The 2018 ACEC/CT Engineering Excellence Awards went off without a hitch on January 22 at the Aqua Turf in Southington, Connecticut. The Event was well attended with over 110 participants.
We would like to congratulate the engineers for their creativity, passion, and professionalism. Let’s aim to innovate further in the next calendar year and strive to help a Connecticut project receive a National ACEC Award.
As always, we would also like to thank the clients and owners who make these projects possible. A special thanks also goes out to the premium event sponsor, Milone & Macbroom.
The Award Winners for the 2018 Engineering Excellence Awards are as follows:
Rehabilitation of Cedar Street Bridge over Amtrak in Newington
The original bridge carried approximately 32,300 vehicles per day across four-lanes of traffic (two in each direction). The Connecticut DOT Traffic Unit required all lanes (two-lanes each direction) to be operational during the work week and one lane in each direction on the weekends.
The substantial traffic volumes and corresponding lane restrictions on this State Road required the use of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques to minimize potential user delays.
Steel Prefabricated Bridge Units (PBU’s) were selected for the project to accelerate construction, but were substantially deeper than the existing box beam superstructure. To accommodate the deeper steel PBU’s the vertical profile of the roadway was increased by over 1 foot.
The entire superstructure was replaced and approach roadway work to accommodate the change in profile was completed in two major stages, each taking place within the predefined 56-hour weekend work windows. The complex design also included the incorporation of specialized post-tensioning details required to maintain traffic on the remaining precast box beams, after partial removal.
Eagle Hill School Expansion
The project consisted of the structural engineering design of the new Community Room and renovations to the adjoining classroom building at the Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, Connecticut.
KG and D Architects was hired for a multi-phase project to update and expand the facilities of the Eagle Hill School, a residential and day school for children with language-based learning disabilities.
The architectural vision of the Community Room roof framing included an entirely open space, with structural columns located only around the perimeter of the structure.
Large truss shapes were to be used and a 20 foot diameter cupola was to be located at the center of the room. The Di Salvo Engineering Group proposed the use of both steel and glued laminated trusses, with steel tube members mimicking the size and appearance of the glued laminated wood. This adaptation to the original design intent allowed Di Salvo to design a series of interconnected steel tube trusses, capable of spanning the 60 foot space. A self-supporting, curved girder-truss section was designed to provide support for the radial portion of the roof, and corresponding wood trusses. Computer modeling was used to analyze the three-dimensional behavior of the entire roof framing system. The use of closed shape steel members provided both the needed stability, and the visual appearance desired by the client.
State / Trumbull Parking Lot
Park New Haven recognized the need for parking along this section of State Street that was driven by area businesses and restaurants that needed close, convenient safe parking and local residents who needed nearby lot parking for their vehicles during snow parking bans
Tighe and Bond’s unique solution represents a significant advancement in the design and utility of the common parking lot.
The parking facility uses numerous low impact and sustainable design elements, including removal of old construction debris to improve soil permeability, a rain garden, LED lighting, electric vehicle charging stations, and a reflective coating to reduce heat-island effect.
The Green Parking Council (GPC), a nonprofit organization and affiliate of the International Parking Institute, “green” certified the 75-space lot, the first “green” certified parking lot in New England.
2018 Engineering Excellence Grand Award Recipient
Like many New England cities built on waterways, Meriden’s mills and factories were replaced as part of the 1960s urban renewal program and city’s Harbor Brook was placed in an underground conduit to allow for a retail mall. But periodic flooding of the downtown, largely caused by building in the floodplain, became worse. The city engaged local consulting firm Milone & MacBroom to conduct a comprehensive study of the entire Harbor Brook watershed, with the goal of preparing a master plan to reclaim the river, reduce flood hazards, and promote economic development.
The key to the overall flood control plan was the conversion of the downtown shopping mall as the primary flood storage basin for the flood improvement project. The plans called for demolishing the mall and lowering portions of the downtown floodplain into a new urban flood control park.
While the construction challenges were intense, the regulatory permitting process of the project has often been referred to as being one of the most complicated in Connecticut history, involving coordination and review by myriad federal, state, and local environmental agencies.
In late summer 2016, after two decades of assessment, visioning, permitting, design, and construction, the $15-million-dollar project was complete.
The Meriden Green project included the removal or processing of over 100,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, a fully engineered and approved soil remediation action plan funded by brownfield grants, the installation of several hundred tons of river cobble and boulders, and over 3,000 native wetland and upland restorative landscape plantings.
Over 1,700 linear feet of Harbor Brook—once confined in underground tunnels—can now be appreciated as a natural, meandering channel through the city’s new central park.
The 300-foot “Silver City Bridge” now connects pedestrians in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods to the new intermodal transportation center. The bridge is designed to maintain connections over the park even during flood events and provides a spectacular view of the surrounding community.
The Great Lawn, a large area of reinforced natural grass turf, is used for public community events, farmers’ markets, a traveling big top circus, and informal recreation. Along the northwestern embankment of the park, a new outdoor amphitheater serves as a location to stage seasonal performances and concerts and also serves as a lunchtime or educational gathering.
The project has stimulated a $250-million urban renaissance plan with 600 downtown housing units plus retail and commercial space.
The Meriden Green, located in the heart of Meriden, Connecticut, started out as one vital component of a comprehensive flood control project. Now, after two decades of planning, design, and environmental permitting, the newly created 14-acre park has become the catalyst for a city’s economic revitalization.