American Public Works Association (APWA)

Paradise Valley’s 56th Street Reconstruction Project was recently named a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project is being honored with APWA’s Project of the Year award in the Transportation category at a cost less than $5 million. This award honors agencies that include roads, bridges, transit, and traffic calming.

For 2016, the team of winners includes the Town of Paradise Valley, Arizona as the managing agency; Achen-Gardner Construction, LLC., as the primary contractor; and The CK Group, Inc. as the primary consultant, who will be presented with the award during APWA’s 2016 PWX Conference Awards Ceremony in Minneapolis, MN during August 28-31, 2016.

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. This year, APWA selected projects in five categories in the Small Cities/Rural Communities area: Disaster/Emergency, Environment, Historical Restoration, Structures, and Transportation.

The 56th Street Reconstruction Project transformed the worn-down segment of 56th Street between McDonald and Lincoln Drives in Paradise Valley into a functional, safe, visually appealing, multi-use connector. The Town of Paradise Valley used the project as the impetus to create new “Iconic Visually Significant Corridor” guidelines to serve as the groundwork for future roadway development in the area. Under the CMAR delivery method, the town successfully brought together general contractor Achen-Gardner Construction, designer The CK Group, development stakeholders, residents, and the general public to create the new guidelines and the first enhanced roadway according to these new standards.

The CMAR project delivery method allowed the town to bring the contractor on board during the design phase to provide important constructability and value engineering input during design. The value engineering and cost evaluations didn’t stop at the design phase, they continued throughout construction. Following are some of the project elements the team value-engineered or completed designing after construction began.

Base construction materials and design for the roadway paver section: The north 400 LF of 56th Street was paved with interlocking pavers. This reduced the opportunity for movement and minimized maintenance. Additionally, a field-redesign was evaluated and implemented that added polymeric grout rather than sand. This eliminated the washing away of the sand and associated additional maintenance.

Pavement section design for pavement patch in the intersections: Full-depth asphalt was utilized to minimize traffic control and impact to traffic flows.

The shade and screen structures were designed by EPG (landscape architect) to achieve the desired look: The foundations were designed by a structural engineer to properly support the structures. Constructability input was provided to assist with the final details of fabrication, installation, and designing spread footings to avoid subsurface utilities. As the structures were surveyed and laid out in the field, ongoing field collaboration among the town, the CK Group, EPG, and Achen-Gardner contributed to making necessary field adjustments that resulted in installation without delays.

The elevation change from back of curb to ROW was too steep around the APS equipment: The team evaluated constructing curbs vs. gabion basket walls under screen walls using safety, visual appeal, and cost as criteria. The gabion basket walls provided the physical structure around which to provide the proper grade change. Each residential driveway was unique: The project team field-designed some of the details and tie-in points of each driveway based on existing features and joints.

For more information on the APWA 2016 Projects of the Year, please contact APWA Media Relations and Communications Manager, Laura Bynum,, or call 202.218.6736.

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