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ACEC: 2021 Nebraska Merit Award winners

ACEC: 2021 Nebraska Merit Award winners

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Category A - Studies, Research & Consulting Engineering Services

Category Winner

Firm: JEO Consulting Group

Client: City of Lincoln

Project: Lincoln Downtown Irrigation Management Plan

The City of Lincoln hired JEO Consulting Group (JEO) to develop an irrigation management plan for the greater downtown area. The study area was confined to all city-owned irrigation systems and corresponding landscaping areas within downtown, generally defined by Pinnacle Arena Drive to 21st Street and Lincoln Mall to S Street. The plan offers a strategic vision — and actionable recommendations — to improve and maintain the City of Lincoln’s greater downtown irrigation system over the next five to 10 years. And with a vivid, interactive mapping application as a key deliverable (StoryMap), community leaders can actively learn about their city’s irrigation system and actionable plan to improve it.

Category B - Building/Technology Systems

Firm: HDR

Client: Metropolitan Utilities District

Project: Florence Water Treatment Plant Chemical Building Rehabilitation

The Florence Water Treatment Plant (FWTP) is the oldest and largest water treatment facility in the Metropolitan Utilities District’s system. Constructed in the late 1880s, it has been delivering safe and reliable water to the Omaha metropolitan area since that time. The Chemical Building was originally constructed in the mid-1950s, and upgrades and improvements were needed, including improved chemical storage, handling and feed systems and architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and instrumentation improvements throughout the building.  The FWTP remained operational throughout the construction of the project, during which time it continued to supply safe and reliable water to District customers. The renovation was more complicated compared to construction of a new facility, but it demonstrated the value, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of innovative rehabilitation solutions.

Category B - Building/Technology Systems

Firm: Morrissey Engineering

Client: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Project: UNMC | Nebraska Medicine Catheterization/Electrophysiology (EP) Labs

Morrissey Engineering provided mechanical, electrical, lighting and technology design services for a seven-suite cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology lab, located in the existing Durham Outpatient Center. Also included are 20 private post-op recovery rooms that can also be used by other programs within the hospital as flexible recovery spaces.

Category B - Building/Technology Systems

Firm: Farris Engineering

Client: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Project: University of Nebraska, East Campus Student Union Renovation

The renovation and expansion of UNL’s East Campus Student Union was designed to provide an inviting space for students and visitors alike. The renovation of this building serves as a catalyst for the future transformation of the East Campus. The 43-year-old building has been upgraded to include a new central atrium, new dining marketplace, expanded ballroom and new retail components including a Starbucks café. Additionally, a new south entrance connects the Union facility to the future Legacy Plaza, which connects the Student Union to the newly renovated library, newly renovated UNL Dairy Store and the Massengale Residential Center. Special features of this renovation include unique areas and ledges throughout the building for quiet study or collaborative work and a modern bowling alley for UNL’s Bowling Team. The cafeteria was moved from the second floor to the first floor and upgraded to provide a “selective choice” dining experience. Mechanical and electrical systems were upgraded to provide for improved energy efficiency and aesthetically pleasing lighting.

CATEGORY C - Structural Systems

Firm: HDR

Client: City of Omaha

Project: 26th & Q Street Bridge Replacement

Since its completion in 1950, the Q Street Bridge between 26th and 27th Streets has served as the heartbeat of connectivity and economic development in South Omaha. Its $14.5 million replacement will provide decades of new service life for the bridge and restore a safe and reliable passageway for motorists and pedestrians. The structural deficiencies and near-constant maintenance of the previous time-worn bridge required a complete redesign and reconstruction. The project team faced several challenges during design and construction of the new bridge. Its proximity to adjacent buildings and railroad tracks created tight right-of-way conditions and concerns for construction impacts on the environment. The HDR team suggested innovative construction materials and methods to avoid these risks. Through widely accessible public information meetings and broadly distributed communication materials, the team was able to increase public awareness, enthusiasm and education about the benefits and need for the project.

CATEGORY G - Water Resources

Firm: Burns & McDonnell

Client: City of Omaha

Project: Dundee Elementary School Green Infrastructure

Dundee Elementary School was experiencing a lack of vegetation and erosion on the north side of the school. The City, using grant funding, hired Burns & McDonnell and Vireo to correct the drainage and erosion problems, while incorporating an outdoor classroom. New walkways were designed to be wider to allow for more pedestrian traffic, with stone blocks installed to not only provide additional seating, but also to funnel foot traffic to keep it off the vegetation. Stormwater was diverted using bioswales and swales, permeable pavers and rain harvesting. The rain harvesting can also be used to water the native plants or be used for class storm water demonstrations. Permeable pavers were installed in an access driveway notorious for snow and ice buildup. The area surrounding the classroom was landscaped to be an upland savanna mimicking the prairie. 

CATEGORY H - Transportation

Firm: Burns & McDonnell

Client: Nebraska Department of Transportation

Project: Junction U.S. 6/Adams Central Avenue, Adams County, Nebraska

Burns & McDonnell provided engineering services to develop, refine and select a preferred improvement alternative and develop final plans for improvements to the intersection at U.S. 6 and Adams Central Avenue. The intersection has a history of right-angle crashes, and the goal of this project was to cost-effectively reduce the rate and severity of crashes and accommodate increased traffic from a new elementary school adjacent to the intersection. Alternatives investigated included stop control, traffic signalization and a roundabout. The process included input from the Adams Central School District, Adams County Public Works, local law enforcement, neighborhood groups and the trucking industry. Ultimately, the engineering analysis aligned with the public’s preference. To accelerate the construction schedule, NDOT switched funding sources for the project and negotiated a cost split with Adams County and Adams Central Schools.

CATEGORY H - Transportation

Firm: Benesch

Client: City of Omaha

Project: 156th Street, West Dodge Road to Corby Street

As western Omaha has grown, the development has outpaced improvements to many major roadway segments, and 156th Street between West Dodge Road and Maple Streets is one of those segments. Starting back in the late 2000s, the City, working with Benesch, began the steps to improve this corridor from a substandard two-lane roadway to the four-lane facility serving its vehicular and pedestrian users. With federal funding assistance, the roadway was widened and sidewalks and/or multi-use trails were added to increase safety and support the increasing traffic volumes. Several concrete walls were built to reduce noise from increased traffic to neighboring properties.

CATEGORY H - Transportation

Firm: Schemmer

Client: Nebraska Department of Transportation

Project: N-79 Improvements — Agnew North and South | Lancaster and Saunders Counties

Schemmer was selected for design services for a project that included 8.46 miles of Highway N-79 in Saunders County north and south of Agnew with the addition of 8-foot shoulders to upgrade the roadway to the minimum design standards for increased traffic volume predictions. Thirty roadway culverts, two bridge-sized reinforced concrete box culverts and obsolete bridges over Wagon Tongue Creek and North Oak Creek were replaced. The project was constructed under detour.

CATEGORY H - Transportation

Firm: Schemmer

Client: City of Lincoln

Project: Pine Lake Road Improvements, 61st Street to Highway 2

The project involved Pine Lake Road from east of 61st Street to Highway 2. Included are four lanes, turn lanes and raised median. The 1.5-mile paved urban roadway project includes a new box culvert for Beal Slough, the primary drainage-way in south Lincoln. Schemmer conducted a complete hydrology and hydraulic study to determine the appropriate size of the new structure.  Erosion control on this project is critical due to its location to a major creek and adjacency to wetlands, requiring appropriate measures to protect this delicate environment.

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