OCEA Goes Green

by James Denning, Assistant Editor; Civil Engineering, 345 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 7, Pg. 42-45

Document Type: Feature article


While spanning the range of civil engineering work, most of the nominees for this year's Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award were either designed to clean the air and water, or featured environmentally conscious work. In Du Page County, Ill., the Lake Michigan Water Supply eliminated the strain on underground aquifers, while Southern California's Metrolink Commuter Rail System provided an alternative to the rush hour jam. The designers of the Middle Branch Bridge across Maryland's Patapsco River jammed it through the right of way for two existing bridges to avoid disturbing more of an ecologically sensitive area. Back in Calif., the city of Huntington Beach erected a fifth incarnation of their famous pier, this one designed to better resist the storms that wrecked the first four. A 200-year storm was on the minds of the engineers of the Main Pass Mine, which stands southeast of New Orleans and is the largest single offshore complex ever built. The Discovery Bridge, Columbus, Ohio, was designed to complement the historic areas along the Scioto River it spans, while the Westside Equalization Basin and Pump Station in Des Moines, Iowa, blends in with an adjacent park, featuring recreational space on top of a 4.8 million gal tank. Pittsburgh International Airport's innovative design makes it efficient for both the passengers and the airlines, yet enables it to easily expand with the needs of the area. Chrysler's new Jefferson North Assembly Plant, Detroit, is designed to both reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds and improve the quality of its wastewater, while providing an ergonomic environment for the workers inside. Cars of any kind are a little less likely to be on the roads of America's freeway capital with the opening of the Los Angeles Metro Red Line, a 4.4 mi subway segment that is part of a system designed to carry 500,000 people daily by 2010. And finally, some of the engineers of 2010 may well be inspired by what they see today at the Liberty Science Center, Jersey City, New Jersey, where engineers overcame soft soils and a high water table to create a place where children of all ages can see that scientific reality is as much fun as any science fiction.

Subject Headings: Bridge design | Subways | Light rail transit | Commute | Hydraulic design | Rivers and streams | Urban areas | Storms | United States | Ohio | Iowa | Lake Michigan | Great Lakes | New Orleans | Louisiana | Pittsburgh

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