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Engineering Excellence Awards






ACEC California is pleased to announce the 2016 Engineering Excellence Award winners. Fourteen projects were named Honor Award winners, Thirteen projects received Merit Awards and the Golden State Award (the top award) went to Walter P Moore for their work on the Air Traffic Control Tower and Integrated Facilities Building at San Francisco International Airport.  The award winners where announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet on Thursday, January 28 in San Diego at the Hard Rock Hotel. See the ACEC California press release here and for photos of the Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet, Click here

Congratulations to Walter P Moore

ACEC California's 2016 Golden State Award Winner!


Walter P Moore

Air Traffic Control Tower and Integrated Facilities Building at San Francisco International Airport




Walter P Moore was the structural engineer for the design-build team that delivered this iconic and innovative new tower. Its performance-based structural design for seismic and wind loads established several industry firsts and its distinctive offset design improves aviation safety for 1,100 daily aircraft and 47 million passengers each year.


Honor Awards

(listed alphabetically)



California Department of Water Resources Urban Levee Evaluation Project





AECOM was the prime and lead program consultant supporting the California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR’s) Urban Levee Evaluation project (ULE), which entailed the assessment of 415 miles of levees that protect urban centers in the Central Valley. Evaluating the risk of levee failures; investigation and analysis of ways that levees fail; identification of locations with possible deficiencies; and identification of needed levee improvements to achieve flood risk reduction. AECOM’s role encompassed planning, executing, and reporting of all aspects of this complex, multi-faceted, multi-staged $84 million project, as well as managing the input from more than 25 sub-consultants and technical vendors.


LAX Central Utility Plant Replacement

Arup was the Engineer-of-Record and Prime consultant to the Clark/McCarthy Joint Venture team for the new 75,000 SF, $423M CUP. Considered the first sustainable utility plant at any US Airport, the LAX CUP is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification and will be approximately 25% more energy efficient than the 50-year old facility it replaced. Arup’s innovative design saved the airport nearly $20 million in capital costs and is expected to save $7 million each year in operating costs. The new CUP serves as the pumping heart for all terminals at LAX – the 5th busiest airport in the world.



Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc.

Firestone Boulevard Bridge Replacement over San Gabriel River


Contracted as the prime consultant and structural engineer, Biggs Cardosa Associates managed this cardinal project to an expedited completion by channeling the focus and efforts of a passionate team of stakeholders on the common goal of success. These stakeholders included: California Department of Transportation, LA County Flood Control District, United States Army Corps of Engineers and Southern California Edison. Together they were able to receive approval of environmental permits, approval for doing construction work in the San Gabriel River, coordinating the relocation or protect in place of multiple utilities, and acquire 27 roadway slope and temporary construction easements


Carollo Engineers, Inc.

Delano biottta™ Wellhead Nitrate Treatment Demonstration Project


Carollo was contracted by the city as the prime consultant for this efficient and cost-effective system that uses naturally-occurring bacteria to treat a wide range of groundwater contaminants while eliminating traditional, environmentally harmful waste streams, increasing water recovery rates, and reducing treatment costs. The pre-packaged and custom-designed biottta™ system is a potential solution to address a growing nitrate contamination problem among agricultural communities throughout the Midwest and West Coast.


Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group, Inc.

R.B. Oliver Bridge Replacement


The original 1948 structure was part of the visionary plan held by Mr. R.B. Oliver who was on the Board of Supervisors as well as a respected resident in the City of Dinuba. Cornerstone  was contracted by Tulare County as the prime consultant to design this state-of-the-art bridge replacement project which would be dedicated in his honor among family and friends of the community in August of 2014. Because of the design teams extensive knowledge of the Kings River and successful partnering between the design team and the County of Tulare, the final design of the project was delivered in less than 2 years; an unprecedented pace for a $20 million bridge replacement project! The project also included the successful development of new bat habitats, which have increased the bat population at the bridge to four times its original number. The R.B. Oliver Bridge Replacement project was a resounding success and is an example of how partnering between design consultants and local agencies can benefit the public by providing cost effective designs that are delivered in a timely fashion. 



Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group, Inc.

San Francisco Zoo - South American Rain Forest Exhibit

Cornerstone Structural Engineering Group was brought in to this exciting project for pricing support and feasibility at the beginning. The renovated Aviary features a realistic rainforest ecosystem, full of colorful free-flight birds, exotic plants and trees, a two-toed sloth, and the Zoo’s first significant herpetological collection—which will include a 15-foot long green anaconda as well as rare tree frogs, turtles, lizards, and snakes. The new exhibit highlights environmental threats facing rainforests, as well as the devastating effects of the illegal pet trade on South American wildlife. The new Aviary will immerse visitors in a realistic tropical environment and create a stunning new educational space at the Zoo. Cornerstone provided the structural expertise necessary to renovate and seismically update this 1930’s WPA building.





Levi's Stadium


During design and up to the establishment of the guaranteed maximum price, HNTB contracted directly with the 49ers. Turner Construction and Devcon Construction provided pre-construction services under a separate contract with the 49ers. With the establishment of the GMP, HNTB then contracted with TDJV to complete the construction documents and provide construction administration support. The new 68,500-seat stadium is a dynamic sports and entertainment destination accommodating a wide range of sporting, concert, community and world class events. It embraces a progressive approach to sustainability and cutting-edge technology, is reflective of the surrounding region and is the first LEED Gold National Football League stadium.



Kennedy/Jenks Consultants

Phase 1 of the EWA Energy Program - Alternative Fuel Receiving Facilities


In an effort to achieve energy independence, Kennedy/Jenks was contracted by Encinas Wastewater Authority to provide support for this project from its conception in the Energy & Emissions Strategic Plan through construction and commissioning including: the initial design concept, identification of funding sources, methods for implementing the design, selection of a design-build team, represent the owner during design, construction and startup as well as developing general operating strategies for the system to optimize digester gas production with alternative fuels delivery. The AFRF provides a local facility where private haulers of organic liquid waste such as fats, oils and grease (FOG) can dispose of their collections. Once delivered to the AFRF, these materials are screened, stored and distributed to the existing anaerobic digesters where additional methane biogas can be produced and used to generate electricity and/or offset natural gas demand.



Mark Thomas & Company

I-280/I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange Project



MTCo served as the Prime Consultant for the project, providing support to VTA on preliminary engineering, environmental clearance, final design, and construction. The overall project is a complex $63 million transportation project provides a freeway-to-freeway direct connector, access to Winchester Boulevard and a interchange reconfiguration to provide a combination of partial cloverleaf and diamond configuration. This project is a first phase implementation and improves traffic operations and safety by eliminating weaving and merging movements as well as provides additional traffic capacity adjacent to large, regional shopping malls. The project also included improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities and bus rapid transit (BRT) accommodations.



McMillen Jacobs Associates

Bay Tunnel


McMillen Jacobs Association led the design team on this $288 million project, the first-ever tunnel bored under San Francisco Bay. It replaces San Francisco PUC’s aging Hetch Hetchy water pipelines, which presently extend across the Bay on wooden trestles. The tunnel was successfully excavated 5 miles under the Bay with no intermediate shafts, using a 15-footdiameter earth pressure balance tunnel boring machine. The Bay Tunnel is a critical lifeline facility that ensures delivery of drinking water to over 2.4 million SFPUC customers in the Bay Area following a major seismic event. It was completed on time and under budget.



