The Niagara Falls State Park transformation initiative won the 2021 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) award for its more intimate views of Niagara Falls, green infrastructure and pedestrian circulation, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) announced in October.
The OCEA Award recognizes top civil engineering projects around the country, in particular those that demonstrate state-of-the-art engineering skill and contribute to local and regional communities. ASCE selected nine projects for this year’s OCEA Honor Awards, and named the three top projects on Oct. 8.
Boulder City, Nevada's Lake Mead Intake No. 3 Low Lake Level Pumping Station and Discharge Aqueducts Project was the OCEA silver winner, while the Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge in New York City was awarded the bronze.
Gold winner: Niagara Falls State Park Transformation Initiative
The $65 million transformation of the country's oldest state park consisted of more than 16 full-scale, interconnected projects across 400-plus acres, with the goal of offering visitors a more intimate view of Niagara Falls and modernizing surrounding facilities.
Around nine million tourists travel from around the world to visit the park each year, which remained open to visitors throughout the construction process. For this reason, logistics and public safety were among the project team's greatest challenges, according to T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), the prime consultant for the project in Niagara Falls, New York.
Almost all features — including attractions, infrastructure, buildings, parking facilities, lighting systems, pedestrian and vehicle circulation routes, and behind-the-scenes utility, mechanical, electrical, irrigation and stormwater systems — have been upgraded with modern technology, according to TYLI. The entire park is also now ADA accessible.
TYLI worked with 13 individual firms to complete the project, and partnered with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and landscape architect The LA Group to design and advance the construction.
The Canadian park across the border has long been considered by tourists the better option for great views of the Niagara River. The goal of the project was to change that notion and attract more visitors to the American park.
Silver winner: Lake Mead Intake No. 3 Low Lake Level Pumping Station & Discharge Aqueducts
In the portion of the state served by the Southern Nevada Water Authority, there are concerns about the dropping water level in the area's primary water source, Lake Mead, located in Boulder City, Nevada.
To address this problem, the water authority built the Lake Mead Intake No. 3 Low Lake Level Pumping Station Project (L3PS), which consists of 34 pumps in new 500-foot-deep well shafts that pull up water to achieve a steady supply, at an estimated cost of $650 million. These feed a new pumping station that will move the water on to treatment and then to consumers, according to Bozeman, Montana-based Barnard Construction Company. Other key players of the project include a MW/Hill design joint venture, Parsons, Bombard Electric and North American Drillers.
Construction of the pumping station began in January 2017, and all 34 pumps were installed by late summer 2019. Project highlights include electrical controls and starting equipment for the pumps, an electrical feed from an onsite substation, surface piping connecting the new pump station to water treatment plants, and a free water surface surge tank and a pressurized hydropneumatic surge tank on a discharge aqueduct.
Bronze winner: The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
The $3.98 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge was built through one of the largest single design-build contracts for a transportation project in the United States. The cable-stayed bridge is located less than 20 miles north of New York City, and despite a slew of problems during construction, successfully replaced in 2018 the former Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, which opened in 1955.
The 3.1-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span bridge stretches across one of the widest parts of the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties, and is the longest span in New York state. The bridge provides eight general traffic lanes, bus lanes and shoulders for emergency access, and also has new tolling facilities with all-electronic toll collection.
HDR was the lead designer on the design-build project and a subcontractor for Tappan Zee Constructors, a consortium that includes Fluor Enterprises, American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast and Traylor Bros.