2018 Engineering Excellence Awards




Today the American Council of Engineering Companies of California (ACEC California) unveiled the 2018 recipients of its prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards. In all, 39 California firms representing 55 projects were recognized. 19 Honor Awards were granted to 18 firms. 26 Merit Awards were granted to 20 firms and 10 Commendation Awards were granted to 9 firms.

ACEC California’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes outstanding achievements in engineering and land surveying projects completed by California firms. Entries are accepted into one of 12 project categories: studies, research and consulting engineering services; building/technology systems; structural systems; surveying and mapping technology; environmental; waste and storm water; water resources; transportation; special projects; small projects; energy; and industrial and manufacturing processes and facilities.

Please Click Here to view the photos of the 2018 EEA Banquet. To view the pictures on our web site please click here.


 2018 ACEC California

Golden State Award Winner

Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc.

   Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc.
    Caltrain Santa Clara Station Pedestrian Underpass Extension  

“This year’s Golden State Award winner is a unique example of the future of California’s smarter, cleaner transportation infrastructure. The project expands both pedestrian and cyclist access via an efficient open-air ramp and improves the ability for community members to use regional rail lines,” said Brad Diede, Executive Director of ACEC California. “We congratulate Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc. and commend Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority for its forward-thinking approach to its local transportation systems.”

Opened in June 2017, the underpass gives pedestrians and cyclists a safe, direct way to cross from the station on the west side of the Caltrain and Union Pacific Railroad tracks to Brokaw Road via a new open-air ramp. Previously, pedestrians and cyclists had to either cross the tracks illegally or journey 1.5 miles, navigating a busy overpass with minimal sidewalks and no bike lanes. A study indicated that up to 1,200 bicyclists and pedestrians would use a safe, legal crossing if available. The underpass will link directly to the future Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station planned for the east side of the tracks.


Honor Awards

(listed alphabetically) 

Arup Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc. Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc.

Seaside Way Pedestrian Bridge

An Honor award goes to Arup for the Seaside Way Pedestrian Bridge Project in Long Beach. Arup is the engineering design consultant and engineer-of-record providing full SMEP services for the new 604-ft long, 11,600-ft2, $12M bridge that will be the first infrastructure landmark bridge structure undertaken by the City of Long Beach. Each structural component designed for this unique, aesthetically pleasing concrete bridge structure was carefully detailed, cast-in-place with a steel canopy integrated with an exquisite lighting design that strives to create a playful, inviting and memorable experience for the 1.8 million annual visitors to the community and Long Beach entertainment facilities. 


East Campbell Avenue Portals Project

An Honor award goes to Biggs Cardosa Associates, Inc. for the East Campbell Portals project. Biggs Cardosa was contracted by the City of Campbell as the prime consultant to provide engineering design for the project. The widened pedestrian portals improve pedestrian and bicycle access under Highway 17 while enhancing safety and knitting together a previously divided part of the City. The portals act as a gateway to the historic downtown and serve as a model for other communities with similar pedestrian access challenges caused by elevated bin type highway structures.





Big Canyon Restoration and Water Quality Improvement Project

An Honor Award goes to Burns & McDonnell for the Big Canyon Restoration and Water Quality Improvement Project. What began as a project to remove a single contaminant from Big Canyon Creek in Newport Beach, ended as a comprehensive program to restore the badly deteriorated urban creek to its native condition and improve the quality of water discharged into Upper Newport Bay.  Because Burns & McDonnell collaborated closely with the city to develop creative, multi-benefit solutions, the scope of the project grew to include significant ecological and recreational benefits – with no additional costs. 





