Home > Infrastructure

Tennessee’s Copperhill Watershed Restoration Named Year’s Most Outstanding Engineering Triumph

Tennessee’s Copperhill Watershed Restoration Named Year’s Most Outstanding Engineering Triumph

Nashville’s Barge Design Solutions Earns Top Award in Annual Awards Showcaseof World’s Best Engineering Efforts

Washington, DC (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Copperhill Watershed Restoration Project in Ducktown, Tenn. has won the 2020 “Grand Conceptor” Award signifying the year’s most outstanding engineering achievement, in the 53rd Annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA)—a national juried competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

Traditionally an annual black-tie dinner and awards show, the event attracted more than 650 viewers Tuesday during its first-ever Virtual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala.

Hosted by noted comedian Ross Shafer, the Gala honored 203 preeminent engineering achievements from the U.S. and the world.

“Our member firms contribute amazing value to society. They improve our environment, design innovative spaces that sustain our social interactions and develop new ways to move, conduct commerce and create new opportunities for economic development. Their work makes our modern life possible and they deserve to be recognized for it,” said ACEC President and CEO Linda Bauer Darr. “I am pleased we could keep the tradition of the annual Engineering Excellence Awards going this year with a virtual broadcast of the event.”

Designed by Barge Design Solutions in Nashville, the 20-year restoration project transformed a 50-square-mile site, severely damaged from more than a century of logging, mining and acid production, into a lush, clean and natural wonderland where residents now enjoy fishing, swimming and hiking. A video showcasing the project can be seen here.

Restoration efforts included disposal of mining waste, construction of clean-water diversions, re-establishment of natural, healthy communities of aquatic insects; and construction of new contaminant-filtering wetlands. Before the restoration, the contaminated site was one of only two manmade features astronauts could see from space, along with the Great Wall of China.

The project joins a prestigious list of previous Grand Conceptor Award winners including the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement (Seattle, 2019); the Bayonne Bridge: Raising the Roadway Project (Bayonne, NJ/Staten Island, NY, 2018); the SR 520 Floating Bridge Replacement (Seattle, 2017) and The San Francisco Air Traffic Control Tower (2016).

Other Top 2020 Winners are:

Grand Awards (Project, Location and Engineering Firm):

  • Millersville University Net Zero Welcome Center, Millersville, PA, by AKF Group;
  • New U.S. Embassy, Pristina, Kosova, by Mason & Hanger;
  • The Shed, New York, NY, by Thornton Tomasetti;
  • Amazon Urban Neighborhood, Seattle, WA, by Magnusson Klemencic Associates;
  • Lower Crystal Spings Dam Bridge Replacement, San Mateo County, CA, by AECOM and WSP USA;
  • Samuel de Champlain Bridge; Montreal, Quebec, Canada, by T.Y. Lin International Canada;
  • Manning Crevice Bridge, Riggins, ID, by Atkins North America;
  • Satellite & GPS Measurement to Support Groundwater Management Act, Statewide CA, by Towill Inc.;
  • Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction, Norfolk, VA, by HDR;
  • Trap Rock Water Treatment Facility, Leesburg, VA, by CDM Smith;
  • I-90 Hyak to Keechelus Dam Phase 1C, Snoqualmie Pass, WA, by Jacobs Engineering Group;
  • Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction, Washington, DC, by Clark/Parsons;
  • I-696 Innovative Design, Malcomb County, MI, by Tetra Tech;
  • San Gabriel Trench Grade Separation, San Gabriel, CA, by Moffatt & Nichol;
  • Hudson Yards, New York, NY, by Langan.

Honor Awards (Project, Location and Engineering Firm):

  • HDR Headquarters Multi-Use Office Building, Omaha, NE, by HDR;
  • Hale Centre Theatre, Sandy, UT; by VBFA;
  • Popular Street Bridge Widening and Rehabilitation, St. Louis, MO, by HDR;
  • Marc Basnight Bridge, Dare County, NC, by HDR;
  • Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus, New York, NY, by Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers;
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Hamel Music Center, Madison, WI, by raSmith;
  • 15 Hudson Yards, New York, NY, by WSP USA;
  • SW Brooklyn Marine Tranfer Station Project, Brooklyn, NY, by Greeley and Hansen;
  • Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program Services, Hastings, NE, by HDR;
  • Kaneohe-Kailua Wastewater Facilities Program Project, Honolulu, HI, by Wilson Okamoto Corporation;
  • Beaver Creek Fish Passage, La Grande, OR, by Anderson Perry & Associates;
  • East Side Coastal Resiliency EIS, New York, NY, by Hazen and Sawyer/KKRF (Joint Venture);
  • Big Sioux River Flood Information System, Eastern SD; by RESPEC;
  • I-235 Broadway Widening at 50th St. & BNSF RR, Oklahoma City, OK, by Benham Design;
  • Beehive Bridge, New Britain, CT, by Fuss & O’Neill;
  • Reconstruction of Harlem River Drive over 127th Street, New York, NY, by Hardesty & Hanover;
  • Bayou Sara Swing Bridge, Mobile County, AL, by HDR;
  • MAASTO Truck Parking Information Management System, Statewide KS, by HNTB;
  • Rainier Square Tower Shoring Design, Seattle, WA, by Hart Crowser;
  • ABC Weekend Superstsructure Replacement, Falls Church, VA, by WSP USA.

For further information about the 2020 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards program, contact Alan D. Crockett at 202-682-4301 or by email at acrockett@acec.org

About ACEC

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of the nation’s engineering industry. Founded in 1906, ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations representing more than 5,600 engineering firms and 600,000+ engineers, surveyors, architects, and other specialists nationwide. ACEC member firms drive the design of America’s infrastructure and built environment.