PROJECT OF THE YEAR: DISASTER OR EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION/REPAIR LESS THAN $2 MILLION

River Road Bank Stabilization


Managing Agency: City of Fairfield, Ohio

Primary Contractor: Sunesis Construction

Primary Consultant: Fuller, Mossbarger, Scott and May Engineers, Inc.

Nominated By: City of Fairfield, Ohio

Over the weekend of January 3 and 4, 2004, heavy rains along the Great Miami River watershed caused the river to crest above flood stage. This resulted in a portion of the roadbed of River Road to be washed out, impacting the structural integrity of the roadway. The Fairfield Police Department and Public Works Street Division crews responded in the early morning hours of January 5 to close the road due to roadbed washout and the road pavement being undermined. On January 6, Fuller, Mossbarger, Scott and May Engineers, Inc. (FMSM), hired under the City's existing three-year geotechnical contract, performed geotechnical exploration to gather information for the design of a permanent repair of the damaged area.

FMSM completed the project plans on April 8, 2004. The plans consisted of a riverbank reconstruction utilizing steel sheet piling for cofferdams as means of dewatering for the installation of dump rock to stabilize the toe of riverbank slope, geogrid fabric to stabilize the fill, guardrail to protect the traveling public, and reconstruction of the roadway. The method of reclaiming the riverbank with a natural repair utilizing riprap and geogrid was selected over constructing a concrete reinforced retaining wall. This natural repair was selected in order to preserve a natural appearance of the riverbank.

Fairfield City Council approved the award of a contract to Sunesis Construction on May 25, 2004. Sunesis Construction had the project centerline laid out on July 1. Excavation of the remaining roadbed for an access ramp to the riverbed began the week of July 5. Construction of one cofferdam template for sheet piling operation was completed on July 13. Sunesis Construction had opted for an individual three-cell cofferdam configuration as a method of dewatering the toe of the riverbank for dump rock placement. They began the sheet piling operation on July 15. 

The project progressed in a timely manner and was completed within the approved budget amount. There were unforeseen situations that did arise during the course of repairing the riverbank and road. Foremost, due to the dynamic nature of the Great Miami River, the continuation of erosion occurred to the damaged area. The additional erosion had a direct impact on the project through the need to increase several quantities. Through diligent research of possible funding sources, City staff secured funding from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) with a grant in the amount of $259,720, and from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) with a grant in the amount of $131,300. The total combined reimbursement grants from outside sources accounted for 97% of the project cost.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: DISASTER OR EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION/REPAIR MORE THAN $10 MILLION

Hurricane Isabel Debris Removal


Managing Agency: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia

Primary Contractors: Phillips and Jordan, Inc.; Crowder-Gulf

Nominated By: City of Virginia Beach, Virginia and the APWA VA/DC/MD Chapter

On September 18, 2003, the City of Virginia Beach had its Emergency Operations Plan activated and was bracing for Hurricane Isabel to make landfall through North Carolina, heading for the City. Hurricane Isabel did hit North Carolina, a Category #2 storm, and moved into Virginia Beach as a Category #1 storm. In a very short period of time, the hurricane paralyzed the City with trees and other debris, clogging the City's transportation and stormwater systems.

Public Works Operations reacted quickly to activate hurricane debris cleanup contracts. These contracts brought to the City the quantity and size of workforce and equipment that restored essential and vital services to the public in record time. Debris cleanup crews were cleaning City streets the day after the hurricane hit. Three days later almost all of the City's operations returned back to normal. Contractors continued the cleanup process which lasted six months and which removed and disposed over 900,000 cubic yards of woody debris. This amount of debris is equivalent to 93,000 trucks, lined bumper to bumper for 517 miles. The following are major aspects of this important project that restored normalcy to the City of Virginia Beach:

  • September 19-24: Public Works Operations began pushing the debris out of the streets to allow for vehicle movement. Four Unit Price Contingency Contracts for Debris Clearing were pulled off the shelf and activated to rapidly begin the debris clearing work.

  • September 24-December 13: Approximately 922,859 cubic yards of material were hauled at the temporary debris reduction site; the reduced mulch amounted to 307,620 cubic yards.

