ACEC Awards through the Years

The American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement, and value. Award entries are submitted through a statewide competition and can later be entered at the national level. Sain Associates supports ACEC Alabama, ACEC Tennessee, and ACEC National in various ways, and we have been honored to receive awards from the local and national levels. Below are some highlights on previously awarded projects from the EEA competition:

Martin Army Community Hospital – 2015

The Martin Army Community Hospital is an extraordinary project, as it provides a state-of-the-art medical facility to serve our troops. This project was master planned and built to provide easy access to a multitude of medical services within the new hospital, clinics, and Warriors-In-Transition facilities. The project included master planning a 745,000 SF hospital tower, two clinics, two parking garages, supporting structures, and a ½ mile Access Road and exit from I-185. These features were completed within a limited boundary on the side of a wooded hill. The design successfully fit this massive facility into a limited area while blending into the natural environment and achieving credits for LEED Gold Certification.

Mack Hatcher Parkway Extension – 2015

Sain Associates was selected by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to perform the survey and design on a three-mile section of SR-397 (Mack Hatcher Parkway) from State Route 96 east of Franklin to State Route 6 (US-31) in Williamson County, Tennessee. This was one of TDOT’s first projects in which the Context Sensitive Design (CSD) process was implemented to formulate a roadway design to complement its surroundings.

Cahaba Road Transportation Enhancement – 2016

Cahaba Road serves as a connector to three municipalities in the Birmingham metropolitan area and provides access into the Birmingham Zoo and Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Given the road’s importance, the City of Birmingham led a project to improve the facility to accommodate more than just vehicular traffic. The first steps of the design included performing a traffic study to evaluate existing traffic conditions, projecting future traffic with expansions of the zoo and gardens, and determining an appropriate roadway typical section. The final design included two 14’ lanes, which accommodated both vehicular and bicycle traffic, sidewalks on both sides of the road, lighting on one side of the road, and a roundabout at the zoo entrance.

Kamtek K-3 Campus Expansion – 2017

Sain Associates consulted with Kamtek, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the City of Birmingham to provide master planning, surveying, traffic engineering, civil design, and environmental permitting to expand a 224-acre automotive manufacturing campus for Kamtek in Birmingham, Alabama. This master plan included the construction of a new 144,000 SF aluminum die casting facility (known as K-3), a 25,000 SF expansion to their K-1 facility, a 93,000 SF expansion to their K-2 facility, rerouting truck and employee traffic to improve traffic safety, and roadway improvements to support increased traffic volumes.

Dunnavant Pedestrian Tunnel – 2019

The Dunnavant Square Cooperative District selected Sain to review the feasibility of installing an underground tunnel at Dunnavant Square, a mixed-use development located across from the Town of Mt. Laurel, Alabama. Introducing a new commercial development across busy County Road 41 with no accommodations for a safe crossing posed a problem. Our design team proposed an underground pedestrian tunnel to address pedestrian safety and maintain traffic flow.

Installing a tunnel under the highway involved many design challenges, including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, storm drainage, lighting, utility relocations, and aesthetic concerns. During the tunnel’s construction, traffic flow was maintained along CR-41 through a diversion route. The landscape and hardscape materials were selected to blend with the natural surroundings and architecture of the Mt. Laurel community. 

I-59/20 CBD Bridge Replacement – Transportation Planning & Traffic Operations Monitoring – 2020

Sain Associates was retained by ALDOT to provide transportation planning and traffic operations monitoring efforts associated with the bridge demolition phase of the I-59/20 CBD bridge replacement project, which addressed the aging bridges and weaving traffic movements along the interstate between I-65 and US-31/US-280. After considering many options, ALDOT decided to close I-59/20 in the CBD to expedite the demolition and reconstruction of the bridges. Approximately 160,000 vehicles travel this stretch of interstate on a typical weekday and rerouting that much traffic for an extended interstate closure presented a unique challenge. Sain’s familiarity with the project area, along with our experience in working with ALDOT, the City of Birmingham, and the BJCC were critical to project success.

Prattville South Industrial Park – Construction of New Roadways and Bridge – 2021

In 2020, the City of Prattville landed a large industrial tenant into the Prattville South Industrial Park. As the City excitedly announced James Hardie Building Products as their new tenant, the economic development team worked tirelessly to figure out how to complete the needed infrastructure improvements in time for the James Hardie opening. The infrastructure improvements were extensive, including new roadway, a bridge over an existing railroad, and utilities to serve the site.

To accomplish this daunting task, the economic development team, with assistance from Sain, sought multiple funding opportunities and was awarded federal funds from the United States Economic Development Authority and state industrial access funds from ALDOT. As the construction inspection and engineer, Sain provided exceptional leadership in coordinating schedules, construction operations, and progress to ensure the infrastructure improvements were complete and all requirements for the funding were fulfilled.