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ASCE announces 2019 OCEA finalists and OPAL winners

ASCE announces 2019 OCEA finalists and OPAL winners

Reston, Va. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) announced the finalists for the 2019 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) award, the Society’s preeminent project honor, and winners of the 2019 Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) leadership awards. All five OCEA finalists and this year’s OPAL leadership award winners will be honored at ASCE’s 2019 OPAL Gala, March 14, in Arlington, Va., with the OCEA winner revealed at the end of the event.

Following are the 2019 OCEA finalists:

150 North Riverside, Chicago — The 54-story office building fills a riverfront lot on Chicago’s burgeoning West Loop that sat vacant for more than a century. And no wonder — it’s a tough spot to build; only 85 feet at its widest. But 150 North Riverside managed it, using a variety of technical innovations, including a concrete core structural system three times narrower than that of a typical office building.

New United States Courthouse, Los Angeles — Located on a prominent block in LA’s Civic Center neighborhood, the 10-story building contains 24 courtrooms and 32 judicial chambers. The design incorporates both classic and modern elements, with traditional materials like limestone used in new, innovative ways, one of which is a “floating cube” concept that cantilevers the glass volume above its stone base.

OARS-OSIS Augmentation and Relief Sewer, Columbus, Ohio — Twenty feet in diameter and 23,300 feet long, the new OARS tunnel provides relief to the existing 82-year-old Olentangy-Scioto Interceptor Sewer. Built 180 feet below downtown Columbus at cost of $370 million, the project is the largest capital-improvement project in the city’s history. The OARS tunnel is the backbone of the Columbus Wet Weather Management Plan, designed to reduce combined sewer overflows in the city.

Olympia Odos Motorway, North Peloponnese Coast, Greece — It took more than a decade of work, but one of Greece’s most dangerous roads — previously known as “The Highway of Death” — was replaced with the Olympia Odos Motorway. Its design had to account for the highly seismic northern shoreline of the Peloponnese Coast, as well as archaeological resources inherent to a region that has been inhabited since 5000 B.C.

SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program – Northbound Off-Ramp Bridge, Seattle — The off-ramp bridge, part of the viaduct replacement program, is the first in the world built with two columns designed to flex during earthquake tremors and then snap back into position to remain functional. The project was based on research by the University of Nevada-Reno earthquake engineering laboratory using nickel and titanium rebar surrounded by a cement-like composite.

The OPAL leadership awards honor a civil engineer’s career achievements in the five categories of construction, design, education, government, and management.

The 2019 honorees:

In Construction, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, P.E., M.ASCE, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – for innovation and excellence in construction of civil engineering projects and programs.

In Design, Ron Klemencic, P.E., S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, chairman and CEO, Seattle-based Magnusson Klemencic Associates – for innovation and excellence in civil engineering design.

In Education, Ross B. Corotis, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., F.EMI, Dist.M.ASCE, NAE, professor of engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder – for demonstrated excellence in furthering civil engineering education.

In Government, Paul D. Kovacs, P.E., M.ASCE, chief engineering officer, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority – for demonstrated leadership of public sector projects and programs.

In Management, Ewa Z. Bauer-Furbush, P.E., M.ASCE, NAC, chief engineering officer, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District – for exceptional management skills in her professional career.

Profiles on each of the honorees will be featured in ASCE News in the weeks leading up to the Gala.