• 2015 Honor Award Recipients

  • Froehling & Robertson

    Froehling & Robertson (F&R) conducted the removal of the 1930s era Harvell Dam on the Appomattox River in Petersburg in order to open 120 miles of spawning and rearing habitat to migratory fish. Over a seven-year period, F&R provided study, design and permitting services for the breaching of the nine-foot-high, 390-foot-long concrete buttress dam. Because there had been a dam of some sort in place since 1720, there was no historical data about the river's natural flow. No one knew the impact of the dam's removal on flow velocities and the stability of the river or whether fish would be able to successfully migrate. F&R conducted innovative sonar mapping of the upstream impoundment bottom and used the data to make topographic contour models of the river bottom to effectively estimate the depth of water for different flow conditions. This investigation helped F&R determine that removal of the dam would return the river to its original state and allow fish passage to be restored close to historic proportions.

    While many dam removal projects have little engineering associated with them, removal of the Harvell Dam required the creation of a new shoreline, a determination of how much fill would be required to ensure the stability of the riverbanks, the creation of a new corner on the river, identification of the width and flow velocity of the river during high and low flows, and the design of an approach to the worksite that would allow contractors to reach the dam from either upstream or downstream.

  • Pond & Company

    Pond & Company designed and engineered an 80-foot high water tank to supply Daytona State College's central chilled water plant which serves the cooling requirements for more than 30 buildings on the Daytona Beach, Florida campus. The tank has expanded the chilled water system for Daytona State College and saved the college valuable maintenance and energy costs. In addition, Pond was instrumental in helping Daytona State College capture the Florida Power and Light rebate of $1 million, lowering the initial cost of the tower to $1.6 million, with a payback on investment in less than five years.

    Because the 2.5 million gallon water tower would also be one of the tallest structures on campus, Pond & Company had to ensure that the water tank would blend in with the college existing campus architecture and in fact become a beacon for the college. Pond & Company chose a concrete and brick detail appearance to mimic the existing textures and colors of adjacent campus buildings, and placed the Daytona State seal on the tank along with color college banners as a celebration symbol for the college.

  • Schnabel Engineering

    Schnabel Engineering partnered with the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority to engineer a sustainable, cost effective earthen dam to help supply Charlottesville and surrounding Albemarle County with their growing potable water needs for the next 50 years. The New Ragged Mountain Dam stands 125 feet tall and is located just downstream from the Upper Ragged Mountain Dam (built in 1885) and the Lower Ragged Mountain Dam (built in 1908). The new Dam's normal pool inundates both the previous reservoirs of the Upper and Lower Ragged Mountain Dams. It was designed and constructed to raise the pool level of the Ragged Mountain Reservoir system by 30 feet, providing more than one billion gallons of additional raw water storage. The embankment, inlet/outlet tower, auxiliary spillway and pipeline were designed to allow for an additional 12 feet of pool rise in the future should the community decide to utilize that available storage.

    In addition, the dam design supports critical seepage-reduction and control features that will prevent dam failure and provide an easy to maintain water supply system. It is equipped with real time monitoring and security features to promote safety assurance at the dam, inside and out, and to trigger rapid response to the site, if needed. To protect the rural charm of the Ragged Mountain Natural Area for local nature enthusiasts and hikers, Schnabel incorporated new and interesting trail features such as a floating bridge, using local timber to construct natural foot bridges and installing fish habitat structures within the new reservoir limits.

  • VHB

    VHB served as the lead designer and primary consultant for the $1.5 million Occoneechee State Park Marina on the Kerr reservoir near the town of Clarksville. This included the design of a 54-slip marina and utilities using floating docks for seasonal mooring for vessels up to approximately 35-feet-long. The floating dock system was moored using 34 anchors and a cable and winch system that allows the docks to be maintained on station vertically and horizontally through the 20-foot range of water level fluctuations. This was both cost effective and aesthetically pleasing because it avoids exposing pipe piles during low water periods. Also included was the design of an on-site 2,500-square-foot conference/meeting facility (not yet built) and 45 parking spaces to accommodate the new marina.

  • Woolpert

    Woolpert used state-of-the-art mobile mapping technology to collect data on 15 miles of interstate highway to aid VDOT in repairing deteriorating pavement on I-64 and I-264 in Norfolk. Instead of using a traditional airborne approach, Woolpert mounted an imaging system to a ground-based moving survey vehicle. Operating at highway speeds and from the highway elevation, the system painted a virtual digital picture of the road surface and planimetric features. Employing this highway-speed data collection system and control points set during less busy overnight hours, Woolpert collected nearly one million points per second without risking survey crew safety. The firm met VDOT's aggressive two-month schedule at a fraction of the cost of a traditional method, and the wealth of data collected served as the basis of a digital terrain model that spanned the pavement width.

    Woolpert provided processed and classified planimetric data for the road edge walls, paint marking, drainage structures, signs, guard rails and barriers, with incredible accuracy. The extremely accurate and detailed data initiated the engineering team's design for the interstate milling and repaving as well as the modification of storm drainage structures to account for the additional asphalt.

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