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ASCE Phoenix Honors Gannett Fleming's Tempe Town Lake Dam Project

Tempe Town Lake Dam Replacement project - Gannett Fleming.
(Phoenix, Ariz.)

Gannett Fleming’s Tempe Town Lake Dam Replacement project was selected as the 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Phoenix Branch Project of the Year in the “Greater than $10 Million” category. Gannett Fleming was the design engineer of record for the $45 million dam located in Tempe, Arizona, and provided design and construction management services. The award is shared in partnership with the owner, the City of Tempe, and the prime contractor, PCL Construction, Inc.

Arizona’s second-most visited public attraction, Tempe Town Lake draws more than 2.4 million visitors each year to enjoy swimming, boating, kayaking, and fishing. One of the lake’s original rubber bladders failed in 2010, causing more than 750 million gallons of water from Tempe Town Lake to rush downstream.

“The new Tempe Town Lake Dam is the largest hydraulically controlled steel gate dam of its kind in the United States, and it ensures the lake’s continued success as a recreational venue and a powerful economic development engine,” said Stewart Vaghti, PE, CFM, ENV SP, a senior project manager for Gannett Fleming.

“Gannett Fleming is excited to be a part of an historic project, and we take great pride in the positive impact our work has on the communities we serve,” noted John Derr, PE, executive vice president and Gannett Fleming’s West Region director.

The replacement dam consists of eight hydraulically operated steel gates, each 106 feet long, 17 feet tall, and more than 260,000 pounds. The use of steel gates improves the durability and reliability of the dam, while the implementation of a hydraulically operated system offers a heightened level of safety and flow flexibility. The dam’s concrete piers and spillway slab were constructed over a roller-compacted concrete (RCC) foundation, one of several solutions employed during the project to help reduce the construction schedule. A time-lapsed video of the construction is available online – construction began in June 2014 and was completed in May 2016.

“PCL is pleased to have been a part of this momentous project,” said Mike McKinney, PCL district manager. “We look forward to continuing to provide complex solutions to communities’ growing water needs.”

The ASCE Phoenix Project of the Year Award is presented annually to a civil engineering project in Gila, Maricopa, or Pinal counties that demonstrates significant excellence in delivering infrastructure that improves communities and the quality of life. The Tempe Town Lake Dam Replacement also garnered a Best Project award in the Water/Environment category of the Engineering News-Record Regional Best Projects 2016 Awards – Southwest, and the American Concrete Institute and International Concrete Repair Institute Arizona Chapter’s Best in Concrete award for the around-the-clock placement of 18,000 cubic yards of RCC.

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