AMEC's Earth & Environmental offices in Knoxville and Nashville have won the prestigious first place Honor Award for the year's most innovative environmental project from the Consulting Engineers of Tennessee.
The winning effort was a shoreline stabilization project that combined the soil-stabilizing effect of indigenous vegetation with concealed steel mesh-like structures to achieve an economical, innovative and natural-looking solution in an environmentally sensitive wetlands area. CET said the project represented "the highest standards of the engineering profession and management practices."
The project was conducted for Patrick Air Force Base in Florida in order to protect campsites at Family Camp from Banana River shoreline erosion. It involved the planting of Red and Black Mangrove trees along more than 2,000 feet of shoreline and the burial of a row of stainless steel gabion baskets parallel to the shoreline.
The gabion baskets were filled with locally quarried Coquina stone and then buried under a six-inch layer of sand. The gabion structure will protect the shoreline until the mangrove plantings can establish extensive root networks in and around the Coquina rock fill. The use of stainless steel wire for construction of the gabion baskets will guarantee their longevity through repetitive salt water incursions by the Banana River Estuary or exposure to other corrosive environments.
The award marked the fourth straight year that AMEC has won in the CET competition. And this year AMEC emerged a double winner for the first time: In addition to top honors in the Environmental category, AMEC won a Merit Award in the Studies category for an automated look at flooding that would result in the Nashville area from a catastrophic dam break.
The simulated-flood project calculated and visually displayed the projected results of a failure at Center Hill Dam over 190 miles of river for the Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The innovative project demonstrated AMEC's state-of-the-art hydraulic engineering and computer modeling capabilities. By quickly assessing what the downstream impacts of a dam failure will be, AMEC offers an invaluable and potentially life-saving tool to flood-evacuation managers.