  • Public Works Operations picked up and reduced approximately 1,200 stumps; cleaned 120 major streets and 298 neighborhoods, all totaling approximately 3,300 lane miles of streets; and cleaned off-road ditches and canals of trees that had blown over, blocking water flow and causing flooding. Total cost for debris collection alone was over $15 million.

The contract management and administration of this emergency had to be organized and efficient. Contract management was performed utilizing the Public Works Operations' Hansen Work Management System. The City's GIS and GPS equipment was utilized to map and track the clearing of debris from subdivisions and canals.

The management, operations, accuracy and accountability of Public Works Operations' efforts resulted in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management accepting and approving payments back to the City of Virginia Beach. The City will receive 95% of the $15 million spent to complete the recovery effort. The entire project was 100% complete by March 2004, which was six months after it started.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: ENVIRONMENT LESS THAN $2 MILLION

Hill Canyon Wetlands Creation Project


Managing Agency: City of Thousand Oaks, California

Primary Contractor: J.F. Shea Construction, Inc.

Primary Consultant: CH2M Hill, Inc.

Nominated By: APWA Ventura County Chapter

The Hill Canyon Wetlands Creation Project, located in the City of Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, California, was completed as scheduled in March 2004. The project was constructed as compensation for project impacts to jurisdictional areas of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), and the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), related to the Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant (HCTP) Expansion and Upgrade, the Borchard Road Interchange, the Unit W Interceptor, and the City Water Rights/Water Diversion projects.

Approximately seven acres of wetland, riparian, and open water habitats were created just south of the HCTP facilities. Design and construction included planting of about 1,600 trees, 7,000 emergent marsh plants, 6,000 low herbaceous wetland plants, and 1,200 wet riparian scrub plants that are all native to southern California. The project integrated existing native vegetation, generally preserving native woodland habitat with emphasis on riparian woodland at perimeter areas of the core wetland acreage. Also, the wetland provides prime habitat for the southwestern pond turtles, a listed species.

The largest manmade wetland in the county, this is one of the only wetlands in the county that is supported by almost 100% high-quality, tertiary-treated wastewater effluent all year long. Design and construction of the intake structure and pipeline was a challenge because of its location in the North Fork Arroyo Conejo. The intake structure needs to be located just upstream of the proposed wetlands to fully utilize gravity flow of the source water. The creek was temporarily dewatered for four months using a redundant 4,000 GPM pump system and about 3,000 feet of 24-inch HDPE bypass pipe. Construction work was completed with zero lost-time injuries.

One design component that proved to be very effective, as observed during the heavy rains in January and February of 2005, was the use of bioengineered slope design for the creek embankment adjacent to the wetland area. It was demonstrated that the thoughtful use and integration of vegetation in armoring embankments provided better turbulent flow condition protection than what plain riprap armor does.

A great model for interagency cooperation between the ACOE, CDFG, RWQCB, and the City, about three acres of the created wetlands are used for past impact mitigation commitments, with the remainder, about four acres, to be banked for future City mitigation requirements. As evidence to its success, this created wetland now provides "5-star" accommodations to a number of coots, mallards, and herons, just to name a few. Recent sighting of several southwestern pond turtles raises optimism that a colony will soon be established in this most unique created wetland.


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

Guanella Dam


Managing Agency: City of Golden, Colorado

Primary Contractor: Kiewit Western

Primary Consultant: W.W. Wheeler

Nominated By: City of Golden, Colorado

Guanella Dam is a Class I (high-hazard potential), off-channel, zoned-embankment dam with a maximum vertical height of 34 feet. Completed in the fall of 2003 and put into service in 2004, the dam was designed and constructed using a fast-track approach to meet the water needs of the City of Golden. The dam is located near Empire, Colorado, at the site of a previous aggregate quarry operation. The off-channel reservoir created by the dam will impound a water supply of about 2,140 acre-feet (2.64 million cubic meters).

Several common construction management techniques were used to meet the very aggressive six-month construction schedule. A detailed construction schedule was developed and implemented by Kiewit Western, the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC), that optimized the use of simultaneous construction activities by multiple subcontractors. Kiewit's schedule involved simultaneous construction of the intake tower foundation and outlet conduit, and Phase 1 of the embankment dam outside of a 100-foot-wide outlet conduit construction zone. Phase 1 of the embankment included the foundation and bottom section of the Zone 1 core and Zone 3 shells up to the seepage barrier wall working platform elevation.

