Transportation Projects From Across the Country are Recgonized for Environmental Excellence

Mon June 04, 2012 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Transportation construction projects from across the country were recognized May 30 for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development FoundationR
Transportation construction projects from across the country were recognized May 30 for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development FoundationR

Transportation construction projects from across the country were recognized May 30 for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation’s (ARTBA-TDF) 13th annual “Globe Awards” event, held in the Nation’s Capital 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 in six categories. The 2012 winner are:

Category: Airport

First Place: The Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority, Wright Brothers Construction Co. and PDC Consultants LLC: “Cleveland Regional Jetport”

To make room for a new regional jetport, the Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority in Tennessee, assisted by planning and design firm PDC Consultants LLC and contractor Wright Brothers Construction, relocated over 1 mi. of county road and 4,000 ft. of large stream, and excavated three million cu. yds. of earth rock in an environmentally-sensitive area. It involved construction of a 51-ft.-wide by 6-ft.-tall concrete box culvert crossing under the proposed runway and leading to a new stream bed undercut and refilled with coconut matting, geo-textile fabric, tons of natural gravel and replanted vegetation. Nine sedimentation basins also were built to control runoff from the construction site.

Category: Local or Secondary Road

First Place: Kane County Division of Transportation and Alfred Benesch & Company: “Stearns Road — An Environmental Corridor that Happens to Have a Road in It”

This $100 million-plus project and major east-west crossing of the Fox River in Kane County, Ill., included construction of eight highway bridges and 5 mi. of new roadway. The project team made extensive enhancements to the surrounding area, including: procurement of 216 acres of new green space, creation of a 65-acre wetland restoration site and 35 acres of restored savannahs, as well as integration of state-of-the-art soil erosion and sediment controls. Project leaders also halted operations to allow spawning of a native fish known as the river redhorse and relocated slippershell mussels.

Second Place: Pike Industries Inc. and the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT): “Height of the Land”

Pike Industries, on behalf of MaineDOT and its partners, utilized unique mitigation techniques to minimize environmental impacts during reconstruction of a one mile stretch of Route 17 and its accompanying scenic overlook in the western foot hills of Maine. Working on steep slopes and bedrock, the team removed massive amounts of ledge, which were reused to create natural, rock-lined ditches and a 100-ft. stone wall overlooking the parking area. To preserve the natural beauty of the scenic mountain byway, large amounts of erosion control mix were placed on the slope along with hundreds of ground cover plants and native perennials. Nearly 650 plantings also helped camouflage the scenic overlook into the natural landscape and slow the flow of water.

Category: Major Highway (Project < $100 Million)

First place: South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) and HDR Engineering: “U.S. 17 ACE Basin Widening Project”

The 22-mi. widening of U.S. Route 17 in South Carolina’s ACE Basin was one of the most environmentally challenging projects ever undertaken by SCDOT. Throughout the project’s design and construction, efforts were made to protect or enhance the physical environment, including: utilization of a low-lying, flat-slab bridge to minimize fill placement in wetlands, steepened side-slopes to decrease roadway footprint, and a net decrease of over three acres of wetland impacts. Extensive tree mitigation, bald eagle protection and use of a natural median also were part of plan to preserve valuable resources.

Second Place: Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and Connecting Idaho Partners: “U.S. 30- McCammon to Lava Hot Springs Corridor Improvement Project”

ITD contracted with Connecting Idaho Partners, a joint venture of URS and CH2M HILL, to serve as project manager in the reconstruction and widening of nearly 10 miles of the U.S. 30 corridor in southeast Idaho, a major transportation link to Wyoming and points east and home to numerous species of wildlife. From the outset, preserving the environment was a fundamental commitment of the project team. New bridges were built in place of culverts to reestablish proper stream function and floodplain values, also improving wildlife migration by allowing animals to follow the river without crossing the highway. ITD worked to avoid disturbance to an irrigation canal during highway widening, and used lightweight fill known as “geofoam” on one of the bridge supports to accommodate and protect an underground river channel.

Honorable mention in this category also was awarded to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Tilcon, N.Y., and EIW Corp. for the “Miracle on I-287 Emergency Response Project. ”

Category: Major Highway (Project > $100 Million)

First Place: Maryland State Highway Administration (MD-SHA) and MD200 Constructors: “Design-Build Intercounty Connector Contract B (ICC B)”

The ICC B is the 7-mi. middle span of four major segments that make up Maryland’s new 19-mi. Intercounty Connector, which links Rockville to Laurel. Eliminating and reducing environmental impacts along the area’s surrounding wetlands was a top priority for the MD-SHA and MD200 Constructors, a joint venture between Kiewit Infrastructure South, Corman Construction and G.A. & F.C. Wagman. The team restored 7 mi. of stream, created 52 acres of wetlands, constructed hundreds of fish passages, improved water quality at more than 20 sites and set aside over 775 acres of new park land. Prior to construction, officials identified and subsequently relocated 445 eastern box turtles to a nearby habitat.

Second Place: Maryland State Highway Administration (MD-SHA) and Maryland Transportation Authority: “Intercounty Connector Project (ICC)”

The $2.4 billion ICC is a 19-mi., six-lane toll-way that connects Maryland’s I-270 and I-95/U.S. 1 corridors north of Washington, D.C. A key component of the ICC is its $370 million environmental program that accounted for more than 15 percent of the project’s total cost. The comprehensive environmental program included: bridges that span 100-year floodplains, noise mitigation measures, animal crossing culverts, wildlife protection, innovative storm water management and sediment control tools to protect water quality, and the use of newer, clean-burning equipment.

Category: Ports & Waterways

First Place: General Construction Company (GCC): “Lower Duwamish Waterway Slip 4 Early Action Area”

GCC was contracted to clean-up and restore Slip 4 of the Lower Duwamish Waterway, a Seattle area shipping channel primarily used by industrial businesses to move container vessels. The waterway also provides a habitat for many species of birds, fish and other wildlife. Waste from the industrial area left sediment in Slip 4 contaminated with dangerous pollutants, making it a toxic “hot spot.” GCC restored the slip to a clean, safe environment by dredging and excavating 9,800 cu. yds. of sediment which was pumped through an innovative four-filter decanter system to ensure the water returning to the basin was as clean as possible. GCC removed 500 tons of asphalt, creosote-treated piles, failing bulkheads and other contaminated debris 4. It also stabilized the eroding banks and created new habitat for wildlife by importing and placing 50,000 tons of new capping material, such as beach sand, filter materials and habitat mix.

Category: Materials Company (Process)

First Place: The Shelly Company, an Oldcastle Company: “Wildlife Habitat Site Program”

The Shelly Company, an Oldcastle Company, manages 520 acres of land on five certified wildlife habitat sites in Ohio through its involvement with the Wildlife Habitat Council. This corporate driven habitat restoration and reclamation effort involves management, employees, local conservation groups and local officials and community groups such as the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and 4H. To achieve greater biodiversity at the sites, volunteers participate in tree planting, seeding, litter clean-up and Earth Day celebrations. At one particular site, 40 volunteers helped plant native grass and wildflower species across six acres of land.

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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