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Groundbreaking engineering has developed new testing standards aimed at promoting the use of sustainable, “green” construction materials. Submitted to the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), the project team’s proposed new standards are designed to test the effectiveness of cement hardened by carbonation, validate the performance of the novel green cement, and encourage the addition of more carbon-consuming concrete products to the marketplace.
Applying a variety of innovative structural engineering methods and detailed geotechnical analyses, the project team designed the Marine Studies facility to safely withstand a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and corresponding tsunami. The facility is also one of the nation’s first vertical tsunami evacuation facilities, designed to safely house than 900 people, and with the resiliency to remain fully operational during a community-threatened event.
The new Able Pump Station combines the nation’s four largest concrete volute pumps to lower any flood elevation by 6.5 feet while providing 100-year flood protection to approximately four-square miles of Dallas. Replacing an aged sump complex that could no longer handle severe storm flows, the new station can pump 1.3 billion gallons per day while including enhanced corrosion resistance, vibration reduction, and lower maintenance costs.
The redesigned and newly named Salem Parkway has reimagined a crucial stretch of highway into a beautiful gateway to the city of Winston-Salem. The 1.2-mile-long project significantly improves safety, mobility, and traffic flow through the city and downtown area. Corridor improvements include replacement and upgrade of nine highway bridges, two pedestrian bridges, modernized roadway and interchange configurations, and a convenient multi-use path for pedestrians.
The 18-mile trail along the Lake Michigan shoreline serves as a major access point to the Navy Pier. Considered the busiest pedestrian path in the nation, degrading conditions over the years led to many accidents along this section of the trail. The project team eliminated a host of longstanding safety hazards, incorporated new designs in the architectural steel railings and panels, and added new structural concepts systems to ensure stability during all weather conditions.
The new iconic brand of the recently relocated Las Vegas Raiders NFL team has a first-of-its-kind cable-net-supported roof system, along with an innovative retractable natural grass playing field—only the second of its type in the nation. The field tray slides in on game day, and out of a 250-foot-wide “mail slot” on the stadium’s south end for maintenance. The 65,000-seat stadium offers more than 8,000 club seats, 128 suites, 352 loge seats, and nine club and suite lounges.
An eye-catching redevelopment of a 35-acre water operations plant provides a powerful, real-life demonstration of efficient Net-Zero Energy and water resource management. The project team optimized campus-wide energy and water efficiency, including water reuse and zero on-site carbon emissions. It’s complex imaginative central heating/cooling plant highlighted by a campus-wide energy recovery system is a unique innovation of engineering. The result is one of the most multi-faceted and sustainable structures of its type in the nation.
An inspiring model of green design provides more efficient operations, while supporting the city’s commitment to sustainability for carbon neutrality, water self-sufficiency, and zero waste in the coming decades. The project team designed pioneering stormwater solutions including a drinking water well along with conveyance systems for rainwater to be collected, treated, and reused for the building’s drinking water supply. It is California’s first building to convert rainwater into drinking water.
Spanning eight city blocks in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood, the 1.74-million-sq-ft complex serves as home to the Golden State Warriors NBA team. It features an 18,000-seat arena, team headquarters, and a practice facility. Other elements of the complex include two office towers, multiple plazas, a below-grade parking garage, and foundations for a future hotel tower. The project has transformed a once deteriorating industrial landscape into an anchor for waterfront development.
The new shredder facility is the largest of its type in the U.S., encompassing a 26-acre site. It features systems that can turn a full-size vehicle into three-inch pieces in about eight seconds. The shredder also uses sophisticated technology to separate waste from recyclable products, recovering more than 80% of the recyclable materials brought in.
A new 775-seat public school building features a unique geometric design while providing a full complement of school facilities such as classrooms, labs, gymnasium, cafeteria, and auditorium. The innovative design incorporates five one-story bar-style classrooms stacked atop one another and rotated around a pivot point. The result is a series of classrooms overlooking landscaped terraces that cascade down the site to create a dynamic visual design.
A new regional headquarters for the Germany-based Zeiss consolidates its five Detroit-area offices into a single facility and provides exacting conditions necessary to test and operate sophisticated equipment. Zeiss is a global leader in the design and manufacture of scientific optics and electronic measuring systems. The new facility features laboratories equipped with dedicated mechanical systems that provide highly stable environments and strict parameters for temperature and motion.
