The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Oregon announced its 2019 Engineering Excellence Award winners earlier this year and featured winners from across the state. The annual design competition recognizes the state’s projects and engineering firms that demonstrate innovation, value, and complexity. The 2019 ‘Project of the Year’ recipient was the Vancouver Waterfront Park renovation project that solved a 75-year-old problem for the city of Vancouver – connecting the city center to the Columbia River.
Project of the Year: Vancouver Waterfront Park
Firms: BergerABAM (prime consultant, project manager, structural engineer); GRI (geotechnical engineering); Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers (structural engineering - pier superstructure); PBS Engineering and Environmental (civil engineering)
Summary: Thanks to the work of BergerABAM, GRI, Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers, and PBS Engineering, the City of Vancouver is now reconnected with the Columbia River for the first time in 75 years. Formally an industrial paper mill site, the new Vancouver Waterfront Park now spans 7.3 acres and provides public access to the river, plazas, and an urban beach. The $24.2 million project, which opened to the public last September, took six years to complete and works as the main public amenity of the City of Vancouver’s $1 billion waterfront revitalization program.
The project faced many obstacles rooted in the area’s industrial background and because of the park’s shoreline running adjacent to a high-wave energy section of the Columbia River. These obstacles were overcome through extensive shoreline restoration, creative engineering solutions, and a robust environmental planning and permitting process overseen by BergerABAM. The Vancouver Waterfront Park project’s landmark structure is the Grant Street Pier, a concrete, cable-styled structure that stretches out almost 100 feet over the Columbia River.
BergerABAM enlisted the help of numerous local firms and consultants to transform the former industrial site into a beautifully-designed, easily-accessible park that now connects the city center and the riverfront for the first time in nearly a century.
Other Award Winners include:
Best in Category: Transportation – Nehalem River Bridge Replacement
Submitting Firm: Otak Inc.
Small Project Award – Sandy River Log Jams
Submitting Firms: Wolf Water Resources (lead consultant); Natural Systems Design (modeling, engineered log jams design); Biohabitat (contractor)
Grand Award – The Dalles Wastewater Treatment Plan Progressive Design-Build Phase 2 Upgrades
Submitting Firm: Kennedy/Jenks
Grand Award – West Vancouver Freight Access
Submitting Firm: HDR
Grand Award – NE Alpine Avenue Reconstruction
Submitting Firm: HDR
Grand Award – Beaver Creek Fish Passage
Submitting Firm: Anderson Perry & Associates