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The new George Washington Carver Bridge in Des Moines, Iowa, is part of the ambitious Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway overhaul, named Outstanding Civil Engineering Project by the Iowa chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Photo: Steven Strooh

A six-lane roadway has been named the 2005 Outstanding Civil Engineering Project by the Iowa chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Boasting a $75 million price tag, the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway project in Des Moines was designed to serve both as a local access street and to provide a through-traffic route for an estimated 70,000 vehicles per day, reducing traffic congestion on Interstate 235 and providing a direct route between the Des Moines International Airport and the city's central business district. Engineering and consulting firm Earth Tech Inc., based in Long Beach, Calif., supervised development for the 2.6-mile-long parkway. The company's involvement spanned about 20 years, starting with the original corridor location study, environmental impact statement, traffic engineering, stormwater and bridge hydraulics, through the preliminary and final design, and construction project management.

The company provided the final design for the George Washington Carver Bridge, an innovative tied-arch structure over the Raccoon River; it uses post-tensioned concrete, rather than traditional steel, to resist the thrust. The project also included three additional bridges, nine signalized intersections, pump station, and metro area raw water line relocation. In June, a ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the project to traffic.