Morristown, N.J. — Louis Berger took top honors in both the design and non-design categories from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Metropolitan Washington (ACEC/MW) at its annual Engineering Excellence Awards dinner. The industry organization honored the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool reconstruction as the top design project and the Washington Monument earthquake repair project, which Louis Berger managed jointly with Hill International, as the top non-design project.
The Washington Monument was damaged on Aug. 23, 2011 by a magnitude-5.8 earthquake. Cracks formed in the century-old stone and water damage was discovered inside the monument after Hurricane Irene hit days later. A joint venture of Louis Berger and Hill International was selected to provide comprehensive construction management services for the $15 million restoration.
The project was completed under budget and eight days ahead of schedule on May 8, 2014. In total, the project repointed 2.5 miles of mortar joints, repaired 1,200 linear feet of cracks, and installed 150 square feet of Dutchman repairs. More than 75,000 man hours of work were recorded on the project with no OSHA-reportable injuries or accidents.
ACEC/MW also honored the $34 million Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool reconstruction. Constructed in 1923, the original pool was not supported by structural piles and had settled unevenly for decades, causing cracks and substantial leaking. Prior to the reconstruction, the pool used 30 million gallons of potable city water annually.
The National Park Service selected Louis Berger to provide planning, design and construction management services for the reconstruction. The project involved a full structural rehabilitation of the pool, supported by piles driven into bedrock for the first time in its history. Louis Berger conceived and successfully implemented a new pool design that draws water from the nearby Tidal Basin, minimizing the impact on the city’s potable water supply by tens of millions of gallons per year. Circulation systems and a water treatment facility ensure that the water in the pool gets reused and remains clear and reflective.
“The Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool are two of the most iconic destinations in the country,” said Tom Lewis, president of Louis Berger’s U.S.-based operating company. “To be selected to work on these national icons and to have our work and emphasis on sustainable solutions honored by ACEC is humbling.”
The Engineering Excellence Awards celebrate the most outstanding project achievements in the field of engineering around the world. Projects are judged based on originality, innovation, value to the public and the engineering profession, complexity, social and economic considerations, sustainability, and exceeding client needs.