Private Firms, Public Agencies Recognized for Transportation Project Environmental Excellence

ARTBA Globe Awards recognize four organizations for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation

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Highway, bridge and tunnel projects from Arizona, New Jersey and Florida were recognized for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation’s (ARTBA-TDF) 16th annual “Globe Awards” event, held April 14 in the Nation’s Capital as 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 all of the nominations and selected the winners in three categories. The 2015 winners are:

Category: Bridges (Projects <$10 Million)

Ames Construction, Inc. & Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT): “SR 90 San Pedro River Bridge Replacement Project”

ADOT and Ames Construction replaced the 26-foot wide steel girder San Pedro River Bridge built in 1955 with a 44-foot wide pre-cast girder structure in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. The structure, which features two 12-foot travel lanes and 10 foot wide shoulders, was raised six feet to accommodate 100-year flood plain requirements. The project team employed a biologist who monitored construction activities and surveyed the environmental impacts on perennial waterways, over 200 animal species and 250 migrant bird species in the area. Environmental mitigation measures included a containment plan to avoid contaminating the San Pedro River and streams with debris and construction materials, the re-seeding and planting of trees, lead paint abatement before demolition of the old bridge and halting project work after March to avoid disrupting the migratory bird nesting season.

Hunter Contracting Co. and Gunn Communications: “Greenway Parkway Bridge”

In 2014, Hunter Contracting Co. and Gunn Communications were contracted by the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department to reconstruct the Greenway Parkway Bridge at Cave Creek Wash in Moon Valley, Phoenix. Since being built in 1988, the Greenway Parkway Bridge exhibited serious signs of structural deficiencies that cost the city $1-2 million annually in repairs and maintenance. The project, completed ahead of schedule and under budget, saved tax payers $1.1 million and features a unique triple box culvert structure that resists differential expansion cracking, settlement and progressive degradation that plagued the old 212 foot bridge and eliminates the threat of monsoon flooding.

Category: Major Highway (Project >$100 Million)

Dewberry and New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT): “Route 3 over Passaic River Bridge”

NJDOT collaborated with Dewberry to replace the deteriorating Route 3 moveable bridge over the Passaic River with a fixed bridge, and construct collector-distributer roads, acceleration and deceleration lanes, and noise barriers in Passaic County. The project incorporated a series of environmental protection techniques that led to the restoration of Dundee Island Preserve, which has a long history of underutilized shore properties and degraded water quality and ecology. By utilizing riparian mitigation measures, the team recreated a waterfront park, removed contaminated soil, built 20 retaining walls to minimize the disturbance of wetlands, planted new trees, added fishing platforms and rehabilitated a 90-year old sewer that crosses under Route 3.

Category: Tunnels (Project >$100 Million)

Nossaman and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT): “Port Miami Tunnel”

The Port Miami Tunnel (PMT) under Biscayne Bay, linking Port facilities on Dodge Island with a widened MacArthur Causeway bridge and I-395 in Miami, is a public-private partnership project between FDOT and Nossaman. The $1 billion project features twin tunnels that are 4,200 feet in length, 39 feet in diameter and 120 feet below the surface of the main shipping channel. Since the PMT opened in August 2014, there has been a 35 percent and 77 percent reduction in the average volume of traffic entering/exiting the Port through surface roads and commercial truck traffic respectively. To minimize the impact on the environment, the project team took precautions to not disrupt the extensive seagrass beds which are a food source for native manatees, sea turtles and corals in Biscayne Bay, included a sediment monitoring plan to dispose of waste materials in specially designed wells, a spoil material management plan to keep contamination from spoil materials within the Aquatic Preserve and required all in-water activities to shut down if a manatee was within 50 feet of work.