By: O.C. Supervisor Lisa Bartlett
Four Orange County Public Works (OCPW) infrastructure projects were honored as industry-best projects in 2015 by the Orange County Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at the organization’s annual awards celebration on February 18. OCPW’s Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance was also selected among many to receive the Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector award. The awards recognize some of the finest civil engineers and projects over the past year, honoring OCPW projects that are improving the drive for commuters, protecting water supplies and keeping neighborhoods safe.
The “best of” awards bestowed to OCPW by ASCE’s Orange County Branch include:
Best Bridge Project: Lincoln Avenue Widening over the Santa Ana River
The Lincoln Avenue Bridge over the Santa Ana River serves as a gateway linking the cities of Anaheim and Orange. The $8 Million Lincoln Avenue Bridge widening project successfully provides a safe, multi-use accessible six (6) lane corridor with bike lanes and raised sidewalk on each side from Batavia to the 57 Freeway. Other improvements include installation of pedestrian railing, construction of retaining walls on both sides of roadway embankment through Orange County Water District (OCWD) detention basins, relocation of utilities, and replacement of trapezoidal concrete channel with underground storm drain.
Best Water Project: Gobernadora Multipurpose Basin
A collaborative effort between OC Public Works, the Santa Margarita Water District and Rancho Mission Viejo, this innovative basin program in south Orange County provides regional flood protection and improved water quality and reliability, which is crucial for businesses as the cost of imported water continues to rise. OCPW’s Watershed Management team was instrumental in securing $2.5 million of Proposition 84 Integrated Regional Water Management grant funding for the Water Quality (upper) Basin.
Best Flood Management Project: Newland, Edinger, and East Garden Grove Wintersburg Storm Channel Confluence System
The East Garden Grove-Wintersburg Channel, Edinger Channel, and Newland Channel all converge at the I-405 Freeway where the cities of Huntington Beach and Westminster share an intersection. This project was unique due to its complexity. The channel/drainage hydraulics were so complex that a physical hydraulic model of the channel system was constructed to determine the hydraulic constraints for upstream improvements. The Edinger Channel project required the addition of a 72″x113″ elliptical concrete pipe beneath the I-405 Freeway, which required an extensive tunneling operation under the I-405 Freeway in addition to major drainage improvements upstream. The project also featured the construction of a facility that bifurcates its flow at the freeway, sending half of its flow to the East Garden-Grove-Wintersburg Channel upstream and the other half through a tunnel under the I-405 Freeway to confluence downstream. The drainage improvements included expanding the existing concrete trapezoidal channel to a larger rectangular channel and reconstructing drainage improvements under five street intersections requiring the redesign of each intersection.
Best Small Project: Gilbert Street Improvements
The Gilbert Street improvement project in unincorporated Anaheim enhances safety and provides traffic-calming elements in a highly-congested residential and commercial corridor. The project featured roadway improvements, American Disability Act (ADA) accessibility, railroad crossing upgrades, storm drain upgrades, traffic signal modifications and new pedestrian flashing crosswalks.
Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector: Kevin Onuma, P.E.
Onuma is a licensed Civil Engineer and currently the Deputy Director of OC Public Works’ Operations and Maintenance Service Area. He has over 26-years of engineering experience with the County of Orange which includes stints as the Deputy Director of Infrastructure Programs, interim Chief Engineer, interim Assistant Director of OC Engineering, Flood Control Division Manager, as well in time in the County’s Flood and Road Program and Flood Control Design groups.
About OC Public Works
OC Public Works, a County of Orange department, delivers innovative services and infrastructure projects on a regional basis for unincorporated communities, cities and other Orange County agencies and departments. The primary mission of the department is to protect and enrich the community through efficient delivery and maintenance of public works infrastructure, planning and development services, environmental resources and consumer protection measures.
More information and updates about OC Public Works are available at www.OCPublicWorks.com. You can also follow OC Public Works on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OCPublicWorks and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/OCPublicWorks.