After Phase 1 embankment construction was completed in July 2003, the seepage barrier wall contractor was mobilized to the site to construct the seepage barrier wall through the Phase 1 embankment core. By design, the seepage barrier wall in the embankment dam foundation was constructed through at least five vertical feet of Zone 1 core material. This design detail allowed for the expected settlement of the seepage barrier wall within the core to ensure that there would be no long-term seepage path developed between the top of the seepage barrier wall and the bottom of the Zone 1 core. Seepage barrier wall construction was initiated in the embankment dam portion of the project first so that this work could be completed and the mandatory 21-day seepage barrier wall curing cap period initiated as soon as possible.

Final designs for Guanella Dam were initiated on November 1, 2002, and were submitted to the State Engineer's Office (SEO) third-party review on February 24, 2003. Onsite construction activities were initiated on May 22, 2003, and the project was substantially complete by November 30, 2003. On March 2, 2004, a final inspection of Guanella Dam was conducted by the SEO and conditional reservoir storage was granted to Golden to begin reservoir storage. Despite continued drought conditions in 2003 and 2004, Guanella Reservoir reached an initial fill capacity of about 85% on July 15, 2004. The fast-track design, permitting, design review, and CM/GC contracting approach resulted in a completed reservoir in a little more than one year.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: ENVIRONMENT MORE THAN $10 MILLION

Sewer Outfall Extension at Fort Kamehameha


Managing Agency: Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific

Primary Contractor: Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc.

Primary Consultant: SSFM International, Inc.

Nominated By: APWA Hawaii Chapter

In order to meet National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements, it was necessary to replace the aged and damaged outfall for the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) at Ft. Kamehameha that services the Pearl Harbor Naval Facilities and the Hickam Air Force Base. This outfall, approximately 2,000 feet in length, discharged at a depth of 46 feet into an area of the Pearl Harbor Entrance Channel located within the Pearl Harbor Estuary.

The Ft. Kamehameha Outfall Project was undertaken to install a new 42-inch High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) outfall. This new discharge line is approximately 2.4 miles long and traverses over the existing coral reef and gradually descends into the eastern edge of the Pearl Harbor Entrance Channel. It continues down a sandy slope and ends at a diffuser at a depth of 150 feet.

The Ft. Kamehameha Outfall Project includes four segments. The first segment, about 5,080 feet in length, connects to the Ft. Kamehameha Wastewater Treatment Plant and runs on the shallow reef area. It was installed by open trenching and covered with concrete articulated mats and native fill. Land-based equipment was used to complete this segment.

The second segment, about 2,620 feet long, transitions down into the entrance channel and was installed by micro-tunneling. The third section is approximately 3,150 feet long and runs along the edge of the entrance channel. This section was installed by open trenching and covered first with concrete articulated mats, tremie concrete, and then with native backfill using a barge-mounted crane.

The final section on the sandy downslope that connects to the diffuser is about 1,930 feet in length. It was installed by a barge-mounted crane that drove circular steel piles into the sandy slope and then the piles were filled with tremie concrete. The steel piles were then finished with a prefabricated concrete collar system that cradled and anchored the outfall pipe.

Underwater coring was used in the deeper areas along the outfall route where conventional boring from a floating platform was not possible due to the rough conditions along the open coastline. Coring samples ranging from solid limestone to sand deposits were taken at depths as deep as 150 feet.

Among the many challenges facing the offshore pile driving operations, the possibility of encountering unexploded ordinance was critical to planning a safe operation. The pile driving system was designed so that no diving would be necessary while the piles were being driven. This was accomplished with a sophisticated underwater pile driving template and survey system that allowed pile driving procedures to be accurately controlled and monitored from the surface.


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

Carnegie Library Revitalization


Managing Agency: City of Port Angeles, Washington

Primary Contractor: Hoch Construction, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Olympic Design Works

Nominated By: APWA Washington State Chapter

The City of Port Angeles Carnegie Library Revitalization project has dramatically restored a part of the City's rich history.

Originally funded by the Carnegie Corporation and opened to the public in 1919, the library represented a turning point in the history of the City. The construction of the library was spearheaded over 90 years ago by local women and represented the beginning of the conversion of the City from a rough-and-tumble logging town to a place where families were raised.

