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Tempe Town Lake Dam project wins national award for engineering excellence

Post Date:04/19/2018 12:30 PM

The Tempe Town Lake Western Dam Replacement project won top honors at the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 2018 Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) Gala on April 17. Called the "the Academy Awards of the engineering industry,” ACEC’s EEA program honors the year's most outstanding engineering accomplishments. 

The Tempe Town Lake Western Dam Replacement project received a Grand Award – one of only 16 projects to receive the distinction from a pool of more than 140 contenders. The Grand Award for the Tempe Town Lake Dam is shared by design engineer Gannett Fleming, the City of Tempe and 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 design of the Tempe Town Lake Dam matches the legacy of our lake – it’s beautiful, innovative and built to last,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “A huge thank you to our project partners Gannett Fleming and PCL Construction for their roles in implementing the Tempe City Council’s desire of providing a safe and durable system for generations to come. This new dam allows us to continue to grow and develop our downtown with confidence.”  

The dam is one of the largest hydraulically operated steel-gate dams of its kind, and consists of eight hydraulically operated steel gates – each 106 feet long, 17 feet tall, and approximately 300,000 pounds – that improve the dam’s durability and reliability and offer heightened safety and operational flexibility.

Prior honors for the Tempe Town Lake Dam, featured in this time-lapsed construction video, include: ACEC Arizona’s 2017 Grand Award and Judges’ Choice Award; American Society of Civil Engineers - Phoenix Branch’s 2017 Project of the Year in the Greater than $10 Million category; Best Project in the Water/Environment category in ENR Southwest’s 2016 Regional Best Projects competition; and, a Best in Concrete award from the American Concrete Institute and the International Concrete Repair Institute.

For more information, visit  
To read more about how the Town Lake Dam works, visit

Photo by Rex Kuhn

Rex kuhn email web

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