• Engineering Excellence Awards

  • RK&K Wins Pinnacle Award

    Virginia’s top engineering award, the 2018 Pinnacle Award for Engineering Excellence, was presented to a Richmond firm, Rummel, Klepper & Kahl (RK&K), at ACEC Virginia’s Engineering Excellence Award Gala held Feb. 1 at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. RK&K was recognized for its lead design work on the $250 million Route 29 Solutions Program in Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville. RK&K was one of four engineering firms competing for the Pinnacle, and one of 14 firms in ACEC Virginia’s 2018 Engineering Excellence Awards Competition. Judges for the Pinnacle Award Competition included: John Dunlap, Dunlap & Partners Engineers of Richmond; Malcolm Kerley, President of NXL in Richmond; Steve Cofer, architect, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic of Norfolk; R Lindley Vaughan Jr, retired engineer of Dunbar Milby Williams Pittman & Vaughan; and Glenn Rehberger, retired engineer of CH2M.  As the lead designer in Rt. 29-Rio Road-Berkmar Drive phase of this multi-faceted engineering project, RK&K’s role included: 

    • The widening of Route 29 from four to six lanes for 1.8 miles from Polo Grounds Road to Towncenter Drive to eliminate a traffic bottleneck and road curves that limited a driver’s stopping sight distance. The design also included innovative ideas that minimized the project footprint, avoided sensitive wetlands and streams, and maintained access to residences and businesses during construction.
    • Extending Berkmar Drive to serve as one of the parallel roadways taking traffic off of Route 29, as well as constructing a bridge over the North Fork of the Rivanna River and Rio Mill Road. RK&K provided a design that minimized impacts to the river as well as sensitive environmental and archaeological sites. RK&K also performed a phase III archaeological recovery to satisfy permitting agency requirements.
    • Creating a grade separation at the Rio Road Intersection using an underpass to facilitate flow of traffic on Route 29, making area businesses more accessible and enabling greater volumes of crossing traffic on Rio Road. RK&K provided a design solution that not only kept traffic flowing during construction but also minimized the footprint of the project, limited impacts to adjacent businesses, provided innovative stormwater management solutions and included an innovative bridge and retaining wall design that facilitated accelerated construction techniques. Complicating the Rio Road portion of the project was an accelerated construction schedule during the summer of  2016 from the end of graduation ceremonies at the University of Virginia to the first home football game for the University. The innovative designs of the project and strong partnering within the entire team, the Rio Road portion of the project was opened to traffic 46 days ahead of schedule. RK&K’s innovative design solutions involving the Rio Road intersection resulted in cutting completion time almost in half, saving construction money and cutting traffic accidents almost in half at the intersection.


    “The judges were impressed with all that RK&K did to help solve decades old traffic problems along Rt. 29 in Albemarle County through the City of Charlottesville and they reduced the time it took to complete the project,” noted Nancy Israel, Executive Director of ACEC Virginia, the statewide association of Virginia engineering firms. “They opened up bottleneck traffic problems, improved stopping sight distance that had caused numerous traffic accidents, took traffic off Rt. 29, directing it to a parallel road network. And amazingly they did it in almost half the allotted time frame, completing the work between the University of Virginia’s graduation and the first home football game, both peak traffic times.” 

    Also competing for the Pinnacle award were three other Virginia engineering firms who won Grand Awards in the Engineering Excellence Awards Competition. These three Virginia Beach firms were: Clark Nexsen, HDR and WSP. 


  • 2018 Grand Awards

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      Clark Nexsen
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  • 2018 Honor Awards

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      Draper Aden Associates
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      Gannett Fleming
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      A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc.
  • 2018 Merit Awards

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      DJG, Inc.
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      Mason & Hanger
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      Austin Brockenbrough & Associates, LLP
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      CHA Consulting, Inc.