Four projects win engineering awards in city

March 04, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Four city public works and transportation projects have won awards from the Maryland affiliate of the American Council of Engineering Companies. The council recognized the following projects Friday:

Repairing a 72-inch water main that broke under the harbor near the Key Bridge on April 10, 2002. Dive teams had to work 35 feet under water, with a 24-inch gas main on one side and electrical cables on the other. The $2 million job was completed in July, restoring water to 250,000 customers.

Improving facilities that squeeze water out of sludge at the Back River Waste Water Treatment Plant. The city pays for sludge disposal by the ton, so removing the liquid saves money. The $15.5 million project reduces the liquid in city sludge by 2 percent. The more automated system also led to payroll savings because it allowed the plant to eliminate its "sludge dewatering" night shift. The work was completed in July.

Improving air quality and ventilation at the Back River plant. The $3.8 million project recycles "digester gas," a byproduct of sludge treatment, as an energy source for the new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. That will save the department $74,000 a year in energy costs. The project was completed in November.

Reconstructing the Charles Street bridge. The $23 million project replaced a decaying structure built in 1911with a new one that traverses the Jones Falls Expressway and ends at Penn Station. The work took three years, shutting down the city's main thoroughfare. The bridge reopened in June.

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