In February, the American Council of Engineering Companies of California (ACEC California) unveiled the 2018 recipients of its prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards. Among the recipients, five Los Angeles County projects and three Los Angeles – area firms earned Honor Awards; and four Los Angeles County firms earned Merit Awards for their exceptional work on local projects.

“The heart of civil engineering is to solve complex challenges to help make people’s lives better,” said Brad Diede, Executive Director of ACEC California. “This year, we are recognizing a wide range of innovative projects that include improving transportation and roadways, giving students a high-quality school campus, or providing better access to clean water. I’m very proud of our engineering and land surveying firms and their local agency partners and private sector partners, who keep pushing the envelope to find smarter, more advanced ways to serve the people of California.”

In all, 39 California firms representing 55 projects were recognized. 19 Honor Awards were granted to 18 firms; 26 Merit Awards were granted to 20 firms; and 10 Commendation Awards were granted to 9 firms. The winner of the Golden State Award, an honor bestowed on the best overall project, was announced at the Engineering Excellence Awards dinner in February 2018. The awards dinner is also a fundraiser for the ACEC California Scholarship Foundation 501(c)3, which provides scholarship awards to accomplished graduate and undergraduate students. Honor Award winners that were eligible entered the national level Engineering Excellence Awards competition and had their photographic panels on display at the Capitol, outside of the Governor’s office, in early 2018 during National Engineers Week.

Honor Awards recipients from the Los Angeles area include:

Arup of Los Angeles, CA, for its work on the Seaside Way Pedestrian Bridge in Long Beach, CA. The new 11,600 square foot, $8.6 million bridge is the first landmark bridge structure undertaken by the City of Long Beach. The bridge provides an outdoor space for the community with a sustainable garden design featuring low water usage and energy efficient LED lighting that blankets the bridge canopy.

HDR | Maintenance Design Group (MDG) in Pasadena, CA, for its work on the Division 14 Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility in Santa Monica, CA. The project included the design and completion of the $98 million, 45-rail car Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) maintenance facility. Faced with a tight 9.7-acre site and keen community interest, the HDR team designed a facility that not only delivers the functional and operational requirements LA Metro needs, but also a facility the community embraces as a good neighbor.

Psomas in Los Angeles, CA, for its work on the Berth 142 Crane Maintenance Building in Wilmington, CA. The project consisted of designing a Crane Maintenance Building at Berths 136 – 147 in the Port of Los Angeles to support the repair of automated machines used to transport cargo shipping containers. The design team combined innovative design and technological innovation with practical site planning and construction solutions to create a durable, energy-efficient, one-of-a-kind maintenance building for this specialty equipment

Syska Hennessy Group, Inc. in Culver City, CA, for its work on the General Services Administration, New Los Angeles Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles, CA. Syska Hennessy Group provided critical systems engineering consulting and design services for the new courthouse, a project that was over four years in the making. The 12-story, 631,000 square foot facility, known as the “Cube” because of its unique shape, features 24 courtrooms and 32 judicial chambers and is being widely recognized for its groundbreaking energy-efficient design.

T.Y. Lin International in San Diego, CA for its work on the California Incline Bridge and Idaho Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing (POC) Replacements in Santa Monica, CA. A 750-foot-long post-tensioned concrete slab bridge, the California Incline Bridge begins atop the bluff slopes of Pacific Palisades Park and carries vehicular traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists down to the Pacific Coast Highway at the base of the bluffs near Santa Monica State Beach. The Idaho Avenue POC replaces the former California Incline POC constructed in 1957. An aesthetic, curving structure with signature V-shaped pier, the replacement POC emerges seamlessly from the historic Idaho Trail and spirals down to connect to the new multiuse bicycle/pedestrian path constructed for the California Incline Bridge project.

Merit Awards recipients from the Los Angeles area include:

AECOM in Los Angeles, CA, for its work on the Empire Ave. and Buena Vista St. Grade Separations in Burbank, CA. The project provides safety enhancements and mobility improvements for the region and supports the Interstate 5 (I-5) Corridor Widening project. The Empire Project includes two rail grade separations and an access connection to improvements on I-5 from Empire Avenue. The additional access point to the freeway provides increased mobility to the Burbank Airport and to the local Empire Center shopping center.

Psomas in Los Angeles, CA, for its work on the Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit & Middle Lanes in Los Angeles, CA. The project is extremely valuable to the community since Wilshire Boulevard is the most heavily traveled bus rapid transit corridor in California, with over 80,000 bus passenger boardings each day. The overall improvements increase bus ride quality, schedule and service reliability, and overall travel times, as well as encourage a shift from automobile use to public transit.

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. in Glendale, CA, and Psomas in Los Angeles, CA, for their work on the Area 51 Sound Stage Complex at Universal Studios in Hollywood, CA. The Area 51 Sound Stage complex is the first new ground-up sound stage facility built in over 40 years on the studio property. The complex consists of twin 18,000 square foot sound stage buildings, approximately 53 feet in height. Adjoining the stage buildings is a three-story 23,370 square foot production office building. The project is located on a crowded site in a fully operating movie studio, and the Universal Studios Theme Park tour passes along two sides of the project.

WSP in Los Angeles, CA, for their work on the LA Metro Countywide ExpressLanes Strategic Plan. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) commissioned WSP for the project that establishes an implementation process for a system of express lanes throughout Los Angeles County. Based upon the recommendations of the Strategic Plan, which prioritizes future implementation and deployment of new express lane corridors, Metro is now poised to deliver a network of tolled express lanes for Los Angeles County to provide flexibility and choices for drivers and maximize regional benefits including improved air quality. Specifically, the Plan lays out a roadmap for building a seamless network of express lanes, and a transition plan raising the toll exemption policy from HOV2+ to HOV3+ minimum occupancy requirement.

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