WSP USA Wins Awards from Washington State ACEC

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington (ACEC Washington) announced its 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards in January, and for the second year in a row WSP USA has won the Best in State, Gold Award for Meeting/Exceeding Owner's/Client's Expectations.

ACEC skagit river bridge


Last May, a tractor-trailer collided with support beams on the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State, causing one bridge span to collapse into the water. WSP designed the ACEC Gold Award-winning permanent replacement span, which was completed and installed in early September 2013.

The firm's work on the I-5 Skagit River Bridge Replacement project demonstrated how a design-build team can exceed client expectations and still meet an aggressive schedule.

WSP was the lead designer of a 48.8-meter (160-foot) replacement span for the bridge, which made national news on May 23, 2013 when an oversize tractor-trailer struck the bridge's overhead steel truss, causing the span to buckle and collapse into the Skagit River, along with two vehicles. Everyone involved in the accident was safely rescued.

A temporary span was installed to accommodate traffic, and on June 19, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) selected Max J. Kuney Co., with Parsons Brinckerhoff as designer, to construct the USD $6.9 million permanent bridge span replacement.

The permanent span was constructed alongside the temporary span. On Sept. 14-15, the temporary span was moved upstream to temporary supports, and the new span was moved into place. It opened to traffic on Sept. 15, only 115 days after the accident and 88 days after the design-build team began its work.

Bill Carter (Seattle) served as WSP's Project Manager.

I-90 Track Bridge Prototype & Testing Project

ACEC Washington also presented its Best in State, Silver Award to WSP for its design of the I-90 track bridge system and prototype for Sound Transit. The I-90 project was honored in the Future Value to the Engineering Profession category.

Sound Transit is in the process of extending a light rail system to cross the I-90 floating bridge over Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue, Washington. The bridge consists of a floating span, approximately 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) long, and a transition span at each end.

Carrying passenger rail from a fixed bridge to a floating bridge has never been done, so the track bridge project team was tasked with conceiving, designing, constructing, and conducting full scale testing of a prototype system to meet the project goals. Working with Balfour Beatty Rail as a partner, the team successfully met this challenge, producing a unique and elegant design that will ultimately go into production for use on Sound Transit's East Link project.

John Harrison (Seattle) served as WSP's original project and design manager. Tom Cooper (Denver) now leads the design, and Art Borst (Seattle) is Project Manager.


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