Projects of the Year 2013

Sweet Creek Road Retaining Wall Replacement - 2013 Project of Year - Less than $5M - Transportation

This project, located near the community of Mapleton, approximately 15 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, is a vital link between State Route 126 and large tracts of public and private forestland including 30,000 acres of national forest.  This road also provides access to 68 rural homes.

Imagine a 22 foot wide road with sheer slopes both up and down, the Siuslaw River raging at January flood levels and coming upon a 3 foot wide gaping crack in the road.  The existing retaining wall had finally failed and the road was caving off into the river.  The County was lucky in that half the road was passable but immediate action was needed.

Lane County quickly secured a grant from the Federal Highway Administration through the Western Federal Lands Highway Division which included nearly $6M in funds.  Originally planned as a tied back retaining wall and a 243 foot bridge span, West Coast Contractors from Coos Bay, Oregon was awarded the contract and in short order determined the concept design needed to change.  Existing soil conditions along the river, variable depth to bedrock and existing wall conditions all contributed to the need for a new plan.

WCC worked with Lane County and OBEC to proceed with a design that included bridge spans and walls.  Through value engineering, the project team proceeded with plans for more bridging and less wall.  The final result is an 1130 foot long bridge consisting of 4 spans and 40 feet of wall. 

Besides constructability complications, the project team needed to provide safe solutions for access, emergency response and worker safety. Double shifts were utilized during full closure hours.  The original two way route was limited to one lane with only limited daytime passage (5min/hour) and an emergency ambulance was staged above the project as well as placement of a site dedicated rescue boat.  Fall protection, life preservers, safety rails and regular safety meetings resulted in no time loss injuries. 

Learn more about this project by viewing the project application available in Adobe Acrobat format here or the award presentation slides here

Drywell Elimination Program:  Shirley Area - 2013 Project of Year - Less than $5M - Environmental

Over the next 20 years, the City of Eugene hopes to eliminate most of its public drywells.  The Shirley Area project replaced 16 drywells serving a 30 acre catchment area with a piped collection system and a new 400 foot long infiltration swale.  They also took the opportunity to help an undeveloped park become a community amenity.

City staff worked with Lane County to determine the project scope and design and ultimately came to an agreement.  Concentrated efforts were taken to remove invasive plants from the park area and native low growing plants were planted to maintain sight distances.  Downed trees were donated for neighborhood firewood and volunteer plantings were coordinated.

Besides plantings, the project included building gravel footpaths through the park area, worked with the neighborhood on future park development plans and funded an update to the Ferndale Park Master Plan.   Leftover excavation materials removed during the swale grading was either used for discretionary use in the park for building bicycle jumps or for grading in other parks.

The 4 month construction project was completed for $800,000, on time and with no time loss injuries. 

Learn more about this project by viewing the project application available in Adobe Acrobat format here or the award presentation slides here.

Cornelius Pass Road & Johnson School Road - 2013 Project of Year - $5M to Less Than $25M - Transportation

The section of SW Cornelius Pass Road between Wilkins Street and SW Aloclek Drive was one of the last two lane unimproved sections between Highway 26 and the Tualatin-Valley Highway.  With an average daily trip count of more than 20,000, a truck route designation and with rapidly increasing residential and commercial development in the area, improving this section became a high priority in order to meet capacity needs.  Additionally, the old 2 lane road lacked pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

The new road includes 5 lanes, 2 bike lanes and sidewalks.  As part of this project, the existing bridge over Rock Creek was replaced with a new 112’ concrete structure and the old bridge beams were salvaged for the purpose of replacing the deficient Johnson School Road Bridge over Davis Creek.  The replacement of Johnson School Road Bridge addressed safety and flooding issues.

This was a project which included all disciplines of public improvement including water quality, public and private utilities, traffic signals and public involvement.  The most unique part about this project was that the Cornelius Pass existing bridge beams used to cross Rock Creek were removed and re-installed as a bigger and better bridge span on Johnson School Road at Davis Creek.

A couple of the more intriguing highlights included the use of sheets piles to avoid work in environmentally sensitive areas and to help with flood control.  In areas where the ordinary high water mark line encroached on the road prism, the new bridge abutments incorporated a warped wall and cantilevered sidewalks so that the project would avoid impacts to the waterway.  The project team even added bat boxes to the bridge and a small animal path under the bridge all in the name of environmental stewardship.

