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American Society of Civil Engineers Recognizes 10 Outstanding Projects with 2020 OCEA Honor Awards

American Society of Civil Engineers Recognizes 10 Outstanding Projects with 2020 OCEA Honor Awards

Reston, Va. –  The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recognizes 10 projects as 2020 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Honor Award recipients. These 10 projects will be showcased at the Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Gala on March 13, 2020, in Washington, DC. ASCE will announce two runners-up and one winner at the end of the evening.

The award recognizes exemplary civil engineering projects from around the world that contribute to the well-being of people and their communities, showcase the use of innovative materials and techniques and demonstrate resourcefulness in the face of planning or design challenges.

The 2020 OCEA Honor Awards are:

  • Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program (Seattle, WA) – The new State Route 99 tunnel provides the Puget Sound region with a safer, more resilient transportation corridor and opens up the Seattle waterfront to pedestrians— in addition to replacing the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct, which carried more than 90,00 vehicles every day through urban Seattle. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is the owner of the project and the Seattle Tunnel Partners designed the tunnel.
  • Bayonne Bridge: Replacement of Main Span Roadway and Approach Structures (Bayonne, NJ – Staten Island, NY) – Through a first-of-its-kind construction sequence, the new Bayonne Bridge roadway was built over the existing roadway and within the arch structure – keeping both road and sea traffic open. The project owner, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, managed to build the roadway over the existing roadway and within the arch structure, keeping both roadway and seafaring traffic open.
  • Marc Basnight Bridge (Outer Banks, NC) – Spanning the Atlantic Coast’s most dangerous channel, the new $252 million, 2.8-mile-long bridge gives the Outer Banks a safer, more reliable crossing for the next century. The project was managed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).
  • Olmsted Locks and Dam (Olmstead, IL) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers megaproject replaced aging Locks and Dams 52 and 53 on the lower Ohio River to provide more efficient, reliable river navigation. The $3 billion project is the largest civil works project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since the Panama Canal.
  • Queensferry Crossing (Edinburgh and Fife, Scotland) – The 1.6-mile-long cable-stayed bridge is the centerpiece of the Forth Replacement Crossing Project, Scotland’s largest infrastructure project in a generation. With 690 feet tall towers, the bridge, which is owned by Transport Scotland, is the tallest in the UK.
  • Salesforce Tower (San Francisco, CA) – Standing 61 stories tall and totaling 1.4 million square feet, Salesforce Tower is stated to be the tallest office building in a severe seismic zone in the Western Hemisphere. Owned by Boston Properties and Hines, Salesforce Tower is the only building of its size in the world to rely only on its core for wind and earthquake resistance.
  • Spillways, Oroville Emergency Recovery (Oroville, California) – The main spillway required a nearly complete reconstruction in less than six months, following record-breaking rain and snowfall in February 2017. The project is owned and run by the State of California, Department of Water Resources (DWR).
  • The Big Lift – Macdonald Bridge Superstructure Replacement (Halifax, NS, Canada) – The project replaced the suspended superstructure segment by segment, while keeping vehicle traffic flowing during peak user periods. Led by owner Halifax Harbour Bridges, the project is the first Canadian Bridge to utilize main cable dehumidification.
  • West Vancouver Freight Access (Vancouver, WA) – The largest project in the Port of Vancouver’s history improved unit train capabilities, rail access and overall rail operations for the port. The project, owned by the Port of Vancouver, USA, was completed ahead of schedule and $23 million under the original $275 million budget with minimal impact to Port tenant and rail operations.
  • Zoo Interchange Core and Adjacent Arterials (Milwaukee, WI) – This Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) megaproject reconfigured Milwaukee’s busiest system interchange and is the largest public works project undertaken in the state. Prior to this reconstruction, the Interchange was deteriorated, outdated and could no longer safely accommodate 350,00 vehicles per day. WisDOT, the owner of this project, incorporated many original and innovative solutions to solve challenges and successfully deliver the project, including building machine-ready 3D models.

The OCEA Award honors an overall project rather than individuals. Since 1960, ASCE has presented the OCEA Award to superior engineering projects with a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society. Previous winners include the 150 North Riverside in Chicago, IL; Second Avenue Subway – Phase 1 Project in New York; Emergency and Carryover Storage Project in San Diego; the Dragon Bridge in Vietnam; Halley VI Antarctic Research Station; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier in New Orleans; and the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant Ozone Upgrade and Expansion Project in San Diego, among others.

For more information on the awards program, past winners or for press passes to the 2020 OPAL Awards Gala, please contact Kevin Longley at klongley@asce.org or (202) 789-7846.


Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation’s infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.