Civil News

Reclamation Names 2015 Engineer of the Year

Washington, D.C. — Robert Hilldale, a civil engineer at Reclamation's Technical Service Center in Denver, is Reclamation's Engineer of the Year for 2015. Reclamation recognizes Hilldale for his significant research contributions toward measuring the natural transport of gravel in rivers, which is a key component of sediment transport. He also led important research efforts for the Elwha River Restoration Project, near Port Angeles, Wash., the world's largest dam removal project.

IECA names Environmental Excellence winners

Denver — The International Erosion Control Association Region One (IECA) named its 2014 Environmental Excellence winners at Environmental Connection 2015 in Portland, Ore. Jason (J.P.) P. Johns, P.E., was announced as the Sustained Contributor; Brad Flack, CPESC, CESSWI, was awarded the Young Professional of the year; Construction EcoServices was named the Contractor of the year; and Guatemalan Sediment and Erosion Control Association was awarded the Organization of the year.

New desalination technology could answer drought woes

Arcata, Calif. — Could desalination be the answer to California’s drought? As parts of the state become drier, scientists are looking at ways to turn seawater into drinkable water. Desalination has made headlines in recent months as a possible solution to the state’s water shortage. But in addition to being expensive, its byproduct — salty brine — can harm marine life once it’s reintroduced into the ocean. A team of researchers from Humboldt State University and the University of Southern California is hoping to address those concerns with a new process called Reverse Osmosis-Pressure Retarded Osmosis (RO-PRO).

Alta Environmental contracted to monitor Port of Long Beach stormwater

Long Beach, Calif. — The Port of Long Beach (POLB) awarded a multi-year, $1,010,000 contract to Alta Environmental. Under this contract, Alta will help the Port and Port Tenants comply with the new California Industrial General Storm Water Permit (IGP) by implementing a stormwater monitoring program at 22 sites throughout the port complex. Alta will also provide strategic consulting, design and implementation, and an analysis of its findings, as part of the contract.

History, archaeology preserved in award-winning Sandpoint project

Coeur D’Alene, Idaho — The construction of an alternate route for U.S. 95 through Sandpoint, Idaho, several years ago has already been recognized numerous times. On Jan. 7, another award was added to the list — this time for the archaeological work initiated before construction even began.

Conowingo Dam above 90 percent capacity for sediment storage

Reston, Va. — The Conowingo Dam on the Susquehanna River is at about 92 percent capacity for sediment storage according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. Since the dam’s construction in 1929, sediment and nutrients have been building up behind it, being released periodically downriver and into the Chesapeake Bay, especially during high flow events.

Tighe & Bond wins ACEC/CT 2015 Grand Award for water ‘banking’ solution

Westfield, Mass. — The American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut (ACEC/CT) honored Tighe & Bond and the Town of East Lyme, Conn., with the 2015 Grand Award during its Engineering Excellence Awards ceremony on January 12 at the Middletown Inn. Tighe & Bond, a New England civil and environmental engineering firm, won praise for its design of the $10 million East Lyme–New London water system interconnection that ends more than 20 years of summer water shortages in East Lyme, Conn.

Michigan road conditions keep declining

Lansing, Mich. — Initial results from an annual rating of Michigan road conditions show that 38 percent of the state's paved federal-aid system is in poor condition, up from 33 percent in 2013. The 2014 rating was performed on behalf of the Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC), which is currently analyzing the road and bridge condition data in preparation for the release of its 2014 Michigan Roads and Bridges Annual Report to the State Transportation Commission and the Michigan Legislature this spring.

Largest dam removal in U.S. history scientifically characterized

Seattle — The effects of dam removal are better known as a result of several new studies released this week by government, tribal and university researchers. The scientists worked together to characterize the effects of the largest dam removal project in U.S. history occurring on the Elwha River of Washington State. New findings suggest that dam removal can change landscape features of river and coasts, which have ecological implications downstream of former dam sites.

Greenroads certifies first project in Southern California

Santa Ana, Calif. — In December, the Greenroads Foundation announced that the City of Santa Ana’s $10.2 million Bristol Street Widening Project is the first project in Southern California to achieve Greenroads Bronze Certification for its commitment to sustainable transportation construction and traffic solutions.

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