From the community

Engineering companies in Maine win trade awards

Posted Nov. 29, 2013, at 5:38 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — American Council of Engineering Companies  of Maine announces its 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards as part of the national ACEC competition for the most innovative engineering projects in the country.

At this year’s awards event, five firms received recognition.Woodard & Curran received this year’s top honor of “The Grand Conceptor Award.” They were honored for their work on a new wastewater treatment facility with the city of Ellsworth. State-of-the-art technology, such as an effluent-water source heat pump system specifically designed to use treated wastewater as a source of energy for heating and cooling of buildings, is used throughout the facility to reduce costs and improve operations. Woodard & Curran led efforts to demolish the old facility and restore the former site to meet the City’s overall development goal of improving the waterfront and downtown area.

ACEC of Maine presented two Special Recognition Awards for Engineering Excellence. Becker Structural Engineers Inc. was awarded Special Recognition for their structural engineering work on the Twitchell-Champlin Co. building at Merrill’s Wharf in Portland. BSE engineered solutions utilized an array of technologies to solve complex structural support challenges. In doing so, they optimized historic building preservation while reducing costs and improving compatibility with the working waterfront. There were many solutions for many issues, each selected and implemented using a performance based approach to deliver thoughtful, innovative and cost-effective solutions.

The second Special Recognition Award went to Haley & Aldrich for its geotechnical engineering work on MileBrook Bridge in Winslow. The new, two-lane, 325-foot long replacement bridge required the approach embankments be raised by 2 to 4 feet to improve the vertical profile of the roadway. As a result, engineering evaluations were conducted to assess the potential for stability issues associated with a 40-foot thick layer of soft, marine clay located below the west embankment. The results of globalstability evaluations showed that an approximately 100-ft long portion of the slope had a lower factor of safety than the minimum required. This was addressed by the innovative use of pilings to enhance site stability.

Two Honor Awards for Engineering Excellence were presented. The first was to Louis Berger for  work on the Bedford, N.H., Route 3 bridge project. Accelerated bridge construction techniques were employed to reduce the length of construction schedule, minimize disruption to traffic, while lowering the overall cost of the project.

The second Honor Award for Engineering Excellence went to Becker Structural Engineers, Inc for  work on a private residence bridge in Maine. The client’s desire to create an idyllic, sweeping entrance to a secluded woodside residence was met by the design of a curved steel girder bridge with a timber deck, spanning 52 feet 6 inches between stone clad abutments perched on the stream embankments. The bridge design and materials tastefully complement the landscape while holding up to the harsh Maine environment.

The American Council of Engineering Companies congratulates and thanks these engineering firms for their continuing efforts to improve, innovate and design our built environment.  ACEC of Maine also thanks Carolyn Bird of Casco Bay Engineering and Tim Boyce of S. W. Cole Engineering for managing this year’s competition.

Special thanks to this year’s Judges Panel of: David Early, Construction Management Program Coordinator at the University of Southern Maine; Kevin Reilley, President of Benchmark Construction and AGC Board of Directors; Scott Gorneau of Fabco-Industries and President ASCE Maine; Judy Johnson, Principal at Harriman Architects + Engineers and President AIA Maine; and, Owens McCullough, Vice President of Engineering of Sebago Technics and President-Elect ACEC of Maine.

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