Washington, D.C. — Nitsch Engineering of Boston earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 52nd annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for the Kennedy Street Green Infrastructure Project in Washington, D.C.

A variety of stormwater management technologies, including one never before used in a U.S. public space, have transformed the streetscape while also providing a model strategy for preventing heavy rain events from overwhelming the city’s sewer system, preventing discharges of untreated sewage into the environment. The technologies — bioretention curb extensions, landscape infiltration gaps, recessed landscape planters, permeable paver areas, and dry wells — reduce the volume of impervious surfaces by 9,000 square feet, efficiently collecting all stormwater from a 2.1-inch rain event.

Use of the bioretention curb extensions also narrowed the roadway, resulting in slower traffic and shortened crosswalks that make Kennedy Street safer for pedestrians. Seat walls with engraved art, new street furniture, and 35 additional street trees further improve the pedestrian experience. The project will serve as a model for other green infrastructure initiatives throughout the city.

The project is among 196 engineering achievements from throughout the nation and the world being recognized by ACEC as the year’s finest examples of engineering excellence, and eligible for additional top national honors. Judging for the awards program — known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry” — took place in February, conducted by a national 30-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the media and academia. Award criteria focuses on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top commendations—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place at the annual EEA Dinner and Gala, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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