McMillen Jacobs Water Resources Group Receives Multiple National ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards

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ACEC held its annual Engineering Excellence Award (EEA) Gala on May 7th, 2019 recognizing all the outstanding engineering projects of 2018. Known as the “Academy Awards” of the engineering industry, the award ceremony included red carpet interviews of the engineers and clients accepting the awards, winning project showcase, dinner and entertainment.

ACEC’s Annual EEA competition pays tribute to exemplary engineering achievements from throughout the World. Projects are rated on the basis of uniqueness and/or innovative applications of new or existing techniques; future value to the engineering profession and enhanced public awareness/enthusiasm of the role of engineering; social, economic and sustainable development considerations; complexity; successful fulfillment of client/owner needs.

McMillen Jacobs Water Resources Group is excited to announce, out of the top 36 projects receiving awards (16 Grand Awards and 20 Honor Awards) three of our projects were recognized (out of 196). Swan Lake Reservoir Expansion Project and the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Design-Build Project received Honor Awards, while Esther Simplot Park Design-Build Project received a National Recognition Award.

We are honored to receive the recognition in Engineering Excellence and extremely proud of our Water Resources engineering team and client partnerships that made these great projects possible. More information about the award-winning projects can be found below:

Swan Lake Reservoir Expansion Project

Accessible only by boat, plane, or helicopter, Swan Lake Reservoir’s spillway capacity was increased allowing for more storage. Located in proximity to the 25-megawatt Swan Lake Hydroelectric facility—a major power provider for southeast Alaska—the reservoir capacity level was raised from a normal full pool elevation of 330 feet to 345 feet.

The project’s design included a 23-foot-wide vertical operating gate, a 30-foot-tall concrete pier, and a 78-foot-long flashboard gate system across the spillway. The modifications significantly lower energy costs, while increasing energy security for power users, clients, and the community.

An Honor Award from the “Water Resources” category went to McMillen Jacobs Associates, of Boise, Idaho, for the “Swan Lake Reservoir Expansion Project” located 22 miles northwest of Ketchikan, Alaska, and achieved for the Southeast Alaska Power Agency.

Allison Creek Hydroelectric Design-Build Project

The new 6.7-megawatt hydroelectric facility operates cleaner, significantly reduces reliance on diesel fuel generators and provides significant cost savings. The design includes an innovative concrete gravity dam with a penstock system that delivers water over a mile away to a power generation plant.

Because of a 1,200-foot elevation drop in the penstock system, sections of the penstock were buried to protect from freezing and avalanches and to minimize impacts to wildlife. The project reduces diesel fuel costs annually by $2.4-million and eliminates 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

An Honor Award in the “Energy” category went to McMillen Jacobs Associates, for the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Design-Build Project in Valdez, Alaska, achieved for the Copper Valley Electric Association.

Esther Simplot Park Design-Build Project

The Boise River Greenbelt serves as a linkage between several parks or “precious jewels” in the Treasure Valley of Idaho. These parks honor some of Boise’s finest civic leaders and remarkable women who were committed to their community. This riverfront park project turned an undeveloped 55-acre parcel into another important recreational gem for the community of Boise, encompassing 17 acres of ponds and 8.9 acres of riparian natural areas. Due to its proximity to the Boise River, several complex environmental, habitat, and recreational issues needed consideration throughout the design, excavation, and construction.

A recognition award in the “Environmental” category went to McMillen Jacobs Associates for the Esther Simplot Park Design-Build Project in Boise, Idaho, achieved for the City of Boise and Esther Simplot Foundation.

For more information about the EEA awards and a list of winners, see the following links:

https://www.acec.org/awards-programs/engineering-excellence-awards/

https://docs.acec.org/pub/C92A4100-F821-D6C5-2505-D3F3628A3AD9

Congrats to all the engineers and our clients who worked hard to see these innovative and impactful projects become a reality!