An addition to the library was constructed in 1967 to increase the capacity and floor area. However, by 1998 the community had outgrown the old library and had moved into its current building on Lauridsen Boulevard.

First thoughts of building restoration began in 1994, when the bond measure allocating funds for the new library included a provision for some of the funding to go back to renovating or restoring the old structure. Actual restoration work started in September 2002, and was completed in June 2004.

Restoration of the structure included fabrication of replicas of all of the original ornamental metal work, including scrolled pediment, pilasters and candelabrums. Original flooring and fireplaces were refinished and restored on the interior of the building. Hardwood windows were fabricated in the 1919 design.

The final structural design for the Carnegie was amazingly innovative. The elevator shaft, required for Americans with Disabilities Act access, was built onto 35-foot piles and anchored to the building with large I-beam drag struts. The drag struts ran through the building on two levels and dramatically increased the building's shear force resistance. Helical ties were also drilled into the masonry fa‡ades on a two-foot spacing to tie the brick wythes together and prevent immediate collapse in a seismic event. Ornamental iron rosettes were added to the outside of the building at the first floor level. Three-quarter-inch diameter bolts were run through the rosettes to the interior of the building where they were connected to steel tie straps and nailed into the floor joists. This ties the masonry walls to the building structural framing.

The building makes an excellent backdrop for the new tenant, the Clallam County Historical Society. The Historical Society has opened a new museum in the space, highlighting County history from the time of Louis and Clark. The museum is a great addition to the beautiful historical buildings in Port Angeles. It will increase tourism in the area and encourage greater foot traffic and involvement in the downtown business district.


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

Union Pacific Depot Renovation


Managing Agency: City of Topeka, Kansas

Primary Contractor: Kelly Construction Company Inc.

Primary Consultant: Schwerdt Design Group, Inc.

Nominated By: APWA Kansas Chapter

The City of Topeka partnered with the Kansas Department of Transportation and Topeka Railroad Heritage, Inc. in financing the renovation and conversion of the once-elegant Union Pacific Railroad Station into the Great Overland Station—a museum and education center of national significance, according to an article in the Topeka Capital Journal, August 1999.

Built in 1927, the station "has been at the heart of our community for over 70 years, a place where families, friends, visitors and dignitaries arrived and departed, where soldiers heading to unknown destinies bid farewell to tearful relatives..." the author wrote in 1999. The station virtually ceased to exist with the advent of Amtrak in 1971, and Union Pacific abandoned the station in 1988.

The building was renamed the Great Overland Station, the article explains, because it represents the history of all railroads of Topeka and Kansas. With the help of many contractors, architects and 10 years of work, the museum and education center became a reality, opening on June 12, 2004, with a crowd of 50 on hand.

Because of the number of years of neglect, vandalism, and actual removal of original architectural components of the building, many of the detailed features had to be reconstructed from historical photographs. This conversion process from two-dimensional to the three-dimensional form required an orchestrated information flow between two architectural firms, the general contractor and the restoration subcontractor. Even the metal chandeliers and their ornate castings were replicated from archived documents. The rectangle-coffered ceilings were not square; thus, each coffer had to be field measured. Then, final paint patters were graphically enlarged to a proportion that fit each individual coffer. This allowed the stenciled paint patter in each coffer to appear identical to the untrained eye.

Another hurdle to be overcome was the location of the building. Because the project sits on the "wrong side of the tracks," access to the site was impeded every 15-20 minutes by the passing of freight trains at the rate of over 80 per day. All critical deliveries had to be scheduled 10 to 15 minutes early. A flyoff from the nearby Kansas Avenue Bridge is scheduled for mid-2005. This will alleviate the train problem for those visiting the beautiful museum and education center.

Because of the number of entities involved in this project, communication flow along proper channels was essential. In addition to the owner, managing architect, design architect, City of Topeka, KDOT, and over 33 subcontractors and suppliers, all work was performed under the umbrella of the Kansas State Historical Society. Existing features could not be removed or altered at the general contractor's discretion-only with the approval of the Society.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: STRUCTURES LESS THAN $2 MILLION

Scenic Overlook Improvements at Castle Rock State Park


Managing Agency: Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Primary Contractor: RJS Construction

Primary Consultant: RJN Group, Inc.

