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ASCE Selects Outstanding Achievement Award Nominees

Wed March 22, 2006 - National Edition
CEG



The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has announced its five finalists for the 2006 Outstanding civil Engineering Achievement Award (OCEA).

The 2006 OCEA finalists are the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, SC; the Liberty Bridge in Greenville, SC; the Saluda Dam Remediation Project in Columbia, SC, the Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) project in Batavia, IL and Soudan, MN; and Bridge Apollo in Bratislava, Slovakia.

This year’s award-winning project will be named at ASCE’s 2006 Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) awards gala on April 26 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

“The OCEA program recognizes projects on the basis of their resourcefulness in addressing planning and design challenges, as well as the projects’ impact on the environment, pioneering uses of materials and techniques, construction innovations and its contribution to the well-being of people and their communities,” said ASCE President Dennis R. Martenson.

“The 2006 finalists are outstanding examples of how civil engineering can contribute to a community’s success, improvements in their quality of life and their ability to facilitate scientific progress. Every finalist is to be congratulated for their incredible achievements.”

• Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Charleston, SC.

At 3.5-mi. (5.6 km) long, Charleston, SC’s Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

The bridge, which spans the Cooper River, replaced two outdated truss bridges with eight lanes across a main span of 1,546 ft. (471 m) and includes two 572-ft. (174 m) high diamond-shaped concrete towers, high-level approaches, 15 ramps and two interchanges.

Completed in only four years, one year ahead of schedule, the project saved the South Carolina Department of Transportation an estimated $150 million.

In addition to improving ease and safety in crossing the river, the bridge’s 1,546-ft. wide main span allows for a 1,000-ft. (305 m) wide navigation channel, enabling Charleston, the fourth busiest port in the United States, to be more competitive.

• Bridge Apollo, Bratislava, Slovakia.

Spanning 1,698 ft. (517.5 m) across the Danube River in Bratislava, Slovakia, and constructed in an area of the city that is rapidly becoming the center of the Slovakian capital, the Bridge Apollo was designed to make a bold aesthetic statement that would complement the city’s other bridges while becoming a modern landmark in it own right.

The bridge was designed to carry increasing town traffic across the river, as well as serve pedestrians and cyclists. The 5,776-ton (5,240-t) steel arch structure, which spans 758 ft. (231 m) and was constructed on the left bank, was rotated and turned — using several barges — across the Danube River into its final position on a pillar 131 ft. (40 m) from the right bank.

• Liberty Bridge, Greenville, SC.

Designed to replace an existing vehicular bridge that had long obscured views of the city’s park and waterfalls, the Liberty Bridge, which spans 380 ft. (116 m) across the Reedy River in downtown Greenville, SC, is unique in its configuration and integration into the landscape.

It is most significant for its structural system, which has been applied in Europe but never before in the United States.

The curved bridge is supported by a single suspension cable along the outer side of the curve, which in turn is supported by two inclined and tapered tubular steel towers. Thin suspender cables attach to the outer ends of radial triangular steel frames that support the concrete deck.

The $4.5-million bridge was dedicated on Sept. 6, 2004, along with the surrounding park’s new gardens and public spaces. Since then, the city has adopted an image of the curved 380-ft. (116 m) bridge as its official signature logotype and the adjacent downtown area is experiencing substantial redevelopment.

• Neutrinos at the Main Injector Project, Batavia, IL/Soudan, MN.

The world’s first high-energy, long-baseline neutrino experiment, the Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) Project — which runs from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL, to the Soudan underground Mine Park in northern Minnesota — leads the neutrino physics program of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The program will enhance our understanding of matter and the universe by sending neutrinos (subatomic particles with negligible mass and electric charge) 435 mi. (700 km) from Fermilab through solid bedrock to a detector in Soudan, MN, seeking changes during the journey.

The project, which produces neutrino beams for the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) experiment, demonstrates historical technology — early-20th-century iron mining — coexisting and flourishing with modern technology, without sacrificing the historical or natural environment.

• Saluda Dam Remediation Project, Columbia, SC.

When South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G) officials in Columbia, SC, learned that its 1.5-mi. (2.4 km) long, 200-ft. (61 m) high Saluda Hydroelectric Project dam embankment could liquefy during a repeat of the 1886 Charleston earthquake, they knew something had to be done.

However, whatever solution they developed had to keep a 78-sq.-mi. (202 sq. km) reservoir rimmed with homes and businesses nearly full and keep a hydroelectric plant and coal-fired steam plant operational, all while ensuring the safety of the 120,000 residents living in the floodplain. The result was the $275-million Saluda Dam, a 1.3-million-cu.-yd. roller-compacted concrete (RCC) backup dam with zoned earthen abutments, and a North American record for volume of RCC placed during a single 24-hour period — 18,590 cu. yds., enough to build and 11-ft. high football field.

Established in 1960 by the ASCE, the OCEA program recognizes projects on the basis of their contribution to the well-being of people and communities, resourcefulness in planning and design challenges, and innovations in materials and techniques.

Selected from a group of 20 entries, the 2006 finalists are outstanding examples of how civil engineering can contribute to a community’s economic success, improve residents’ quality of life and facilities scientific advancement.

Previous winners include the relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the World Trade Center Towers.

For more information, www.asce.org.