GeoEngineers Projects Win ACEC WA Gold Best-In-State Awards

The American Council of Engineering Companies, Washington Chapter (ACEC WA) recognized two GeoEngineers projects with Gold Best-in-State Awards last week—the Seattle Convention Center’s new Summit Building and the Totem Lake Connector Pedestrian Bridge in Kirkland. A group of GeoEngineers staff were on hand to celebrate as the awards were announced at the chapter’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards Dinner on February 2.

The completed Summit building in downtown Seattle doubles the Seattle Convention Center’s capacity and will be a major economic driver in the city.

The Seattle Convention Center is a major economic stimulus to Seattle, drawing as many as 400,000 people to town each year for conferences and events. In 2008, the convention center’s owners embarked on an ambitious $2 billion expansion to meet the needs of the growing city. GeoEngineers has been providing geotechnical and environmental services for this complex urban development project for more than a decade. Our excavation-support work, led by Matt Smith and Kyle Smith (in collaboration with partners KPFF and DBM), earned a Gold Best-in-State Award for complexity from ACEC Washington.

The design and construction of the excavation support system required creative solutions due to extensive complex adjacencies created by the former bus transit station on the site, adjacent cut-and-cover and bored transit tunnels, highway bridges, vacated city streets, project phasing, demolition of existing buildings/ infrastructure, and heavy construction loading.

As geotechnical engineer of record, GeoEngineers performed sophisticated analyses to develop recommendations for excavation sequencing, shoring construction, and foundation design. GeoEngineers used finite-element numerical modeling to predict the performance of sensitive structures under proposed shoring and excavation sequencing. This analysis was key to addressing concerns from multiple stakeholders and allowed construction to proceed without significant impacts to adjacent roads and bridges. Summit opened its doors to the public in 2023, and it will provide cultural, social, and economic value to Seattle for decades to come.

The award-winning Totem Lake Connector Pedestrian Bridge spans the busy NE 124th Street and Totem Lake Boulevard intersection in Kirkland, Washington.

The Totem Lake Connector Bridge also received a Gold Best-in-State Award on Friday night. ACEC WA recognized the COWI-led team’s efforts on this marquee pedestrian and bicycle bridge that completed the City of Kirkland’s new five-mile-long Cross-Kirkland Corridor Trail. GeoEngineers provided geotechnical and environmental services for this complex interdisciplinary project under the leadership of Deb Overbay, Colton McInelly, David Conlin, and Emily Hurn.

GeoEngineers’ services for the Totem Lake Connector Bridge included geotechnical investigation, a geologic hazards report, geotechnical engineering designs, construction monitoring, stormwater infiltration design, wetland delineation, and environmental permitting. Environmental services became an increasing part of the project as it became apparent that the adjacent wetland area could not be avoided and work within the former rail prism required investigating areas of potentially contaminated soil.

We want you on our team.