Nominated By: Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the APWA Illinois Chapter

Surrounded by an area of outstanding natural beauty, Castle Rock State Park, located about 15 miles northwest of Dixon, Illinois, is a popular visitor attraction that provides an expansive view of the Rock River and Lowden Forest. RJN Group, Inc. was selected to design the necessary improvements to the park, which included:

Boardwalk/Overlook Improvements - The scenic overlook sits atop a St. Peters sandstone rock formation (Castle Rock) that rises 100 feet above and overlooks the Rock River and Lowden Forest. After more than 15 years of weathering and foot traffic, the boardwalk and platforms had begun to deteriorate. In addition, with the increasing number of visitors to the site, the boardwalk had to be replaced and widened. Of paramount importance was to undertake this replacement with minimal disturbance to the rock formations and trees during construction.

Parking Lot Expansion - The original parking lot had a capacity for 24 cars, which allowed little turning space for recreational vehicles and buses, and forced drivers of these vehicles to back out onto Illinois Route 2. To safely accommodate the increasing number of visitors, it was proposed to double the size of the parking lot. This resulted in the need for two retaining walls.

The traffic conditions on Illinois Route 2 and the high elevation of Castle Rock itself presented a problem for the removal and reconstruction of the boardwalk. Hauling materials in and out of the small existing parking lot would have created a traffic hazard, and transporting the lumber, concrete, and other materials nearly 100 feet vertically to the top of the rock would have been both dangerous and time-consuming. In order to avoid these problems, the existing boardwalk was cut and tied into sections, and transported via helicopter over the Rock River to a staging area on the opposite side.

New materials were loaded onto small pallets and flown over the river to select locations on the rock and the wooded hill below. Use of the helicopter and the placement of the staging area across the river eliminated associated safety concerns from helicopter traffic over Illinois Route 2.

Serving as the only pathway to the dual overlooks, the boardwalk was redesigned and rerouted to the north side of the uppermost part of the rock formation with public safety in mind. This rerouting of the boardwalk provided increased scenic visibility, and made it more difficult for young visitors to jump off the boardwalk and onto the nearby rock formation. Wire fencing was also installed on the interior of the boardwalk to eliminate footholds and further discourage visitors from exiting the boardwalk.


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

Sweet Brier Plaza


Managing Agency: City of Lindsay, California

Primary Contractor: Tricon Building Solutions

Primary Consultant: DKJ Architects

Nominated By: APWA Central California Chapter

Sweet Brier Plaza is more than a park, and is representative of a much larger effort to revitalize the City of Lindsay, California. It is also the first step in an innovative downtown renovation project that will eventually serve as a model for other small cities. Sweet Brier Plaza is an attractive green space located on the western edge of Lindsay's downtown area. Initially conceived nearly 15 years ago, the project was completed in the spring of 2004 and has since become a central gathering place and an integral part of the daily lives of local residents.

Situated on nearly two acres of land, Sweet Brier Plaza maximizes a limited amount of land to provide residents recreational and leisure opportunities previously unavailable in the downtown area. The Plaza includes interactive fountains that are choreographed to different genres of music, a community stage for local performances, tree-lined walkways connected by wide sidewalks, and a terraced outdoor market space. Each of these features is complimented by seasonal flowers in ornamental pots and planter boxes, and further beautified by other unique landscaping features such as in-ground lighting, stained concrete, and decorative yet functional benches throughout the park area.

The charm of Sweet Brier Plaza stands in stark contrast to the dilapidated and somewhat dangerous lot that previously occupied the site. Understanding the detrimental effect that the rundown lot had on the downtown area, the City of Lindsay began to seek funding to create a unique green space that would eventually foster further development in the heart of the city. At the same time, City officials worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce, local community groups, service clubs, and other organizations to discuss plans for the park and to solicit support for the project. Over a two-year period, the City secured financial support for the project from over 10 different agencies including monies from the Redevelopment Agency and various state and federal grants. Community support for the project was demonstrated in part through matching funds made available by several local businesses.

The success of Sweet Brier Plaza is further evident, and perhaps most importantly, in the benefit that it brings to the public. Individuals of all ages enjoy the park, water features, lawns, and other aspects of the Plaza. Furthermore, a Friday night Farmer's Market and Street Fair is held at Sweet Brier Plaza. On average, each week 3,000-4,000 people converge on the Plaza to enjoy the entertainment, food, and other leisure activities associated with this event.

