Photo courtesy of APWA
Photo courtesy of APWA Photo courtesy of APWA

Pima County’s Julian Wash Linear Park Project was recently named a 2015 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). This year, the team of winners includes Pima County, Arizona as the managing agency; Granite Construction as the primary contractor; and Kimley-Horn as the primary consultant, which were all presented with the award during APWA’s 2015 International Public Works Congress & Exposition Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona, which was held August 30-September 2, 2015.

The APWA Public Works Projects of the Year awards are presented annually to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, contractor, consultant and their cooperative achievements. APWA selected projects in five categories including: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures and Transportation. The Julian Wash Linear Park Project was awarded in the APWA Project of the Year - Structures category at a cost less than $5 million.

The project was initially considered unable to be developed. It is situated along the Julian Wash from Alvernon to Campbell, as an extremely narrow corridor without bank protection along the wash, and it seemed almost impossible to provide a path that would function integrally with the highly erosive wash environment. The Kimley-Horn lead designer creatively aligned the path through existing development, eroded and degraded areas, and around existing utilities. Although the county envisioned the project to be a series of smaller packages delivered sequentially, the planned delivery changed when a local community health foundation approached the county searching for a project similar to the Linear Park to invest in. By creating a public- private partnership (P3), the team was able to secure federal money to benefit local indigent healthcare, while still installing the recreational public works improvement as planned.

The planned delivery method was changed to a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) approach that allowed for a pre-construction value engineering and constructability review. The design team participated heavily with updated engineering drawings and side-by-side pricing review during the process, and still received a significant net cost reduction. Though the construction was challenged by monsoon season delays, the Julian Wash Linear Park Project was substantially completed on time, including installation of a bridge in the week prior to their Opening Event.

For more information on the APWA 2015 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations/Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.