Private Firms & Public Agencies Honored with Transportation Project Environmental Excellence Awards

(WASHINGTON)—Transportation construction projects from across the country were recognized June 3 for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation during the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation’s (ARTBA-TDF) 14thannual “Globe Awards” event, held 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 five categories.  The 2013 winners are:

Category: Bridges (Projects <$10 Million)

                First Place:  Rosales + Partners, Freese and Nichols, Inc., Schlaich Bergermann and Partner, and Rebcon, Inc.: “Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge”

Completed in 2012, the $3 million Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge crosses the Trinity River linking the city of Fort Worth’s most popular parks and bike trails to the downtown area, providing residents with greater access to green modes of transportation.  The stressed steel/ribbon bridge design was built to minimize structural intrusion into river and enhance the natural landscape.  In an effort to reduce pollution, no “false work” such as support struts or scaffolding was placed in the river during construction. The bridge, which places no footings in the river, is designed to withstand a 500-year flood event while limiting existing floodwater elevations to no more than one inch.  At night, the bridge is illuminated with a combination of white and blue LED lighting for increased safety and aesthetic appeal.

Category: Bridges (Projects >$10 Million)
First Place:  FIGG: “South Norfolk Jordan Bridge”

The South Norfolk Jordan Bridge linking Chesapeake and Portsmouth in Virginia opened to traffic in October 2012, providing faster connections, more capacity, bigger clearances, and breathtaking views to enhance the quality of life in the surrounding community.  Privately funded and owned by United Bridge Partners, the project was completed in less than two years and manufacturing was done in adjacent pre-casting facilities that used local materials and local labor to minimize the environmental impact of construction activity, traffic and noise.  On the river bank, engineers selected pile foundations with above-ground, octagonal footings to avoid excavation of potentially contaminated soil.  Nanotechnology coating was applied to concrete barriers, which helps remove air pollutants and provides a self-cleaning surface through a photocatalytic reaction with sunlight.  The bridge is also lit at night using low-maintenance, low-energy LED lights. 

Category: Major Highway (Project < $100 Million)
First Place: Reeves Construction Company, West Division, Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and Lehigh Technologies: “Highway 247, Bibb and Houston Counties” 

Reeves Construction Company, West Division, in collaboration with GDOT, set the green standard for asphalt paving during the milling and repaving of five miles of Highway 247.  The team used 20,000 recycled tires to create nearly 28,000 tons of crumb rubber modified asphaltic concrete pavement.  The high-performance, rubberized asphalt provides environmental sustainability and the material’s ability to be produced as-needed and on-site not only provided cost savings for taxpayers, but also reduced the project’s carbon footprint.  In total, 311,000 pounds of processed rubber tires were reclaimed – material that would have been thrown into landfills.

Category: Major Highway (Project > $100 Million)
First Place: NorthGate Constructors (Joint Venture of Kiewit and Zachry Construction): “The DFW Connector Project” 

The $1 billion DFW Connector, owned by the Texas Department of Transportation and currently being constructed by NorthGate Constructors, is aimed at improving mobility and air quality for the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s 250,000 daily commuters.  Commitment to environmental protection began day one with employee training on issues such as storm water pollution prevention and hazardous material management.  NorthGate anticipates a 95 percent recycling rate, hoping to reclaim one million tons of materials, including 600,000 tons of concrete and 25,000 tons of scrap metal.  Vehicle maintenance is performed at a special onsite facility reducing the chance for chemical spills and lowering air emissions.  The fleet includes two low-emission excavators and a strict, five-minute idling policy is enforced.  More than 50,000 new plants and six acres of wildflowers will be planted.

Second Place: LBJ Infrastructure Group and Trinity Infrastructure: “The LBJ Express Project”

The LBJ Express Project, now under construction, is a public-private partnership valued at $3.2 billion that will reconstruct approximately 17 miles of highway around Dallas.  Project owners put together a highly experienced multidisciplinary Environmental Team (ET) tasked with creating a “Comprehensive Environmental Protection Program” that ensures complete compliance with all mitigation measures.  The ET also developed a “Soil and Groundwater Management Plan” providing procedures to manage heavy metals discovered during construction and diverting millions of cubic yards of soil from landfills to be re-used throughout the project and other sites in Texas.  Any groundwater encountered is extensively tested and discharged in the city of Dallas sanitary sewer system where it is treated and re-used in drought stricken areas, avoiding over three million gallons of water to be transported off site for treatment and disposal.

Public Transit
First Place: Regional Transportation District and Denver Transit Construction Group: “Regional Transportation District’s West Rail Line”

The Regional Transportation District’s goal during construction of the 12-mile, $707 million FasTracks West Rail Line from Golden to downtown Denver was “excellence in environmental compliance.”  To that end, the project’s construction manager/general contractor Denver Transit Construction Group (DTCG) established a dedicated water management team that conducted weekly and post precipitation jobsite inspections, monthly environmental training for project superintendents, foreman and crew leaders, and established daily “game plan” meetings and weekly scheduling meetings to collaborate with project owners, sub-contractors and stakeholders.  DTCG also rebuilt local streets, constructed major drainage structures, and restored and stabilized landscaping on the affected site.

The ARTBA-TDF was established in 1985 as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity to “promote research, education and public awareness. “

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