Carollo Engineers, Inc. GHD Inc. Guida Surveying, Inc.
Sacramento River and E.A. Fairbairn Water Treatment Rehabilitation Comprehensive Large-Scale Habitat Restoration The Gardens at Heather Farm
An Honor award goes to Carollo Engineers, Inc. for the Sacramento River and E.A. Fairbairn Water Treatment Plants Rehabilitation. Carollo was contracted by the City of Sacramento as the prime consultant to provide conceptual, preliminary, and final design, as well as engineering services during construction, for the $120 million project. The project, which encompasses facility improvements for both of the City’s surface water treatment plants, replaced aging infrastructure, added new conventional pretreatment and filters to maintain plant capacity, replaced the high service pump station to improve reliability and usable clearwell storage capacity, replaced the primary electrical substation, and added spent backwash handling and mechanical dewatering facilities. The project resulted in savings of over $20 million.

An Honor Award goes to GHD for the Border Coast Regional Airport Authority’s Comprehensive Large-Scale Habitat Restoration. What initially began as a need for the Del Norte County Regional Airport to meet FAA design standards grew into one of the largest wetland mitigation endeavors of its kind on the northern California coast. GHD led mitigation and habitat restoration/re-establishment, impacting 17 acres of protected wetlands, two special-status plant species, and upland dune environmentally sensitive habitat areas, all in the Coastal Zone of northern California, considered one of the most difficult places in the U.S. for permitting. GHD’s efforts assured future commercial air service in the area, provided a wealth of short-term construction and long-term air service jobs, restored once-unusable roads and property lots, and established substantial public open space.



An Honor award goes to Guida Surveying Inc. for their philanthropically work on the “The Gardens at Heather Farm”.  The Garden needed professional land surveying services to provide a topographic map that allowed their architects to design a new children’s area. The various deliverables beyond the initial request that Guida provided not only aided in their planning of the future children’s area, but also will be used as promotional and educational program tools for The Garden.  Guida provided their high-tech tools and applications to bring the Garden’s 6-1/2 acre property visually to the masses in forms of interactive mapping, high resolution aerial video and more.    




HDR I Maintenance Design Group (MDG) Inland Foundation Engineering, Inc.
Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc.
Division 14 Rail Operations and Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility Hemet Elementary School Campus Replacement Mule Creek state Prison Level II Infill Complex

An Honor award goes to HDR | Maintenance Design Group for the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority Division 14 Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility in Santa Monica, California. Faced with a tight 9.7-acre site and keen community interest, the team designed a facility that not only delivers the sustainable, functional and operational requirements Metro needs, but also a facility the community embraces as a good neighbor. Key to this success was collaboration, both within the team and with the community. HDR | Maintenance Design Group, the design team, Metro, the City of Santa Monica, and the Expo Construction Authority worked together to ensure the design addressed community interest in noise, vibration, safety, and aesthetics.

An Honor award goes to Inland Foundation Engineering, Inc. for the Hemet Elementary School Campus Replacement project.  Inland Foundation Engineering was retained by the Hemet Unified School District to develop foundation and ground improvement recommendations to mitigate severe seismic settlement potential.  Their recommended ground improvement method, consisting of the soil cement deep mixing method, was the first such project approved by the California Division of State Architect, and saved the school district more than $2 million as compared to other foundation and ground improvement alternatives.





An Honor award goes to Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc. for the Mule Creek State Prison Level II Infill Complex Project.  KSN was retained as a sub consultant to Hensel Phelps to provide the civil engineering for all the on-site and off-site infrastructure improvements. KSN engineers worked directly with Hensel Phelps, architect HOK and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to insure all criteria was met and exceeded in many cases. KSN’s civil engineering support was critical to achieving the CDCR goals, and was an integral part of the deign-build team’s successful ability to deliver the project on time. 