Sweet Brier Plaza is a unique space in Lindsay and will continue to serve as a prominent public park in the downtown area. Moreover, the Plaza demonstrates the potential benefit that such projects can have as green spaces are included in the effort to revitalize small communities.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: STRUCTURES MORE THAN $10 MILLION

Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir


Managing Agencies: San Diego County Water Authority; Olivenhain Municipal Water District

Primary Contractor: Kiewit Pacific Company

Primary Consultants: Parsons; MWH

Nominated By: APWA San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter

The San Diego region's $142 billion economy and quality of life depend on water imported from hundreds of miles away. If an earthquake or other disaster severed pipelines that bring the region up to 90% of its water, some communities would run out of water within three to four days. To address this problem, the San Diego County Water Authority launched the Emergency Storage Project, a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines and pumping stations to make water available during emergencies. The cornerstone of the Emergency Storage Project is the recently completed Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, San Diego's first new large dam in 50 years.

The $200 million Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, completed on time and within budget, is the tallest roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the United States and the first RCC dam in California. It was designed to withstand a 7.25 magnitude earthquake and remain operational during an emergency. The RCC gravity dam stands 318 feet tall at the maximum cross section, is 2,570 feet long at the crest and creates a 24,000-acre-foot reservoir.

A fast-track approach using "construction packages" reduced the overall contract duration by about one year. Packages allowed site development and dam foundation excavation to proceed on an expedited basis, while detailed dam design, environmental permitting and regulatory review were underway.

By using RCC, the construction schedule was shortened to roughly half that of a traditional concrete gravity dam, reducing the overall cost and minimizing the adverse impacts on the environment (emissions from construction equipment) and local residents (noise, dust, light, traffic, and safety). RCC is a "zero slump" or very dry concrete with minimal water and will support heavy construction equipment immediately after placement, allowing uninterrupted "24/7" construction. Conventional concrete requires waiting seven to 10 days to cure before pouring the next lift.

More than 1.4 million cubic yards of RCC were produced onsite and placed in fewer than nine months, setting world-record rates of RCC placement at 16,000 cubic yards a day. More than 2.8 million cubic yards of granite were quarried onsite, reducing truck traffic transiting through the local community.

The dam's many unique design features include a curvilinear downstream face to optimize the dam's structural performance, a robust design for the dam's operational equipment to remain functioning following a catastrophic earthquake and a smoothly varying foundation to eliminate sharp offsets that could cause cracking during an earthquake. The innovative foundation-shaping blocks, the largest in the world, optimize the dam's lateral performance during an earthquake by minimizing differential movement between monolithic sections.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION LESS THAN $2 MILLION

Wauponsee Glacial Trail - Phases 1 & 2


Managing Agency: Forest Preserve District of Will County

Primary Contractor: D-Construction

Primary Consultant: Strand Associates, Inc.

Nominated By: APWA Chicago Metro Chapter

The Forest Preserve District of Will County desired to provide a multi-use regional trail within two abandoned railroad corridors. Enhancing connectivity to points of interest and other regional trail systems while preserving or enhancing the existing environment was an underlining goal for the Wauponsee Glacial Trail.

The overall project consists of a 26-mile trail from downtown Joliet to Kankakee. The trail provides a connection to other regional trails including the Old Plank Road Trail, Joliet Junction Trail, and the I&M Canal Trail at the north end and the Kankakee River Trail at the sound end. Along the route, the trail also links the new Sugar Creek Forest Preserve and Visitor Center, Forked Creek Forest Preserve, Medewin National Tallgrass Prairie, and the communities of Joliet, Manhattan, Symerton, and Custer Park. The trail also provides close connection to numerous points of interest including several residential areas, historic structures, the Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet Iron Works Historic Site, the Round Barn Museum (1898) and the Kankakee River State Park.

The trail is a component of the Grand Illinois Trail and is located within the I&M Canal Heritage Corridor. The trail was also identified as a priority greenway in the 1992 Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission's Regional Greenway's Plan. The plan specifically identifies the following benefits: new trail connections; assists wildlife migration; improves trail access; buffers existing preserve; and provides a variety of recreational uses.

