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Tempe Town Lake Dam wins top engineering award

Post Date:06/09/2017 6:00 PM

TEMPE, Ariz - The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Phoenix Branch chose the Tempe Town Lake Dam Replacement project as the 2017 Project of the Year in the Greater than $10 Million category.

The award is shared by Gannett Fleming, the City of Tempe and the prime contractor, PCL Construction, Inc.  Gannett Fleming was the design engineer of record for the $45 million dam and provided design and construction management services.

The ASCE Phoenix Project of the Year Award is presented annually to a civil engineering project in Gila, Maricopa, or Pinal counties that demonstrates significant excellence in delivering infrastructure that improves communities and the quality of life.

Tempe Town Lake draws more than 2.4 million visitors each year to enjoy swimming, boating, kayaking, and fishing and provides an economic benefit of more than $1.5 billion to the community. Without the dam, this lake would not exist.

“Tempe Town Lake has become our community gathering space, an economic generator for our city and a special place for recreation and athletic achievements. The dam makes our lake possible. We are proud of this award,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said.

The Tempe Town Lake dam is the largest hydraulically controlled steel gate dam of its kind in the United States.  It consists of eight hydraulically operated steel gates, each 106 feet long, 17 feet tall, and more than 260,000 pounds. The use of steel gates improves the durability and reliability of the dam, while the implementation of a hydraulically operated system offers a heightened level of safety and flow flexibility.

“This winter, SRP released water at the speed of about 20,000 cubic feet per second. The flows provided a perfect opportunity to see the new dam perform as designed,” said Craig Caggiano, the City of Tempe Water Utilities Operations Manager who oversees Tempe Tempe Town. “This dam protected the community from flooding and allowed for nearly uninterrupted recreational activities at Tempe Town Lake.”

The Tempe Town Lake Dam Replacement also garnered a Best Project award in the Water/Environment category of the Engineering News-Record Regional Best Projects 2016 Awards – Southwest, and the American Concrete Institute and International Concrete Repair Institute Arizona Chapter’s Best in Concrete award for the around-the-clock placement of 18,000 cubic yards of concrete.

“Gannett Fleming is excited to be a part of an historic project, and we take great pride in the positive impact our work has on the communities we serve,” said John Derr, PE, executive vice president and Gannett Fleming’s West Region director.

“PCL is pleased to have been a part of this momentous project,” said Mike McKinney, PCL district manager. “We look forward to continuing to provide complex solutions to communities’ growing water needs.”

Photo by Rex Kuhn, a winner of the Elmore Bridge Photo Contest.
Photo by Rex Kuhn

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