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Mt. Juliet project wins statewide award

Pictured is the Beckwith project a year after completion.

A project completed in Mt. Juliet at the Beckwith North Distribution Center won a Grand Award in the 2018 Engineering Excellence Awards competition, presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee (ACEC Tennessee). The award is one of the highest honors an engineering firm can receive and is considered the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry.”

Panattoni, Inc. contracted S&ME, Inc. to provide permitting, design, and construction period support services for the restoration of approximately 800 feet of an unnamed tributary to Cedar Creek. Property owners had mowed the grass to the water’s edge and installed a driveway culvert crossing. No other vegetation was present near the bedrock-lined channel. These combined conditions created a stream channel that was over-widened and lacked habitat diversity.  Also, wetlands adjacent to the stream reach needed to be avoided during construction.

To address these challenges, S&ME used square Bio-D block coir blocks anchored to the bedrock with wooden stakes installed in holes drilled into the rock. This approach avoided wetland impacts, enabled channel restoration to appropriate dimensions, and stabilized the banks using soil behind the Bio-D block for a cost-effective project.

Construction was completed in August 2017. The restoration of the unnamed tributary to Cedar Creek helps to improve water quality by providing improved physical habitat for aquatic organisms and eventually providing shading of the stream to avoid elevated temperatures during the summer as the streamside vegetation matures. This streamside vegetation (trees and shrubs) will also provide a source of nutrients for aquatic macroinvertebrates from leaf fall into the stream.

The Engineering Excellence Awards were announced and presented during the ACEC Tennessee awards gala and 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Omni Hotel in Nashville on Oct. 26. Hundreds of Tennessee engineers, business and civic leaders, and state, city and county officials from across the state attended the awards event.

The Bush Brothers Process Water Reclamation Facility, completed in Dandridge by Nashville firm Brown and Caldwell, won the Grand Iris Award, the top award in the competition. The winning project reduced Bush’s water requirements by 30 percent and provided increased reliability, flexibility, and effluent quality.

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