Highway and bridge improvement projects from Alaska to Maryland were recognized Sept. 27 for their contribution to environmental protection and mitigation at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation's (ARTBA-TDF) seventh annual "Globe Awards" lunch, held in San Diego.
Established by the ARTBA board of directors in 1998, the Globe Awards recognize:
• Private-sector firms and public-sector transportation agencies that do an outstanding job in protecting and 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 federal agency environmental specialists reviewed all of the nominations and selected the winners. The 2006 "Globe Award" winners are:
First place: Utah Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Legacy Parkway Project
Judges recognized the Utah DOT for its successful efforts to get the public and other stakeholders involved in developing context-sensitive solutions related to construction of the 14-mile Legacy Parkway project in South Davis County. It included a series of public hearings and open houses where community leaders helped identify measures to protect wetlands and wildlife along the project route through the creation of a 2,100-acre legacy nature preserve. In late 2005, an agreement was reached so construction of the parkway could move forward.
Second place: Alaska DOT and Public Facilities, Kiewit Pacific Co. and CH2M HILL for the Glenn-Parks Interchange
The nearly $50 million Glenn-Parks Interchange connects Alaska's two busiest highways northeast of Anchorage. The project replaced a traffic light-controlled intersection and an at-grade railroad crossing with a grade-separated, limited-access interchange. The judges noted the design-build team efforts to solicit feedback on the projects from a host of environmental agencies and extraordinary measures taken to preserve wetlands, protect wildlife and the important salmon habitat in nearby waterways.
First place: Arizona DOT and Ames Construction for the State Route (SR) 188-Resort Road to Devore Wash
The $30 million Resort Road to Devore Wash project consisted of removing the old SR 188 and building a new state highway alignment through Arizona's Tonto National Forest. It extended more than 7.5 miles over rugged terrain, with six new bridges, 70 pipes, a box culvert, a pipe-arch animal crossing and 1.8 million yards of rock excavation. During construction, the project team initiated an aggressive and comprehensive sediment-control program, utilized slope rounding to mitigate storm water runoff and transplanted 1,500 cacti and salvaged other vegetation-all techniques the judges said merited recognition.
First place: North Dakota DOT and FIGG for the Four Bears Bridge
The Four Bears Bridge was designed to be in context with the environment of the high plains and buttes of North Dakota, provide open vistas of Lake Sakakawea and celebrate the culture and history of the Three Affiliated Tribes, residents of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and major users of the structure. The judges noted the natural colors, patterns and textures selected by representatives of the community are in context with the environment and provide a canvas on which the striking artwork illustrating the tribal icons is displayed.
Second place: City of San Diego and T.Y. Lin International for the North Torrey Pines Road Bridge
Described by a local newspaper as "easy on the eyes, efficient and environmentally-friendly, construction work on the new three-span, 340-ft-long North Torrey Pines Road Bridge over Los Penasquitos Lagoon in San Diego was completed on budget and on time in September 2005. The bridge design and use of materials, textures and color palettes integrated seamlessly with the oceanfront site at the mouth of an environmentally sensitive coastal waterway. The judges noted the extensive efforts to minimize any runoff, given the close proximity of the Pacific Ocean.
First place: Maryland State Highway Administration, Potomac Crossing Consultants and KCI Technologies for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Fish Passage Mitigation Program
The environmental mitigation program for the $2.4 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge project utilized a holistic, watershed-based approach that links local and regional environmental needs to the project area. The judges were impressed by the project's fish passage restoration element that removed 23 man-made barriers to anadromous fish migration. Anadromous fish live in ocean water, but migrate to freshwater to spawn. The removal of the barriers re-established more than 30 miles of potential spawning habitat to migrating fish in the Washington, D.C., area. Fish passage restoration was accomplished through the use of native-looking stone structures that were designed to mimic real stream features such as riffles, runs and step pools. It is believed to be the first time that a fish passage project of this size, scale and type has been accomplished in an urban setting.
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.