Michael Baker International MKN & Associates, Inc. Mott MacDonald, LLC
I-5/La Novia Roundabout Jim May Park Denitrification Biofilter Project Industrial Road Parallel Sanitary Sewer

An Honor award goes to Michael Baker International for the I-5/La Novia Roundabout project, the first roundabout on the state highway system in Orange County, and the first to be formally analyzed and approved through Caltrans’ Intersection Control Evaluation process. Michael Baker was contracted by Caltrans – District 12, to provide a full design of a modern and sustainable roundabout that significantly improves the traffic pattern and flow through a heavily congested intersection. The application of roundabout design best practices resulted in a 67 percent overall reduction in the number of collisions as well as improvements in air quality and community aesthetics. What was once an awkward, offset I-5 freeway off-ramp intersection in the City of San Juan Capistrano is now a modern roundabout design that facilitates the flow of traffic for thousands of commuters and accommodates future growth.



An Honor Award goes to MKN for the Denitrification Biofilter Project. MKN was retained by the City of Santa Maria to provide professional engineering design services at the Jim May Park Project in Santa Maria, California.  The project goal was to design an innovative wood-chip denitrification biofilter project that is unique to the region at this scale - over 300,000 gallons per day capacity to remove nitrate from stormwater and groundwater.  MKN’s design team worked diligently within the City’s project constraints, developing design elements that met the City’s design goals, while ensuring compatibility with the surrounding community.  The biofilter was designed to treat 200 - 300 gallons per minute of water and agriculture tail water and/or shallow groundwater and consisted of an earthen basin filled with wood chips and planted with wetland plants.  







An Honor Award goes to Mott MacDonald for the Industrial Road Parallel Sanitary Sewer Project. The City of San Carlos selected Mott MacDonald to provide an innovative solution to convey wet weather flows to the regional pump station without backups and overflows, thus protecting city residents and preserving San Francisco Bay water quality. Mott MacDonald’s eloquent solution provided a higher value solution, which allowed the City to increase the capacity of the gravity interceptor system, while saving the City money. Following construction in mid-2016, no overflows occurred in the project area during the historically wet winter of 2016-2017.







Omni-Means, a GHD Company Psomas Riverview Capital Investments + The New Home Company + Wood Rodgers, Inc.
Holman Highway 68 Roundabout Berth 142 Crane Maintenance Building Project McKinley Village
An Honor award goes to Omni-Means, a GHD Company, for the Holman Highway Roundabout Project. Omni-Means was contracted by the City of Monterey, California as the prime consultant to provide the project management and specialty engineering design required to deliver this sustainable and trend setting project. At half the impacts and the cost of a previously planned project, the roundabout solution delivered a higher level of service for all users while preserving over 400 Monterey pine trees, protecting the scenic character of the areas, and creating a gateway to the Monterey peninsula. 

An Honor Award goes to Psomas for the Berth 142 Crane Maintenance Building Project. The Psomas team provided insightful and creative program validation and design services for this first-of-a-kind maintenance facility in the United States. The team worked with the Port of Los Angeles Engineering Division and the end user, TraPac, to deliver the project, which exceeded the objectives of schedule and budget.





An Honor award goes to Riverview Capital Investments + The New Home Company + Wood Rodgers, Inc. for the McKinley Village Project. Wood Rodgers was contracted by Riverview Capital Investments and the New Home Company as the engineering consultant to provide resourceful engineering design required to create this landmark project—addressing significant site constraints that had stalled this project for the last three decades. Wood Rodgers was able to deliver a project meeting the goals of the City, Client, and Blueprint objectives of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. 

Summit Engineering, Inc. Syska Hennesssy Group, Inc.  T.Y. Lin International
American AgCredit Headquarters General Services Administration, New Los Angeles Courthouse  California Incline Bridge and Idaho Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Replacements
An Honor award goes to Summit Engineering for the American AgCredit Headquarters in Santa Rosa, California.  The 120,000 square foot building provides a distinctive architectural presence within the community, while creating a superior workplace environment for employees.  Summit Engineering provided the electrical engineering and lighting design for the project, including a modular plug and play wiring system, and a network based addressable lighting control system with wireless switches, occupancy sensors, and daylights sensors, which allow for flexibility and ease of reconfiguration of the systems without re-wiring.  The building utilizes numerous sustainable technologies including the use of 100% LED lighting, and an under floor displacement ventilation system. The building serves as beacon of growth and opportunity in Sonoma County.

