On April 8, 2019, OCWA–Central New York’s Water Authority—was honored to receive the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, Syracuse Section (ASCE) for an innovative stream bank stabilization project the Authority completed along Nine Mile Creek in Camillus last year.

Geoff Miller (left) and Andrew Weiss from OCWA accept American Society of Civil Engineers Achievement Award.

The overall project involved several locations between Otisco Lake and OCWA’s filtration plant in Marcellus where the bend of the river of Nine Mile Creek had eroded and exposed the raw water transmission main.  The most significant exposure site (“Site 4”) was identified along Nine Mile Creek north of the filtration plant in Camillus.  This site involved a 100+ year old, 20-inch diameter, cast iron water transmission main transporting finished water to Syracuse’s western suburbs. The main was unprotected and left the main vulnerable to ice damage, flooding, and insufficient support. Damage to this segment of the main would have interrupted drinking water service, threatening public health and safety to thousands of residents.

Exposed OCWA transmission main at Site 4.

A process called Natural Stream Channel Design (NSCD) was used to select field treatments that would stabilize the water main and prevent future exposure re-occurrence. Project engineer Barton & Loguidice and general contractor D.E. Tarolli assisted with the design and construction of the project, including placement of rip rap at the toe of slope, installation of interlocking articulated concrete block mattresses on top of the exposures, installation of rock and log vanes, and construction of vegetated bank-full benches (floodplain benching). These in-stream features were not only utilized to provide long-term protection and support for the water main, they also provided additional ecological functions in many instances. Nine Mile Creek is a renowned trout stream, so minimizing stream impacts, maintaining water quality during construction, and improving habitat features through project design were essential components at the Site #4 project location.

Completed project.

The Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award is granted annually to the project that best illustrates superior civil engineering skills and represents a significant contribution to civil engineering progress and society.

Award criteria include:

Originality and Innovation

  • New or Innovative Application of Technology, Design, Materials, Process/Methods and Construction

Resourcefulness in Planning and Solving Design Challenges

  • Complexity of the Problem or Situation Addressed
  • Creativity in Solutions

Sustainability Considerations

  • Environmental
  • Social
  • Economic

Project Planning and Delivery

  • Financing, Budget and Schedule
  • Meeting the Client’s Needs Particularly Related to Budget and Schedule Adherence