Stover Engineering and COWI

Crescent City Harbor Inner Boat Basin Reconstruction Project


In 2010, following the 2006 tsunami, Stover Engineering and COWI (formerly Ben C. Gerwick, Inc.) were selected by the Owner to design a more resilient marina and evaluate the existing configuration for the current fleet of vessels. This $32.7 million tsunami-damage repair project is the first known marina in North America to be designed to specifically withstand a significant tsunami event. Marinas currently have no established design criteria for tsunamis thus this project required sound engineering judgment to justify the repairs to both funding and permitting agencies. Modeling performed to establish the tsunami loads was validated by a subsequent tsunami that occurred prior to final design of the project. Construction was performed overcoming tight schedules and environmental challenges. Construction started in June 2012 and was substantially completed in February 2014. 





South Bay Bus Maintenance Facility Expansion


STV, as part of the design-build team that was led by Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, provided a range of design services for this San Diego Metropolitan Transit System facility expansion which received LEED Silver certification. The San Diego Association of Governments was the project owner. This expansion allows MTS to house nearly twice as many buses and features such sustainable elements as natural daylighting, photovoltaic electricity generation, a high-performance building envelope, and a bus wash with a highly efficient water reclamation system.



T.Y. Lin International

I-805 Carroll Canyon Road and HOV Extension


T.Y. Lin International was contracted by Caltrans District 11 to design and develop innovative structures around challenging site constraints to assist them in creating an effective project that would alleviate traffic congestion for the local community and promote economic recovery in the San Diego region. T.Y. Lin International was a critical component in the success of this project that was completed on time and within budget.



Merit Awards

(listed alphabetically)


Arcadis U.s, Inc.- Environmental Remediation Services for Nine Sites at Sierra Army Depot

Arcadis U.s, Inc.- North Operations and IT Management Building, POLB Middle Harbor Redevelopment


Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc.- Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project


Drake Haglan & Associates - Alpine Meadows Road Bridge Replacement over Truckee River


Green Valley Consulting Engineers - Fort Bragg Coastal Restoration and Trail Project


HDR- Los Osos Wastewater Project Collection System


Infrastructure Engineering Corporation- San Elijo Hills Pump Station


Kleinfelder, Inc.- Main Street Bridge Over Murrieta Creek


Kleinfelder, Inc.- California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Levee Evaluation Program (LEP)


Michael Baker International- Sewer System Rehabilitation and Repair Program


MNS Engineers, Inc.-Ranchero Road Interchange at I-15


Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group- In-Lieu Groundwater Recharge Project


Stantec- Carpinteria Sanitary District South Coast Beach Communities Septic to Sewer Project - Rincon Point


Commendation Awards

(listed alphabetically)


KOA Corporation - OCTA Bikeway Strategy and Feasibility Studies for Supervisorial District 5


Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group - Kashian Park Beautification Project


Rick Engineering Company - H Street Extension


ACEC California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition recognizes private sector engineering and land surveying design projects that standout based on quality; complexity; innovation and client satisfaction.

EEA entries are accepted into one of 12 project categories: studies, research, and consulting engineering services; building/technology systems; structural systems; surveying and mapping technology; environmental; waste and storm water; water resources; transportation; special projects; small projects; energy; and industrial and manufacturing processes and facilities.

A distinguished panel of approximately seven judges representing the public sector assembles to critique and rank the submissions for engineering excellence. The highest ranking projects will receive a Merit, Honor or the highest accolade, the Golden State Award. All projects that receive Honor Awards and the Golden State Award are eligible to compete in ACEC’s national EEA competition.

All ACEC California EEA winners are recognized at the annual Engineering Excellence Awards dinner, held on January 28, 2016 at the Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego. In addition, authorization permitting, the winning projects will have their photographic panels displayed at the State Capitol, outside the Governor’s office for one weeks in the month of February.

Projects that move on to compete in the ACEC national EEA competition may receive additional promotion through their program.


June 1st         Intent to Enter forms are mailed to all ACEC California members
July 31st       Intent to Enter forms are due to ACEC California office
Sept              Official Entry Forms and project notebook are due to ACEC California office
Nov              Judging and applicants notified of results

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