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Baltimore Firm’s Innovative Approach Arrests Erosion, Restores Popular Park Area

 WASHINGTON, DC– Gannett Fleming, Inc., of Baltimore, Md., has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 54th annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for the Herring Run Tail Bank and Stream Restoration Project in Baltimore.

With accelerating erosion threatening the stability of stream embankments and increasing the risk of flooding, Gannett Fleming developed an emergency repair strategy that preserves this popular and environmentally significant urban recreation area. The project team integrated a hard-armoring sheet pile floodwall system that stabilized the damaged embankment and returned the stream to its natural channel, eliminating a growing threat to the adjacent pedestrian trail and roadway.

For the stream diversion’s second phase, boulders were harvested from the surrounding area and placed within the streambed channel to direct the water. In addition to keeping the stream within its natural channel for the long-term, the design also creates new habitat features beneficial to a variety of species of fish, birds, and turtles. Despite the constraints of wooded parkland and nearby residences, the project team’s two-phase effort to stabilize the area and move the stream nearly 400 linear feet produced a restoration project with long-lasting benefits for the community and environment alike.

The project is eligible for additional honors as part of 173 entries this year representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and the world. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February and was conducted by a national 20-member panel of built-environment leaders, along with experts from government, media, and academia. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top winners—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards, and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place during the 2021 Virtual EEA Gala, to be held Thursday, June 17, 2021.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities. Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.