The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Washington Chapter recognized two GeoEngineers projects with Best in State Engineering Excellence Awards at their annual gala on February 4. The Engineering Excellence Awards highlight the most significant A/E/C projects in each ACEC region as well as giving national awards. This year, ACEC Washington gave a Silver Best in State Award to the Everett Smelter Area A1 Remediation and Gold Best in State Award to Coffee Creek Fish Barrier Removal.
The historical Everett Smelter operated for less than 20 years—but left arsenic and lead contamination that has lasted for more than a century in the soil and groundwater of northeastern Everett, Washington. GeoEngineers investigated and designed a cleanup action plan for the site designated by Ecology as Area A1. The environmental team developed an on-site sampling and treatment plan to carefully manage, test, treat and remove the heavily contaminated soil. By treating material as it was excavated it could be safely disposed of in a much less expensive landfill, generating a cost savings of approximately 77 percent. In total, GeoEngineers designed and oversaw an on-site soil management and treatment plan that safely removed approximately 6,000 tons of contaminated material.
A small culvert beneath U.S. Route 101 near Shelton, Washington was obstructing flow and blocking critical fish species from accessing more than 13 miles of upstream spawning habitat in Coffee Creek. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) hired GeoEngineers and partner firms to design and build a new sustainable stream alignment that would restore fish access while causing minimal disruption to traffic and adjacent ecosystems. GeoEngineers’ interdisciplinary design-build team avoided complications and saved WSDOT more than $3 million by recommending an alternative technical concept that rerouted Coffee Creek through a half mile of new stream alignment and restored fish access to upstream spawning and rearing habitat.
GeoEngineers also provided supplementary earth science services to the award-winning Tumwater Falls Hatchery Modernization and Grant County International Airport Runway Improvements projects. The Grant County International Airport is an important regional hub that helps support the congested commercial flight industry in Washington with one of the longest active runways in the world. GeoEngineers performed sensitive wildlife species surveys, identified wetlands, and provided additional ecological and permitting support for a significant upgrade to the runway. Our team also performed wetland delineation geotechnical services for the Tumwater Falls Hatchery project—a $9 million initiative to expand holding ponds and visitor facilities.