Northgate Link Extension Light Rail and Doan Valley Storage Tunnel Projects Win 2022 ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards

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McMillen Jacobs Associates was honored with two awards at the 2022 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on May 24 in Washington, DC. The Northgate Link Extension Light Rail project was awarded a National Grand Award and the Doan Valley Storage Tunnel project was awarded a National Honor Award.

Northgate Link connects Sound Transit’s University Link light rail segment to the Northgate business/retail center and forms part of a system connecting four major urban centers to the existing Central Link (which extends from downtown Seattle to SeaTac airport). It consists of 4.3 miles (6.9 km) of double-track light rail, 3.2 miles (5.2 km) in twin bored soft-ground tunnels and 1.1 miles (1.7 km) in retained cut fills and elevated structures. The project also includes two underground transit stations (U District and Roosevelt), one elevated station (Northgate), a portal structure, and 23 cross passages.

Completed under budget and ahead of schedule, the project aims to increase light rail ridership, improve travel time, and add transit capacity to the congested Interstate-5 corridor. The project was officially opened to the public October 2.

As Sound Transit’s prime consultant, McMillen Jacobs provided project management, tunnel and underground structure design, estimating and scheduling, and geotechnical engineering services. The team consisted of more than 30 firms, including key subconsultant partners WSP, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Hewitt Architects, and LMN Architects.

Earlier this year, the Northgate Link Extension project was awarded an ACEC of Washington Engineering Excellence Award.

Doan Valley Storage Tunnel

Mike Seluga, Tim O’Rourke (Wade Trim), Dan Dobbels, and Brad Murray accepted the national Honor Award for the Doan Valley Storage Tunnel Project.


A major component of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Project Clean Lake program, the Doan Valley Storage Tunnel (DVT) project now controls 11 permitted combined sewer overflow (CSO) locations reducing over 350 million gallons annually of CSO discharge to Lake Eire. The DVT system was designed to function as both a deep interceptor conveyance sewer and a CSO storage facility.

Through a 7-year contract, the McMillen Jacobs Associates-Wade Trim Joint Venture team performed pre-design, final design, and construction administration services for this 3.7-mile-long (6 km) tunnel system, which includes an 18-foot-diameter (7.2 m), 9,900-foot-long (3,018 m) CSO storage tunnel, and two 8.5-foot-diameter (2.6 m) conveyance tunnels—6,400 feet and 3,050-feet long (1,950 m and 903 m), respectively—excavated through rock. The system also includes six shafts, several near-surface diversion and flow control structures, regulator modifications, and various consolidation sewers. Construction was completed within budget and is now fully operational.

Earlier this year, the Doan Valley Storage Tunnel project was awarded an ACEC of Ohio 2022 Engineering Excellence Outstanding Achievement Award.

The ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards recognize preeminent engineering achievements from throughout the world.