Phases 1 and 2 of the project included approximately nine miles of the north end of the trail connecting downtown Joliet to the Village of Manhattan. Phases 1 and 2 of the project achieved all of its goals which included:

  • Development of 2.75 miles of asphalt trail, 5.3 miles of multi-use limestone trail, and striping for 1 mile of designated on-street bicycle route.
  • Rehabilitation of replacement of eight bridges.
  • Stabilization of a severly eroded stream bank.
  • Providing or enhancing vegetative buffers for interpretation, habitat, views, and/or shade for visitor comfort.
  • Development of an aesthetically-pleasing area at the new site of the Forest Preserve's headquarters and Visitor's Center near the midpoint of the proposed trail.
  • Development of two trail-head sites complete with latrines, water fountains, horse hitching posts and parking stalls, which include adequate space to maneuver and park horse trailers.
  • Providing an equestrian-friendly trail and parking facilities.
  • Providing signage for general visitor information and to foster an appreciation for the natural and cultural features.
  • Protecting the environment during all stages of construction.


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

Broadway Street and Bridge Reconstruction Project


Managing Agency: City of Boulder, Colorado

Primary Contractor: Concrete Works of Colorado, Inc.

Primary Consultant: Carter & Burgess, Inc.

Nominated By: APWA Colorado Chapter

Spanning a scenic stretch of Broadway from the University of Colorado to historic downtown Boulder, the Broadway Street and Bridge Reconstruction Project included three-quarters of a mile of roadway and streetscape reconstruction, replacement of the historic Broadway Bridge over Boulder Creek, enhancement of all corridor pedestrian, bicycle and transit facilities, and significant public and private utility infrastructure renewal. This $8.9 million public works project is the largest single transportation project in the City of Boulder's history.

Broadway is a four-lane major arterial that runs north and south and carries approximately 30,000 vehicles per day. The limits of this project included the segment from University Avenue to Pine Street, which included a total of nine intersections, with seven of these being signalized. Pedestrian and bicycle activity within the corridor is significant. Approximately 15,000 pedestrians cross Broadway each day at the Pearl Street Mall. Approximately 5,000 pedestrians and bicyclists a day use the Boulder Creek Path crossing under the Broadway Bridge. Broadway is one of the City's multimodal corridors serving all modes of transportation including bus transit. The accommodation of these various transportation uses during construction and the integration of these aspects into the final project were critical to the project's success.

The use of concrete pavement in this highly-used urban corridor was a critical project component based on life-cycle analysis. A slip-form paver was used as much as possible to construct a smooth concrete pavement. This is innovative as the piece-meal nature of the paving could have led other contractors to minimize or even eliminate a slip-form paver's use to complete this work. The extensive integration of fast-track overnight and weekend concrete paving was successfully implemented to minimize construction impacts.

Colored crosswalks and other ADA ramp improvements helped to enhance the pedestrian facilities within the corridor. Load transfer dowel baskets were included in all of the concrete pavement completed on the project. This will provide for better long-term performance and maintain the smooth ride during the life of the pavement.

The project funding was the result of innovative partnerships between the City of Boulder, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. This funding partnership allowed the entire project to be accelerated and put into service much sooner than if only City funding was available.

The newly-completed roadway improvements provide the new infrastructure that supports the continued economic resurgence of downtown Boulder and provide an important visual identity for the City. The project is an excellent example of context-sensitive planning, design and construction of a public works project in an urban setting.


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

Waupaca Interchange, Frontage Roads and Airport Runway Design


Managing Agency: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, District 4

Primary Contractor: Mashuda Contractors

Primary Consultant: OMNNI Associates, Inc.

Nominated By: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, District 4

The Waupaca Interchange, Frontage Roads and Airport Runway Design project involved the design and construction of a new interchange on USH 10 to replace the hazardous at-grade intersection at CTH A, and a new runway for the Waupaca Municipal Airport to accommodate jet aircraft, which will help attract and keep industrial enterprises in the Waupaca area.

Several fatalities occurred at the CTH A intersection, prompting the Sheriff and others to plead for a safer alternative. The interchange was originally scheduled to be constructed in 2006 as part of the Waupaca East Bypass of STH 22 & 54. To address these concerns, the project was advanced to 2003 to coincide with the planned airport expansion project.

