Private firms & public agencies in 5 States honored with transportation project environmental excellence awards

Private firms & public agencies in 5 States honored with transportation project environmental excellence awards

Highway, bridge, and local road projects from Indiana, Utah, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Washington state were recognized for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) at a May 14 luncheon in the Nation’s Capital. The event was 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 the nominations and selected the winners in two categories. The 2019 winners are:

Category: $10 Million – $100 Million projects

First Place Tie
South Bend Smart Streets; American Structurepoint &
Lawson-Fisher Associates

The Smart Streets Initiative in downtown South Bend, Ind., provides “safer, more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly streets, while enhancing the local community as a catalyst for economic growth.” The 3-year project converted eight miles of two multi-lane one-way pair arterials through downtown to two-way urban “complete streets” that include new streetscapes, traffic signals, roundabouts, traffic-calming measures, and off-street bike facilities. The project utilized pervious pavement in new parking lanes, an environmentally friendly way to reduce storm water runoff, and trees planted in the area were chosen based on their ability to thrive in an urban area.

First Place Tie
I-80 Wildlife Crossing through Parley’s Summit;
Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co., LLC, WSP USA &
Utah Department of Transportation Region 2

Utah’s first overpass built specifically for wildlife crosses the I-80 corridor through Parley’s Canyon, a Utah location that has seen vehicle collisions with more than 40 moose in the last 10 years. Those collisions endanger the lives of motorists and commercial truck drivers using the heavily-traveled corridor. The bridge is located within the migratory path of moose, elk, and other wildlife and was designed to blend in with the natural surroundings to “influence” the animals to use the bridge. Built in a critical watershed area for Salt Lake County, the project required environmental protection and mitigation measures during construction, including using recycled asphalt products in its pavement to reduce impacts associated with hauling new materials to the site. It was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.
Second Place
Beechwood Boulevard (Greenfield) Bridge Replacement; HDR

The Beechwood Boulevard Bridge replacement project linking Greenfield and Schenley Park in Pittsburgh serves not only as a transportation facility, but also as an entrance to one of the city’s largest and most historic parks. The bridge spans one of the busiest stretches of I-376 in western Pennsylvania, with 85,000 vehicles per day crossing under the structure. Architectural features of the original 1922 bridge were saved and incorporated into the new structure, while a new, wider bridge footprint allowed for the needs of both vehicles, and pedestrian and bike traffic. By eliminating deck joints over the structural steel, water should not leak through new expansion joints or cause deterioration of the underlying structural steel or substructure as happened to the deck of the previous bridge.
Category: $100 Million or greater projects

First place
Herbert C. Bonner Bridge Replacement; HDR & PCL Civil Constructors

Recognized as one of the most dangerous channels on the Atlantic Coast, Oregon Inlet routinely experiences treacherous currents and violent storms. The Inlet is also surrounded by North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The original 1963 Herbert C. Bonner Bridge provided a critical link across the inlet between Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the towns of Nags Head and Kitty Hawk to the north and the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and the town of Hatteras to the south. The bridge deteriorated in the harsh marine environment, resulting in continual maintenance, repair and retrofit by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The new replacement bridge is designed to provide a 100-year service life, minimize environmental impacts, and provide a reliable, safe passageway for residents, and the nearly 2 million tourists that cross the bridge annually. The 2.8-mile-long span features several innovations including nine navigation zone spans that provide enough clearance as the inlet’s channel shifts, and lights and other markings that can be moved from one span to another to indicate to ships which channel to use. The project team took steps to minimize the impacts of lighting at night during construction to not disrupt turtle nesting grounds on adjacent beaches, and limited road signage to provide fewer perching locations for predator species of the near-threatened piping plovers that live at the shoreline.
Second place
Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, State Route 99;
HNTB Corporation & Washington Department of Transportation

The 2-mile State Route 99 tunnel underneath downtown Seattle is the largest soft-ground bored tunnel in the U.S, with a 57.5-foot excavated tunnel diameter and 200 feet at its deepest point. It was a critical part of the $3.3 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement project, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the nation. Inside the tunnel, stacked 32-foot-wide roadways carry two southbound lanes on top of two northbound lanes. It features state-of-the-art fire detection, fire suppression and ventilation systems, a security system with closed-circuit TVs, and “an intelligent transportation system” that includes variable message signs. Built to collect storm drainage, the tunnel includes systems that monitor for pollutants that may be discharged within it in the event of a spill or similar event. It was designed to withstand a 2,500-year interval earthquake, or roughly a 9.0 seismic event, while mitigating impacts on the surrounding environment. The tunnel’s completion has cleared the way for the demolition and removal of the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct – now underway – which will be replaced by new public space as part of a new Waterfront Seattle program.

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