village of Poynette is very pleased with the outcome of this project because it meets their vision for a functional and aesthetically pleasing hub for the Village for a manageable cost.

Project of the Year: Historical Restoration/Preservation $2-$10 Million

Central Business District Redevelopment Project

Village of Downers Grove, Illinois

Managing Agency: Village of Downers Grove, Illinois

Primary Contractor: Martam Construction, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Earth Tech, Inc.

Nominated By: Chicago Metro Chapter

Over many years, the Village of Downers Grove has shown a commitment to maintaining the downtown area as the civic, cultural, and business heart of the community. Though it was important that infrastructure improvements be done to support these activities, it was also recognized that aesthetic improvements would be important in attracting more people to shop, dine, and socialize in the central business district.

In 1998, the Village adopted a comprehensive plan for infrastructure and aesthetic improvements on streets located within their historic central business district. The project provided for complete replacement of streets and public utilities and construction of landscape and streetscape enhancements to create an attractive new image and maintain the historical atmosphere of the community for the downtown district.

A major goal of the project was to use streetscape, landscape, and other visually attractive enhancements as means of creating a distinctive and aesthetically pleasing appearance that would encourage Village residents to enjoy the benefits of a thriving community center. Many of the buildings dated back to the late 1800s and the project enhancements were selected to replicate that period. Part of the process included having the Downers Grove Historical Society take an active role in the selection of materials for the renovations.

Key elements of the project included:

  • Reconstruction of pavements, sidewalks, and curbing. Buff-colored concrete and brick pavers were used as visual enhancements for sidewalks and crosswalks.

  • Reconstruction of the sanitary, storm, and water main systems. Much of the system dated back to the late 1800s and early 1900s with exact locations not being known.

  • Modernization of traffic signal installations at four intersections.

  • Replacement of the street lighting system. Pedestrian lighting was designed to be a visual feature that would unify the identity of the downtown streets and provide the 1800s historical perspective.

  • Reconstruction or abandonment of vaulted sidewalk areas. Vaulted sidewalks were rehabilitated where property owners wanted to maintain these areas for business use.

  • Improved landscape and streetscape features that reflect the turn of the century character of the downtown district.

The Central Business District Redevelopment Project had social and economic benefits in addition to replacing an aging roadway and utility infrastructure. The streetscape, landscape, and aesthetic improvements included in the project have helped create a new and distinctive image for the downtown area. In turn, this has helped attract new businesses to the community and encouraged private investment in building renovation.

Project of the Year: Historical Restoration/Preservation More Than $10 Million

Pico-Garnier Block Improvements Project

City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works Bureau of Engineering, Seismic Bond Program

Managing Agency: City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works; Bureau of Engineering, Seismic Bond Program

Primary Contractor: City of Los Angeles, Department of General Services, Construction Forces

Primary Consultant: CP&A

Nominated By: City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works

The Pico-Garnier Block is collectively made up of six historic buildings: the Garnier Building (1890), Merced Theater (1870), Pico House (1869), Masonic Hall (1858), 425 N. Los Angeles Street Building (1898), and the Hellman/Quon Building (1900). These buildings represent significant landmarks in a historic district representing the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles.

In the 1940s and early 1950s, several historic buildings on this site were demolished to make room for the Hollywood Freeway and expanded approach to Union Station. On June 2, 1953, an act of the State Legislature preserved the remaining buildings (described above) and created the El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Park. The City of Los Angeles took sole possession and authority over these buildings in 1994.

This area had suffered from years of severe neglect, damage from past earthquakes, and other unsuccessful attempts to restore and retrofit the structures on this site. These buildings had not been occupied in more than 30 years and required much needed attention to restore and retain their historic character.

The Pico-Garnier Block Improvements Project concept was aimed to save the buildings in this historic district through restoration, reconstruction, and adaptive reuse. The challenges facing the project management team were to complete the design and construction on time and budget in one year's time while dealing with the unforeseen conditions associated with structures over 100 years old, and complying with the strict restoration guidelines mandated by state and federal agencies for historical building restoration.

