The County Engineers Association of Maryland honored the Piscataway Hills Landslide Stabilization project with a Project of the Year award in the large project category (greater than $5,000,000) at the 2016 Fall Conference in Ocean City, Maryland. The Project of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding county project that demonstrates responsiveness to citizens’ needs, cost effectiveness, and innovative use of county staff and funds. Awards are presented in three categories based on construction cost: small (less than $1,000,000), mid-size (between $1,000,000 and $5,000,000), and large (greater than $5,000,000).
KCI’s Mary Wiedorfer, PE, CCM, PMP, LEED AP (Construction Management), Kwabena Ofori-Awuah, PE, ENV SP (Geo-Environmental) and Dion Ho, PE (Highway-Traffic) joined Dwight Joseph and Unmesh Patel of Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation and Steve Morgan from Corman Construction in accepting the award.
CEAM recognized the design-build team’s efforts in responding to a natural disaster that blocked access to a community and required several homes to be condemned due to the resulting dangerous conditions. In late spring of 2014, heavy rains triggered a landslide in the Piscataway Hills neighborhood that led to large pavement cracks along Piscataway Drive, which provides the only access to the community. The damaged roadway, along with fractured water and sewer mains, downed power lines and the hazardous slope, led to an immediate road closure and evacuation of 28 homes. KCI was called in to investigate the cause of the failure, monitor the hillside, and develop alternates for the repair. With a goal of returning residents to their homes as quickly as possible, our team mobilized on-site immediately, and in just two weeks, the firm completed a comprehensive geotechnical study and delivered a draft report outlining the cause of the failure. Engineers then quickly began developing alternatives to stabilize the area. The project involved many challenges, including temporary utilities and roadway repairs, coordination with regional and national experts, innovative contracting, over-the-shoulder regulatory reviews, and an early materials order. Teamwork, technical expertise, diligent management and early and ongoing coordination between the county, public, engineers and contractors enabled this complex problem to be solved in a timely fashion and helped cut repair costs nearly in half from the original estimate of $20 million.