An Honor award goes to the Syska Hennessy Group /Clark / SOM /  team for the new Federal Courthouse project in Los Angeles.  Clark Construction and SOM partnered on this GSA Design Excellence project using design-build delivery, with Syska Hennessy providing sustainable mechanical and electrical engineering design. The team’s on-time and on-budget delivery of a hyper-integrated high-performance building for the GSA, incorporates sustainable strategies across all building systems. The faceted facade, intensive day lighting, all-LED electric lighting, and super-efficient HVAC systems resulted in a LEED Platinum building exceeding a very aggressive 35 EUI target, validated through the first 9 months of operation.





An Honor award is presented to T.Y. Lin International for the California Incline Bridge and Idaho Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Replacements. T.Y. Lin International served as Bridge Designer and Prime Consultant for the City of Santa Monica. Beginning atop the steep slopes of Pacific Palisades Park, the California Incline Bridge carries vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists down to Highway 1 at the base of the bluffs. The Idaho Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing is a curving structure with unique, V-shaped pier. Emerging seamlessly from the Idaho Trail, the new bridge spirals down to connect to the new bicycle/pedestrian path constructed for the California Incline Bridge.








 Merit Awards

(listed alphabetically)



Empire Ave and Buena Vista Street Grade Separations



Port of Los Angeles Berths 142-143 Backland Improvement Phases 2-4


Blackburn Consulting

Consumnes River Boulevard Extension and I-5 Interchange


Degenkolb Engineers

High-Rise Column Splice Repair


GHD, Inc.

Eastside Trunk Sewer & Roadway Reconstruction Project phase I-III


Huitt-Zollars, Inc.

La Pata Avenue/Camino Del Rio Extensions


Infrastructure Engineering Corp.

Village Park Recycled Water Project



Kennedy/Jenks Consultants

American River Pipeline Conveyance Project

Kennedy/Jenks Cosultants

Echo Water Site Preparation Project




Down Town Rapid Stations


Paradise Creek Restoration


Sunray Solar

KOA Corporation

Town of Apple Valley Safe Routes to School Master Plan

Michael Baker 


Armorlite Drive Smart Growth Improvement Project

Michael Baker 


Woodside Avenue Flood Control


Moffatt & Nichol

Emergency Wharf Repair at North Embarcadero



Mckinley Village Way Underpass


Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group

Gary R. Serrato Intertie Facility



Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group

Lerdo Campus Water & Wastewater


Wilshire Bus Rapid Transit & Middle Lanes

SANDIS Civil Engineers, Surveyors, Planners

Downtown Placemaking Program

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. & Psomas

Area 51 Sound Stage Complex

Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.

San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 1 Interim Boarding Area B


Laurel Street Grade Separation, Colton


Interstate 80/Yerba Buena Island West Bound Ramps Improvement Project


LA Metro Countywide ExpressLanes Strategic Plan


Commendation Awards

(listed alphabetically)


 Freedom Plaza


 HDR Engineering, Inc.

 Vincent Grade/Acton Metrolink Station and Vincent Siding Improvement Project 



 VetsGo511.com (a Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative Project)



 Riverside Community Hospital Expansion


 NV5, Inc.

 West Shore Export Truckee River Crossing Repair Project


 Provost & Pritchard Consulting Group

 Pervious Pavement Project, Downtown Visalia Parking



 Woodlake Multi-Phased Downtown Enhancement Project


 Rick Engineering Company

 University Avenue Median Water Quality Improvements Project


 Wagner Engineering & Survey, Inc.

 Metro Lone Hill to White Double Track Project-Environmental and Preliminary Engineering



 Lower Sacramento Road Improvement Project