Due to the fact that these buildings are contained in the State Register of Historical Buildings, the project team was required to have professionally qualified individuals to ensure that the historical, architectural, archeological, and cultural properties were preserved. A historical preservation consultant was hired to review and monitor the design and construction phases of the project. An archeologist was also hired to monitor all excavations which took place during construction.

The successful completion of the Pico-Garnier Block Improvements Project was a collective effort of City-employed forces. It proved to be another successful method in which the City of Los Angeles can deliver projects on time and within budget. It took an incredible amount of cooperation and coordination to design, construct, and rehabilitate an area containing buildings of 130 years old at a cost of $19.5 million in one year. Most importantly, this project restored one of the most significant historic districts representing the birthplace of the City of Los Angeles.

Project of the Year: Transportation Less Than $2 Million

James P. Kirkwood Bridge

City of Kirkwood, Missouri

Managing Agency: City of Kirkwood, Missouri

Primary Contractor: The Harlan Company

Primary Consultant: Horner & Shifrin

Nominated By: City of Kirkwood, Missouri

In 1996, the City of Kirkwood, Missouri, was faced with the challenge of replacing the deteriorating Clay Avenue Bridge in its historic (pre-Civil War) downtown business district. A public mandate called for a structure which would make a creative statement compatible with the era of the surrounding structures.

Anticipating inevitable problems in December 1996, the City hired the firm of Horner & Shifrin to design a replacement bridge. Because of the location in the City's historic downtown area and near the Kirkwood Railroad Station, City officials recognized that the design of the bridge needed to complement its surroundings. Therefore, the City Council formed a Steering Committee to guide the direction of the bridge's design.

A survey was conducted at City Hall to gather input from residents as to a bridge design they preferred. Ultimately, the most popular design was a steel parallel chord truss with architectural features of an early 1900 style.

Working closely with the City and the railroad, the contractor prepared a detailed construction schedule. During the course of the work, contract extensions were granted to February 25, 2000. However, the bridge was substantially completed and turned over to the City to open for vehicles and pedestrian traffic on December 9, 1999-two and one-half months ahead of the final contract completion date. This opened a heavily-used route into downtown Kirkwood during the heart of the holiday shopping season.

The final superstructure is a through-type traditional steel pony truss manufactured in the shop and delivered to the site for final assembly.

The bridge's deck system is supported by transverse steel floor beams bolted into the interior side of the lower chords. A sidewalk on each side of the bridge is supported on steel brackets framing into the exterior side of the lower chords. The bridge deck is constructed of a concrete slab placed on pre-cast concrete panels supported on the floor beams. The structural form of the exposed load-carrying members is architecturally compatible with the bridge's historical surroundings. Abutment facing and ornamental features, such as lighting, retaining walls, and railings, were designed to enhance the bridge's "old-fashioned" appearance.

The new ninety-foot span is about twenty-five feet longer and two feet higher than the previous structure. Walkways are provided for pedestrians. All utility lines have been placed underground or run through conduit in the bridge deck.

The final cost of the construction with all enhancements was $1.3 million, nearly identical to the City's budgeted amount. It has been called an unusual accomplishment for a project this complex to be completed within budget and ahead of schedule.

Project of the Year: Transportation $2-$10 Million

The Rathole Project

City of Edmonton, Alberta, Transportation and Streets Department

Managing Agency: City of Edmonton, Alberta, Transportation and Streets Department, Streets Engineering Branch

Primary Contractor: Standard General Inc.

Primary Consultant: Maxim Morrison Hershfield Limited

Nominated By: Alberta Chapter

The demolition of the 109 Street/104 Avenue Underpass, known locally as the Rathole, was scheduled for the spring/summer of 2000. The project was identified as part of the Canadian National Railway implementation and servicing agreements negotiated and approved by the City Council in 1989.

Originally, the completion date was set for September 1, 2000-not only including the demolition and reconstruction of the Rathole, but the reconstruction and streetscaping of 109 Street and 104 Avenue. Perhaps the only ones to be upset by this prospect were the children who would ask their parents to honk car horns while passing through the tunnel.