Both bridge projects were completed ahead of schedule minimizing disruption to local traffic.  The project also had a stellar safety record and zero lost time due to injuries or serious accidents. 

Learn more about this project by viewing the project application available in Adobe Acrobat format here or the award presentation slides here.

Hillsboro Ballpark - 2013 Project of Year - $5M to Less than $25M - Structures

The Hillsboro ballpark is a new multi-use stadium that can hold up to 4,500 fans.  The new stadium was converted from a grass turf softball field which was part of the Hillsboro Gordon Faber recreational center, to an all weather surfaced facility with fan amenities.  The project was cost effective while also taking advantage of the adjacent Hillsboro Football Stadium that was constructed over a year prior.

The project included the use of a design/build contract delivery method resulting in substantial completion one year after the project was authorized.  One of the main schedule drivers was completion in time to provide a facility for a minor league “Short Season A” team, the Hillsboro Hops.  Substantial completion was reached on June 14th, just in the nick of time as the first game was played on June 17th.

One of the many strengths of this project was the partnership's approach and community support.  Hillsboro wanted to bring minor league baseball to the Portland area and with this project they have done it.  First negotiating an agreement with the minor league and then designing and building a facility that meets the terms and conditions of what makes a facility like this successful.

With minor league baseball as the main driver, the City was also interested in providing employment during a recession, building a facility for family entertainment and finding a better use for previously developed space.  Several staff members were involved in the project led by the City’s Parks Director, Facilities and Fleet Development Manager and the Facilities and Fleet Director; as a result, the project was completed on time and within budget. 

To ensure success, the City of Hillsboro brought in their own teams including the Sports Team to work with the baseball league, the Project Development Team and the SWAT team to handle the land use approvals and permits. The project also included a variety of general construction debris recycling initiatives, LED lights, low flow and eco friendly plumbing fixtures and the use of artificial turf.

Learn more about this project by viewing the project application available in Adobe Acrobat format here or the award presentation slides here

Wilsonville Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements Project - 2013 Project of Year - $25M to $75M - Environmental

Faced with growth concerns affecting the permitting and performance of the community's only wastewater treatment plant, the City of Wilsonville embarked on an extended process to determine the most efficient and cost effective method of financing and constructing the needed improvements.  Originally constructed in the early 1970s, the 2.25 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant was in need of upgrades to consistently meet regulatory load requirements while producing effluent and biosolids in compliance with current and future discharge requirements. 

The City elected to move forward with a Design-Build-Operate method of performance.  Placing responsibility for all operations at the site on a single contractor made logistical sense and allowed the City to focus on technical criteria instead of contractual issues.  The scope of work for capital improvements associated with the $35.7 million wastewater treatment plant improvements project included permitting, design, construction commissioning and long term operations, maintenance, repair and replacement of the existing and upgraded wastewater treatment plant.

A series of partnering sessions between the City and CH2M HILL and other project stakeholders mutually defined the Wilsonville project goals and established critical milestones for overall project success.  Through expedited design reviews, robust project controls and daily coordination for all trades, the project was completed five months ahead of schedule.

A construction constraint spreadsheet was developed to itemize requirements and conditions necessary for system interconnections.  Temporary odor control facilities were installed to accommodate demolition of the existing biofilters.  CH2M HILL established a “Target Zero” safety philosophy for the project.  CH2M HILL also established an emergency action plan to document the actions necessary to manage emergencies.  The results were over 173,000 labor hours worked with zero lost time due to injuries.

Environmental considerations were key during construction given the location adjacent to a community park and the Willamette River.  The design team and DEQ agreed to avoid construction of cooling towers in favor of restoring vegetation on stream and river banks in the Willamette basin to increase shade and prevent the sun from warming the water.  Site runoff was treated using a treatment system of interconnected biofiltration swales.  They also created a dewatering system to ensure removal of silts and sediment prior to reaching the river.  Other key challenges for this project included public buy-in, odor control, limited space for the work and maintaining daily operations.

Learn more about this project by viewing the project application available in Adobe Acrobat format here or the award presentation slides here


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