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Transportation Construction Industry Project Environmental Excellence Honored at Awards Lunch

Mon June 06, 2011 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Highway and bridge projects across the country were recognized in the Nation’s Capital May 24 for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation’s (ARTBA-TDF) 12th annual “Globe Awards” event, held as part of the association’s Federal Issues Program.

The “Globe Awards” recognize:

• private-sector firms and public-sector transportation agencies that do an outstanding job in protecting and/or enhancing the natural environment in the planning, design and construction of U.S. transportation infrastructure projects; and

• transportation construction-related product manufacturers and material suppliers that utilize exemplary environmental processes to protect and enhance the natural environment.

An independent panel of industry professionals reviewed all of the nominations and selected the winners. The 2011 honorees are:

Category: Bridges (Projects > $100 Million)

First Place: FHWA-Central Federal Lands Highway Division (CFLHD), HDR, T.Y. Lin International and Jacobs Engineering: “Hoover Dam Bypass”

The $240 million Hoover Dam Bypass connecting Nevada and Arizona is remarkable for the magnitude and complexity of building a 1,900-ft. (579 m) concrete arch bridge across a rugged canyon nearly 900 ft. (274 m) over the Colorado River. It also now moves U.S. traffic off the historical Hoover Dam, thereby improving security, driver and pedestrian safety, and traffic mobility in the region. Besides reducing fuel consumption and air pollution by eliminating traffic bottlenecks, environmental and cultural stewardship were central to the bridge’s construction. The team implemented mitigation measures to protect bighorn sheep, desert tortoises and state-protected Gila monsters. Native plants within the project corridor were salvaged and replanted, and water drainage off the bridge is collected to maintain the quality of the Colorado River.

Second Place: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, FIGG Bridge Engineers, and Walsh Construction Company: “I-76 Allegheny River Bridge”

The $190 million I-76 Allegheny River Bridge near Pittsburgh is the first long span concrete segmental bridge in Pennsylvania. To protect the aquatic habitats and archaeological areas below the bridge, the new piers were placed very close to the riverbanks. Balanced cantilever construction also preserved eco-habitats and other sensitive areas. Context sensitive solutions resulted in a bridge that blends with its surroundings and with a minimal footprint that fits with the landscape.

Category: Bridges (Projects < $100 Million)

First Place: Utah Department of Transportation (UTDOT) and FIGG: “U.S. 191 Colorado River Bridge”

Located in the environmentally sensitive Colorado River watershed in Moab, Utah, the U.S. 191 Colorado River Bridge enhanced the aesthetic value of the area and provided the state with the least-cost structural alternative. By reducing the number of piers from eight on the existing bridge to two, and providing for top-down construction methods, the river habitat was protected. In an effort to enhance surrounding environment, all aspects of the construction, from the profile of the bridge to the complex color palette were designed in likeness to the Arches National Park. The concrete mix was engineered to have a service life of more than 100 years, further minimizing future construction environmental impacts. Extensive measures also were taken to preserve and protect endangered species birds, fish and fauna.

Second Place: T.Y. Lin International, Centre City Development Corporation, Safdie Rabines Architects: “Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge”

With construction of Petco Park, the downtown home of the San Diego Padres Major League Baseball club, the need arose for this $27 million, 355-ft. (108 m) span, grade-separated pedestrian crossing of six railroad tracks and Harbor Drive, and four lane major arterial. The project team, with extensive community involvement, designed and built a bridge using materials appropriate for a marine environment such as stainless steel rather than painted steel. Other enhancements: concrete finishes and textured walking surfaces, and custom hardscape and landscape at the bridge landing plazas.

Honorable mention in this category also was awarded to the joint venture team of Flatiron Construction and United Contractors for North Carolina’s U.S. Highway 17 Washington Bypass. The team used an overhead launching gantry system that helped reduce the impacts on surrounding wetlands and contributed to completing the project seven months ahead of schedule.

Category: Highway (> $100 Million)

First Place: New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) and Gannett Fleming Inc.: “New Jersey Route 18 Reconstruction”

The reconstruction of a 2-mi. (3.2 km) stretch of Route 18 in New Brunswick was aimed at reducing traffic in one of the state’s most congested areas and improving access to Rutgers University, the world headquarters for Johnson & Johnson, three major hospitals and the New Brunswick Station rail lines. The complex, $215 million project required demolition, construction or rehabilitation of six bridges and the development of local and express lanes of traffic requiring 25 retaining wall structures. Environmental improvements included the design and installation of more than 5 mi. (8 km) of multi-use paths and sidewalks for non-motorized travel, installation of landscape and enhanced beautification of nearby Boyd Park, and use of artificial rock surface treatments throughout the corridor to improve the aesthetics of the area.

Second Place: Austin Bridge & Road L.P., RECON Inc., Argus Construction Services and Arizona Department of Transportation: “State Route 303L—Happy Valley Road to Lake Pleasant Parkway”

This $100 million, 5.35 mi. (8.6 km) section of the new Loop 303 freeway in Peoria, Ariz., included the construction of 18 bridges and was aimed at improving traffic movement between I-10 in the west and I-17 north of Happy Valley. The project team developed an extensive storm water pollution prevention plan that exceeded federal guidelines, took extensive efforts to identify and protect existing habitat for the burrowing owl, desert tortoise and cliff swallow, and replanted indigenous plant life on adjacent slopes which helped to mitigate erosion along the freeway.

Category: Highway (< $100 Million)

First Place: Gannett Fleming Engineers & Architects, Joint Venture — Anthony Allega Cement Contractor & Great Lakes Construction Company: “I-80 Widening & Bridge Replacement at Meander Reservoir”

The $95 million project, one of the largest and most challenging in the history of the Ohio Department’s District 4, involved the widening, from four lanes to six, of 4.5 mi. (7.2 km) of I-80 from state Route 11 to the Ohio Turnpike. The project created a spill containment system design to keep hazardous roadway runoff from flowing into the reservoir, thereby protecting the drinking water supply for more than 220,000 people. It also featured creation of a new 12.5 acre wetland habitat.

The Globe Awards program is a Foundation project that complements ARTBA’s “PRIDE in Transportation Construction” campaign to focus public attention on the many positive contributions the transportation construction industry has made to the U.S. economy and quality of life.

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