The new City of Muscatine Organics Recycling Center has the unique ability to separate food waste from food packaging, allowing refuse to be processed that otherwise would be destined for a landfill. Powerful spinning paddles break open packages and separate packaging material from organic waste thus eliminating the prohibitive cost of manual separation. The organic waste is pumped into a tank where a bacterial process converts the materials into mostly methane—the primary component of natural gas.
Greatly improved connectivity between Fort Worth’s Central Business District and its Near Southside District was achieved with the new Hemphill Lamar Connector. The enhancement involved extending Hemphill Street as a four-lane divided roadway though a new 400-foot tunnel constructed underneath a nearby United Pacific Railroad and I-30. The 2,100-ft-long roadway provides a new and safe, multi-modal option with two new pedestrian and cyclist paths.
As Houston’s newest landmark, the 35-story tower was designed with sustainability in mind. The structural frame offers spacious column-free floorplates with up to eight corner offices per floor. A water harvesting system provides irrigation for a 12th-floor urban rooftop oasis. State-of-the-art environmental design achieved significant concrete construction reductions in embodied carbon, emissions that cause ocean acidification, and in ozone-depleting compounds.
After seven million gallons of salty floodwater from Hurricane Sandy inundated the tunnel for 11 days, it left most of the tracks, switches, signals, controls, and communication systems degraded or ruined. The project team added new plated and continuous welded rail; along with new discharge lines, pipes and controls that will help prevent future flooding. All the while avoiding full-service shutdowns throughout the renovations.
Critical pier replacement was achieved on the Pulaski Skyway—an 80-year old, 3.5-mile, vital link in the New Jersey/New York City transportation network. To replace two deteriorated piers under the Kearny Ramp, the project team incorporated a “Structural Healthy Monitoring” method which precisely evaluates a structure’s behavior, and capacity during construction. It allowed for the first time in the Skyway’s history for the truss to be jacked and placed on temporary structures under live traffic, while the piers and foundation went through complete replacement.
The groundbreaking design of a mass transit “microgrid” will be the core segment for the NJ Transit and Amtrak’s service territory in providing decentralized, reliable power during emergencies. To be built in Kearny, N.J., the project was conceived in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, when the damaged commercial power grid left hundreds of thousands of customers without mass transit for more than two weeks.
A bridge project headed for construction was halted when the project team convinced the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) there was a better, more affordable way. In designing Phase 3 of the Carolina Bays Parkway Project in Charleston, S.C., the project team determined the originally planned twin bridges would be better served as a single structure with twin roadways. The change significantly reduced costs and complexity. The new signature entrance to the Southern Strand of Myrtle Beach reduced the project cost by $40 million.
Seeking the most cost-effective way to bring more potable water to the regional airport, the project team designed a model to better understand how the 16-square-mile watershed responds to rainfall. The effort included detailed modeling of local rainfall patterns, and evaluation of existing drainage and potable water infrastructure. The result advances knowledge of leaders in the responsible management of limited natural resources.
A 2018 landslide caused by a failed retaining wall closed a primary access road to a residential community and threatened an aging water main essential to the community’s water supply system. To repair and mitigate future risk, the project team developed a pioneering geotechnical stabilization design consisting of reticulated micropiles and tiebacks. The strategy proved more economical than conventional approaches and allowed the road to remain open while minimizing risk until the threat of additional slides were remediated.
A submersible pump station with 12 pumps and installed in a 220-foot deep, 40- foot diameter shaft, now returns combined sewer overflows (CSO) back to the existing sewer system for treatment, subsequently preventing discharge into the Ohio River. The project blocks over 439 million gallons of CSO from discharging to the Ohio River in a typical year. It is one of the deepest submersible pump stations in the United States.
As one of the most environmentally friendly natural gas-fired facilities in the nation, the new $670 million West Riverside Energy Center provides 730 MW of power, enough to supply more than 550,000 homes. Featuring state-of-the-art, 2-on-1-combined-cycle technology, the facility is also integrated with an adjacent four-megawatt solar energy field. The center emits less than half the carbon dioxide, two-thirds less nitrogen oxides and roughly 99 percent less sulfur dioxide and mercury than traditional coal-fired plants.
Inventive engineering helped eliminate traveling hazards on a 3.5-mile stretch of the I-29 urban freeway desperately needing revitalization. Solutions included reconfiguring overall highway access to downtown by shifting and lengthening of several roads and incorporating a split diamond interchange. The project modernizes a previous 1960’s-era route which featured short ramps, abrupt entrances and exits, and an accident rate up to four times the statewide average.
