Pittsburgh — Michael Baker International accepted the top award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) for its role in revamping a two-mile section of Route 28 in greater Pittsburgh, a key artery between the city, its northern suburbs and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. ACEC/PA presented Michael Baker’s team with the Grand Conceptor Award for the redesigned corridor, which underwent a multi-year upgrade to enhance safety and accessibility along the heavily traveled stretch of highway.

“Michael Baker faced a challenge from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) when we undertook this project. The corridor was an aging roadway with narrow lanes, notorious congestion, limited sight distances and a history of traffic accidents,” said David Martin, P.E., senior vice president and Pittsburgh office executive for Michael Baker International.  “We constantly work to make a difference in the communities we serve, and with this project, our creative solutions made travel safer and more efficient for nearly 70,000 daily commuters. We are proud to share this award with PennDOT.”

Michael Baker’s comprehensive redesign of Route 28/East Ohio Street transformed the corridor by creating a limited-access highway with innovative grade-separated interchanges and re-designed intersections as well as pedestrian and bicycle amenities such as new sidewalks, walkways, and trails and bike lanes.  A retaining wall alongside the highway includes sandblasted artwork that celebrates the history of the people and institutions that played an important role in Pittsburgh’s North Side community.

Company leaders accepted the Grand Conceptor award for the Route 28 project at ACEC/PA’s Diamond Awards for Engineering Excellence ceremony, held in Lancaster on March 10. 

Michael Baker has received a host of other awards for the project from Engineering News Record MidAtlantic Division, the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers Pittsburgh Chapter, the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania and the American Society of Highway Engineers Pittsburgh Section.