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Credit: City of Baltimore

Baltimore's Loch Raven Dam—Structures category winner, $10 million to $100 million—was strengthened with roller-compacted concrete at its toe and face; the project came in at budget and five months ahead of schedule.

With its 2006 Project of the Year Awards, the American Public Works Association (APWA) has recognized projects that demonstrate management and administration excellence, and collaboration among managing agencies, contractors, and consultants.

A wastewater treatment plant in Duvall, Wash., took home the award in the Environment category, $10 million to $100 million. According to Steve Schuller, director of public works for the 6000-resident city, the plant constitutes a technology milestone—it is one of the first membrane bioreactor facilities to be permitted in the state. “In this case, the little guy is leading the way in terms of technology,” he said.

Besides technological innovation, another trait many winners share is effectively tackling complex, challenging problems. For example, the Loch Raven Dam—given to the city of Baltimore in the Structures category, $10 million to $100 million—had to be brought into compliance with current dam safety regulations while maintaining the nearby reservoir as a water source during construction.

“The design was chosen to allow it to withstand the probable maximum flood was twofold,” said George Winfield, Baltimore public works director. “We added mass to the structure and raised the non-overflow sections to confine increased water levels to the spillway. In addition, the design addressed noted deficiencies in the reservoir drain system, concerns related to scour at the toe of the dam, and deterioration of the shotcrete facing, which had been installed in the 1970s.”

To the winners, the Project of the Year Award represents a welcome pat on the back for a job well done. “Being recognized by one's peers is the highest praise possible,” said Britt Drewes, public information manager for the city of Richmond, Va., who won the Historical Restoration/Preservation, $10 million to $100 million, award for restoration of its Main Street Station. “That the judges might find this project worthy of an award validates our efforts to restore this invaluable historic landmark, and to do so in accordance with the highest professional standards.”

For more information about the awards program and a complete list of winners, visit www.apwa.net.