Established by ASCE in 1960, the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award has highlighted many of the most important civil engineering contributions of the last half-century.
The 2016 group of six OCEA finalists sits comfortably among such select and historic company:
- The Dragon Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam
- I-25/Paseo del Norte Interchange Reconstruction, Albuquerque, NM
- Lake Mead Intake No. 3 Shafts and Tunnel Project, Boulder City, NV
- Seismic Upgrade of Bay Division Pipeline Nos. 3 and 4 at Hayward Fault, Fremont, CA
- Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, St. Louis, MO, to St. Clair County, IL
- Tanana River Bridge, Salcha, AK
From these six finalists, ASCE will announce the winning OCEA project at the Outstanding Project And Leaders (OPAL) Awards Gala, March 17, in Arlington, VA. The evening also honors this year’s group of ASCE OPAL winners, as well as recipients of the Charles Pankow Award for Innovation, the Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research, and the ASCE Excellence in Journalism Award.
The OCEA Award honors the project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and represents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society. Honoring an overall project rather than an individual, the award celebrates the contributions of many engineers.
The Dragon Bridge not only links the city of Da Nang, Vietnam, across the Han River to the country’s developing eastern shores, it has also raised Da Nang’s profile internationally and become quite a tourist attraction.
The Da Nang People’s Committee sponsored an international design competition. Louis Berger and Ammann & Whitney won with a low-deck bridge that employs an arch support structure modeled after a dragon. The bridge breathes fire and water on weekends and is illuminated at night by 15,000 LED lights.
The new I-25/Paseo del Norte Interchange relieves traffic backups at a crucial section of highway in Albuquerque, NM.
The design-build team of Kiewit New Mexico and Bohannan Huston Inc. worked together from design through construction and finished the project in only 16 months for only $75 million.
The Lake Mead Intake No. 3 Shafts and Tunnel Project, in Boulder City, NV, is the world’s deepest subaqueous tunnel.
The project, in conjunction with the low lake level pumping station now under construction, protects the existing water-system capacity of the Southern Nevada Water Authority against potential outages of the existing the Intakes No. 1 and No. 2. It also allows SNWA to draw better-quality water from the deeper elevation and more-desirable intake location in the lake. Lake Mead supplies 90 percent of the Las Vegas Valley’s water.
The Vegas Tunnel Constructors team used the innovative approach of installing a prefabricated intake structure under the lake bed using immersed tube techniques to mitigate the risks inherent to construction under more than 300 feet of water. A 23-1/2 foot diameter tunnel boring machine excavated three miles under Lake Mead through complex rock conditions subject to more than 13 bar of water pressure to dock with the intake structure precisely on target.
The Seismic Upgrade of Bay Division Pipeline Nos. 3 and 4 at Hayward Fault, Fremont, CA, ensures water delivery within 24 hours to 2.6 million people in the event of a 7.1-magnitude earthquake.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission project features an innovative system of pipes, joints, and vaults running underneath the intersection of Mission Blvd. and I-680 as part of the $4.8 billion Water System Improvement Program in the Bay Area.
The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge connects Missouri and Illinois over the Mississippi River near St. Louis. It significantly alleviated traffic concerns by pulling one of the three interstate crossings from the Poplar Street Bridge.
It is the first mega-project of its kind to be constructed in phases.
Discussions about the project started all the way back in 1990, with the Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation eventually deciding to break the project down into two major phases due to available funding. The first phase, completed February 2014, was divided into 37 smaller, individual projects to mitigate budget concerns while still meeting existing transportation needs.
The Tanana River Bridge, a 20-span, 3,300-foot crossing, is the longest bridge in Alaska. It is the key component of Phase 1 in a four-phase project undertaken by the Alaska Railroad Corp. to expand its northern rail line and better connect the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Pacific Area Range Complex near Salcha, AK, to the rest of the state.
Hanson Professional Services designed the bridge, contending with extreme temperatures, an unpredictable and reconfiguring river, ice flows, and geotechnical and seismic issues in the process.
For more information about the OCEA finalists, visit the ASCE Library where technical papers and articles on four of the projects are available for free through March 31: Lake Mead Intake No. 3 Shafts and Tunnel Project, Seismic Upgrade of Bay Division Pipeline Nos. 3 and 4 at Hayward Fault, and Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.