Initially, prospects for a smooth public works project appeared dark due to heavy vehicular use and public/business concerns. But there was light at the end of the tunnel after all. Using a unique combination of innovative scheduling, public consultation, teamwork, and public/private sector partnerships-under the auspices of the Capital City Downtown Plan-the City successfully demolished the old landmark and constructed a new four-way intersection within four weeks, under budget and ahead of schedule.

Construction went on from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, not only to comply to municipal noise and construction by-laws, but as a courtesy to local residents and businesses. A track mounted concrete cruncher was used to attack the tunnel from the top in order to collapse the walls inward. As the roof and side sections fell in, another cruncher broke up the slabs into smaller pieces. The re-bar was removed and another backhoe with a different kind of crusher pulverized the concrete pieces. As each tunnel section collapsed, demolition gradually proceeded south. The road surface and tunnel footings were left in place with the crushed concrete used for fill.

On June 1, 2000, the Rathole was completely removed from north of 104 Avenue to 105 Avenue. The demolition and removal of the concrete structure was executed as anticipated according to the contractor's structural analysis.

The Rathole demolition and removal was completed three weeks ahead of schedule. 109 Street and 104 Avenue were opened for traffic during Klondike Days activities, which is an annual summer outdoor celebration in Downtown Edmonton commemorating the Gold Rush.

The old two-lane Rathole was replaced by a six-lane divided highway at grade level, with a new major intersection linking 109 Street and 104 Avenue. The old sump well was removed and a gravity-based drainage was implemented.

Project of the Year: Transportation More Than $10 Million

Q Street Underpass/New Bakersfield Amtrak Station

City of Bakersfield, California

Managing Agency: City of Bakersfield, California

Primary Contractor: Colombo Construction Company-Griffith Company

Primary Consultant: Rossetti Associates-Parsons Transportation Group

Nominated By: Central California Chapter

Personal, business, and commuter traffic on Q Street, a major collector, was quite often brought to a standstill because of freight trains crossing the street. On an average day, 45 Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) trains traveled across this street.

A grade separation on Q Street would provide unimpeded traffic flow to the parking lots south of the Convention Center/Centennial Garden Arena complex and to the other city and county buildings and businesses in the area. In June 1997, the City began to obtain bids for the construction of an underpass on Q Street.

Four months later, the Kern Council of Governments (KernCOG) completed a Project Study Report to determine the best location for a new Amtrak Station in Bakersfield. The old station, on F Street, was terribly undersized for handling the 246,000 passengers who traveled through the Bakersfield Station in calendar year 1996. This report identified a site immediately east of the Q Street Underpass as the preferred location of the new Bakersfield Amtrak Station.

In October 1997, at the request of the State of California, the City of Bakersfield accepted the role as lead agency in designing, building, and maintaining the new Amtrak Station. The process of selecting a design team for the Amtrak Station began in early 1998. By that summer, the design teams on both projects were working together to coordinate related project elements.

Through its efforts to step "outside the box," the City became the lead agency and an owner of the new Station (which it leases to Amtrak). City staff teamed with KernCOG, state political leaders, Caltrans, Amtrak, BNSF, designers, and contractors to design and construct the impressive new Amtrak Station and the Q Street Underpass. Together, these projects serve as a major transportation gateway into and through the city. Further, they are a tribute to how much can be accomplished, efficiently and effectively, when people and different agencies work together for the common good of the community.

The goals established at project conception were achieved. Q Street Underpass restored what was a severed corridor. It provides a vital vehicular and pedestrian link between the Amtrak Station, the Convention Center/Centennial Garden Arena complex, and the City Center project. The modern, welcoming, impressive, architecturally pleasing and functional Amtrak Station leaves a lasting, positive impression upon those 340,000 Amtrak passengers who traveled through Bakersfield in calendar year 2000. It serves as a viable alternative to regional vehicular travel because of its close proximity to entertainment venues and hotels. In addition, all construction was completed on time.