Combining the airport project and the interchange project into one construction contract saved more than $500,000 on the combined earthwork. However, to make this work, the engineering consultant, OMNNI Associates, had to fast-track the interchange design and deliver plans three years ahead of schedule. In addition, the project required the unique cooperation of the WisDOT Division of Transportation (Highways) and the Bureau of Aeronautics (Airports), as well as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Waupaca, Town of Waupaca, Town of Lind, and Waupaca County.

The contract was bid requiring the contractor to work at an accelerated schedule to complete the project by spring of 2004. Mashuda Contractors used 18 scrapers, 8 dozers, 2 graders and an aggressive work force working multiple shifts to move approximately 1,096,000 cubic yards of excavation. The project timing of certain phases was critical in maintaining the overall project schedule and allowing the 15 subcontractors to complete their work at this aggressive pace.

The benefits of the project to the City of Waupaca included:

  • Increased public safety and welfare. Twenty-three dangerous access points on USH 10 were removed, including the deadly CTH A intersection.
  • Combining the two projects saved taxpayers more than $500,000 on earthwork costs.
  • Contractors' bids came in $3 million lower than the estimate, saving taxpayers even more money.
  • Development opportunities are estimated to create 500 new jobs.
  • A new, longer runway at the City's Brunner Field will attract and retain industry in Waupaca.
  • Infrastructure installed for future utility connections will save approximately $1 million in future utility construction costs.
  • The project was completed three years ahead of schedule.

The resulting transportation complex is truly a defining statement for the City of Waupaca and Waupaca County and will serve its customers for many years to come.


PROJECT OF THE YEAR: TRANSPORTATION MORE THAN $10 MILLION

Hiawatha Light Rail Project


Managing Agencies: Metro Transit, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Minnesota Department of Transportation

Primary Contractor: Minnesota Transit Constructors (Granite Construction Company, lead)

Primary Consultant: URS Corporation

Nominated By: Metro Transit, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The 12-mile, $715.3 million Hiawatha Light Rail starter line kicked into full revenue service on December 4, 2004, one month ahead of the scheduled Full Funding Grant Agreement milestone date and within the very lean project budget. Similar to the June 26, 2004 opening of the initial eight-mile segment, throngs of patrons turned out to ride the distinctive vehicles—but this time to go all the way from downtown Minneapolis, through the tunnel under the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to the "crown jewel" at the end of the line, the Mall of America.

The project includes 17 stations, 12 in Minneapolis, three in Bloomington (including Mall of America), and two at the airport. Major park-and-ride facilities are located at the Fort Snelling Station and near the Mall of America; other parking facilities continue to be built throughout the alignment. Of the 17 stations, 14 are at-grade, two elevated, and one underground. All stations incorporate a variety of passenger amenities including canopies and windscreens, overhead radiant heaters, map and information kiosks, bicycle racks and lockers, benches and leaning rails, litter receptacles, platform lighting, signage and graphics, and public art.

The Hiawatha Project has a long history. In 1980, Metropolitan Council initiated the first feasibility study to address light rail options for four possible corridors in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. Five years later the Regional Transit Board voted to begin engineering studies to assess light rail possibilities along University Avenue (Minneapolis/St. Paul) and Hiawatha Avenue (Minneapolis only). By the mid-1990s, county officials had abandoned plans for an 11-mile light rail line between the Twin Cities in favor of an alignment along Hiawatha Avenue. In 1998 the Minnesota Legislature, after much debate, approved $40 million for the line's design and construction. With this commitment, the federal government authorized the Hiawatha Corridor and earmarked $120 million, part of the eventual $334.3 million federal share. Another $60 million was pledged by state lawmakers in 1999. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) appropriated the Full Funding Grant Agreement in January 2001, allowing the final design and construction to proceed.

Fifty years after trolleys went out of service, the Hiawatha Light Rail brings to the Twin Cities metropolitan area a world-class light rail line. In July 2004, Governor Tim Pawlenty issued a formal proclamation by the State of Minnesota to recognize the efforts of Metro Transit and the Hiawatha Project Office to complete the work, as well as their contributions for an "enormously successful opening of the line." Metropolitan Council similarly issued a resolution to thank the team for their "yeoman's work in making light rail transit a reality in the Twin Cities."