A groundbreaking pilot plant features a direct lithium extraction process that shows the capture of lithium in a matter of hours, not months or years. Lithium has become a key component used in batteries. The project team provided overall facility site design and detailed engineering services for the process systems. Based on breakthrough processes, the pilot plant expects to extract and process over 20,900 tons of battery-grade Lithium Carbonate annually from a 150,000-acre brine field in South Arkansas.
A century-year-old, 34-foot-high Bloede Dam on Maryland’s Patapsco River was safely demolished to restore the river to its natural state. The dam also had become a bane to the region’s health and safety as nine people had died there since the 1980s. The project team designed a passive release strategy for removal of 300,000 cubic yards of impounded dam sediment, while adding a new 42-in-diameter sanitary sewer line to replace an outdated 12-inch cast-iron siphon.
Blocked by dams for more than 300 years, a variety of migratory fish species are now able to climb 10 feet to reach a 4.25-acre head pond and six miles of upstream river habitat. The project team incorporated a new 170-ft-long fishway comprised of a series of concrete structures and sloped aluminum steep-pass sections, along with an eel pass. Benefitting species include brown trout, alewife, blueback herring, sea lamprey and the American eel. The goal of restoring fish passage was realized within days of project completion.
Fueled by diminished harvests of oysters, crabs, shad and striped bass because of degraded Chesapeake Bay water quality, innovative treatment plant technology has produced a significantly positive response. The nutrient removal system utilizes advanced biological treatment to optimize nitrogen removal and allowing processing up to 150 million gallons of wastewater daily. The Patapsco plant is the largest publicly owned treatment facility in the U.S. utilizing this type of system.
Resourceful engineering restored a damaged airport runway and its adjoining 240-foot-high runway arresting system after a 2015 catastrophic failure of the arresting system’s support. The tragedy resulted in swallowed buildings, major flood damage, and a destroyed nearby highway. Utilizing a multi-phase effort, the project team rebuilt the runway and its new runway arresting system, along with the major arterial—involving removal of more than half a million cubic yards of material—plus repair and replacement of damaged utilities, and repaving.
Advanced hydraulic modeling significantly minimized flood risk plaguing the Rio Rancho, NM community. Technology simulated potential rainfall events including 100-year and 500-year, 24-hour storms. The project team designed a detention pond and channel stabilization improvements for the Lomitas Negras Arroyo and the North Tributary Arroyo flood protection systems. The project has already reduced runoff flows downstream and minimizes stresses on existing detention structures and channel networks.
To mitigate worsening congestion on barrier-separated HOV lanes on a three-mile segment of I-5 in Santa Ana, CA, the project team removed the barriers while adding a second HOV lane in each direction. The design also included a new long retaining wall under an abutment of an existing railroad bridge. Traffic congestion subsequently eased in the HOV lanes, and overall travel times improved, while increased use of HOV lane network has been encouraged.
Groundbreaking engineering produced an innovative study for evaluating the stiffness of wind turbine foundations. In association with GE Renewable Energy, the study found that foundation stiffness was a critical factor in the design of new wind turbine facilities, and for assessing existing structures for operational performance or potential component replacement.
Pioneering design of a natural ventilation system for the 14,069-seat U.S. Open tennis venue allows for continuous tournament play when the facility’s retractable roof is closed. The new ventilation system keeps the court and seating bowl temperatures sufficiently below the outside ambient temperature without the need for complex equipment or constantly fine-tuning operations.
The 2.7-mile highway section suffered from numerous deficiencies resulting in frequent congestion and increased safety hazards—problems that would only worsen as traffic volumes increase in the coming years. The project team provided innovative upgrades including an additional travel lane, new full shoulders in both directions and eliminating a problematic “S-shape” reverse curve by relocating the roadway 300 feet to the south. The improvements significantly increased lane speeds, cut travel times, and reduced crashes.
One of the largest construction programs in the world, in one of the most visible, politically sensitive, and dynamic environments now represents a sign of healing for the nation. The $20 billion redevelopment of the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan includes more than 20 new buildings in a constrained site challenged by an active underground subway and transit. For 18 years, the project team led more than 100 consultants in the planning, design and construction of the progressive, modern, mixed-use complex that gracefully honors the past while eyeing the future.
Relocating Staten Island’s primary water supply siphon pipe to a greater depth was critical for the Anchorage Channel—a gateway to New York Harbor—because the harbor needed dredging to accommodate larger cargo vessels. After Superstorm Sandy delayed the project for 18 months, Staten Island residents now have improved access to potable water, plus new resilient infrastructure to withstand underwater forces of future storm events.